Flavor of the Week: Starbucks

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Everyone knows the signs of your classic basic b*tch. Well, sort of. You have the basic-basic betch, who has traveled to the present in a time capsule from 2003. She wears Uggs, carries a wristlet, if you forgot what that is click here, and loves the Victoria’s Secret Pink line. Then there’s the step up from that, which is a seventh grader aspiring to morph herself into a Brandy Melville model.

All types of basic–yes, there are more–share the attribute of Starbucks. No, it isn’t that basic girls love coffee. It’s that they love Starbucks. It’s about a brand; it’s about a cartoon Lady Liberty (I think?) on your white paper cup. It’s that you drink Starbucks, not what you drink from it.

Why is Starbucks basic? What about it? Is it the logo? Is it the fact that Starbucks is so prevalent all over the world that it is the most accessible thing to all basic girls? Is a venti iced coffee like a universal friendship bracelet?

Last week I was at home in suburbia and needed to get out of the house, which is usually what happens when one is home in suburbia. I texted a friend asking if she had any knowledge of a place where I could buy a green tea and sit with my laptop for two to four hours; where no one would float my bill slowly and sadly down until it sunk on my tabletop after a mere half hour, shoving me out to get the next group of yoga moms seated. I knew of nowhere in suburbia like this. I thought: If we were in Europe, oh, of course this would be no issue at all. Obviously, though, we are not in Europe.

My friend gave me the name of a cafe where my dreams of lackadaisical drinking and writing would be fulfilled. Needless to say, I never made it there and spent the next morning in a corner of my basement instead, furiously typing a pitch email to the soundtrack of my mother chewing. Yes, I can hear that with a cement floor between us.

And when my loudly-chewing mother asked me why I didn’t just go to the Starbucks in the next town over, I told her ugh, Mom, because it’s Starbucks.

It isn’t that I don’t want to let Starbucks be a real café because I hate it, because I don’t at all, but rather because if Starbucks is the closest thing I have to true Italian coffee and three hours of aloneness on a cobblestone street, then I will be a sad, sad person.

This morning in the city (New York, not Florence or Rome or somewhere romantic), I sat at a Starbucks for an hour and a half because it was the only thing I could find in the seven-minute search period I granted myself for a “café.” Starbucks was the first thing I could find where I could loiter, it was the only place in a three-block radius with open seats, and, for all intents and purposes, it really worked.

Does it ruin the essence of a café–a quirky hole in the wall–if it’s recreatable everywhere? Starbucks is supposed to be basic, and maybe that’s because it’s the only thing that’s meeting everyone’s needs. For you, it’s a place to take Instagrams of pumpkin spice lattes and once-frozen croissants. For me, it seems to be the only place where I’m allowed to sit for hours. Starbucks works because it’s repurpose-able in a million different ways, like an old t-shirt.

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Flavor of Week: How To Say Happy Birthday

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MILEY'S SWEET 16 Ñ Miley Cyrus will celebrate her ÒSweet 16Ó during a once-in-a-lifetime birthday bash at Disneyland in California this fall.  ÒMileyÕs Sweet 16 Ð Share The CelebrationÓ will be an unforgettable event for Miley and her fans that also will serve to recognize Youth Service America and help drive awareness of the need for youth volunteerism.  The Hollywood-style bash is planned for Sunday, Oct. 5, from 6 to 11 p.m., with ticket sales limited to 5,000 fans.  Tickets, priced at $250, go on sale at 9 a.m. PDT, Saturday, Aug. 30, at www.disneyparks.com/miley.   (Scott Brinegar/Disneyland)

Today, my little brother turned seventeen. This is a big deal. He can drive and now has an age-specific magazine to which he can properly relate in times of need, like a long distance BFF.

I felt pure enjoyment from reading the posts on his Facebook timeline. A lot of people wrote, “happy birthday bro,” which made me feel like a proud older sister–“bro” is probably the male equivalent of the female “babe,” meaning guys who have man-crushes on my little brother have written on his wall and yes, after all these years, he is a well-liked chap.

Writing on someone’s “timeline” for his or her birthday is the perfect thing to do when you have a man-crush/girl crush (as aforementioned), or even just a general crush (to whom you don an extra !! at the end of your birthday wish. Maybe he’ll notice me now!!!!!). Before Facebook, happy birthday’s were said the old fashioned way, like when passing someone in the hall even if you weren’t super tight.

But Facebook has added a new dimension to the birthday: it’s kind of like receiving a million cards; it gives you something extra with which you can measure how great your birthday was; it gives certain people no excuse not to say happy birthday because of how easy it can be to just say it, thereby allowing you to use your birthday as a way to gauge the legitimacy some of your relationships. (Then again, should we really be gauging the legitimacy of our relationships based on a Facebook wall post, or lack thereof?)

I’ve spent whole birthdays waiting to see if a few specific characters, let’s call them, reach out to me. And then the birthday is over, and they either haven’t reached out or they have. At this point, I can either pat myself on the back and be like, “you’re definitely the bigger person here,” or I can pout and hope they send a regretful text the next day, which they usually do.

I am intrigued by the way we use Facebook to extend warmest wishes on the anniversary of one’s birth. There is nothing greater than birthday collages, or when you see wall posts from one best friend to another even though they’ve obviously been speaking since the clock struck midnight. Still, we love the extra gift, free of monetary cost, yet with invaluable social cost, that Facebook gives us each year.

