eLLeisMyIdoL07

Several months ago, I had a talk with my roommate about our first AOL screennames.

I can name some pretty memorable ones just off the top of my head. Billababe247. Skateboardingskier10. Starburst7344 (That’s right Boucher, I remember yours). And to our 5th, 6th, 7th etc minds, the decision behind this name was huge. I mean it was your online identity. You would never say you were “snowboardingchick06” if you didn’t actually snowboard. If you did, well then you were a TOTAL poser, and really was there any worse insult?

These were serious grounds to determine your popularity status and your friend group throughout the rest of your school-bound days. If you were “godsgirl45”, you DID NOT hang out with “sexychica04” (who by the way probably is pregnant now, so good move godsgirl45) and if you liked zumiez skateboarding brand you did not hang out with the guy who’s screen name had abercrombie in it. Ugh Prep! I mean come on! This is middle school 101.  And you knew the drill. Remember when your best friend or that boy or girl you liked got online  you would talk to them for several hours and then print off the conversation and show all your friends the next day… was this just me? Is that weird? Whatever you guys.

..In retrospect, we were probably all better off just never getting online–but what was true then, continues to be true now in regards to today’s current social media. How many times have I just thought screw it, I hate you Facebook. I don’t want to read about this person from high school. I don’t want to see the guy I used to like is dating someone new. Please stop changing your layout. Please stop sending me notifications about things I don’t care about!!!

…But like a pathetic addicted junkie, I can’t leave it. I’m stuck with you social media. And it all started back in our hormone crazed, confused pre-teen years with our stupid silly screen names.

And actually today, I am not going to write about my addiction to social media or my middle school lifestyle choices.

But I AM going to share with you the story behind one of my first screen names. Because while most middle schoolers branded themselves with a sport or a clothing brand, I chose the woman I idolized  even beyond Josh Hartnett, the movie Titanic, the color Pink and the entire clothing line available at Pacific Sunwear.

Miss Elle Woods.  

When I was 11, I was on a plane ride to Maui for Thanksgiving. I remember it distinctly because it was one of the first times I was allowed to watch an in-flight movie. And also because I was extremely bitter that I had to sit in the middle seat because my brother got the window seat LAST TIME and I was absolutely positive that it was my turn THIS TIME and then my mom swooped in and somehow my brother got the seat AGAIN “because he gets cranky” in the middle seat. I observed that the logic in this situation was evidently flawed. And I was just about to set them straight when they suggested the in-flight movie.

My 6th grade brain registered this as a semi-legitimate trade-off. And even though I was aware that the movie was my parents way of evening the playing field of which I was clearly a victim of a classic case of duping the older child to apease the younger.. I took them up on it. But I was no idiot. This was a seven hour flight. This deal had some potential leverage on my end. And I wasn’t above pouting if it meant other advantages in my future as well (mental list: puka shell necklace. a new swimsuit. ice cream.) Even at 11, I knew how to make a bleak situation arise to my advantage. Because what can I say..some people choose to look at the glass as half-full, and others have  that attitude forced upon them. And I am the latter. This isn’t really a choice.

Anyway, as I’m sure you could guess, this particular flight was showing the new release of the film, Legally Blonde. I remember very little from that trip to Maui, but I do remember watching that movie. First reaction,  was the amount of pink in the opening credits. And the shoes. And the cute boys. From then on, I was 11 going on 18 year old co-ed. College here I come. 

And little did I know how large of an effect this particular movie would have on me until this very day. From the opening to closing credits, I was absolutely spell-bound/dumb-struck/ in awe of the magnificence of the screen before me. It completely changed my life. I walked on to this plane your basic 11-year-old girl with a shallow and simplistic lifestyle. I walked off that plane with just as shallow of a lifestyle. Hey.. I was 11. But NOW I had goals and a destination in life.

I wanted to be Elle Woods.

I would be Elle Woods.

Elle Woods was my idol.

