Sunday, December 30, 2012

This Wasn't Supposed to be My Bed


        When I look back on the inaugural month of my cross-country move, there is a moment of clarity that sticks out in my mind as a keenly accurate description of my journey to furnish my apartment. My SMART grandmother with her SMART phone (she coined that phrase herself) texted me and asked, “R U feeling at home yet?”
             
        …For someone who frequently whines about the decay of my generation, she is certainly current on the hip, teen lingo all the cool kids are using, as seen per her abbrevs.

        Anyway, I replied: “Seeing that Carolyn and I are now sitting on a couch, watching West Wing on an actual TV, which is a major upgrade from watching it on a laptop, reclining on a pallet… Yes, I’d say I’m feeling a little more at home these days…”
        (And not that a pallet isn't cozy, but really: doesn't “pallet” bring to mind that thing your parents made for you to sleep on, in their room when you were sick? Which, yes, then begets the memory of being that kind of sick, (not the kind where you got to be queen for a day and watch 15 movies in a row - and by “15 movies in a row,” I mean “Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em In Your Heart on repeat.”) No, I mean the kind of sick where you were probably throwing up and your only consolation was that you got to drink Sprite cause the carbonation would settle your stomach, but your level of neediness was so high that you got to sleep in the Royal Bedchamber, even if it was on the floor… on a PALLET.)
        So before we had beds – before we had ANYTHING, really, Carolyn slept on a pallet and I slept on an air mattress. I was fortunate enough to pack the air mattress, somewhere between my crayon-filled Covenant garage sale drawer set and season one of West Wing, while Carolyn made a pallet out of a duvet and a queen-sized mattress pad, in her room. Seeing that we had no other furniture like oh, say – a couch? (no but really – NONE) we would camp out on the pallet with Dominoes every night and watch the evolution of the Bartlet Administration on my laptop, Max.

(And for those of you who are astute enough to question why we would watch on my laptop, seeing that any and every technological belonging of mine is always a step below (Yes, Max – named for the computer software in the Catherine Coulter FBI novels – is the beloved IBM laptop of mine that has the apple sticker on the front to entertain/confuse people with its irony.) Carolyn had just become the owner of one of those...





...APPLE COMPUTERS THAT’S BASICALLY FROM SPACE: THE MACBOOK AIR PRO STAR JESUS LAPTOP, and it is so technologically thin, just like all those runway models these days, and there’s no room for a DVD player in it, so we watched on mine.)





        How we came by the couches, entertainment center, TV and even the DVD player are a different story for a different day. (No but seriously: Bruce Willis is involved in the DVD player story, no joke.) Today I will regale you with the tale of how one goes about finding a bed, sans husband. And for the record: I tried briefly to guilt Big Daddy into paying for a mattress, by threatening to sleep on the air mattress until I could ask for a bed for Christmas - fortunately this threat was short-lived...
        So on our second or third day in the apartment, Carolyn and I headed to McDonald’s for breakfast (we had no fridge, ergo no breakfast) and we decided to just drive until we saw a mattress store.  
        The Sit ‘n Sleep on Ventura Blvd turned out to be the lucky winner and as soon as we walked in, we were met by a well-dressed saleslady and a “Hi, Ladies. How can I help you today?”
        Glancing at her nametag, I replied, “Hi, Jessica. I’m Grace and this is Carolyn. And ‘how are we, today?’ We are very poor today. What’s the cheapest twin mattress you have?”
        
(I have since become aware that a single bed is the universal symbol for “SHE’S SLEEPING ALONE, TONIGHT!” and let me be clear: I have no problem with this label. However, I am more concerned with the notion that my bed choice more heavily promotes the image of a tightly wound nun, as opposed to the reality of a starving artist who spends all her money on shoes cookies.
And now that I think about it, I guess it also promotes the image I’m becoming more and more associated with: the orphan. 

(Orphan Grace pathetically turns her head to the side and mutters to Jessica, “Oh I grew up sleeping on an infant-sized mattress, stuffed with straw… I don’t need much…”)

Because above all nuns and orphans is my personal policy: MAMA’S NOT GONNA PAY FOR ANYTHING MORE THAN A TWIN BED.

