We Need To Talk About Kristen Bell’s Menstrual Cup

Um.

So.

I logged onto Facebook this morning, and AGAIN Parent’s magazine threw me for a loop. That makes two days in a row that I felt wronged by them. (Yesterday, which I posted about this morning, was about the re-share of that whole daycare pick up shaming thing.)

Today’s article was so startling, and yet at the same time so mundane, that I couldn’t help but double take.

“Kristen Bell Fainted While Trying To Take Out Her Menstrual Cup.”

Uh… sorry to hear?

How do you respond to something like that? Or, rather, react? Do you read it? Do you keep going? Why does anyone care? Is there some deeper meaning, or is this just another attempt at humanizing celebrities so that we identify them more when their movies come out?

Beyond the fact that I feel like every other day I’m learning about the goings on in Kristen Bell’s personal life, whether I want to or not, there’s something so remarkably mundane about a celebrity’s menstrual period woes, or anybody’s for that matter.

I mean, I get it.

There’s nothing to be embarrassed by when it comes to a woman’s period. So bold for Bell to highlight this by telling her own personal anecdotes. I, myself, could regale you all with a myriad of stories when it comes to my own monthly cycle, although I’m not sure Parent’s magazine (or any magazine) would pick the stories up.

And anyway, celebrities are people too! Right? These humanizing articles serve to remind us that the Kristen Bells of the world are real people, not just the characters they portray. They, like us, do quirky things, weird things, fun things. Bell, in particular, seems to have become the poster girl for just how normal celebrities really are. I feel like I’m constantly seeing articles shared over and over again about her (and her husband’s) humanness and – like I said, I get it.

But, is it news?

I guess I’m starting to question what the whole point is of a lot of media outlets, including legitimate magazines that you can still get in the mail, when they are sharing somewhat banal stories, like this one.

I even commented on the Parent’s Facebook post this morning, asking just that. Can Kristen Bell do anything without it turning into a news article? I would suggest, after this whole menstrual cup fainting fiasco, not.

The Dress is White and Gold, and By the Way It’s Also the End Of the World As We Know It

If I live a long life, I imagine myself to be like one of those old people in the movies – the narrators, the storytellers. You know, they always have one, final story to tell. The movie begins and ends with them. It’s always about the defining moment in their lives, invariably unloaded onto some unsuspecting sap who will sit there and listen to the story no one has ever heard.

Like in Edward Scissorhands – it’s snowing and the lady tells her granddaughter the story about the creepy man-made boy with scissors and sheers for hands. Or in Fried Green Tomatoes, when an elderly Idgie Threadgoode gives Kathy Bates’ character the story personal liberation through her friend Ruth and the Whistestop Cafe.

I would sit there, old as fuck. Rocking in my rocking chair, covered in blankets as the old ladies in those movies always are. Someone would bring me my tea and tell me I need to rest. I would cough and weakly wave my hand – no, no. I have to tell my story. My period story; the story of my time. And most importantly: a story about something outlandish. Life-changing. Defying everything we thought we knew about the world.

If I’m lucky, my unsuspecting victim will pass my story on. Maybe they’ll make a movie out of it in which I am depicted rocking in my chair by a future generation’s Angela Lansbury.

As years have gone on, though, my dream has been shattered by a dearth of material to concoct my noteworthy tale. Will I have a story about a creepy man-made boy with scissors and sheers for hands to tell? Or about my own Whistestop Cafe? No. I won’t. Will I have a tale about the boy who aged backwards, like in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? Or one like Forrest Gump had to tell – that was a whopper.

Nope. I won’t have anything quite as good as any of those, and all the other, movies. And while I am sure I will have plenty more opportunities to find a story, I suspect we have reached our height as a generation and a people. It is evident that it is all downhill from here.

What I’m saying is that as a society we have reached our apex, so my story will have to be the one about the day the Internet, and subsequently the world, lost their fucking minds over the color of a dress.

7f12ee06c45a2088559d4ffb4dcfb89e8972501e

You would have thought something really crazy happened, judging by how people responded to that photograph.

As for me, I saw one person post about it in the mid afternoon, then went about my day. Read a book for several hours, made dinner, and went to my library book club.

When I got home, everyone had gone completely insane. Videos of families fighting over the color of that dress had gone viral. Parody comics were posted. Then the scientific analysis began. “The science behind the dress.” Some people are color blind. Some people have their screens adjusted differently. It’s an optical illusion.

