The Vine: May 27, 2004
AB Chao, Expert of All Things Bang-Related,
I always find myself wanting new hairstyles before vacations. In a few weeks, I'm hopping over the Pacific to go to Hawaii (for a wedding! on the beach! with friends I haven't seen in years!). I decided that this occasion calls for cute, new bangs.
Here's the problem…I can't get an appointment with my long-standing hairdresser. She has the nerve to be booked solid through June. So, I've been considering cutting bangs myself. I have no idea how to go about this, though. Is there a fool-proof way to chop my own hair, without making it look like I was attacked by a scissor-wielding bandit?
Is this just a horrible idea? Should I put down the scissors and back away slowly?
Also…what sort of new sandals will be fabulous for both a Hawaiian vacation and cute new bangs? I will use any excuse to spend money I don't have.
AB Chao says:
Yes, you can cut your own bangs — but you have to be very, very brave. There is a fool-proof way to do it, and I will try to describe it for you without illustrations; unfortunately, I cannot draw, so you're out of luck there. Okay, follow these steps carefully, and you will have the long-ish, fringy bangs that are all the rage these days:
1. Wet your hair. Part it in the middle.
2. Take a comb, and put the tip of it on the part as far back as you want your bangs to go. ( I'd recommend about an inch or a little more back from your forehead, but no further than that, unless you want to look like those little kids you see with half a head full of bangs.)
3. Think of the place where you put the comb as the top point of a triangle, and an imaginary line across your eyes as the bottom of the triangle. Now, make a part on each side, starting from the top point and angling down, until you "complete" the triangle.
4. Grab that hunk of hair you just carefully measured, and gather it to a point right below the bridge of your nose. Give the point a few twists. Yes, I know it sounds weird; just do it. (A note: go lower than you think you should. Your hair will be shorter when it dries, and better to cut them too long than too short. You can always trim them again to your liking.)
5. Using the very sharp scissors that you just purchased from a reputable beauty supply, snip the point above your fingers.
6. Voila. You are HOT.
As for the next part of your question, I think Sars would get upset if I wrote twenty-seven paragraphs on all the sandals I could recommend for your vacation, so I'll try to keep it short. You'll probably be on the beach a lot, correct? This calls for very cute flops that you can walk comfortably in on the sand, and I just happened upon a sale at J. Crew — they're offering 20% off two or more pair, and I think you need the Malibu striped ones. For going out, you can never go wrong with a pair of strappy sandals (with a heel, preferably) that you can rock with jeans, or a skirt, or a dress. Like these, in green, or you know, if you don't like them, you can buy them for me.
Love your site, and especially your advice. Here's my stupid-ass problem. My own fault, I know, but I need some help from someone who doesn't know who I am.
Okay, so I was dating this guy for about a year and a half. We broke up about a year and a half ago. I broke things off with him for a variety of reasons — some that I regret now, and some that I think are valid. That's not the problem.
Back when we were together, we used to…experiment with things. One night we made a video while we were fooling around. I completely forgot about the video and what was on it until about two weeks ago. He was the one who had the camera and the tape. Now I'm worried. We didn't have a horrible breakup (at least in my opinion), but we haven't talked at all in over a year. I kind of want that video (only to get rid of it permanently), if he didn't already destroy it. I don't want it falling into anyone else's hands. He doesn't seem to be the type of guy that would do something like that, especially since he is naked on the tape just as much as I was, but I do worry.
I found out that he is moving to California with his girlfriend in December, but other that that I have no idea where he lives, works, or what his phone number is. Should I try to contact him and ask about the tape? Should I just hope that when he moves it gets thrown away if it hasn't already? What if I ask him for it and he refuses to give it to me, or he then remembers it and decided to use it against me?
I was thinking of asking around for ways to contact him, then tell him that I found some of his stuff and I want to give it to him before he leaves. Then when I see him, I could try to work up the courage to ask him about the tape. But that brings up another issue — I am a pretty shy girl, and I don't know if I can look him in the face and ask about a sex tape we made two years ago. What if his girlfriend is with him?