(Oh and not to mention: you can buy a kid-sized dust ruffle, if you have a twin bed…)

So Jessica pulls out a measly, fit-for-an-orphan mattress: 199$ for mattress and frame. I DON’T THINK SO.

But then Jessica said the magic words: clearance section.

        She took us upstairs to a magical land of discount mattresses and long story short, I wound up face to face with a 500$ memory foam mattress that my girl Jess was willing to give me for $150. (Ok, YES, if you must know: it was “used,” – CALM DOWN; I’M GOING TO EXPLAIN IT, JUST HOLD ON – it means that it was used for under a month and was professionally cleaned. But more than anything, you and I both know it was a BARGAIN.)

        It sounded too good to be true. I turned to Carolyn, who’d wasted no time in stretching out on a nearby mattress, “Should I do it?”

She replied, “Are you really asking me that?”

        When Jess had us signing papers downstairs, I asked the question I love to ask EVERYONE in LA: “SO WHAT CELEBRITIES HAVE YOU SOLD MATTRESSES TO?” (Ok my favorite question is about celebrity sightings, not mattress selection, obviously)

…….Her answer was Kelsey Grammer.

        Something tells me that ole Frasier wasn't in the market for a discount mattress, but he’s also not husband-less and poor, like some of us.

YOU WIN THIS ONE, KELSEY – ENJOY THE FULL PRICE THAT YOU PROBABLY PAID FOR YOUR MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS; SOME OF US WILL BE SLEEPING ON THE SWEET FIBERS OF A BARGAIN TONIGHT. 





Sunday, December 16, 2012

This Wasn't Supposed to be My Bedside Preference...

Let’s start with this: I've never understood people who openly assert the side of the bed on which they prefer to sleep.

I just… WHAT? It’s a bed. I get it, if you wanna be on the side that’s closer to the bathroom, but that depends on the room layout. Nothing actually changes about the way you sleep, depending on the side of the bed. These people are kind of in the same league as that girlfriend of yours that insists on changing everyone’s formation just before the picture is taken, so she can showcase “her good side.”

1)      Why have you studied your face so closely, that you know your better side?
a.       WHAT EVEN CONSTITUTES A BETTER SIDE?!
2)      In case you didn't notice, the guy with the camera is pretty much shooting straight on. Which means both sides of your face get equal screen time right now. Now you just look like a socially awkward diva for making everyone switch with you.

Allow me to address what should have been a second part of that sentence, three rabbit trails ago: “I never understood people who openly acknowledge which side of the bed on which they prefer to sleep… UNTIL NOW.”
I’m a left-side-of-the-bed sleeper, ladies and gentlemen.
Now perhaps my reasoning is the same as all the other uselessly pretentious people who assert their preference, but seeing as it took me weeks to figure this out because I’d never heard anyone mention it before, I’m gonna say that there still must be some elusive reason that is only known to the Uselessly Pretentious (maybe that comes when those select few GET THE MEMO… I wouldn't know). But here’s my reasoning: I need the bedside-table-lamp to be over my left shoulder.
Now if you didn’t release an audible sound of understanding and awe at my genius just now, STAY WITH ME. We’re gonna get there, I promise. I also promise that you’ll categorize me with the Uselessly Pretentious by the time I’m done, which is always entertaining for all parties.
In short: Because I’m right handed, if the lamp is over my right shoulder, there’s a shadow cast over the line on the page on which I’m writing, and it drives me nuts.
No, I’m not an average journal-keeper, but I occasionally write down a line or two in my “Day in the Life” Lilly Pulitzer Journal – yes I said Lilly Pulitzer – I promised Uselessly Pretentious – we’re already halfway there!
And speaking of Uselessly Pretentious, time for a disclaimer: yes, I do think it’s utterly outrageous to spend this much time talking about my darn bedside lamp, but how could I turn down a chance TO ENTERTAIN THE PEOPLE, by sharing what a moron/how slow I was on the uptake with this one?
So initially, I arranged my bed like this:

