When I moved to New York in May 2011, a freshly-graduated 22-year old with a pep in my step and a song in my heart, I did not know what I was getting myself into. But you couldn’t have told me that. No, I fancied myself a woman of the world, unfazed by the big city and too ready to eat up all its foods, drink all its wine, and date all its boys.
I was a hungry little blonde fool though, and as a result I spent most of my first year here in a perpetual financial—and literal—hangover. So had I been the kind of 22-year old who took advice, here’s what someone should have told me.
You can say no, but mostly say yes.
There are a million things to do, dates to go on, and experiences to feel in the city. You have to do as many of them as you can, but when you need a break, take one.Then put your eyeliner back on, and get out there again.
Don’t move to the East Village.
And do not pay more than $1,000/month for your first apartment(s). Unless you’re making bank or someone else is funding your extravagant lifestyle, rent within your means. There are plenty of cool, safe places to live in Brooklyn. Do not be afraid because you’ve never seen them on TV or in a movie.
If there’s a way to make something seem hilarious rather than sad, make it seem hilarious.
Most of your dates will be terrible. But is there anything funnier than a bad date? Most certainly not. You will be poor and fat from all the brunch, but isn’t it supremely uproarious that you can’t afford baby powder to fight the chub rub? Yes. Start a blog.
Things you can save money on: a gym, groceries, cabs.
Gyms are not a good place to make friends or pick up boys. Since you’re not going to the gym, you’ll need to eat less, so no need to waste your dollas at Whole Foods. And most of the grandestadventures take place on the New York City subway. Do not deprive yourself of them because you’re lazy and want a car to haul you around like a common suburban American. Unless of course you need to avoid the walk or subway ride of shame. In that case, wipe last night’s mascara from under your eyes and hail yourself a cab, darling.
Things you must spend money on: shoes, brunch, hair products.
New York City will eat your shoes. Invest in good ones. Brunch is where the best stories are made and told. Your hair is all you have left, so take care of it, you thrifty minx.
Force everyone to visit you.
They will believe your life is far more fabulous than it actually is, and their misguided perceptions will validate your reckless decision to live in New York.
The boys will not always pay.
It doesn’t matter if they picked the restaurant, initiated the asking-out, wore a nice suit, or make six figures. When that bill comes to the table, you’d better be fully prepared to go halfsies. Example. Two months in to my relationship with New York City, I went on an OkCupid (should have known then) date with a gentleman I’ve since dubbed “Bobblehead.” I was a lowly intern at the time, and Bobblehead had invited me to a taqueria speakeasy for dinner. Silly southern belle that I am assumed that since he’d invited me, my job was to get dolled up and be charming, and his job was to pay. I realized my error when the $300 bill arrived and he asked me for my card so we could split it. I handed it to him in a margarita daze, and after narrowly escaping an embarrassing DECLINE, I survived solely on cereal from my office for the next week and a half.
So there you have it. I’d like to say it gets better, but really you just make more money and different mistakes. And you have way more fun making them.
Plenty of pep in my step on my first day of work. May 16, 2011.
Will your boo like you without mascara? Yeah, probably. Will he like you after witnessing the jean wiggle? Debatable.
You see, there are some things a lady likes to keep to herself.
The jean wiggle is the thing of where you washed and dried your jeans and you’ve been eating carbs like you have the metabolism of Miranda Kerr, but spoiler alert YOU DON’T. And now you have a pooch full of bagels, which makes your tight, highwaisted jeans situation RUL difficult.
So you wiggle. And wiggle. And wiggle those god forsaken size 25s until they succumb to your might and you nearly burst a lung making that button happen.
No one should see this. Especially not someone who I’m tricking into spending all his free time and monies and sex on me.
Breakups are the actual worst. And when your boo-thing is no more, the first 24 hours post-breakup are critical. Don’t get me wrong, your life will still be a stupid rotten mess, but if you behave accordingly, you may be able to achieve some semblance of sanity. So here’s what you gotsta do.
Cuddle with your best friend. Let her pet your hair, scratch your back, and shower you with tissues and chocolates.
Wash your sheets. I don’t care if the breakup convo wrapped up around 4:00 AM, you run to your nearest 24 hour laundromat and wash those bad boys. Because for the LOVE OF GOD you do not want your bed smelling like your boo-no-more. Also you’ll want to get the mascara tears out of the pillowcases ASAP.
Delete the texts. If there are some texts you need to screen shot for future proof/ammunition, okay fine. But if you don’t immediately delete your text history, you’ll stay up all night trying to pinpoint the exact iMessage where it all went wrong.
Throw away his toothbrush. If there’s anything that 25 years of dating boys and watching Sex and the City have taught me, it’s that a toothbrush means nothing. This becomes painfully evident when you’re boo-love is gone, but his toothbrush remains at your sink. Just because a boy likes to sleep over and have clean teeth doesn’t mean he will love you forever. It’s just science.
Watch Mob Wives. Or any trash of your choosing, but preferably something with lots of wine throwing, fake eyelashes, and drug addiction.
Scream a little. With your best friend. Get into a little rant where you shout phrases like, “BOYS ARE DO DUMB.” “HE IS AN ACTUAL MONSTER.” “BUT YOU ARE THE PRETTY ONE!” It helps if you stomp your foot and gesture with a glass of wine.
Delete all SDOAs.Social displays of affection must be removed. And shame on you, you naive dummy, for thinking that your boo-thing would last longer than the internets. The internets are forever. Boos are not.
Listen to Tegan & Sara. If you think you can handle it, listen to Hearthrob, but if you’re too fragile, stick with So Jealous.
