I Slapped Kim Kardashian

… In my dreams. Twice.

My dreams are normally not dramatic. Nothing exciting happens. Mostly, I don’t even remember them, which is a testament to how uninteresting they can be. But the past few weeks have been filled with strange dreams in which I slap celebrities, one in particular to be exact.

It started a week ago when, after a guilty-pleasure watching of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, I dreamed I was interviewing Kim Kardashian. After the conversation was over, it all came out like word vomit. I couldn’t stop insulting her for all her doings. Never in my life had I gotten so exasperated confronting someone. I still can’t decide if it was a dream or a nightmare.

Last night, it happened again. After seeing her butt, tits and vagina splashed across the Internet for more than 24 hours, I dreamed with her again. This time we were in a clothing store. She arrived without me even noticing. While looking at herself in the mirror, her coat hit me. I said: “Excuse me, you just hit me with your coat”, to which she didn’t even respond infuriating me once again. This time I slapped Kim Kardashian, twice.

All day I’ve been trying to figure out why would I want to slap and insult someone I don’t even know. Even if we all feel like we know her life, feelings and personality, how did I allow myself to feel hatred for someone who hadn’t done anything to me, or had she?

That’s the thing. Kim Kardashian has never hurt our feelings. We’ve never had dinner or partied with her. She’s never insulted or bitched at us. We’ve never met or had a conversation with her. Still, she has allowed us inside her world of glamorous jet planes, Florence weddings and Givenchy gowns.

The Kardashian family have been called “The Egos That Ate America” by Rolling Stone. “But there are

hardly any ex-fans of the Kardashians, because all they ever promised is what they keep delivering: a journey into the American ego at its most luridly monstrous, with lots of shopping.”, the article notes.

It’s true. Kim Kardashian has always promised what we’ve gotten. She swore she would give us sex when she filmed an adult tape with Ray J, posed for Playboy (while worried that was all people were going to know about her) and now showed us her entire Photoshopped derriere. In an 8th grade graduation video recently released, she prophesied that she would be rich and famous and she has. She dropped a hint she would be making a selfie book when, on her way to take her sister Khloe to jail, she took selfies.

Kim Kardashian has become an ultra celebrity famous for being famous, married to a millionaire rapper, sold clothes, wrote a book and shown her bare ass without flinching. Unapologetically, she has drawn us into her world without us being able to escape. She’s become the antagonist we all love to hate, but secretly admire.

This woman has understood the mass media world enough to continue giving us what we want: sex, scandal, money and glamour. If we didn’t she wouldn’t make millions out of portraying her life on TV, while we sit on the couch in perpetual laziness. Maybe that’s why I slapped her. Who knows?

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Drunk On Words

Clubbing is not my favorite activity to do on a Friday night (or any night, for that matter). There are too many people jumping and humping at the same time, combined with ultra loud music, dancing-induced sweat and alcohol. To the majority of the young adult population, it is one hell of a good time. To me, it means bathing in a pool of stranger sweat, swollen feet, hangover and an empty wallet (clubs are expensive, man!).

The experience of going to a club gets more complicated and traumatic when you are single. Men smell singleness. They know what a female surrounded by two to three other females ordering and paying drinks by themselves means, and, usually, decide to make the approach. “Hey, what are you drinking?” they typically ask, to what the woman often answers with the name of a fruity, pink drink like: “Cosmopolitan”. One drink, two drinks, three drinks, and you are on the dance floor, grinding your behind with a stranger who probably lied to you about his name, where he studies and what he majors in (true story).

Needless to say, the next day you might not even remember the guy who you kissed the night before, and all you have left are blurred memories of before you ordered that Cosmopolitan from hell. That’s what we get from the men who give drinks: hangover, bad memories and run out mascara from the day before.

But there’s another breed of men out there, you know?

They are the men who give books. These men can be found deeply immersed in their latest literary acquisition and drinking coffee at the nearest bookstore. Most importantly (ignoring the cliché I just provided you with), they are the ones who don’t mind discussing with you weird theories about evolution or the government’s control on public opinion. In fact, they are often the ones who bring out the topic. Some may not even read books, but they enjoy hearing you talk about the last novel you read.

A man who gives books leaves a different print on you. Now, you have 500 pages full of words, adventures, philosophy, love or history that will contribute to your intellectual development. That man, not only knows your interests, but also wants to invest in your personal growth, point of view and well- based opinions.

Since reaching 17, I’ve gotten to experience both types of men. And yes, I must confess there is a fun part in dancing with a stranger at a club. It can be taken as a form of exercise as you burn mad calories, plus you get to forget about all the schoolwork you have for Monday during, at least, four hours. But personally, I would trade a body-con dress and high heels for a good book and a stimulating conversation any day. Drunk on words, my friends.

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Coffee Identity

I like to treat my interviewing process as if it were an experiment, often including questions that might surprise my interviewee or make me look like a fool. About a year ago, I decided to ask my subjects how they took their coffee. I felt like knowing how much sugar they put in it or how strong they liked it would tell me a lot about their personalities. I was not wrong.

When interviewing my past editor, she confessed to take her coffee black with only one sugar. It was exactly what I had imagined. Her strong personality and truth-telling mantra go parallel to taking coffee as strong as it can be.

The next interview was a second reassurance that coffee orders do reveal a lot of details about a person. This time I was interviewing a close friend, who also happened to be a journalism student. When the time came to answer the question, she said: “I like it strong but I can never go all the way black. It’s something I’ve never allowed myself to do.”