Legitimate news sites were posting serious articles debating theories about that goddamned article of clothing. All within the span of about 12 hours.

It carried on into today, and I have sat in utter disbelief over how an ugly dress has caused such an uproar for several hours. Like, literally, just sitting here – perplexed. In my bathrobe, hair still slightly damp from the shower I took several hours ago. Completely shocked.

How are people so up in arms about this thing?

I only kind-of-sort-of get it when things go viral. The dancing babies and the screaming goats – they’re funny. Glozell’s Cinnamon Challenge and her cereal in the bathtub thing. I understand the heartwarming things that trail their way around the Internet too. The husband with the pink tutu campaign; the kid with cancer that wanted photos of dogs to cheer him up.

I get it, these videos, photos, stories – they are entertaining or heartwarming, or we relate to them. Maybe not so much eating cereal out of our bathtub, but there is still an appeal there. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s there. It’s funny or it means something to us in some strange way.

But the color of a dress? What. the. SHIT?

What’s next? What color is this towel?

We have a set of dark pink bath towels, that are pretty old. I’m fairly certain they came from my father’s home when he moved in with us; nonetheless they are – somehow – still a part of the regular rotation when the towels are changed in all the bathrooms.

Every once in a while, I’ll hear my dad call for someone to get him his brown bath towel. Maybe he’s spilled something and forgotten we have paper towels and cleaning rags too, or he doesn’t realize I’ve changed the towels in the bathrooms and that he is actually – gasp – allowed to use whatever bath towel in the house he likes. He is not limited to his brown bath towel.

But wait a second, I said it was pink. And it is pink, a dark pink – almost like a magenta. And I know this for a fact, because it says “dark pink” on the worn tag.

And yet my dad calls it brown, and on several occasions we have asked the opinions of others, taken and texted photographs for opinions, and gotten mixed responses. Brown, pink, magenta, red…one time my dad said it was dark green, and that is when I seriously started to question his sanity because he had been defending the towel’s brown-ness for years prior to then.

So if I post a photo of this towel, will it go viral too? I mean, yesterday was a huge day for Net Neutrality. Leonard Nimoy died today. But surely the color of a dress or a towel is what’s really important. Right?

11021093_10155302538030078_8888992715904558860_n

Credit: The Oatmeal

So – regrettably – this is the defining moment of our lives, people. The dress. This is the story I will tell when I am an old lady, rocking in my chair. Surely they will make a feature-length film about it as the recipient of my story will pass the tale on and find meaning in it.

What meaning could there possibly be, you ask? Well when you’ve reached rock bottom, you can only go up from there. Arguably, we are there. The. Color. Of. A. Dress.

So I can see it all now.

The movie will be about the end of an era for humanity. The dress will be symbolic for the crumbling of society as we know it, which it clearly is a sign of. Hopefully someone like Michael Fassbender or Bradley Cooper will be cast as the savior of humanity. Who will rebuild society from its crumbled, intellectual ruins. As the future Angela Lansbury plays me, rocking in my chair, refusing my rest; determined to tell the story of the dress that destroyed everyone’s minds once and for all.

We will rebuild, people. And by the way, the dress is white and gold.

An Open Letter To Martha Stewart, From A Blogger (Not An Expert)

Last Sunday, I – like many – spent the majority of my day relaxing and perusing around the Internet. For the most part, I was just minding my own business. I giggled at memes of Grumpy Cat. I issued the obligatory Facebook ‘happy birthday’s and ‘congratulations on your umpteenth pregnancy’s. I pinned a bagillion-and-one Halloween projects to Pinterest. Like I said: pretty much minding my own goddamned business.

Eventually, I did as I always do: gave in to the temptation of the Google News Aggregate. I have a love-hate relationship with the news. For the most part, I believe it to be biased, uninformed, lacking facts, and discouraging. All over the world people are dying of famine, terrorism, disease; and the top stories are generally about Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. It (sort of) leaves a sour taste in my mouth; but then I say “sort of” because I also like to be informed about what is going on in the world. So I checked, before turning off my computer and moving on to some other form of weekend laziness.

That is where it hit me: an opinion article responding to an interview with Martha Stewart on Bloomberg television; which only took a few more clicks to view first-hand. In it, Martha said unfathomable words. I mean, they are fathomable; but at the same time so gauche for her to say. “Who are these bloggers? They’re not editors at Vogue magazine.”  She said. “I mean, there are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested, that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of everything that really good editors have created and done. So bloggers create kind of a popularity, but they are not the experts.”