Enough rambling on my part. Sars, what should I do? (Besides stop making tapes with boys, or at least be the one to keep them.)
Hoping not to be the next Paris Hilton
Leave it be. You have to trust him to do the right thing with the tape, and if he doesn't, you have to trust other people to get that he's the tacky mofo, not you.
He has a new girlfriend now. Assume that he got rid of the tape for his own protection, and forget about it.
Dear Most Knowledgeable Sars,
I know you're tired of hearing about problems like this, but there's this
"Alex" and I have been close friends since sixth grade. All through middle
and high school, there was kind of a tension between us, but we never dated
each other. Towards the end of senior year, he got a girlfriend and fell
madly in love, so I figured I was never going to have my chance. Then he and
I left for separate colleges. Within a couple of weeks, he had broken up
with his girlfriend and asked me out online (we were six hours away from
each other). I gladly accepted. A few weeks later, he went back to our
hometown for a party and ran into his old girlfriend. He told me that he
wanted to get back together with her. He dropped out of college and moved
back to our hometown to work for Wal-Mart. I was angry and sad and all that,
but I started dating again and got into a new relationship, even though I
still carried a torch for him.
That was November 2001. Fast-forward to May 2003. My boyfriend and I had
long since split up. Alex's girlfriend had just dumped him. I went home for
a visit and talked to Alex, who was pretty devastated, and we wound up
cuddling in bed. He started talking all crazy about moving to near my city,
and then suggested that sweet lovin' would maybe help him get over his
girlfriend faster (we're both virgins). I really, really wanted to do it,
but instead I told him that I didn't want to have sex with him because I
would just be a replacement for his girlfriend, and I was sick of always
being the fallback girl for my guy friends. We snuggled a little more and
then I went home. A few weeks later, we met for a vacation in New York with
my best friend, and we did nothing on this trip but fight. Six months later,
he got back together with his girlfriend, despite keeping many secrets from
her (such as past gay experiences — she's very religious and would probably
dump him — and his attempted dalliance with me). They are considering
Sars, I've tried really hard to get over Alex and be mature about things,
but whenever I see or hear from him I feel awful. I've accepted that he'll
probably never feel the same way about me that I feel about him, but I'm
worried that if we continue our friendship the same things will keep
happening and I'll keep getting heartbroken. I'm worried that I'm getting
really bitter and angry, and this will impede my future relationships. Also,
Alex and I do not have much in common anymore. I don't want to see him again
and have decided to avoid him. But my best friend is now friends with Alex,
and she says that I should just keep being friends with him and stop being a
baby. She thinks that I'm making a big deal out of nothing big.
So a few questions:
A) Is it worth it to keep our friendship together? Am I making a big deal
out of nothing? Is Alex a nice guy or a jerk?
B) Are there any ways to speed up getting over someone?
C) Is it better to talk about problems with friends and risk them thinking
that you're immature and whiny, or is it better to be stoic and deal with
your problems yourself?
Thank you. Sorry for rambling. Feel free to cut irrelevant information.
Ten Years of Confusion
A: No, not really; no, not really; I think he's a jerk. I mean, what I really think is that he's confused about his sexuality and about how to relate to other people romantically without yanking their chains, but it's manifesting itself in jerky behavior, so…jerk.
B: Not really, again. It just takes time, and it's time you should spend keeping busy and not dealing with Alex. Some days will go more easily than others. Just face forward, know that he's not the guy, and wait to feel better, because eventually you will feel better.
C: This is your best friend's problem, not yours, it sounds like. I mean, nobody asked her to pick a side, so why did she go ahead and do it anyway? It's better to talk about problems with friends, of course; it's part of why we have friends. Alex hurt you. If she doesn't want to hear about it, she doesn't, but I have to wonder how best a friend she is if she can't just accept that one of her friends doesn't really want to be around another one for various reasons. It's part of life. Not everyone is going to like each other. Act civilly towards him, but don't feel obligated to hang out and feign friendship with him just because it's inconvenient for someone else if you don't.