(I've said it before and I’ll say it again: I refuse to indulge in adult décor and adult habits like MAKING THE BED. I just won’t do it yet. JUDGE ME.)
                So I’m aware that something is vaguely annoying about the light, so I put a few thick books underneath it – who doesn't love a good booster seat? (I should probably add that I found this lamp in a container in the garage, along with a myriad of other things that Davey brought back from college that are totally useful, but for some reason, he didn't take them to law school. Wait - I'm sorry, but if I'm not taking a detour to talk about George Bailey, I'm taking a detour to talk about West Wing, and speaking of West Wing, Davey and Law School, are these two NOT one and the same:

ANYWAY, in that picture, the lamp is sitting on top of a container of drawers that I got from the Covenant Church annual garage sale, and it housed my crayons on the drive across the country (and no, they didn't melt inside the drawers, in the backseat while Shelley sat in the sun when Big Daddy and I hiked the Grand Canyon – I WAS CONCERNED.) So every few nights I would get irritated and add a few more thick books to the pile, trying to elevate the lamp, but never being so irritated that I found it necessary to thoroughly investigate.
                Well obviously at some point, I became severely irritated that I couldn't construct a Jenga stack of books that was high enough to make me feel like I wasn't getting carsick while I wrote at night, from watching the shadow move in front of my letters, AND I SET OUT TO FIND ANSWERS.
                Now in my defense, there’s no way I could have known this trivial fact about which side the lamp needed to be on:
1)      I’m no lighting designer.
2)      I’m no physicist.
3)      Growing up, my reading lamp was clipped to the top of my headboard – technically it was on the right side, but it was so high that there was no shadow over Little Grace’s hand (ok, “Little Grace” is an exaggeration. We all know I was chubby.)
So upon making the discovery of the engineering glitch that had been plaguing my literary efforts, I vigorously patted myself on the back for my brilliant discovery, and switched my bed to look like this:

And yes, as you can see, now the art on the wall looks not only like a third grader created it, but like a third grader was responsible for nonsensically arranging it on the wall, as well. Not to mention the bed is about four inches into the window frame, which means when I throw myself around on the bed in the middle of the night like a toddler, I shuffle the blinds and wake myself up- it’s all a vicious cycle…

So I moved the bed back to its original position, and now we enter a deeply-artsy phase I like to call “Spidey Lamp.” Where the lamp was all-but-Duct-Taped to the wall.
Seriously, I secured the light to the spidey arms of the big lamp with a hair rubber band, then wrapped another rubber band around it that was tacked into the wall, in case it decided to fall over in the middle of the night.

The lamp was now on the utilitarian side of the bed. I was ironing out my engineering problems, one by one, sans Bob the Builder. I could do this. I could MAKE A HOME for myself.

But yet, the lamp was perched so high up, that when I went to turn it off at the end of the night, I practically had to stand on my bed to reach it. And if that were the case, why even risk the death-by-lamp in the middle of the night, when this risk so egregiously outweighed the (lack of) benefit, when I was practically having to do a handstand to turn it off, anyway?

A SHELF. I needed a low shelf, on which to park the lamp, so it was within easy reach.
That's when this happened:


 

(I wasn't using power tools unsupervised, don’t worry.)



So I went to Target, in search of one of those solo shelves that gets parked in the wall by itself. Yes, there is a lot of socially awkward potential, when you leave a single shelf in the corner to fend for itself, with no other shelves to make it look cool or relevant, but something told me it would have no trouble fitting in with my room décor.

And as it turned out, maybe it wouldn’t have to be a Bachelor Shelf, after all: I found a set of those 3 dimensional squares, all different sizes, practically too trendy to be true. (Or too trendy for my room, anyway.) I was so impatient to solve my lighting conundrum that I settled for a set of “espresso” colored blocks, because they were out of black and oh, I happened to have half a bottle of black craft paint at home and could paint them black, myself. From whence the paint came, I truly do not know. I think I got it for crafts that I made around senior year of high school, because it was in a miscellaneous craft bag that was stuffed in a miscellaneous craft drawer, all through college.