That all being said, I rarely use Facebook to convey birthday wishes.

It’s great for girl-crushes, it’s great for people whose phone numbers I don’t have but wish I did, and in my eyes, that’s about it. The last Facebook photo collage I made was for my best guy friend and included photos of us making strange faces on a camel in Israel. In that case, it was, as they say, irresistablé.

My most important question as of recent: Is it better to make a wall post, or to not say “happy birthday” at all?

There are pros and cons to each type of birthday wish, from Hallmark card in the mail to Instagram comment to text to phone call to Facebook message (yes, it holds a different weight than a Facebook wall post). “Happy birthday” isn’t really about wishing someone another year of beautiful life, preferably processed with VSCOcam C1 filter. It isn’t even really about what you say–well, unless you’re giving me extra exclamation points or a <3 or a “babe”. It’s about how you say it.

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Flavor of the Week: The Dadbod

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dad·bod [dad-ˈbäd]
a male body shape that maintains a fair balance between working out twice a week and drinking beer twice a day. Usually includes undefined muscles, a small beer belly, and flab.

Just google “dadbod.” There, you can choose your sources/pick your poison: Buzzfeed, Yahoo, Time, New York Mag, Slate, and even Business Insider.

The idea of being attracted to a not-toned male body is nothing new. Just two weeks ago, I was having a conversation about “types” with a friend and she said to me, “I love skinny guys. I almost exclusively have sex with guys who weigh significantly less than I do.” We all have friends who like “skinny guys,” and friends who like really thick, toned guys, and friends who like tall guys, and friends who like broad, teddy bear guys. So why is everyone freaking out about the dadbod as if it wasn’t something that’s literally, probably, been around forever?

The dadbod went viral after an article was published on The Odyssey by a sophomore at Clemson University. In the article, the author lists reasons why girls love the dadbod, which includes “we like being the pretty one:” “we want to look skinny, and the bigger the guy, the smaller we feel and the better we look next to you in a picture.” Last I checked, these are not reasons why you should have a boyfriend and are not reasons to love your boyfriend, should you choose to have one. In a similar vein, dadbods are cuddly, yes, and being cuddly is easier when there’s more to cuddle (which is something girls say to make themselves feel better), but being cuddly is a state of mind and a way of affection. Either you’re a cuddler, or you’re not, and regardless of your body shape I’ll like you more if you’re the former.

Since this article went viral, its author has said she “wants to write a book.” Hello, my name is Hannah, I probably have a dadbod or some female form of it, and I have wanted to write a memoir since I was ten. Where’s my book deal?

Don’t you think the dadbod is really just a fratbod, since the humor in referring to someone as having a dadbod is only funny if he clearly isn’t a dad? The dadbod hits college males the hardest, who seem to have no issues acquiring it without using three small children as an excuse to go easy on chest day.

The dadbod does not just exist on its own, but is framed as something admirable by young coeds. It’s not just the dadbod, it’s that we love the dadbod. Where is the female version of the dadbod? Is that just “men who like curvy girls?”

Seth Rogen originated the coolness of the dadbod, and I would marry him in a heartbeat regardless of his flab. I’m attracted to Jewish men, and not necessarily to their bodies which come as an added bonus. I saw my first full-frontal on-screen penis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Jason Segal and his desperate, naked body would not have been as funny if he didn’t have the dadbod. Imagine if he was ripped in that scene. He just would have looked like an asshole for writing himself into the script like that. The dadbod is a secret weapon.

I don’t know if the dadbod is sexist, as some say. Yes, it’s unfair that male bodily imperfection is being praised by the opposite sex and rarely, if ever, is being genuinely praised in the same way for women. There are so many guys who are like, “Yeah I love a girl who will eat a good burger” and I’ve even had guy friends who make snide remarks when I have my burger minus the bun. But if I looked like I ate a good burger often, would it still be okay? And it might not be sexist if there are men out there who like the mombod, but the idea of a mombod is maybe sexist in itself. I’m not exactly sure. Technically, we all have mombods now, which is why our bodies change during puberty. It’s a blessing, in all seriousness, to have a mombod that will one day house a little tiny thing, because not everyone can do that.

For a long time, I believed that people settled for men with dadbods or anything less than a ZacEfronbod. Generally, though, you’ll find that people tend to date those of similar size or shape to them, and every time you see a “disproportionate” couple you think to yourself, “Wow, how did that happen?” And don’t deny that, because I know it’s true. So what about people who have spent their whole lives thinking that they perfectly matched with one who dotes a dadbod? Or does none of this matter and am I being super shallow for not acknowledging the fact that at the end of the day, when we’re looking for a long term lover, we know that personality trumps all? That, at least in my case, is true.

I’ve met many men with dadbod qualities (down to eat pizza, order third rounds of beer, make me feel pretty in pictures, are nonchalant about hitting the gym, don’t obsess over smoothies, etc.) that don’t have dadbods. And I’ve met many men with dadbods who don’t have dadbod qualities. Yes, non-dads with dadbods can still be assholes. Bodies are weird and random, people. It’s genetics! Just because you’re dadbodish, at the end of the day, probably doesn’t mean anything except for the fact that, well, you’ve got yourself a dadbod.

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