F.O.M.O, Fairytales and my irrational fear of Forever 21

So, I’ve admittedly fallen off my blogging horse.

I realize my absence has been devastating for all of you and for that I truly apologize but personally, I feel like my lack of blog presence is only matched by the adventures I’ve experienced since I last wrote.

Side note: today is also my one year Bloganniversary. One year ago today I started LFF and can I just go ahead and say now while simoutaneously brushing my shoulders off and patting myself on the back, #BestDecisionEver? 

Yeah. Happy birthday blog/boyfriend. 

Sadly for you, today we will not be reflecting on my adventures in California. Instead, I’d like to talk about something near and dear to my heart. And like most things I love it’s overused within the english language, and occasionally sugar-coated and commercialized. 

But more on that in a minute.

I happen to really like cliches. I know they’re supposedly overused, and uncreative and whatever but I personally think these phrases wouldn’t be used quite so much if they didn’t work so well in the first place. 

You know the whole– “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it“- if I can please use a cliche to define why I like cliches.

I think about things… A LOT.

Sometimes that’s a little exhausting. This isn’t something I can just turn off. And that’s why I like all these little colloquial phrases. Because they’re simple. Someone already thought of them. And when you think as much as I do– It’s nice to have that break of consciousness every once in a while. Because I don’t have to explain my train of thought.. People just (for once) understand exactly what I’m saying. 

But still, my favorite cliche, in all it’s over-used, and over-done redundant unbelievable exaggeration might take some explaining. 

So first, I have a small story. 

 I’d like to talk about this previous Saturday night. Circa 12:45 AM. Main street, Santa Monica, California, USA. Wandering the streets with a friend after we decided that going out with men every night was ultimately creating a seriously significant road-block in our quest to meet young, attractive, wealthy, funny gentlemen and convince them of their need to buy us copious amounts of alcoholic beverages and food truck tacos. After giving our man-friends the slip–(which they apparently knew what we were doing the whole time.. but alas, we tried.) we began what I like to refer to as “The Loop”.

“The Loop” is modeled after my terrible social disorder: “F.O.M.O” or “Fear of Missing Out” from which I suffer crippling symptoms. Basically, I’m so scared that I’m going to miss something great, that I attempt to make sure I know ALL my options before I make any major decision. Like XYZ is good but….what if ABC is better? And I’m missing out? This goes for food (or menu FOMO), weekend activities (or Friday night FOMO), and also the reason I can never go into Forever 21/H&M without essentially losing my mind because it’s like walking into FOMO laced booby-trapped clusterfuck.

It’s a personal problem and I’m sort of working on it.

Anyway, this is why “The Loop” is such a brilliant temporary solution to my bizarre social illness. The first part of “The Loop” is exactly what you would think. It’s basic. And simple. You take a giant circle around any bar that you are at. You survey every single person, you take into account who you find attractive, who clearly is “already taken” who is one of those watercolor paintings (looks good far away, up close you wonder what exactly you are staring at.. admittedly shallow, BUT SORRY I’M JUST SAYING WHAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS THOUGHT BEFORE), who is attractive but clearly is several drinks ahead of you, who’s potentially creepy and you should spend the rest of your evening avoiding eye contact with, etc. etc. The first part of “The Loop” involves just weeding out everything and gives you front runners. Yes.. this is a science. I blame this in entirety on my FOMO. If I wasn’t so concerned about seeing all my options I would settle for the first guy who bought me a drink. But, hey, on the “glass half full side” of this disease, maybe it just gives me standards.

The second half of “The Loop” is more complicated. I don’t have to take in the big picture anymore because I already what I’m looking for.

I’ll save you the details here. Everyone goes to the bar for a variety of the same reasons. To meet new people. To have fun. To flirt with the opposite sex. To get into trouble. To dance. Whatever. Don’t pretend this is just me here.

Unfortunately, “The Loop” is also not a fool-proof technique. It’s genius obviously but just like you can order something from a menu and have serious food jealousy of what the girl next to you got and wish you would have gotten it too even though you looked at every item on the menu and determined your choice as the best option, this happens from time to time. It’s life. It’s fomo. It’s whatever.