Puke.

I forgot about this major Martha faux pas for a few days until I headed today to Michael’s to buy some craft paint for pumpkins. As I walked down the aisle, I was then confronted with the Martha Stewart line of overpriced satin, pearl, and heavy-glitter colors. Satin, pearl, and heavy-glitter colors that none of the other brands offered, and which made me feel shame for wanting them, in spite of Martha’s crude and unfair comments on Bloomberg. Standing there, in the aisle, I felt light-headed and vomit-y over this clear conflict of my interests, and so I knew what I had to do.

I had to write Martha a letter.

1069168_703839767853_1241407422_n

Dear Martha –

Every recipe I have ever made from your website tastes like total shit. And to top it off, they’re always way less healthy, and way more expensive, than the comparable version that I – a blogger (not an expert) – end up putting together on my own.

Sometimes I wonder if you know of any recipes that do not include heavy cream or $100 worth of supplies.

Occasionally I think you are more concerned about the presentation of your dishes than the actual taste and healthfulness of them. By “occasionally,” I mean all the time, because it is a case-in-point fact that all the sprigs of rosemary and garnishes of parsley will not make something overcooked, heavily creamed, and under-seasoned edible.

I’m talking about your dishes, Martha. Your dishes are overcooked. Your dishes are heavily creamed. Your dishes are under-seasoned. Your dishes, Martha – your dishes are inedible.

If I had a dollar for every slideshow I got sucked into when looking for a D.I.Y. homemade gift project that turned out to be something available for purchase on your website, I may actually have enough money to buy your overpriced non-D.I.Y. homemade gifts.

And if I had another dollar for every actual D.I.Y. homemade gift tutorial I was able to find that was just a cheap piece of garbage, I would be able to fund my own popular, lifestyle website. Where I’d actually share quality tutorials. Quality tutorials that people can do and that don’t end up being total crap.

I mean, come on: felted slippers? I know a ton of people that would love to get those one-time wearers.

A few weeks ago I was at Staples looking for a calendar book. You know: one of those little booklets you can keep in your purse or in the kitchen drawer. You write all of your appointments in it for a few months, then lose it or forget that it exists, or remember that your phone has iCal. I saw one in your new “Home Office” line of products, which had no dates printed. No dates. A calendar book. With no fucking dates. Right. It was twice as expensive as the Staples brand calendar book, which had the dates.

Now I’m just a blogger (not an expert), but it seems to me that if a calendar book has no calendar dates printed in it, then it should probably be less expensive that the one that actually took the time and effort to print the fucking numbers in the book. That’s just me. I’m no expert.

I’d like to thank you for getting this whole decoupage thing going. Not really, I’m not really thanking you. I’m being sarcastic. Bloggers (not experts) do that a lot. In any event, I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Vases, furniture, cabinets, plates, linens – not a one of them was nice or acceptable until it was decorated with tiny paper cut outs. Tiny paper cut outs of leaves, trees, birds, and victorian designs, to be precise. Now I spend my days looking around my house for places in which I can add a hint of gold leaf so that my home is as nice as everyone else’s. Fucking thanks a whole lot for that.

And let’s not even go into how many of your supposedly-unique home decor projects are really just putting flowers in a vase. No, Martha. Let’s just not go into that.

That’s the thing about us bloggers. We are not experts. We are not editors at Vogue magazine. We are not the inventors of this whole lifestyle thing. We are just people. People that have opinions and ideas and lives and experiences.

I think that those experiences – of trying recipes and finding them to be too much on the heavy cream; of making our own decorations for the season; of gifting on a budget – I think that it’s those experiences that make us sort of like experts. Experts of our own tastes and interests and likes and dislikes. My recipes and my crafts and my homemade gifts and my lifestyle ideas may not be tested by anyone but my family and friends, but I think they are good, healthy, affordable, and fun. What’s great about being an inelegant blogger, rather than an editor at Vogue or an ex-felon with a manly voice and a daytime TV show is that I have a place where other non-experts feel comfortable enough to come and share with me in our untested, unedited mediocrity.

In the end, that’s really all that matters. And anyway, does it really take expertise to put flowers in a vase, or to know that curry needs curry powder? I don’t think so, Martha. No, I just really don’t think so…