My Advice to LiLo After Moving Back With Her Mom

Lindsay, let me first preface this post by saying that as I write this, I am sitting in my childhood bedroom.

photoThis is what I’m working with right now.

I know this looks bad. And sure, I’m making myself low-calorie margaritas at my desk for dinner, and I don’t know if that qualifies me for an eating disorder or a drinking problem. And yes, I’m spending my Thursday night in New Hampshire writing in a blog that I don’t get paid for. The “I” on my keyboard is so worn out that I have to warm it up before I start  writing (I’m serous… seriiious), and I’m starting to think that when your “I” key is over-used it points to a Real Housewives level of narcism. And yet, I continue to write in this blog that nobody pays me for because there isn’t much left to do.

So, with that kind of full discloser, it may not seem like I’ve got it together enough to give you advice, but I’ve never done meth before, and like, no offense, I kinda think you have, so maybe I have some wisdom to impart. Besides the meth, I’ve also been living with my parents for about a year and a half after college, so maybe you can learn something now that you’ve moved back into your Long Island pre-Parent Trap home. 


Okay, so first, you probably feel really bad about yourself. You should. I’m not trying to be mean, but I think you need to take some responsibility for screwing up your life. You were a child star, and that definitely sets you up for some problems. Your mother was a failed show girl or something and your dad was a money-hungry coke fiend, and that’s just the perfect storm to create a… well, a you… Basically, you are the new industry standard for a screwed-up child star. No one remembers Dana Plato, anymore. It’s all you.

You’ve kind of hit rock bottom, so let this be a time of reflection. Reflect on what you’ve done wrong, and what you can do in the future to be better. Make a game plan. Take an acting class. We all saw Liz and Dick, and I’ll grant you, you had your moments, but you could use a brush-up. Take this opportunity to chill and get back to basics. Don’t worry too much about what your peers are doing. I know you must hate Jennifer Lawrence so, so much right now, but just worry about yourself and what you can do to come back swinging. There’s no shame in moving home, we’ve all been doing it. Lena Dunham did it. It’s the thing, it’s chic! This is a bad economy, and snorting your entire fortune up your nose happens to everyone. I say “everyone” with the assumption that everyone is Stevie Nicks. And look how well she turned out!!

Just remember, if Robert Downey Jr. can make a come back, so can you. He professed his friendship for Mel Gibson with a weird kiss during the Golden Globes in a room full of Jews. He cannot possibly be smarter than you.

Just know that I believe in you, Lindsay.

3 Things You Did in College That Don’t Matter Anymore

1. Study abroad. I know it was a profound experience for you, but nobody wants to hear your study abroad stories (we also don’t want to hear about the weird dream you had. It’s like the same thing). I’m also sorry to tell you that spending 3 months in France doesn’t give you the right to pronounce croissant like cwah-sont. In one semester you can hardly conceive a child and then wait the 13 week miscarriage grace period before telling people you’re pregnant, let alone convincingly pick up a French accent that you only use when pronouncing French food. While we’re at it, you should know that taking up temporary residence somewhere for 3 months doesn’t mean you can start telling people you “lived” in Europe. You barely got used to people driving on the other side of the road before you had to go back. I never studied abroad, but I did spend a semester in Chicago, and in those 3 months, I did and saw enough things to give dining and entertainment suggestions to friends visiting Chicago to fill up a quick weekend visit. If you’re going for a week, I can get you through Monday to Thursday morning, but beyond that I’ve got nothing except that the Chipotle on Rush and Division has excellent service.

2. Interned. I had two internships in college, and I was still worried that it wasn’t enough. I know people who had amazing internships and the the indentation in their mattress from having too much time on their hands to sleep due to unemployment (and good, All-American depression) is just as big as mine.

3. Had a major. Seriously, if your morals about lying are loose, you can pretty much just do an extended Google session to pick up some lingo and start telling employers you majored in communications instead of music composition. Unless you’re trying to be a doctor or a Chinese interpretor I don’t think it really matters.

Have a great Thanksgiving break college students, BYEEE!

Baby’s First College Football Game

If you can believe it, I’ve never actually been to a college football game. I graduated from an arts and communications college where one of our biggest sports is Quidditch, (if that puts anything into perspective for you) and instead of having a football team, we have a witty t-shirt with an inside joke about how we really, seriously don’t have a football team (this should also be giving you a better frame of reference of where I graduated). Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia wore it in an episode, and I promise you that was a prouder moment for our school than winning any football game would have been. Apparently, “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” means nothing to those hipsters.

“Emerson Football: Undefeated Since 1888”

Okay, that was pretty cool…

Though I graduated from Emerson, I spent a semester at James Madison University in Virginia and they had a football team (and a Sbarro!) but I was too busy crying in my loft bed to ever go to a game, which I kind of regret, but I didn’t get into Friday Night Lights until after I transferred, so I had no idea that just across campus I had the perfect backdrop for my coming-of-age story. (Luckily, I spent a summer in San Antonio and I got to live out my FNL fantasies… Texas Fur-ever!).

Since I missed out on football for my whole college career, I was excited when my friend, Michelle (longtime readers have probably seen her pretty face on this blog before) invited me to tailgate at her boyfriend’s football game at Tufts University.