Her answer struck me by surprise. So, she has never allowed herself to be completely strong. Instead, she has decided to keep a bit of sweetness in life, to maintain a balance between comfort and risks. Let’s just say her personality isn’t far off: she is a sweet, friendly graduate journalism student who stands strong on her points of view and goals.

The experiment totally proved me right. The only question still remaining is: why? Why would your coffee hold any relation to your personality?

Personally, I believe that we drink coffee because we want to feel awake, start the day off right and maximize our productivity (don’t forget it’s also a small addiction). We take coffee to fulfill our potential, to complete us in the mornings. In tandem, the coffee we drink should feel like our own, a little piece of our inner selves.

We’ve all developed a close relationship with our coffee. It might sound like a euphemism for addiction, but I am completely in love with the coffee I drink. It’s sweet, yet strong, not too sour, not too sugary. It’s perfect and only perfection could get me out the door when it’s November, nearing finals, and it’s still 90 degrees outside.

Originally published on Young Adult.com in November, 2014.

Bye, Bye, Baby

The first time I told my mother I didn’t want to have children she stared at me confused. Her face said: “What did I do wrong?”. Immediately, she followed up the shocking revelation with a “You don’t have to think about that now. Let’s see in ten years”. I was around sixteen at the time, which, if you think about it, was not a proper moment to be generating opinions about birth. Still, four years later, at almost 20, I haven’t changed my mind.

A few weeks ago, while surfing the Sunday Review at nytimes.com, I found an opinion column called “Bye- bye, baby”. It highlighted the worldwide decrease in childbirth, primarily due to the fact that young women are now focusing on their careers and figuring out their life plan, while navigating difficult economic situations.

“In nearly all countries that are not desperately poor, women of childbearing age inevitably compare the burdens of bearing children against the potential rewards […] The task of assessing these risks is heaviest for young adults (ages 20 to 35), who happen to be the same people who produce the most births in all societies”, say Michael S. Teitelbaum and Jay M. Winter, writers and Harvard and Yale professors (respectively).

Seems like my issue with the idea of childbearing and family is not an isolated one. All around the world young women and men are reevaluating the rewards and risks of having children, which put into perspective on today’s economic, political and social atmosphere may have more burdens than before.

On another note, there is another concern to be evaluated. Women are just not interested in having children, a trend that has been growing for the past decades and is ‘threatening’ to family as an institution. Also, the tremendous growth in LGBTT support and legalization of same sex marriage is several states and nations has put many into a panic mode, wondering if family will ever be the same.

As a member of the sector that wishes not to have a child, I can, hopefully, explain our decision. It is not simply because we do not care for a family or we are afraid of gaining too much weight in the process. It’s purely an economical and professional thing. Personally, I am in love with my career as a journalist and I wish to fulfill every dream of mine inside of it. I know there are millions of mothers who have a successful career, but it is just not for me. I want a life filled with travel, adventures, curiosity, lessons and a great love by my side.

On the other hand, I’m not saying you can’t have all that and still be a mother, but something tells me motherhood is not one of those areas of life that I want to be a part of. Yes, it is beautiful to have children; it is a power of nature that no one can take away from women. It’s rewarding to see your children grow, go watch their first ballet recital or soccer game and cry during their high school graduation. I’ve been through it all, and I’ve seen the amount of love and care my mother put into all of it, to the point of giving herself off to me, her only child.

I asked my mother last night, while drafting this piece, if she always wanted to have children. She said: “Yes, I always did. I wanted you”. She clearly did. If not, how do you explain the countless ballet classes she took me to or the saliva she invested on encouraging me to pursue my dreams? I saw it all and I am enormously grateful for it. But, as of now (with very little possibility of change), I am more interested in developing that sort of relationship with myself.

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A Case For Book Hoarding

Over the years, we accumulate a lot of crap.  Wherever we go, no matter how much we grow up, there are still pictures of 7th grade field trips and baby dolls that resemble Annabelle. What we carry as personal belongings say a lot about who we are. An old cat lady brings her cats, lots of knits and vintage furniture. Me? I bring a mood board, Apple Macbook Air, Canon T3 rebel, bed frame, apparel and three boxes full of books and magazines.

The latter is a pain in the ass when it comes to moving, like I recently discovered when switching apartments. No one volunteered to carry my 50 pounds (or more!) worth of intellectual adventures. Instead, my mom suggested that I edit my collection, to which I responded with an absolute NO!

Why should I give away my books? They are not only friends but brain stimulators that teach me lessons on not being normal (ie. Kelly Cutrone), 17th century English literature, how to read a book while skipping chapters (ie. Hopscotch), among many others. What I carry in my personal library is a collection that compiles what I am. After all, they say we are a reflection of what we read, see, do, hear and think. My books are an example of that: an invention of modern times that make my imagination run wild with each turning of page.

Building a personal library is essential for the intellectual wannabes, to those who put knowledge over anything else and wish to have a physical reference to the works that impacted their lives. When we keep a book, we accept the inevitability of revisiting it when summer afternoons get boring. In addition, we keep bibles that are essential when researching, quoting or trying to impress a professor with big words.

When time passes, all that will remain are old, beautifully-smelling pages that remind us of good times or sad stories. A book is more than 150 pages; it teaches us how to fly in less than a lifetime. To quote a good friend: “It’s not a casualty that, when opened, books resemble birds.”

Carrying magic is not possible. But books are basically the same thing, or even better.

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