I consulted my Handy Man neighbor, Josh, to see if I could borrow a stud finder and a drill and upon seeing the directions for installation, he offered, “Um, you might wanna let me install this..”

Grace: I CAN FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. I CAN USE POWER TOOLS. Okyeahfine who am I kidding? I would literally take down an entire wall if I tried to do this.

At which point, his wife Amanda threw in, “Grace you should make him teach you how to do it.”

Grace: YEAH! YEAH THAT’S RIGHT! SO THEN I CAN BE SELF-SUFFICIENT AND- okyeahfine will you just come do it?


............You know that SNL skit, “I’m on a Boat!” ?

Now the lamp is singing “I’m on a SHELF!”

Yes, it is adhered to the shelf with industrial strength Velcro, but when there's no Bob the Builder to be a buffer (ie: if it fell in the middle of the night, it would hit my skull, not BtB's) I HAD TO TAKE MATTERS (ok and lighting design, craft paint, dry wall screws and velcro) INTO MY OWN HANDS.

Friday, December 14, 2012

When All Else Fails, Go for the Shoelace...


Well, on the bright side, when (if) I ever do live in a real house one day… it will be immaculate. The attention to detail will be incredible. So incredible that every square inch of the house will be maximized to the most efficient layout possible: it will truly be a palace of easy living.
Yes, it would be great if this were the case because I’m a Pinterest guru, and happen to be shrewd enough to make anything that I see in a picture into a reality (now that I think about it, maybe that’s my aversion to Pinterest: I know that there’s never a way to make it look EXACTLY like the picture, and the whole thing is just too upsetting, and therefore I must construct my own ideas because a) unlike Pinterest, a mental picture is ALWAYS available for editing and b) IF NO ONE SEES MY MENTAL PICTURE, THEY CANT JUDGE THE OUTCOME, LIKE THEY CAN OTHERWISE JUDGE IT WHEN THEY'VE SEEN THE PINTEREST PICTURE.)
It would also be great if my Palace of Easy Living were due to the fact that I married Bob the Builder (yes, forgive my Southern upbringing, and yaaaay independent women, but I’m not going to own a house without a husband. I’m just not. I don’t see the point. Sorry I’m not sorry about it…) So if I were to marry Bob the Builder, perhaps he would be the genius behind the efficient layout of our home (and when I say “efficient layout” – HEAVENS NO, I don’t mean that it will be run on sunshine and green energy, I mean things like: there will be a counter in the laundry room that will be a little lower than waist-high, so you don’t have to awkwardly bend over to retrieve garments out of the laundry basket, or to distribute the folded garments into organized piles, like you have to do when you're folding and sorting on a couch –

 

I AM A SULTAN OF EFFICIENCY, DON’T JUDGE ME.)




But you and I both know… I’m no Pinterest Guru, nor am I going to marry Bob the Builder. Now to an assertion like this, my Darling Mother would insist, “Now you don’t know that, sweetie…” To which I can’t help but reply, “Ma. It’s not like I’m saying I’m gonna be settling if I don’t find me a sturdy Bob-the-Builder-type, but I just don’t see it in the cards for me to hitch my wagon to a strapping young man with a vast collection of drill bits…” 

Bob the Builder and Sage Pinterest-ing aside, the reason that I will ultimately abide in a Palace of Easy Living is because I’m neurotic enough to adjust my surroundings according to the Easiest Living possible, all while adhering to the CHEAPEST WAY POSSIBLE.
That is to say: I've hauled more crap into this apartment off of the streets, than most people even see on the streets in a lifetime. (Ok yes, I do draw the line somewhere, and don’t go hauling mattresses in, off the streets – although there is a good story about how I got my mattress…)

Remember the part about my father being a thrifty Eagle Scout?

