I’ve had 23 years of experience being a guy, so when Seventeen magazine told me that it had moves that I just couldn’t resist, challenge accepted. While I’m a few years removed from the age group that this is targeting, I do have a long-term memory, and being a writer, most of those memories are from a past that I wish I could erase. Living as a teenage guy is a rough time, primarily because you’re in the constant struggle of hiding your boners and, simultaneously, trying to surround yourself with things that give you boners. It’s like playing Monopoly, but you ask everyone to blindfold themselves when it’s your turn and you still feel the need to celebrate when you roll onto something good.
The writer of this piece is Elisa Benson, who has summoned something that I’ve critiqued before. I use the word “summon”, not because she’s a witch (to prove that would take at least two dates and a test to see what her first reaction to a frog is), but because her articles leave the realm of our petty, physical limitations and move into things supernatural and fantastical. Elisa attracts men like you’d try to get a friend to stick his hand in a wolverine den. If the man operating a hot dog cart talks to her, it requires bikini tips and a three hour discussion with her friends. Elisa, if you’re reading this, believe me, the ghost is happy. You can let go now.
The article starts out with the tagline “The end of the year is a whirlwind of “kick backs” and major blowouts. Better make every one count!” The use of quotations around “kick backs” leads me to assume that even Elisa isn’t sure whether or not it’s a term that teenagers would respond to. I would say that it isn’t, since “kick backs” sounds like a scenario where I’d ask someone to ignore the clown make-up and relax. I understand that the phrase “to kick back” is a common one, but turning it into a noun makes the antennae start to poke through your convincing human suit.
The meat of the thing is divided into three parts, “Grad Party,” “Formal” and “Casual Hangout.” There’s nothing casual about calling something a “Casual Hangout.” If you feel the need to preface it with “Casual,” you might as well ask them if they could bring condoms. These three events are then divided further into “BREAK THE ICE!” “BRING THE FUN!” and “MAKE YOUR MOVE!” which are all things that will be yelled from offscreen when they finally turn Mortal Kombat into a successful porn franchise.
BREAK THE ICE! :
“Want to be my last high school crush?” It’s bold, but you’ll never have to see him in the hallway again, so go all out with a flirty line!
Nothing says “fun” like hitting on someone that you’ll ignore for the rest of eternity. However, I can see where this would be appealing to a high school guy. If someone had asked me to be their last anything at eighteen, I would apologize for the sweating and think of an excuse as to why the stairwell is as romantic a place as any. Now, not so much. If a woman asked me to be her last anything today, all I would hear is “Listen for my brood in the distant winds. You, YOU shall be their trumpeter!”
“Let’s get a pic together!” Formal clothes can make you feel awkward, but a goofy photo session will help you relax. Try the PopBooth app, which snaps four pics and saves them in a cute photo strip.
What starts as friendly advice ends with an advertisement for an iPhone application. I only hope that the next thing is how to comfort your friend after the death of a loved one, followed by coupons for funeral plots.
“I hear rumors that you’re killer at Frisbee!” Sure, you could just ask him to play a game with you.! But buttering him up first is the sneaky-cute way to make sure it happens!
There’s nothing sneaky or cute about this. This is such an obvious attempt to try and hook up with a guy that the first thing a man thinks when you say “I hear rumors that you’re killer at Frisbee!” is a way to tell you that he made it clear that he didn’t want a relationship and that he thought she understood that before. She might as well skip the time she’d waste flirtatiously losing at Frisbee and just throw her panties at his head.
BRING THE FUN!
“An old yearbook is your secret weapon! Embarrassing middle school photos always draw a crowd, and you’ll be at the center of the hilarious ‘Remember when…’ stories.” –Maddy, 19, New York, NY
Thanks, Maddy. I could probably relate to this if I had more cute embarrassing stories from Middle School and less times where I wondered what deodorant masks the smell of shame.
“My friends and I have a go-to song we request- ‘I Love Rock n’ Roll’ by Joan Jett. We whip out some amazing air guitar and soon everyone gets into it too. It’s easy to fake confidence when you have an anthem that’s ‘your song’!” – Julia, 20, Portland, ME
I guess what they say really is true. Nothing masks crippling insecurity like shitty ‘80s music.
“One time I randomly decided to bring my little brother’s Slip ‘n Slide to a party. It took only a few minutes to set up outside, and everyone went crazy for it-especially the guys!”- Damaria, 16, Vero Beach, FL
I would make a joke about a sixteen-year-old and her Slip ‘n Slide, but I have a feeling that there are certain laws that I’d be breaking.
MAKE YOUR MOVE!
“slim down the group” Nostalgia is in the air, so persuade just a few friends (and your crush) to head to the school playground “one last time.” In a smaller group, things can get flirty fast!
This is a clever trick to pull, Elisa. Everyone else will be so caught up in thinking about how great the last four years were that they won’t be aware of Secret Mission 1: Operation Time To Fuck.
“score some alone time” On your way to the after-party, stop off at 7-Eleven to grab Slurpees for your group-and recruit your guy to help. Even 20 minutes in the car gives you a chance to connect!
This would be a poor move on Elisa’s part, since the security cameras in the parking lot will show that the man went to 7-Eleven at a certain time before he was declared “Missing.” And the exclamation point at the end gives this an unnatural level of excitement, as if the only contact Elisa has had with men is the story she tells her friends about the hot UPS worker who invited her on a trip to Spain.
“go from day to dark” When the sun sets, grab Drumsticks and a blanket for a late-night picnic-a laid-back (and romantic) way to kick off the warm-weather season.
Also, remember the date that you had this romantic, midnight picnic on. That way, you’ll know whether or not you should be worried about your sudden lack of period.