Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Popular App "Top Girl" Teaching 8 Year Old Girls their True Value!

Normally I like to fill this page with musings on my own personal New York City... the barefoot-in-the-park-worthy apartments, the grueling part-time jobs, the bizarre cast of characters and the perfect moments that make this grand gritty city the greatest in the world… at least in my world. 

However, the most disturbing insight I've been afforded into the real New York mentality was on the iPhone of the 8 year old I nanny. 

I'm no social scientist, but if New York is really on the cusp of impending social change, and can serve as some sort of preview of generational trends, I'm beyond shocked and saddened by what's coming. Her name is Top Girl. She's an iPhone app and she teaches 3rd grade girls how to be whores… literally. 

Let's play.

Here we are at home. Look at the exciting world of a woman! Los Angeles! 

If we click on home, we're taken to a closet. Because home is where we primp. Home is where we prepare our faces and bodies. Home is where we retreat to carefully present a completely and utterly physical identity. We literally LIVE in the closet.

Career? You guessed it. We're models! DUH. WHAT ELSE.

Besides hanging out in the closet or on the catwalk, our options are pretty standard: shopping, hair salon, ATM, coffee shop or da CLUB. 
(Ten guesses where all 3 of my giggling guides wanted to show me first.)

Welcome to the CLUB, where we can choose between the bar, the lounge and the dance floor. 

 …Seems easy enough… Let's flirt with Jon. He's got a righteous tan.

Looking good Officer Jon! We've sized you up and apparently 32 points makes you pretty manly.

Also, a "Closet Bonus"? HEYO! That's room for 2 more clothing items! Just for pickin' up a man!

Now remember, closet size is pretty important here because in Top Girl world we LIVE INSIDE OUR CLOSETS.

Alright. Let's do this. We just sent Jon a "wink," and now we wait and…-


Yup. Not hot enough. Since all 7 year olds know you only get laid if you're in hot club attire, time to head to the boutique to get ourselves something smaller and tighter.

Too bad the boutique only accepts real money. 
That's right. 
Grown up money.
Dad's credit card money.

Alright. Let's try another room. Maybe I can find a black guy with less expensive taste...


 He might not be as manly as Jon, but check out that 'fro. And you don't get more lovestruck than 100/100. Hey, at least we're learning all about fractions here.  This guy will give us energy too! 

Now, since prior to this experience, most of our man-knowledge has been limited to our elf-on-the-shelf and our principal, how do we know what a "girlfriend" needs to do?

 Got it.

Physical affection to make him happy. Go on dates for swag.

….Got it.

Let's get to know Jeremy the postmaster.

Does he mean it? Should we talk more? 
Is he being sarcastic because we clearly have nothing to contribute? Who cares! 
What's a relationship without some passive aggression? We're already learning so much about grown-up interaction!


 ….Guys… I just… I never thought we'd make it. Sorry, if I'm getting a little emotional over here. Thinking back to the "NOT HOT ENOUGH" days, I can't believe we're already getting expressions of love in shoe-form.

But wait. Apparently, out of nowhere, Jeremy's happiness level has plummeted! 


So, just so we're clear, those numbers equate to how much more he'll love us. 

Video game controller? That's like, "You could totally be a shot-girl if you wore more make-up." 
Golf clubs? "You're my shiniest trophy girlfriend!"


At this point, I asked the intelligent, quirky, independent and precociously empathetic 8 year old, "Why do we go through all of this? Why don't we hang out at the coffee shop, try on fun outfits and dance our [asses] off in the club?"

Her answer? We need a boyfriend. Without the boyfriend we can't afford to play the game at all. We need the boyfriend to buy our virtual coffee, to fund our digital shopping expeditions and to stand behind us if we want our avatars to dance.

But there's a "CAREER" button. Can't we just click that and make our own mula?

Fast forward. We've just gone to work, walked up and down a boring-as-all-hell catwalk for 3 minutes, which is 3 years in game time, and made.. wait for it… $1.00. 
One. Whole. Dollar.

According to my 8 year old guide, date the mildly verbally abusive Jeremy for a little while longer and he'll start handing over $50.00 bills like we're 8 year olds asking for our allowance… wait a second… 


We've already learned that working is a joke.  
I mean, a man can hand us literally 50 times what we earn all by ourselves. 

Another excellent fact the elementary school girl pointed out is that after work our energy was too depleted to go out. 
When we hang out with Jeremy, our energy goes up! 

So, not only does he finance our lifestyle and fork over cash to save in our accounts, but he supplies our very life-force. 

If you neglect your boyfriend in this world, and he leaves you, it is, quite literally, 

So, besides the fact that we can change our hair color but not our absurd waist-to-hip ratio, that we work all day for nothing, but sending a "flirt" to the right guy will land us those rose embellished wedges we've been eyeing, and that life is truly unlivable without that little blue boyfriend icon in the bottom right hand corner, what does this game teach today's tiny women (and men) about life?

Friday, January 3, 2014

"Dating in New York" (or "Why Are They All Crazier than I Am?")

This poem is dedicated to the gay Latino that gave me his dinner just to watch me eat.

Seems the men in New Yok City can be classified
As insane, jaded, childish, lunatic or snide,
Like the gypsy who ran dogfights back in Bahrain,
Or the inventor that exercised hanging upside-down on the train.

One guy peeled skin off my sunburned chest and ate it.
"That's technically cannibalism," I wistfully stated.
The Brazilian Scientologist rubbed my earlobes and hummed
Right over the appetizers, his elbows in crumbs.

Boring Bernie made the Amazon sound like a math class.
Stephen told me to be careful 'cause I eat like a fat-ass.
The men's wear designer wore a pinstriped purple suit.
The pharmaceutical consultant found my indignation "cute."

Turns out he's lying if he promises a puppy.
Turns out Goldman Sachs makes the worst kind of yuppie.
Turns out finance guys want you to sit there looking pretty.
And waiting till the fourth date? Too country for this city.

I may not have found love but I'm doing pretty well,

'Cause the crazier they are, the better stories to tell.