I’m not here to write about “The Loop” and all it’s benefits and shortcomings though. Because this particular night, my system failed. We walked in, saw the big picture, thought we were surrounded with attractive men, but after doing a lap,  realized we couldn’t find one gentlemen worthy of our (apparently incredibly high) standards. And after several hard alcoholic beverages, we decided it was clearly the bar we were at that was the problem. So what did we do? Well, logically we widened “The Loop”. We left our friends and decided that the bars down the street were probably crawling with the type of men we were looking for. Obviously, all the men were at the other bars. Obviously, we needed to search for them.

So we went to three other bars. We met a nice taxi driver. We cut lines. We flirted our ways into getting drinks and free covers. We danced and laughed and it was all very fun. But ultimately, we still reached the same conclusion at every place we went. The cute men were missing. Something is wrong.

And it wasn’t until my friend uttered this phrase…

(This is a verbatim statement)

ughhhyyygahhhh (defeated frustrated sigh)!!!! Where are all the cute guys tonight?

(ps: I googled this phrase and this is the first image on google. Good one universe.)

… And I realized, I’ve been having deja vu of this very experience since I realized in the 5th grade that boys were cute and my deepest greatest desire was to be in a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie and meet a cute spaniard on a scooter. (This is also where my deep bitter feelings of my lack of twin stems from as well. Yes, twin FOMO exists)

In middle school, we just wanted the guy next to us during D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) to pass us a note. Instead.. he threw things at the back of our heads and made fun of every insecurity we desperately wanted to cover up (Um I’m sorry I went through an early growth spurt, you moronic insensitive shrimpy little shit. Do you want me to stomp on you?)…And we’d go home thinking Dear Diary, boys in middle school are soooo immature/mean/have terrible hair! I can’t wait until high school so I can marry a guy with a car. (Hey, dream big baby Meg. Guys with cars are pretty mature from what I hear)

Then, we all got into high school and we made lists of the “top ten hottest seniors, juniors, sophomores” on the back of our binders because freshmen boys were like ….ew. And lacked facial hair. And had terrible style (Tony Hawk called and he wants his.. everything back.) AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD ENOUGH AXE BODY SPRAY ALREADY! 

And then we all got to the end of high school and thought all the other boys at the other high schools were so much cuter than our boys. Because they were across the bleachers. And had parties where their parents willingly let them play beer pong. And would ask us to prom. Or at least tell us our hair looked nice or something.

 We got to college. And it was exciting! SO. MANY. OPTIONS. But then.. we quickly grew tired of the guys on our floor, in our dorm, at the same fraternity we always went to etc etc. We were positive the guys elsewhere (where we weren’t going) were 10 times better. They were cuter. And nicer. and funnier. And didn’t chew tobacco because, like, ew gross? (see: deal-breaker And had good hair. And most importantly, THEY’D CALL US BACK GOD DAMMIT!

And we’d go to our favorite bars and see the same people and love/hate it at the same time. And it all came back to the little incestual circular web we weaved…

“Well, I can’t date  Tom. Because Tom dated my sorority sister Katie and then Katie dated Joe who used to hook up with Lindsay who totally was messing around with Mark who dated Sara who then went on to go on like 5 dates with Danny and Danny is like BEST FRIENDS with Tom. Ugh. Where are all the cute single boys in this town!?”

And We graduated one. last. time.

And you’d think we’d learn with that final diploma. But no. Because here we are going out in all of our little collective cities searching for that different person— That new exciting (but still familiar enough that it doesn’t make us uncomfortable) relationship with that new exciting person that is finally going to prove to us that all the crazy “loops” we’d put ourselves were worth it.

And so.. because of all this– it occurred to me in all my infinite inebriated wisdom last Friday night, that since the 5th grade I’ve been beating myself with the same stupid hammer hoping to eventually make a dent by doing what I’ve always done.

