things i learned from this month’s cosmo

I forgot to learn things from last month’s Cosmo, and I couldn’t let myself continue having such huge gaps in my education. So I was in Walmart on Friday. I hate Walmart, and it’s not on principle, like some people hate Walmart, it’s more because I hate being in stores that large, as they make me feel… stabby. But sometimes a person needs to pick up gum and shampoo and, I don’t know, lawn chairs, and it’s convenient for that. Plus, if you’re ever on the market for sports bras, it’s a really good place to get those. I’m serious. Anyway, I decided I would pick up the latest Cosmo and I checked out at the U-Scan Express, which is a pretty great invention, I have to say, and then I walked outside and it was pouring rain and I couldn’t find my car. Some shirts fare pretty well when you’re caught in torrential rain in a Walmart parking lot and you can’t find your car, but I was not wearing one of those shirts. That’s all I really want to say about that.

Let’s get to the learning part.

1. The headline asks, “Can you have more than one soul mate?” And I don’t even need to read the article, because I already know the answer: Yes. I did read the article, though, and Cosmo and I agree. (I know!) I mean, we sort of agree. (Much better.) The point of the article is not to get hung up on the notion that there is only one person for you, because then you can miss something great, which I think is fair, but more than that, the problem stems from calling people soul mates in the first place. The term itself makes it seem as though love is like Highlander and There Can Be Only One, but let’s not be so Miss-Havisham-sitting-around-in-a-moldering-wedding-dress about things. (I realize that I’m mixing metaphors, but I don’t care, because I think jumping from Highlander to Great Expectations in one sentence is kind of awesome.) Here’s what I think, anyway. I think different people come along at different times, and just because something changes or doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that we can’t have something great happen later. It also doesn’t mean that we have to hang onto things that are falling apart because someone is supposed to be a soul mate. If I’m going to keep using the term “soul mate,” then I guess I should also tell you that I believe that different people are soul mates in different ways. I have friends who are absolutely my soul mates: we just get each other, and we got each other immediately. It just worked. But I don’t want to bang them. It’s different. It doesn’t make the connection any less vital or essential, but it’s different. I could probably go on and on (of course I could), but I think my point has been made, so I’m going to move on to something else now.

2. A body language expert analyzes Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt and comes to the conclusion that Heidi isn’t really into Spencer, and I am just sad that I know who these people are. I hate pop culture sometimes.

3. Did you know you could tell what a guy is really thinking based on how he smiles at you? It’s true! And I quote:

POLITE: If there aren’t wrinkles around his eyes and the corners of his mouth point toward his jaw (not his ears), he’s probably only being nice.

CONTEMPTUOUS: Is he smiling with just one side of his mouth? Yes, it could be a charmingly crooked grin, but he could also be feeling scornful or superior. [Jamelah note: Let me end my quoting for a second to tell you that I am a person with a lopsided grin. So I often look smirky even if I’m not really being smirky. Except sometimes I am just being smirky. I’m a mystery! It also doesn’t matter because I am not a guy, and this is about guys, so let’s resume quoting.]

SENSITIVE: A polite smile with the inner corners of his eyebrows pointing up can indicate sadness or disappointment; chances are, he’s empathetic. [Or bewildered.]

4. This month, Cosmo provides flowcharts to tell you what a guy is really thinking. I’m the type of person to be impressed by flowcharts, because flowcharts are way better than outlines. But okay, one of these flowcharts is titled “Is he looking for just a hookup–or more?” and then it sets the following scenario: “You’re at a bar, flirting with a guy who seems, at first glance, to be boyfriend material. Put your encounter to this test to see if your instincts are right on.” The flowchart ends with two options: yes, he just wants a hookup so don’t give him your phone number, or no, he’s really into you so you should definitely give him your phone number. I have a couple of problems with this. My first problem is that I worry about people who need Cosmo to tell them whether or not they should be handing over their phone numbers to guys in bars and reading this later and then realizing that oh damn, they picked the wrong option! Curses! My second problem is that I don’t need a flowchart to tell me whether or not I should hand over my phone number, but if I did, I wouldn’t be able to remember all the options while I was busy being hit on, so I’d need to carry it with me. And can you imagine? You’re talking to someone, and you say, “Um, excuse me for a second,” and then you retrieve from your purse a folded up page ripped from a magazine and read a bit, look at the guy, say “Uh huh, uh huh,” and read a bit more, before folding the magazine page back up and stuffing it back into your purse and then saying “Okay, continue.” I need a ruling from the judges on this, but I’m pretty sure that would make you seem… crazy.

5. “Ever hear a song and feel like it sums up your romantic situation almost too perfectly? Yeah, us too. So we raided our iTunes library and collected a few of our favorite lines. Go ahead… get emo.” Emo, Cosmo? Listening to songs and hearing lines that make me think “Yeah, exactly” means I have to get a bad haircut and start wearing a lot of eyeliner and also maybe start wearing vests? I’m pretty sure that’s not what you meant, but… shut up.