Everyone has idols. Or at least someone who inspires them. Some one who failed and succeeded. Who overcame the odds. Who fought adversity and was finally rewarded for their efforts. Some people have Marie Curie. Some have Mother Theresa. Some have Martin Luther King Jr. Some have Helen Keller (…ok really guys, some one does have Helen Keller) But Me? Elle Woods. To this day.

And this isn’t to say I don’t have more “legitimate” idols. But Elle has been there for me before these idols took place. She was my first.

I’m sure many of you laugh at this. But what many people don’t see, is in this simplistic and cliche chick flick, is the inspiration I found in Elle’s character.

Because of Elle Woods, I joined a sorority.  Not because of all the pink and glitter (though, those helped) but because I also wanted to be President. And then I wanted to be Valedictorian. And then read a speech that inspired hundreds. And then get married and live happily ever after. (I was 11 guys, lay off.)  Joining a sorority was just a building block in my master plan to becoming the brunette Elle Woods. I had no idea what college I wanted to go to. But from the tender age of 11, I’ve been a sorority girl.

People in my sorority who really know me, will smile at this. They know how obsessed I was with being involved. For me it wasn’t just a sorority. I loved that house, I loved those girls and I loved being a part of the greek system. And say what you want, but I came to KU and met pretty much everyone I know because of that movie. I based about 90% of my decision to come to KU because it reminded me of the opening credits of Legally Blonde. I don’t usually tell people that. It makes me seem silly and trivial. But at 17, I was! And thank god for that! Because going to KU was one of the greatest decisions I ever made.

But even, college and greek life aside, Elle is and was my idol because she’s defiance of a stereotype. She’s a blonde, well-endowed sorority girl from Belair who talks like she could be on a late-night phone service program but despite all of these obvious demographical strikes against her, she had brains enough to get into Harvard and arise to the top of her class and get back at her one-dimensional and cruel ex-boyfriend. And yes, the plot of Legally Blonde is silly and trivial and she wins a huge murder trial  based on the grounds of perm-hair care maintenance but what girl alive would disagree that her story isn’t at least a little bit of how they would picture their life turning out? At least on a basic level. Get back at the jerks, rise to the top, prove everyone wrong and come out of it with a crest-worthy smile and a killer pair of legs? Yeah.. you know I’m right.

I’ve spent most of adolescence conquering my feelings of insecurity and self-doubt with a 96 minute movie and the accompanying soundtrack. The first song I listened to when I finally got my license? Perfect Day. Hoku. Opening single. The first speech I gave in my high school public rhetoric class? Elle’s 2004 Harvard Graduation speech.

I can quote every line verbatim and It’s probably a good thing my hair isn’t blonde or I would have gone as her for Halloween for several consecutive years in a row.

I loved that woman.

And now… several years later, I have no intention of following any man to law school/anywhere for that matter. I was never valedictorian in anything and I never became my sorority president. I never will have blonde barbie hair and I hate any dog that could potentially resemble a large rodent (sorry Bruiser) But all this reality aside, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to come out with an Elle Woods victory when I finish what I start.  Because the reason I still love this movie, goes so much deeper than the plot itself. The overall message that I get from Elle time and time and time again is despite all the odds against you, with enough determination – your life is yours kid. And to let anyone decide your fate for you, well that would be the dumbest decision of all.

Through Elle, I continue to remind myself if everyone just stuck to what society expected of them and never took a leap of faith and never stuck it out through the seemingly impossible and never told themselves I CAN do this, even if no one else thinks I can… well maybe it’s just me… but I don’t think we’d have many people we could truly call our idols. Or happy endings at all for that matter.

So thats why at 22, though I ditched my  silly little screen name long ago along with many other youthful wishful occasionally ridiculous ambitions, Elle Woods continues to remain my favorite little idol.

Because I think there’s a little bit in all of us who want to be more like the girl who woke up one morning and thought:

I think I’ll go to law school today. 

“It is with passion, courage of conviction, and strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world. Remembering that first impressions are not always correct, you must always have faith in people and most importantly…You must always have faith in yourself.

To my favorite gemini vegetarian-

M

HOW TO SEDUCE ANY WOMAN: The Clooney Issue

HA.

