Thursday, July 17, 2014

Just 4 Teenz

The company who supplies the magazines for the store that I work part time at (because wine doesn't pay for itself) recently went out of business, and it's. been. awesome.

I mean, I think a lot of people probably lost their jobs, and that's sad or whatever, but it's meant that we've had to unload our entire stock of magazines, marking them down until they're almost free to make room for whoever is going to take over the contract. I've gone a little overboard.

It started out pretty reasonably. I got a copy of GQ and Details. I'm a young(ish), gay man who, if he had more than $14 dollars at any given time and didn't appreciate the clearance rack at Old Navy quite so much, would probably be pretty damn stylish. Men's lifestyle magazines are a legitimate purchase, and at 75% off, I'd be crazy not to snatch them up!

Then I bought month old copies of US Weekly, People, and Star. But...I'm a young(ish) gay man who, if he had more than $14 at any given time and had unrestricted access to cable television (the E! Network), would probably have a much better grasp on the celebrity culture that is so important in the homosexual community. I need to stay on top of this stuff in case Tori Spelling's shocking weight loss (that whole Dean McDermott is a sex addict thing has obviously taken a toll, so sad) or Kristen Steweart's dead eyes come up in conversation. 

In Style, Vogue, and Bazaar featured Shailene Woodley, Charlize Theron, and Kate Winslet on their covers, and I absolutely had to read those interviews, so I grabbed those. Shailene Woodley is making her own toothpaste, y'all. I mean...I find it exhausting enough dragging myself in to brush my teeth between the time every night where I pass out, mouth open and drooling, watching Gilmore Girls and when I jerk awake two hours later and stumble to my bed. No way I'm finding time to Pinterest a toothpaste recipe. 

Seriously, with this enticing a milkshake, it's crazy that there aren't more boys in my yard.

Shit got kinda weird as the magazine selection got more picked over. I bought one dedicated entirely to re-purposing flea market furniture (like I'm ever going to turn an old ladder into a rustic and stylish bookshelf). I decided I was really into Word Finds one day, and bought a big 'ole book of those. I also got three different wedding magazines that I immediately took home and shamefully hid like they were porn (in fact they're tucked safely away under the porn).

As of last week the selection had gotten pretty limited. There was Vogue Knitting which promises amazing and stylish patterns for handmade clothes guaranteed to humiliate your children (although, let's be real, if you're hand knitting sweaters for your kids, they're probably already home-schooled freaks). Apparently no one is interested in learning to live off the land, because the survivalist guide, Off the Grid, is still collecting dust. And since I'm not interested in the work that it would take to get Hugh Jackman's Wolverine body, the men's fitness magazines didn't appeal to me at all. My magazine binge finally appeared to be coming to an end.

Until I spotted the neon colored, celeb packed covers of a whole rack of teen magazines.

The last time I'd laid my hands on one of these magazines was in the late 90's, right in the middle of the Hanson craze. My cousin and sister were obsessed with the brothers, their rooms covered floor to ceiling with ripped out posters and clipped out articles of the brothers from Teen Beat or BOP. I, trying real hard to hide my sissy, did my best to pretend that I really couldn't be bothered by the glossy pages filled with all the boys I was desperate to snuggle. 

While they traded Taylor for Zac (but never Issac) or Nick for Justin, I'd casually mention that I'd be happy to take any Posh Spice or Alicia Silverstone pages off their know, if they were just going to be thrown away, hoping against hope that on the back there'd be a shirtless JTT or Leo for me to swoon over later in the privacy of my room (when it was always the f#%!ing old one from 98 Degrees), but I could never bring myself to ask them to shove over and pass me the scissors and the scotch tape.

So when I spotted them on the shelf that day, all of this came rushing back, and I got a little nervous. 13 year old Chris was screaming at me to stop, "People will think you're a pansy!" (while 28 year old Chris was too busy being disgusted by how chipped I'd allowed my nail polish to get). 

I started to feel bad that I'd deprived myself of the joy these magazines could have brought me in my formative years. Not only that, but these magazines are positively chock full of advice for dealing with flirting and crushes and all of the mixed signals that boys send. Maybe this is why my love life is such a mess! I just didn't get the proper guidance! I could probably learn something from these things.

So I bought three of them. 

I learned way less than I thought I would.

I learned that all teen boys are named Austin now. 

I learned that Ariana Grande is not the name of a plus sized drag queen/possibly a lady professional  wrestler.

And I learned that teen girls need like a ton of affirmation. 

For instance, I took a quiz from one of of these publications that promised to tell me if my crush and I had true potential by providing me with a checklist of tell tale signs that he's the one. Now I don't have a crush per say (because do adult men really have crushes?), but there is gentleman who I've repeatedly gotten drunk and made out with publicly at the bar. So that can probably count for this quiz. 

"No cheating -- you know your guy's middle name, and he knows yours!"- I'm not even for sure what his last name is.

"When you wake up in the morning, the first text you get is always from him."- No. And thank god, trying to engage me in conversation before 8am is the best way to get never talked to again.

"You have him saved under a sweet name like 'cutie' on your phone."- Do I even have his number?

"You guys have hung out one-on-one without any other friends around."- Well I guess there was that one time in the parking lot...

So. 18 questions. 17 "No's" and 1 "Kinda I guess, Yes.": 

The only possible answers are "You have potential," "You're making sparks," or "You're like fireworks!" I mean, sure it's nice to have this little bit of reassurance, but I think it would probably be a bit more helpful to hear something along the lines of, "You're a drunk embarrassment."

Maybe I shouldn't really be taking any sort of relationship advice meant for hormonal teens constantly on the brink of an over-dramatic, yet poorly planned suicide attempt with their lady Bics.

There's gotta be some life guidance in here somewhere though. Like with the "What's going to make you a star?" and the "How will you find fame?" quizzes. I took both of them, and they informed me that I have a razor-sharp wit (I mean obviously...did you see the super edgy suicide joke I just made...and then felt terrible about?) that will make me famous, and they advised that I put myself out there with a You Tube channel. Vlogging it is!

Imma be a star!

Now I just have to get some camera equipment, do some stage setting, lose some weight to get camera ready, and then find a flattering camera angle when I figure out that I'll never be able to stop with the super shitty gas station foods.

F#%!, that sounds like a lot of work. Maybe I'll just keep throwing this blog together at the last minute after a bottle of wine and hope that this does the trick. 

I was going to do a whole third part here where I found fan fiction written by teen girls about their favorite celebrities. It was all like, "I met Justin Beiber at a pool," and they just like swim around and talk a bunch. I was going to write my own fan fiction that was much more compelling. 

It turned dirty and weird pretty quickly. These are teen idols, and I can not go to jail right now. 

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