Work from home. There’s no need for your coworkers to see you hysterical. Plus working from home means you get to TREAT YOSELF with a luxurious lunch, TV breaks, and jammies.
Avoid pictures of pretty people. Whatever you do, DO NOT click on any pictures of Emma Watson’s new Wonderland cover or Michelle Williams, or Allison Williams for that matter. And for the love of god, DO NOT watch Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Grammy performance. It will push you over the edge.
Call your mama. She will be sweet, soothing, and sympathetic for the first three minutes. And then she will tell you, “Now buck up, and put some powder on your nose.”
And for god’s sake put some powder on your nose. Nothing will perk you up like a cute dress and a FLAWLESS cateye. Trust.
After finishing my two cups of tea this morning and picking my lips for approximately seven minutes, I looked to complete the ritual by reaching into my bag and searching for my lip balm. But it was nowhere to be found. So I’ve been substituting with lipstick all day like a dummy.
My life has never been worse than it is in this moment.
I guess I could ask a friend to borrow their chapstick or go to the daggum Walgreens like an adult and buy some. But pouting and wearing too much lipstick is more fun.
I don’t freak out often, but when I do, I do it big and pull everyone down with me.
Like the time my cat Midnight (RIP) who, unbeknownst to us had kidney failure, was trapped in my room for an entire day and proceeded to poo and pee all over my room, namely my suitcase that contained basically all the clothes I cared about. When I opened my door and discovered the literal shit storm that had taken place in my room, I threw the biggest hissy fit in Hudson family history that led my mother and sister to flee the house to “go grocery shopping” and forced my poor father to lock himself in the living room to avoid my wrath.
Needless to say, I know how to have a good freak out.
So when I cut my hairs this past August and was uncertain about the results, I got a little fittified. I raced the apartment where poor, sweet Eliza was greeted with a full on hissy fit that had been brewing the whole subway ride home. She foolishly tried to console me with compliments and “reason,” and when she could take no more of my shrieks and foot stomping, she suggested, “Why don’t you call Millie?”
A brilliant suggestion!
I FaceTimed my mama to show her my new ‘do and explain why I was so distraught. She stopped me mid-hysterics and in true buck-up fashion said, “Sarah, honey, you look fine. But you may want to put a little powder on your nose.”
She was right.
After I took a quick shower, tousled my hair with pomade, and threw some makeup on my face, I LOVED my hairs. There really are few things in life that a little makeup won’t fix. Thank you, mama.
The relationship between a lady and her shows is a very special one. There are few things in this world that bring me joy like a brand spanking new episode of Girls or Breaking Bad (RIP), or a lazy Sunday of garbage marathoning Mob Wives or My Cat From Hell. My shows—my stories, if you will—take up a good bit of my life. And not in a depressing way, like I haven’t bathed and Seamlessed breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the past two days. No these shows give me things to talk about at parties, distraction from the stresses of being a career lady, and bonding time with my beloved roommate.
And this is why I have a very strict do-not-share-your-shows-with-your-boo policy. Mad Men will live on forever (in our hearts and on our Netflixes anyway), but you and your boo will likely not. With breakups happening on nearly every corner in LES and marriage practically equating divorce these days, boo-love is not a safe place to share a show.
This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Sunday night HBO time with your man, but for heaven’s sake do not make it y’all’s thing. Because what happens when you break up? Your life is left a stupid rotten mess AND you can’t watch Game of Thrones because it was ooooouuurrrrrrrrr showwwwwwww?! Um no. You keep watching GOT, girl. A lady should never have to sacrifice her sacred bond with television because one time she used to watch a show with some boy who would steal all the pot stickers and force her to eat sesame chicken against her will.
You and cousin Matthew got a special thing going on, baby. Don’t let your boo come between y’all.
RuPaul is my daily inspiration. Duh. And if you follow her on the Twitters, then you’re familiar with her #FeelLikeAWoman declarations. Today’s inspired me to make up my own, so here you go. Thanks, Ru.
#FeelLikeAWoman make seven month pregnant Jemima Kirke your iPhone background.
#FeelLikeAWoman don’t wash your hair for nobody.
#FeelLikeAWoman wear a crop top to brunch.
#FeelLikeAWoman take your birth control in public and wash it down with a vodka soda.
#FeelLikeAWoman eat cookie dough and watch I Love Lucy in your undies.
#FeelLikeAWoman insta-stalk without shame.
#FeelLikeAWoman take an Uber home from your boo’s apartment.
Particularly those that end with something something “and a red lip!”
It’s like DUH you need a white t-shirt and jeans. HOW THOUGHT PROVOKING. But no, I do not need a trench coat. I hate trench coats. If it’s raining I will just use an umbrella and wear some inappropriate footwear and be sure to complain all day that I am soaking wet. But I will not wear a dumb trench coat.
Also blazers. Blazers look so dumb on me. And I’m not the only one. But everyday people go traipsing around wearing blazers because for the past 100 years magazines have been telling us, “Every woman simply must have a black blazer in her closet! It’s the ’90s, Bill!” Stop wearing blazers just because you think you should. You’re probably picking one that doesn’t fit properly and giving yourself robot arms.
If you Google image search “wardrobe basics" (which I advise against because you’ll likely die of BOREDOM), you’ll be bombarded with a thousands of sensible trousers, ugly pumps, and about a million sheath dresses. I am here to argue a woman could live a very full life and never have to waddle around in an a-line skirt.
Wear whatever your heart tells you and makes yo body feel good inside. Except maybe these.