I guess I should dedicate this whole series to him, really. He taught me practically every cheap trick I know. (No, not “cheap” as in “cheating people,” but as in: THE MAN KNOWS HOW TO SAVE A PENNY, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.) When I try and promote my blog to him, he often dramatically insists, “I can’t read it. It’s too depressing and I lose sleep.” He says this because he happened to read an entry where I talked about being loathe to spend money on groceries. DAD, WHERE DO YOU THINK THAT HABIT CAME FROM?
And when I say “thrifty,” I don’t mean I was deprived. I didn't want for much as a child... unless you count having cable in the house, or taking trips to DisneyWorld, which now that I’m on my own, I’m absolutely horrified by the thought of paying for either of those things, so I guess you win that one, Dad. But “thrifty” is to say that the song of my childhood was sung to the tune of “You kids bring some snacks to the movies. Dad’s not paying for popcorn,” or “What do you want in your lunch tomorrow? Yes that’s right, we’re packing our own lunches on this roadtrip. Dad’s not paying for Stinky Burgers at Krystal.” (Yes, he does actually refer to himself in third person, frequently.)

And when I say Eagle Scout, I mean things like this:
He was gracious enough to drive home from Miami with me, to get my car back to Nashville, two years ago, and this picture was taken on the trip home. That’s a Wendy’s bag in his left hand, housing a baked potato. In his right hand, would be rosemary, intended to season said potato, that he plucked straight off a plant, outside the Hampton Inn. (Why the Hampton Inn in Savannah, Georgia had a rosemary bush in its midst, I do not know.)
This isn't to say that I have a wild rosemary bush growing in my room, but it is to say that the man has taught me a few tricks of shrewd ingenuity.
               
So frugality + innovation + frugality + (did I mention I don’t have a husband to help with ANY of this?) = an apartment that has been very creatively furnished.

There’s a phenomenon in Los Angeles called “Street Shopping,” where people just dump their furniture on the side of the road when they have no more use for it – TALK ABOUT ONE MAN’S TRASH BEING ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE, cause I will pounce on that shiz.

For the sake of time, I will now share the furniture whose story of obtainment is the shortest:

That bookshelf is one of the only pieces of furniture I've actually paid for – I found it at Goodwill for $40.00.

BUT IT WAS BLUE TAG WEEK, SO EVERYTHING WITH A BLUE TAG WAS 50% OFF.

 I walked outta there, having surrendered only ONE Andy Jackson.

        A strapping young fellow named Liam helped me load it into Carolyn’s car, (she has a Ford Escape, which has been much more accommodating on our furniture jaunts than Shelley would be) but then when it came time to secure the trunk over it, he started helplessly raising his hands and backing away, muttering things like, “cannot help you.”

        Liam didn't speak very much English, so our exchange was difficult at first when I said, “OH YOU MEAN YOU DON’T WANT TO BE LIABLE IF YOU HELP ME SECURE IT AND SOMETHING GOES AWRY?” At his blank stare, I may or may not have gestured to tying down the trunk and then made the universal sign for handcuffs… He understood the handcuff gesture and nodded vigorously.

“WELL WHAT IF I VOCALLY ABSOLVE YOU FROM ANY GUILT? MY BROTHER IS A LAWYER, THIS IS A TOTALLY VIABLE OPTION…”

(Ok wait, first of all – the allCaps are a lie: I wasn't speaking to him like he was seven and hearing impaired. And secondly, Davey isn't a lawyer… YET! But thirdly, is it a viable option if there’s a preemptive vocal absolution? I guess Liam will never know…)

        His eyes got wide at my use of the word “guilt,” and he continued backing away so I played the only card I had left: I started untying my shoe, to indicate that should he leave me there alone, I would tie that sucker off with my own shoelace and he’d really be legally responsible, for leaving me to fend for myself, when the bookshelf flew out of the car and hit Ben Affleck’s Land Rover.

        At my Shoelace Trump Card, Liam launched into action and helped me securely tie the trunk down on top of the bookshelf.