And guess what? Short-term? “The Loop” is a beautifully scripted masterpiece that I’ve mastered to a T. I know exactly how to execute Part One flawlessly. And I think in honesty, we all do. But it’s part two where the problem lies. Because lets be real. Weekends aren’t always just for fun and games. Weekends represent a little weekly glimmer of hope. That maybe this weekend, this night, this time, we’ll meet someone who will finally change it all around. And I’m not just talking about meeting your soulmate here. I currently reside in a city that lives and breathes off the idea of hope. Hope that this weekend will be the weekend you go from a waitress to a cover-page model. Hope that this night will be the night that that one talent agent will be in the crowd and see you sing and you can finally live Bieber-ever-after. Hope that this guy will finally be the one who calls you back. Hope that this girl will drink one too many vodka tonics and take off her… Anyway. Let me loop my point back around.

…Back to last Friday night. After, giving up on finding cute boys because we concluded Los Angeles was a barren evil empty desert devoid of straight cool single men and thus resigned ourselves that we were doomed to live out the rest of our lives as sexually frustrated spinsters covered in cat hair and blue eyeshadow, we ended our evening sitting cross-legged on a bed dying of laughter over a large dominoes pizza.

Which we destroyed in about 5 minutes.

And I kid you not it was a scene out of Friends. Pizza-puns aside, it was this totally cheesy absolutely cliche prime-time television moment set to a Gavin Degraw soundtrack. We were one whimsical up-beat pop song from having ourselves a legitimate Dawson’s Creek closing credits season finale. The kind of thing that if you saw it in a movie, you’d feel the need to involuntarily gag but when it happens in real life, you can’t help but internally smile.

And I guess I kind of realized at some point (possibly second pizza slice in) that I wouldn’t have wanted the night to go any differently. That we’re looking for something around some unforseen and possibly invisible/non-existent corner only to come right back and appreciate that what was right in front of us and making all the loops we made kind of frivolous. Like when a dog does 15 circles before laying down and you’re all like Seriously why are you doing that? That is so incredibly unnecessary. And then you think about it and realize that you’re doing the same thing when you try to meet new people and you think great I just compared my love life to the circular process a dog goes through when attempting to lay down and then you cry a little inside that you just made this analogy on a public forum and ANYWAY..

Maybe we wake up one day and realize we need to stop looking around the corner for someone to be waiting there. For something to happen. For the big break. For whatever. Maybe we stop making “The Loop” for something better. Maybe someday we don’t have F.O.M.O. We just accept and appreciate that what we’re looking at might not just be the best we can do, but instead the best we want anyway. 

 And maybe I should have realized this lesson back in the 5th grade. Or in middle school. Or maybe in high school. Or in college. Or last Friday night on Main Street in Santa Monica. And honestly, knowing myself, I will probably continue doing loops because of my big fear I’m missing something bigger.AndI’ll keep spinning in circles trying to get the most out of every moment when really I’m just making myself really unneccessarily dizzy.

But then occasionally .. like last Saturday around 2 AM.. I’ll realize that I haven’t miss anything at all. That my life is in fact a cheesy, gag-inducing rom-com type cliche. And that’s ok, because as I said, and as promised that I would return to this point– I think cliches are wonderful.  Because what happens at the end of every stupid, cliche rom-com? They ride off into the sunset. They don’t loop around the sunset. They don’t check out other sunsets to see if they are more adequate to ride off into. They don’t make a list of pros and cons about riding or walking into the sunset. They don’t debate about whether it should be sunset or a sunrise. In fact, why does there have to be sun at all? Maybe it’s raining? Or snowing? Or maybe they’ll take a car? Or bike. Maybe they’ll just think about the sunset and actually take the plunge tomorrow.

NO! F that noise. Look at all those unneccesary sunset circles you justmade you silly love-sick puppies.

They just ride into the sunset. That’s all.

Which brings me back to my original point. My love for sugar-coated gag-inducing cliches and all they entail. For over-used phrases in English language. For things you don’t have to think about, because they just make sense.  For those rare moments, I know that I’m not missing out on a moment because there’s no where else in the world I’d rather be. 

…And so mirror, mirror on the wall.. what’s my favorite cliche of all?

It’s the cure to FOMO.

It’s the end of every fairytale.

It typically comes right before the cheesy pop song in the credits and directly after the sunset.

Its…

“And they lived..

happily

ever

after..” *


* No loop required.