Tricked you.

Wonder how many of you guys clicked because of that promise?  But seriously, I plagiarized this title from a legitimate article in Men’s Health. More on being an idiot later though.

I don’t know about you guys, but in my family.. your christmas list deserves months of pre-planning and preparation and presentation.

…Ok, that’s not true. I am actually the only person who does this in my family. But they’ve learned to expect it.

SANTA= PRESENTS!!!!

And as of today, I still have not received anyone in my immediate family’s christmas list. This is not entirely shocking. However, I on the other hand, sent mine weeks ago. This is also not shocking.

My parents and brother don’t put the significant amount of effort into their list that I do. I plan for months. I gather information and stalk certain websites and take copious notes in my head so that by the time THE LIST (and yes, it does deserve all caps) is completed.. it is nothing short of a christmas wishing masterpiece.

I don’t screw around here. I don’t even suggest things to my parents if I think it will interfere with what I deem to be the most coveted things on said list. Eyes on a very specific prize. (Granted for several years in a row I asked for a puppy and a baby sister. Neither of which I got so maybe I should have set my prize-sights elsewhere.)

And I don’t do any of that “surprise me” crap anymore either. I learned my lesson after I got like 4 sets of towels one year and after the third towel in a row, I made a solid mental note.. that surprise me usually ends in “things you need” .. like socks. Blurgh.

So yeah.. I’m a tad materialistic and occasionally superficial and shallow. At least I’m female enough to admit it. But to me gift-giving is pretty much my favorite thing next to puppies and rainbows. I don’t just get ecstatic about receiving gifts, I love giving them too. In fact, I love making people happy with the perfect offering so much that I rarely can keep my mouth shut or hold off from giving it to them before the alloted time. I just love that look of joy.

As an example of this– last year I found my brother a fake ID and I gave it to him for christmas. I was more excited about him getting it I think than he was. I actually screamed when he found it. I knew what was coming but I was just so excited that I couldn’t contain myself. This is not the first time this has happened.

So in lieu, of the christmas atmosphere I have spent many days (weeks really) searching for gifts for my family without really knowing what they want. And tonight, I told myself– enough dicking around Meg. It’s time to get to work. It’s time to whip out some plastic and demonstrate what your capable of and bring some people some joy. (this was not meant to be an underlying phallic joke but alas, occasionally my humor heads south.)

Anyway, after spending the past couple hours attempting to find gifts for members of my family that will speak volumes of my originality and inner knowledge of who they really are, I have come to a couple conclusions.

The first- I have no idea what anyone in my family wants. I seriously give up. Like every other person in America and the free world, I will buy them what I want for them. And let them quietly return it later.

The second involves the exhorbinant amount of time I just spent on GQ and Men’s Health magazine websites. My thoughts are as such: These are men’s magazines. When I look at a woman’s magazine, I want pretty much everything everyone inside is wearing, making, doing etc. Thus, I took this same idea and applied it to a men’s magazine. There’s a reason they are still in publication. They must be doing SOMETHING right.  And so in theory, there must be something on either of these websites that my father/brother would like. RIGHT?

And this might have worked. Had I not gotten so very distracted with headlines such as SEDUCE ANY WOMAN YOU WANT and SHAVING TIPS ON HOW TO GET STUBBLE LIKE CLOONEY. And I thought to myself, Wow! I have stumbled onto a gold mine of valuable information here. This is what men read! I am in the enemy’s headquarters! I have their bible! Why are they letting me look at this? Why have I never thought of this before?

(one hour later)

What. the. hell. is. this. bullshit…!?

Guys, seriously? Never tell a girl you love her eyelashes in an effort  to sleep with her. You’re better than that. And ok, maybe if she’s had like four hefty vodka tonics and can’t stand up straight and is hanging on to your tie for support and keeps calling you Jimmy when your name is Jeff. THEN, you can tell her she has pretty eyelashes. Hell, you could probably tell her she has pretty anything at that point and you’d have that cat in the bag. Figuratively speaking of course.