        Don’t worry, Dad: his sudden decision to help was not because he thought my Shoelace Dancemove  was an offering of less-than-noble compensation for his aid, because as soon as I reached for my Nikes, he bolted inside to find some legitimate rope, to stand between my bookshelf and Ben Affleck’s fender.

        Now that sensible Ikea desk in the picture was a Street Shopping Find. My roommate Sam texted me one morning, telling me that there were a few pieces of furniture in the yard across from her office, and Carolyn and I jumped in the car to fetch the desk before it turned into a pumpkin. 

It was kind of long. So we had to move the seats forward a little. And by “a little,” I mean THIS:


Special thanks to: Carolyn, Liam, and my Phantom Husband, who could have solved all of this with a single phone call. (Oh, did I neglect to mention that he’s going to be fabulously wealthy?)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Living Single Series

So you know how pastors do a Sermon Series?

Grace is gonna do a Blog Series.

Oh geez. Wait, I hate that phrase. How about, “Grace is gonna do a Series of Musings.” Anything to avoid the word “blog.”

It’s going to be called the “Living Single Series,” because it details, well… what happens when you don’t have a husband. And Allison Norris, you may put that Feminist Judgment aside and say it with me: 




Sometimes, life would just be easier if I had a husband.





I’m sorry, is that sexist of me? I’ll leave it to future President of the United States, Allison Norris, to inform me of whether or not the issue is my commentary on the weakness of women or the objectifying of men, but seriously: sometimes you just need a man to do the heavy lifting.

There is absolutely no deeper, metaphorical meaning to that statement, other than the literal truth. Sometimes I wish I had a dude to haul in the heavy stuff (that I mostly find on the street).  

But the fact that there is no Mr. Grace Douglas makes for some pretty hilarious episodes of trying to furnish an apartment by my onesie. (And yes, with the moral support and occasional bicep support of a one Carolyn Murdock. But let’s face it: She doesn’t have the biceps of Arnold.

So stay tuned, people. Cause although it usually feels like this:
 















And there might be some of this:
It’s mostly this:


And this:


And per usual, the occasional THIS:




Friday, December 7, 2012

This Wasn't Supposed to be 22...

        
        First things first: I need the record to show that I love Taylor Swift. Yes, she IS the size of my pinky and she DOES date guys for no more than weeks at a time, but we can’t win ‘em all now, can we?  Because even if she IS a total head case, at the end of the day, the girl can write a catchy song. Seriously, stop right now and listen to “I’d Lie.” It’s the most underrated T. Swift song, EVER. (If you ask me if I love Danny Merritt, I'd lie...) 
        I'd also like the record to show that I do not consider this exposition of her lyrics to be "talking smack."
                ......Because I would say ALL OF THIS to her face. 
        Sure, our friendship might get off to a rocky start when she says, "OMG you grew up in Nashville?! ME TOO!" And I'll have to say, "I know you like to tell people that and I know the socially acceptable thing to do right now would be to squeal and give you a Paula Dean hug, but you grew up in Hendersonville. And you can tell the general public that you grew up in "Nashville," because they don't know the difference, BUT you can take off the mask now, TayTay. I KNOW MY GEOGRAPHY."

        Do I think it is at all appropriate or acceptable that she frivolously and unnecessarily uses the word “like” SIX times in “Never Getting Back Together”? I do not. And I’m actually a pretty big advocate for the use of that word, but we gotta draw the line somewhere, TayTay.  

        (Ok forgive my rabbit trail, but I feel inclined to provide the disclaimer that IT IS WITHIN GOOD REASON that I start to indignantly squirm and bite my tongue when I hear anyone over the age of 40 whine that “you kids use the word 'like' too much.” Yes, we do say it too much. But the one element that never seems to be taken into account by the Generational Whiners is that, contrary to their understanding, we don’t just insert that word, every other phrase, because we’re-like-too-busy-updating-our-like-twitter-blogs-to-like-read-real-books. The overuse of the word “like” is due to the fact that it is a substitute for so many other words these days. So when Taylor Swift says “He calls me up and he’s like, ‘I still love you,’ and I’m like, ‘This is exhausting…’” I’m sorry, but I don’t have a huge problem with that. Because it is more colloquial to say “he’s like,” nowadays, as opposed to “he said.” 

