If you live in the Hallmark States of America, as I have the (dubious) fortune of doing these days, chances are that you can’t swing a box of tampons without stumbling across what looks like the rose-toned projectile vomit of a cheap chocolate factory, masquerading as a manifesto of undying love.
(Wow, how bitter did that come out?!)
The truth is that, like most people past the age of sixteen, I could give two loads about Valentine’s Day. (Pardon my soon-to-be-forgotten French.) For the couples, said fête implies obligatory relationship checkmarks in the form of last-minute dinner reservations and overpriced bouquets; for singles, it simply offers an excuse for an extra glass of wine or an extra Gucci splurge or whatever else Hallmark Holidays evoke in those who do not fall under their mass target range. Don’t even get me started on the quadrillion-dollar Valentine’s Day industry, annually serving up processed sugar and poorly-copywritten bullshit without a hint of remorse.
(But, seriously, how angry do I sound?! I am the ANTI-establishment! Like Rhianna!)
Photo by Corey Hayes
“You have to meet Jasmine Lobe. You guys write about the same thing and you would love her.” If I had a few bucks for every time I heard these words, I could probably afford a new pair of snow boots. (My desires these days are simple.) Googling Jasmine, I was hesitant. To start, she happens to be a much better – not to mention ballsier – writer than myself, having been granted none other than Candace Bushnell’s former sex column at the New York Observer. Secondly, she looks more like a Victoria’s Secret Angel than a regular human, making me wonder what we could possibly have in common. As it turns out, more than I thought! After meeting for a casual chat, Jasmine and I become fast friends, and I spared no time coaxing her into a Dbag Dating interview. Last week, we sat down at the Ludlow Hotel and quickly found ourselves in a moving two-hour conversation about feminism, the power of positive thinking and the stigma of showing the real you. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to present to you the longest interview of all time with the one and only, amazingly talented The J-Spot columnist, JASMINE LOBE. (It’s worth every minute, I promise.)
Editors Note: This post is brought to you by Kristina Ezhova, a 22-year-old Russian expat currently residing in Paris (previous locations: Montreal and Toronto). Favorite things in life include: poutine (the food, not the president), War and Peace, pointless Facebook debates, Italian coffee. “One day, Leo will win an Oscar, and I will win Leo’s heart.” Follow Kristina on IG here!
It has always been quite an experience telling people about myself. ‘Hi. Yes, I’m Russian. No, I don’t have a pet bear. Yeah, it does get really cold in the winter. I actually hate vodka..” Once we are through with all the small talk around cultural stereotypes, I’m usually faced with the following question: “So, how are the guys in Russia?” And, man, do I get perplexed every single time…
In the Venn diagram of men and jewelry, there used to be but a narrow overlapping sliver reserved exclusively for rock stars and Johnny Depp, those few shining examples of men granted public permission to adorn themselves with more sparkle than a Vegas showgirl—without jeopardizing their masculinity. Up until recently, that is, when this space began rapidly expanding to welcome men from all walks of life. The proof is everywhere: A dating app swipe session yields innumerable man-bunned surfers displaying their tanned, tattooed, accessorized forearms; a visit to a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, bar has me asking a guy where he purchased the coin pendant hanging from his neck (so that I might snap one up as well); a ride up an escalator in a midtown office building reveals a banker channeling his inner Burning Man aficionado via carefully curated Miansai bracelets. (Let’s not even get started on Depp, whose accessories game officially jumped the shark when he collected a People’s Choice Award with no less than four safety pin–style earrings—in one ear!) And while I’m all about men embracing fashion, this particular manifestation leaves me slightly conflicted: Is mutual accessory approval yet another evaluation criteria to add to the already complex endeavor that is modern dating?
Read on HERE!
Note to self: Never buy a French woman a water pitcher for Christmas.
Last December, a Parisian girlfriend received a simple glass carafe from a man she had just started dating, his reasoning being that she was “always thirsty.” This well-intended household object served as a running joke for months to come, earning the poor fellow endless mockery among her inner circle. The gift, she explained, was “impersonal, generic, and banal,” making it the worst of all French evils. Turns out, holiday gifting is yet another endeavor that the French have elevated to an intricate art form, one that doesn’t stand for shortcuts—or, evidently, water pitchers.
Read on HERE!
Do you remember Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield of Sweet Valley High, i.e. the Jekyll & Hyde of the paperback series generation? Jessica was a dazzling and ruthless b*tch who could mesmerize any man with one impeccably-calculated stare. Her twin sister, Elizabeth, was a mind-numbingly boring model citizen who scared off men with her prudishness (all with the exception of one basic vanilla boyfriend named Todd). They looked the same, but they were polar opposites.
I have come to the conclusion that Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are the Summer and Winter Me.