What a wonderful autumn activity! I broke out my horse sweater from the H&M children’s department (don’t get me started on my love for the discounts you can find in the husky kid’s aisle), my American Apparel winter leggings, an army jacket and over-the-knee boots, and prepared for some brisk, outdoor day drinking with college kids.

It actually was like, 80 degrees, and I was just sweating through my cotton/poly blend, and apparently Tufts kids aren’t that into sports because the only people tailgating were the players parents, which is fine, because the only thing I like more than preying on 21 year old boys is drinking with parents. I’m a big fan of getting a casual buzz on with the 40-60 year old crowd, and I say that without a hint of irony.

 {Pumpkin cocktail… made of pumpkin and probably heavy whipping cream or something.}

It turns out that a game at Tufts is pretty similar to what I imagine it would be like if Emerson College had a football team:

A hipster pep band director wearing what I assume is a vintage, wool marching band jacket that you KNOW no one is making him wear. In 80 degree weather.

Pep band kid eating some breakfast at 1:30. I swear this kid had a fully operational Dunkin’ Donuts under his bleacher seat. He just kept pulling food and beverages out every 45 minutes.

I will say, cheerleader on her cellphone while she’s on the field never would have happened at Emerson. We did have a cheerleading squad, and the Cheerios would have NEVER been so unprofessional. When an Emerson kid is on, they. ARE. ON.

Michelle and I with Jumbo. Tufts lost, but it was all worth it because I was allowed to play with pom poms for a full 3 hours.

Advice for College Freshmen

I went to an arts and communications school, so pretty much the only thing I’m qualified to do is dance around in a variety of wigs. Regardless, I still went to college so I think I’m at least qualified to give some advice about your freshmen year.

Don’t go out with someone you met at a party if you haven’t properly vetted them. This is actually advice you can heed for the rest of your life, but I feel like it’s particularly important now because you’re going to be meeting a lot of new people.

If you meet someone at a party and you have been imbibing in some sweet, sweet hummingbird nectar like PBR, you might want to make sure that everything checks out before you see them under something other than the soft, flattering glow of a black light. The problem is sometimes even Facebook doesn’t help that much. Case in point, I once went to a frat mixer (just shut up and keep moving) and met this guy at the ice booze luge… BOOZE LUGE.

Booze. Luge.

This kid was wearing a straw fedora…. STRAW FEDORA. And because the chilled vodka spilling forth from a trail of ice was hitting me juuuust right, I was convinced he looked like Jason Mraz. We ended up chatting on Facebook and I invited him to my sorority’s ‘Crush’ party as my crush.. I hate myself so much right now.

Jungle theme Crush party. Riley, Jill, Me, 2010.

Now, sure he didn’t look like Jason Mraz on his Facebook, but I tend to give guys the benefit of the doubt when it comes to pictures because I don’t think a lot of guys photograph well. CUT TO: Crush night. We all meet at my friend’s apartment. He STILL doesn’t look like Jason Mraz. Another thing I do not remember from the frat party: Kid is 6’10. I’m 5’3. It would have looked more appropriate for him to take my friend’s coat rack to this party instead of me. I mean he was nice and everything, and sure I like a tall guy, but God forbid we got married. My Leprechaun: in the Hood hips are not equipped to pass his Andre the Giant baby. Also we’d have to constantly tell people we met while competing in a booze luge competition. All I’m saying is be careful.

Put down the chicken tenders. I have awful opinions about everything that I craft out of some serious anthropological data that I gather from thin air, and one of those opinions is about how many people have to be slightly overweight once in their life. Most people I know (including myself) who were fat as children worked harder in college and their 20s to keep things right and tight, however kids who were skinny in high school get to college and act like they’ve never seen a waffle bar before. Problem is when you gain 20 pounds in college it’s a lot harder to lose that when you’re 23 than it was to lose 20 pounds when you’re 16. Look, I can still fit in my prom dress that I got sophomore year (That’s it. I just wanted you to know).

College Fronds. Caroline, Riley, MOI, Michelle.

Learn how to write a proper essay. This is the most important and practical advice I can possibly give you, and if you listen to anything I ever say let it be this and that you should never take pictures of yourself on the toilet and put them on Facebook. If you know how to write a proper essay and you go to a middle or lower tier college, I can’t tell you the kind of crap you can get away with stuffing into those essays. If the Emerson College administration knew how many times I used Sex and the City as a source in the various essays I wrote, they would revoke my degree. You can’t get away with that sort of stuff if you pass in a clunker, but if the paper flows like Burnetts down a booze luge then you’re   at least looking at a “B.”

So you can take this advice or leave it, but seriously, learn how to write an essay. And watch your drink!*

*That goes for boys too- I know like 5 guys who have been roofied because no one ever tells guys to watch their drink. Sage advice. Brunch for Every Meal, saving lives of young men everywhere.

5 Things You Should Know About Being an Acting Major

Hey, high school seniors. You’re probably graduating soon, and maybe some of you are going off to college in the fall as an acting major. I’m happy you’re pursuing your dreams, and I’m sure the economy will pick up by the time you start job hunting four years from now. Just kidding, you’re an acting major so the state of the economy will make no difference to you. It’s just as hard to book a Sprint commercial now as it was during the Clinton Administration.

