By: Mia Bencivenga
Every time I pick up a magazine or to an online news source, there is always some health expert who is trying to recommend to you things to do that supposedly help elevate your mood during the long winter. The reason is obvious; in these ever gray east coast winters, one begins to feel a certain sense of lethargy and malaise. This made me feel like providing my own set of rules to help beat back those dastardly winter blues.
If running away to somewhere warm is not an option for you, please allow me to suggest a few alternatives to try. But because I’m realistic, and understand that people are busy/tired/unmotivated to try some of those alternatives, I have also supplied alternatives to those alternatives. Please enjoy.
Find a hot romance to beat away the Jack Frost’s icy sting over your heart.
Almost every magazine recommends this. And it’s not like they’re wrong! Nothing brings a spring back in your step than the notion that someone cares for you, thinks fondly of you, and generally wants to jump your bones and proceed with the “naughty tango of non-committal love” with you at any given time. But who should you select among all of the possible suitors? If you’re like me, you have loads of wonderful options at any given time. (Hint! I am lying.) So do what I do; make a list of all of the qualities your new man absolutely must have and be sure to make it a highly selective process.
- First of all; he/she has absolutely must have an accent; preferably one that you are able to understand. If someone is whispering those sweet nothings in your ear, you sure as hell want to understand them. Also, since we’re going for the superficial here, attractiveness is a must. I’m talking crazily, nauseatingly, good looking to the point where it actually makes you feel bad about your own attractiveness. Now, it’s okay if their outward appearance is their only redeemable quality, but they should be romantic too, at least. And attentive. And environmentally conscious. And a dog person.
- Okay, so if you’re like me and live in the real world where attractive foreigners don’t simply gallivant through the streets with a bushels full of wines, cheeses, and chocolates, compliments, and sonnets that they’ve written for you, you’re probably out of luck for those “hot romances” that magazines are always promising will “like totes make the emptiness inside go away.”
- So, I propose you do what we all do. And by saying “we all,” I actually mean no one with any shred of dignity. Okay, so you’re going to want to sit down, and go to YouTube. You will type in every romantic scene from every movie you’ve ever watched, and you will sit there, and feel sorry for yourself. Suddenly, you can instantly relate to Edwards Scissorhands. It really is like I can’t touch people without hurting them…you know, because I have scissors for hands; metaphorically speaking. It’s like I can only cut ties with people instead of make new ones, because, it’s like I was never given real hands…Like society abandoned me and just let me keep these sharp, unfeeling, cold scissors. I mean, Jesus, man, where is my Kim Boggs who wants me to hold her despite the fact that my hands are goddamn metaphorical scissors?!
- Anyway, after you’ve wept over your sad, sad single life, you must go to PérezHilton.com. Look, friends, at all of the celebrity break ups. Suddenly, you feel validated. At least I’m single and stable and not breaking up with Johnny Depp! Being single and lonely you can deal with, but having the knowledge that you actually had Johnny Depp and lost him? There are no words.
Cook yourself your favorite meal.
This one is a great deal less humiliating to admit than the previous entry. Plus, it’s a much simpler concept. Get out those pots and pans, and those exotic spices that you bought for no apparent reason. Make yourself some tasty pasta with fresh ingredients, lots of garlic, and some delicious bread to dip into your flavorful marinara sauce. And don’t forget about a healthy salad with all the fixings! And if you don’t like Italian food, well, then, I am sorry about the fact that your life must be so very incomplete. I’d feel pity for you if I was certain that you actually possess a soul.
- So let’s just say you are like me and live inside a college dorm room, which has no kitchen, except for a mini-fridge and a microwave that, nine times out of ten, produces food that more closely resembles nuclear waste over something actually edible; and or you have no cooking ability whatsoever. You do what I do; make a cheap imitation of your favorite meal.
- Instead of fresh pasta with herbs and spices, may I suggest a can of Spaghettios? All the fun of spaghetti, but with all the disodium phosphate and enzyme modified butter that you never knew you wanted. And who needs bread and salad when you can have some damn good saltine crackers or perhaps some fiber rich celery sticks that occasionally mimic the taste and texture of wet cardboard? Say what you will, but I think the preservatives give the meal a certain je ne sais quoi.
View a fine piece of art.
Feeling a little less than stellar because you aren’t as cultured as you’d like to be? Then fear not. Go to a local museum, and find a piece of art that befuddles you to no end. Analyze it, stare at it, and decide what you think it means, and then ask a curator what it actually means. Yes, it may simply look like a box inside of a box inside of a box inside of a suitcase, but what does that say about society or the state of our collective human psyche? What does the suitcase represent? The façade we put on in our daily lives, as we shove the “boxes” of our strife inside of it, hoping no one will ever see the inner turmoil lying underneath the leather veneer? Or, you know, was the artist just busy packing up there stuff before calling the movers, had a few hours to kill and thought it might be could be a really good opportunity to make a painting ambiguous enough that people will always feel like they just don’t “get art.”
- Plus, their discouragement won’t stop them from staring at it for hours and trying to understand its message; thus writing numerous papers on its analysis and therefore awarding the artist with critical acclaim…Not that any artist would ever dream of doing something like that!
- Then again, who needs fine art when you can make it yourself? Hand turkeys can still be respectable methods of self-expression. But if I may suggest something that might actually, despite my snarky disposition and sarcasm, be a genuine piece of advice that I hope makes you feel better.
- Get a ton of poster board, or a huge canvass, tons of acrylic pain, and go all Jackson Pollack on its ass. Fling that paint like your life depends on it. Or better yet, like it’s your ex-boyfriend in a new suit, carrying his new painting to the local art gallery where a bunch of women with low self-esteem will fond over him like he’s the second coming of Christ, with their perfect, soft, non-scissor-like hands…
Um, er, anyway, hope those suggestions will help you beat back the blues, or, at the very least, make you more confident about your own mental state as compared to mine. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some YouTube videos I desperately need to watch.
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