6. Okay, so on the cover of this month’s issue, it says “VIRGINS IN COSMO!” in giant pink letters. My immediate thought was “Surprise!” and then I read that 100 Sex Questions Answered in 20 Words or Less article and realized that yeah, it’s the same ol’ magazine. Anyway, this article focuses on seven women over 20 (and under 25) who still have their V-cards. The common theme is “So I just haven’t met someone I actually want to have sex with yet.” That’s fine, right? I think so. I don’t really know what reaction I’m supposed to have, especially after the headline, which says, in screaming red block letters, “WHY THEY’RE STILL VIRGINS.” In a way, I guess it seems really dumb. (Something dumb in Cosmo? No way!) The magazine is generally a proponent of sexual freedom, but the thing about sexual freedom is that it cuts both ways — if you’re free to have sex, you’re also free not to have sex. I don’t suppose I should expect so much from this particular publication, but it gets on my nerves sometimes. It’s just so very narrow. I think it’s good to have a niche, but whenever the magazine discusses people outside of its realm — virgins, say, or a couple of months ago there was an article about lesbians — it’s sort of like “Surprise! There are people out there who aren’t particularly interested in the latest advances in blowjob science!” (Not that Cosmo publishes anything about the latest advances in anything.) And I know that I shouldn’t be searching Cosmo for feminism, but still, there’s something about it that just irks me. People are different. This is not news. I don’t know. Some people lose it in the backseat when they’re teenagers, and some people wait until their wedding night, and everyone else falls on all kinds of different points along the spectrum, and it’s not sensational, it’s just life.

Oh, and then the model in the photo that accompanies the article is wearing a necklace and the pendant looks like cherries, and ha, so clever, or something.

7. July is apparently National Ice Cream Month. I just thought I should let you know. Very important.

8. The editor-in-chief of Cosmo didn’t know that men’s testosterone levels peak in the morning. I’m holding myself back from making a joke about morning wood, but I don’t know, I feel so surprised. Other than the fact that I find it completely impossible to believe that Cosmo has never mentioned this before (because it seems like they’ve mentioned nearly everything before), I always (if we can define “always” as “for the last minute or so”) believed that the interview process for that job involved taking a really long sex quiz.

9. Out of 100 guys surveyed on the street, 58 think that Scarlett Johansson is hotter with darker hair. I’m sure that’s important, but I haven’t really figured out how.

10. And finally, there’s a bit about how to look hot in the summer heat. It says “Sure, you love summer — until your skin and hair start to fry in the sun or wilt from the humidity.” And I just want to point out that wilting isn’t exactly what humidity makes my hair do. It’s more like the opposite of wilting, and it involves plotting revolution. I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow (thank goodness) but since the humidity kicked in this season, I haven’t been able to do anything to make my hair less than freakishly gigantic. Yes, I’ve been rocking the Pulled Back Into A Messy Knot Look (as there are no un-messy knots where my hair is concerned) for a month now. I feel pretty.

And that’s that. Until next time.

10 thoughts on “things i learned from this month’s cosmo

  1. Gee, I feel so . . . uh . . . enlightned, I guess. It really is a public service that you do here, reading that stuff so I don’t have to. Not that I would anyway, not even in the dentists office. Well, maybe I’d read it at the DMV, but only if they took all the signs on the wall down and there were no other words available to consume. Oh, and when are you gonna add a link to my blog, since I added a link to yours on mine, or something. I’m confused now.


  2. Jamelah, will you be my soul friend? This is different from a soul mate. It’s more like Dr. House and Dr. Wilson on the hit TV show, “House.”
    I prefer to be Dr. House unless you called it first. Let me know.


  3. Brett — Yes, I am proud to help other people not read Cosmo. Also I’m horrible about updating my links… I think I’m actually linking to blogs that don’t exist anymore. I should work on that sometime.

    Bill — What is a tectonic relationship? Does it have to do with being plates? Or is it more about causing earthquakes and making California fall into the ocean? I’m confused.


  4. I am having difficulty picturing the inside corners of the eyebrows turned up. Who is he, Mr. Potato Head? Do eyebrows really have enough range of motion that they can basically turn upside down?


  5. I took a photo of it. Granted, cartoon eyebrows have more flexibility than human eyebrows, but even so, this look does not signal sensitivity to me, because it seems more bewildered, or possibly “I think you’re crazy but I’m pretending to be interested.”

    Also now I’m imagining meeting Mr. Potato Head in a bar.


  6. Ok, I get it what they mean. But I can’t make just the *inside* of my eyebrows raise. It’s an all or nothing thing. Is this a special trick only men can do so that they can look bewildered? Er, I mean, interested?


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