No need to worry about that just yet, though. This is all you need to know right now (from someone who went through it):

1. Teachers are going to make you do weird, weird stuff that you can’t tell your parents about. Mom and Dad won’t understand why writhing on the floor to a Celtic Women CD in a Jabbawockeez mask for 2 hours twice a week is relevant to acting or worth $40,000 a semester (because sometimes it’s not, actually).

That happened to me. I spent a semester breathing into masks shared by two other classes, and only by God’s grace did I not contract pink eye.

You will also be forced to cry a lot during those weird exercises. You’re going to have to play the mirror game at 2:30 in the afternoon and make yourself cry. And you have to do it because I’m pretty sure teachers deduct a tenth of point from your grade for every day you don’t give them at least a lip quiver.

2. Straight girls, venture out of your major and meet new people to date. I know you won’t even listen to this until you’re a senior and it’s too late, but I’m just warning you, you’re going to date the one straight guy in your class who will date all the straight girls in your class. Get all those ladies together and have a fun bonding experience with a group STD testing at the campus health center and then– cocktails!


Straight Guys: Congratulations! This is what it feels like to be the last man on Earth! Enjoy sifting though the enormous amount of desperate women that are totally out of your league, yet willing to date you because there’s no one else around. You only have 4 years of this, so make the most of it.

Homosexuals: High school might have been hard for you, but now there are so many of you in one place. And same-sex dorm rooms! Consider it proof that God really does love you.

3. You don’t get to skip class. You don’t get to show up to a lecture hall still drunk at 8am and text until its over. You’re going to have to show up 10 minutes early. And then you have to cry.

4. Prepare yourself for the reactions you’ll get when you tell someone your major. Some people will admire you for following your dreams and think you’re this charming little free spirit. I mean, Manic Pixie Dream Girls certainly don’t major in aerospace engineering… amiright, Kate Hudson in Almost Famous?

Other people will do you the favor of finally spilling the big secret that acting is an unstable career choice. And they will always enjoy doing it.

5. You are going to meet sooooo many crazy people, but they are the worst kind of crazy because the only thing these people love more than watching themselves cry in the mirror is to have a lot of attention on them.

These are also crazy people paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to essentially learn how to lie effectively. So good luck dealing with that!

Fun anecdote about crazy people: I once dated an actor very briefly, and somehow we ended up fighting about whether or not he was funnier than Amy Poehler. When he stopped seething, I told him that I thought that if I ever pushed the wrong button with him, that he could just suddenly snap and kill me. He instantly soothed my fears by telling me, “I would never kill you. I want to be famous and that would ruin my career.”

He had a great point!

7 Bits of Advice for Young Girls

1. You don’t need to dress up to go to the mall. You don’t need to be loud and draw attention to yourself at the mall. When you get older and see little mall rats in belly shirts it will make you question whether you ever want children. Seriously, I don’t think you guys understand how annoying you are at the mall.

{I know you think this is what you look like when you dress up to go to the mall, but Rachel McAdams was 26 or 27 right there…. you probably don’t look this good. Sorry.}

2. There’s no reason for you to take a picture of yourself or your friends in the bathroom. This includes on the toilet and in a mirror.

3. If you get into a good college and your dummy boyfriend doesn’t, don’t go to his crappy school because you want to be with him… Seriously, I’m gonna kill you if you do that.

{Don’t you remember? Topanga gets into Yale, but doesn’t go cuz Cory doesn’t want her to. Good one, ABC.}

4. This next bit of advice is c/o my mother, which can be applied to everyone, but particularly Young Girls: Don’t write anything down/take pictures of/record anything you wouldn’t want everyone to see. This includes nudie texts and facebook statuses.

5. That Bob Marley poster makes you look like an a-hole. Take it down. You’re a white girl from the suburbs (I’m assuming), and you have no idea what you’re talking about. We get it, you smoke weed sometimes when people offer it to you for free at parties. Relax.

6. Here’s some advice from my dad, which also applies to everyone, but particularly to Young Girls with punk-y/ugly boyfriends they keep around just so they have a boyfriend: don’t rely on a boyfriend or girlfriend to make you happy. You have to make yourself happy, (get a hobby or something, jeez) and then a significant other becomes a nice  compliment to your life. If you can do this, then you won’t feel the need to date every moron who comes around still wearing the sticker on his hat’s visor.

7. You don’t need to dress like a slutty ________ on Halloween. We’ve all done it, but from experience, you’ll stand out more if you make your own cool costume.

{My friend Michelle and me, Halloween circa 2009. We did not get much attention for our costumes: Under Dressed Circus Master and Under Dressed Mardi Gras Attendee}

{2011… we got a lot more compliments on these homemade costumes… and free drinks! Young Girls, you can still get free drinks whilst fully clothed}

There you have it, Young Girls. Advice you should take if you’d like to some day look back on your adolescence and not cringe. Should I get involved in Big Brothers/Big Sisters? I’m that good, right?