It’s a little sad, but very true. 

        When we say “it’s like he wasn't even listening to me,” the word “like” suffices for “as though,” because it would sound stiff and strange if we were to say, “IT IS AS THOUGH HE WERE NOT EVEN LISTENING TO ME.” (Taylor, if you’re reading this, you’re gonna think that you spotted an error in that last sentence. But there’s something called the subjunctive mood, and I don’t have time to explain it, right this second…)

        Now, based on all the other times she says “like,” in the song, she clearly hasn't earned the right to use it in those two instances that might otherwise be acceptable. “Because like, we hadn’t seen each other in a month…” tells us NOTHING about the passage of time and is therefore, as the Generational Whiners would accurately accuse us: unnecessary. It is with that kind of usage that she loses all credibility. And speaking of credibility, TayTay: you have the means. Go to college. When you go to college, you can start sentences with “and,” or use words SUCH AS (see what I did, there?) “gonna” or “gotta,” and no one questions how well-read you are…)

        Yes, I just closed a parenthetical that was started two paragraphs before – the Academic Douglas Snob just took over way too much of this post. Back to lyrical analysis.
       
        So my roommate Carolyn and I were looking at the Grammy noms (the concert was hosted by T. Swift and a everybody’s favorite rap-artist-turned-actor, Ladies Love Cool James) and I asked Carolyn if she’d heard Swift’s song about being 22. She said, “No, but it will probably make me depressed that I’m not 22 anymore.” I replied, “Actually, it will probably just confuse you, more than anything. But I think “confused” is in the slew of adjectives that she throws together, right before the chorus.”

        Another disclaimer: Yes, I WAS resentful when she came out with the song “15,” because I didn't even get to go to high school with boys - America’s Sweetheart got to have a more traditional high school experience than I did. Don’t get me wrong, my experience was ten times better. We did things like unashamedly-themed birthday celebrations at the Lunch Table. Cate's was a bridal theme: 


        Or the Hannah Montana themed celebration of Steph’s birthday, complete with lipgloss rings:


But “senior boys to wink at you”? Not my high school experience. I’M JUST SAYING.

        So without further ado, let’s take a look at Taylor Swift’s "22," and Grace Douglas’s 22.

It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters
        Ok you've already lost me with your mention of hipsters, Taylor. There aren't a lot of areas of my life in which I consider myself entitled to take the status over you, but YOU CAN’T COMMENT ON HIPSTERS UNLESS THERE’S ZERO POSSIBILITY THAT ANYONE WOULD EVER CONSIDER YOU TO BE ONE. And based on the strange get-up you were sporting, that one time I saw you at the Green Hills Bread and Company, you could EASILY be mistaken as a hipster. So it’s just awkward for you to joke that you’re going to “dress up like a hipster.”

And make fun of our exes, uh uh uh uh
        ….Well you DO have plenty of THOSE to make fun of, TayTay.

It feels like a perfect night for breakfast at midnight
        Too bad you wouldn't know what it’s like to discreetly go to Denny’s at midnight now, would you? Ah the price of fame. Hey, I caused a scene there too, back in the day. I’d ask my boy Francisco if they had Oreos for a Cookies ‘n Cream shake and he’d say, “Probably not, but I’ll make some just for you!” Ethan would get really embarrassed that I knew the staff and they knew my obsession with the shakes – I GET IT, TAYLOR.

To fall in love with strangers uh uh uh uh
        Ok this just leads to STD’s. And I’m not just saying that because John Douglas is my uncle.