Two etiquette questions on the same theme:
1) If you have gone out on with someone once or twice
and find them a crashing bore, do you actually have to
have the "actually, I don't think this is going to
work out" conversation, or is it morally acceptable
just to stop returning their phone calls?
2) There was a party after work last night. I drank a
ridiculous amount of liquor and ended up going home
with a guy who is a guest with the project I am
working on. I am just starting out in my career and
he is famous in our field. He is also married. It
was maybe the worst sexual experience of my life,
beginning with his breath, which smelled like a dying
old gnome's, and ending with his scary oral sex
technique. I ended up passing out and then running
out in the morning, with him literally chasing me
around the apartment telling me to "come back, come
back." When I see him again on Monday, how do I
politely tell him that it was a mistake without
ruining my career? He will be leaving soon and lives
in another city, but our business is so small, there
is no way I will be able to avoid him forever.
Little Slutty NoPants
1. "Morally accept-ed," yes. "Morally acceptable"? Eh. I would have the conversation, just for the purposes of clarity. It's uncomfortable, but it saves aggro in the long run.
2. "Gnome Breath, could I speak with you privately? Yeah, listen…last night was fun, but I think we should keep our association professional from now on, just to avoid any confusion or drama for either of us. Take care." Don't use the word "mistake"; just make it clear that it's not going to happen again.
I'm in some deep shit.
I'm 17 years old and was formerly involved in my high school drama program. My director, BigMama, was on the bitchier side of life, but I was young and didn't want to involve myself in any fights. Although she apparently had a history of nepotism and blacklisting extremely talented people, I ignored the rumors because as long as I was getting parts, life was peachy keen. However, a good friend was eventually blackballed and when I stuck up for her, I was kicked out as well with some unprofessional parting words from my director, which would've gotten her fired if I had any way of recording them. She talked behind my back, I talked behind her back, and I was content with hating her, because her words hurt me more than anything I'd ever heard in my life.
Cut to the next play. My sister, M, is feeling a serious case of Jan Brady middle child syndrome because my younger sister is a standout athlete, and my academics have always gotten my father's attention. In my opinion, as an attempt to get back at me, BigMama asks my sister if she'd like to join crew on the next play, and because of the obvious tension BigMama caused to me, M tells her she'll get back to her. When this situation is presented to me, I tell M that I'd really be happier if she dropped theatre altogether and avoided the director at all costs. She gives me the implication that she agrees, and the subject is dropped. I leave town for a scholarship interview, come back in town, and find out that M is at the play doing the crew work. When I confront her about it, she blows up on me for trying to control her life, asking her to do things I had no right to do.
To me, this is an issue about family loyalty overriding everything else. I'd drop any extracurricular as a favor to her, much less say no to a favor for someone else if it would hurt her. I don't think I crossed the line by asking her not to participate in this play because of the hell BigMama put me through. However, recently M involved all of my family (immediate relatives and distant), and although my father feels I'm justified, my aunts and grandmother think I'm a bitter control freak who's holding unreasonable grudges.
Was I wrong to ask her to stay away from the play? Right now M and I aren't on speaking terms, and she's moved out of the house for the past couple of nights because the verbal arguments have become so messy. What's the best way to heal this situation?
Thank you so much,
Frustrated Actor and Brother
Apologize and move on.
"But –" No. Okay, listen. I don't want to minimize the pain that high-school drama causes (quite literally, in this case), but — it's high school, and you need to take the long view here and realize that participating in your high school drama program has very little to do with whether you become an actor in adult life.
If family loyalty is that important to you, why can't you support your sister? Oh, right — because it isn't about family loyalty, really. It's about you cherishing a hate-on for BigMama and expecting M to toe the line on that.
I'm not saying BigMama isn't a beeyatch. I'm not saying M was right to go back on her word. But it was a little unfair of you to put your situational shit on her, for starters, and in any case it's certainly not worth anyone's packing a bag over. Tell M you're sorry it got to this point, but your frustration just boiled over, and you wish her the best. Then go do community theater and stop obsessing about BigMama, because, again…high school. Some fiefdoms aren't worth attacking.
Tags: boys (and girls) etiquette friendships retail sex the fam workplace