And I’m sorry but you can’t date your best friend’s ex-girlfriend if you still want your best friend. Even after downloading the four page document giving you details how to do so. This will fail. Listen to me: 

This. Will. Fail.

And just because we (as in women) all love Chuck Bass..

(seriously we do LOVE him)

does not mean YOU can walk around with tweed jackets and handkerchiefs in your blazer. Seriously, please don’t. We understand the difference between fantasy and reality. And even though GQ says go for it, I’m going to put the breaks on this little idea right now. Go look in the mirror and ask yourself these questions. Do you own half the real estate in New York? Do you drive around in a limo? Do you date the most infamous bitch on the upper-east side? No? Then take off the fedora, Calvin Klein. We like you better in a t-shirt anyway.

And so on and so forth.

After I spent about an hour reading about what women want and how to turn us on and the perfect pick-up line .. I never, ever want to hear another guy make fun of me for reading Cosmo ever again. Seriously?! This is MAN-COSMO. This is COS-MAN. You’re reading the same bull-shit we are fellas. It just has a piece of steak and a bulldog where we like a pretty diamond necklace and a perfume sample. And I’m sorry to kill Santa Claus and everything but just like the perfect blow-out won’t make us look anything like Jennifer Aniston, you’re pathetic attempt at facial hair won’t ever hold a candle to looking like the perfection George Clooney has created for society. He’s George Clooney. Come on!

So yeah, I mean it was sort of informative. I learned how to grill a steak and how to roast a pig (both of which are super useful considering I’m a vegetarian) and that laptops are destroying your sperm count and the sexiest woman of the year in GQ is Mila Kunis which is a HUGE shocker considering how much endorsement GQ probably put into Friends with Benefits starring Ms. Woman of the year. But I mean yeah, I’d date her. So I understand.

It also made me ask myself some really important internal questions.

Like has a guy ever tried that line on me?

Did it work?

(Answer: Is he hot?  Then yes, perhaps it did. At least short-term)

And would I ever pose topless in a magazine?

(If I looked like Jennifer Aniston? Yes. Obviously. Duh? If I looked like that I would just walk around naked everywhere. Just because I could. Forever.)

And if there is ever a situation that I’d have a three-some?

(No. Never. Absolutely not. Gross.)

…Wait do I get to pick who’s present?

Ok… well, no.  Still gross.

More seriously though..Yes, I read Cosmopolitan, and Shape and People and blah blah blah, and I thoroughly enjoy each experience. But I’m not an idiot (most of the time) and I realize that a lot of magazine-journalism is pretty words and interesting layouts and essentially the same BS they sold to me in the last magazine. I guess I just always thought that men’s magazines carried a little more validity. I’m not entirely sure why I thought this- it’s possible I am a little sexist toward my own sex by thinking we are the more easily duped gender because APPARENTLY, men are on the same page (no pun intended) in terms of magazine manipulation.

Because we all do it right? We see it in print with pictures and bold fonts and think, well if they say I can..  And sometimes, that’s good. I’m all about getting out of your comfort zone- but let’s be real here. Sometimes, it’s applicable and possible in real life and sometimes, it’s George Clooney in a tweed blazer.

And there’s a difference. 

Anyway, while I’m still idealess and giftless, at least I’m not brainless in regards to men now!  I hope someone uses the eyelash line on me this weekend so I can go weak in the knees and fall into a seduced trance.

And then I can look up the Top Ten Sports-Related Funny Comments to say to Cute Guys in my Cosmo and say something witty and smart about Tim Tebow and then we can both laugh at how lucky we are that we found such flattering and clever individuals at 1 AM at a sports bar. Teehee. 

Magazine manipulation, ladies and gentlemen, is clearly not a gender specific issue. 

Speaking of issues, I just got the latest catalogue to basically every one of my favorite stores on the Plaza and I have some work to do in the regard because at least I can take comfort knowing I know what I like to buy for myself. Though apparently, the same can not be said for members of my family. So… looks like you’re getting a tweed blazer, little brother. 

In other news.. I found a job. 🙂

..But that’s something we will have to unwrap on a later date. 

M