Yeaaaah
We're happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time
         I mean, I just want to know how she came up with these four. Did she know that she needed two monosyllables, followed by two disyllables? Or are these four seriously the first four words that came to mind to describe being 22? Cause if I articulate the first four words that come to mind about my current phase of life, I've got: cookies, thrilled, unpredictable and hilarious. The only way “free” can even be justified is if it’s describing the life of a college grad. And we know that isn’t TayTay’s life right now…

It's miserable and magical oh yeah
        Is it? IS IT MISERABLE, Taylor? My life is currently miserable because I was raised by a thrifty Eagle Scout, and somehow internalized the idea that it’s much more fulfilling to save money, even when you can afford to buy groceries… Is that your problem too, Taylor?

Tonight's the night when we forget about the deadlines, it's time uh uh
Tell me about your deadlines, Taylor. I DARE you.

I don't know about you, but I’m feeling 22
        Ok first of all, I need the record to show that I've never felt a day under 40 in my life. Which is the reason why now is a great time to promote the man of my dreams, George Bailey, whose father tells him, “You were born old.” Another old soul? Be still, my beating heart.


        That being said, if Taylor and I were out for a night on the town, yes, it would make sense for her to turn to me and say, “I don’t know about you, Grace, but I’m feeling 22…” because clearly I NEVER feel 22. So my biggest question is: to whom is she speaking? Her bodyguard? Or Harry Styles, perhaps? Cause he’s 18. I’m just saying.
               
Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you
        Wait, I thought tonight she was meeting strangers? So now she wants to stay next to the unnamed, ambiguously-aged, possibly-bodyguard-but-perhaps-OneDirection-boyfriend? 

You don't know about me but I bet you want to
        Ok wait, no, we’re back to the stranger. 

Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we're 22, 22
        I don’t know what it is in the above line that reminds me of this picture, nor why I would embarrass myself and SHARE this picture, but I guess if I were to associate dance moves with an age, I’d choose to move my body like Cyclone. Remember that song by Baby Bash? Cause it was the SPRING BREAK OH EIGHT ANTHEM. Any time it came on, I’d start whirling around the room, claiming to literally, be a cyclone. I believe this was taken (we were totally sober, I might add) at a Wendy’s parking lot in Destin, Florida and would you PLEASE look at my super sunburned feet:

I think Jean was a tornado and I was the cyclone, churning around her? All that to say: yeah, we were 18 and CRAAAAAZY, clearly. So if you’ve somehow still got dance moves that immediately pin you as a 22 year old, I don’t really know what you’re doing with your life… (I don’t even think this is the kind of poetic association she was going for; it IS possible that I’m reading way too much into it…)

But seriously, my life was a sunscreen TRAGEDY, that week. Check out that right foot:

It seems like one of those nights
This place is too crowded too many cool kids
        Hey, here’s an idea, Swifty: MAYBE IT’S TOO CROWDED CAUSE YOU’RE A CELEBRITY AND ALL THE ONEDIRECTIONERS ARE FLOODING THE PLACE, CHOMPING AT THE BIT TO SEE YOU AND HARRY STYLES. Ever think of THAT?

It seems like one of those nights
We ditch the whole scene and end up dreaming instead of sleeping
        …But you have to be sleeping in order to dream. This is just… This line is a waste.

Yeaaaah
We're happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way
        Still not getting ANY more clarity about why these four go together and are in any way acceptable.

It's miserable and magical oh yeah
Tonight's the night when we forget about the heartbreaks, it's time uh uh
        Well again, you DO have quite enough of those, TayTay.

        I will skip the repetition of that ridiculous chorus, and mention that the only new line we hear in the next two minutes of the song is:
You look like bad news I gotta have you, I gotta have you
        Oh Taylor. Have you learned nothing from, say… Jake Gyllenhaal? Joe Jonas? THE KENNEDY KID?!  It would seem that therein lies the rub: if you’re still saying “he’s looks like bad news; I WANT IT,” then yes, it sounds like you’re going to be 22 for a long time.

…But then I remember that I’m not 42, and realize that if it’s the immaturity of your decisions that defines our age, I’m gonna go ahead and put you at the level of a 13 year old.

So after you exhaust the songwriting topic that is Harry Styles, your next project should clearly be titled “13.” 

But like, until then… yes Taylor, we can still be like, hair-flipping twins.