Thursday, September 6, 2012


This is my last semester of college. Like, ever. By December, I'll have a degree, a real life, and a heart attack. What do graduates do? When does their year start? When is their summer? Do they ever buy five-subject notebooks? Do they still eat a whole package of Oreos in one sitting?

To commemorate my career as a writing student, I thought I might start posting some of my more entertaining* class assignments. I'm currently taking a course on the personal essay-- talking about yourself, trying not to sound obsessed with yourself, being obsessed with yourself-- you know, essentially this blog. For our first assignment, a short essay about one or more of our pet peeves, I was too bored to be honest, so I decided to write it from a slightly exaggerated, not-exactly-real version of myself. It's not a masterpiece, but it was fun. I hope you enjoy.

At this point, my biggest pet peeve is a little too big to fall under “pet” status. This peeve is more like an overweight son in his mid-twenties who won’t move out of your basement and get a job. This peeve has been nagging me to some degree my entire life, and it just gets uglier and heavier and peevier as the days go by. People tell me, “Get over it! It’s a fact of life! Junk food makes you fat!” I tell people, “Yes, and that pisses me off.” 

The thing is, I understand why unhinging your jaw like a pelican and cramming a dozen mini cupcakes down your throat would, in theory, make you gain weight. We’re decedents of chimpanzees who spend most of their afternoons gnawing fruit and trying to crack nuts open. Anything that strays too far from naked grazing on an open meadow is bound to be unhealthy. But shouldn’t evolution have solved this problem? Shouldn’t evolution have looked around, noticed that I spend my afternoons sprawled on my crumb-covered bed, elevating my chin just high enough to see my computer screen? Science really ought to have abolished calories by now. If I were science, I’d be like, “Wow, humans invented onion rings? That’s freaking incredible. We should get our shit together and let them eat onion rings. Free of charge. Go forth, my children.” 

But my peeve isn’t quite that simple. I’m almost able to accept the conditions: If you want to look good, you can’t be happy. This has been proven so many times, by so many blonde celebrities holding Starbucks cups on their way out of rehab, that nobody with the E! channel needs me to elaborate further. My second-biggest peeve emerges when someone inevitably tries to defy this law. For every two McDonald’s patrons this country has to offer, there is at least one vegan surfer who takes B12 supplements and does yoga on purpose. I really don’t know which is worse. On the one hand, all the leading causes of death in the US involve eating yourself into a blob. On the other hand, screw vegans. (I can say that. I am one. Because I hate myself.) 

I just want to let you know, chick wearing a handmade sweater made of organic yarn, that everybody hates you. Not for real, but symbolically. We see you picking at your cup of spinach, staring straight ahead with a dead-in-the-eyes smile as you attempt to gnash raw leaves between your molars, and you remind us that we’re Jolly Rancher-ing ourselves into a downward spiral. It’s your prerogative to eat granola, but at least have the common decency not to do it in front of me! 

Above all, though, I’m peeved with myself. These ten pounds that I lose and gain and lose again, every three months like clockwork, keep me constantly yo-yoing between worlds. I have duel citizenship in Fatass Town and Pretentious Pseudo-Nutritionist Who Says Shit Like “Holistic” City. I’ve been that person at the party whose enthusiastic cry of “Let’s make more brownies!” is greeted with silence and shrugs, and I’ve also been that person holding out a Mason jar and crooning, “Do you want some of my quinoa? I can never finish it.” Get with the program, past self! Your brownies make everyone feel like shit, and your quinoa tastes like it. But until I get a grip on reality (never), I will remain militant against all other eaters worldwide. You with the cheeseburger? You’re pissing me off. You with the agave nectar? You’re pissing me off. I guess what I’m getting at-- after all the “Can I see a dessert menu?” is said and after all the Pilates is done-- is that food stresses me out.

So yeah, that's basically how I'm using my multi-thousand-dollar education. If you're not completely sick of me yet, I posted a video on my second channel a few days ago, and I have a new hayleyghooover video coming out tonight. I hope you all have a lovely day! See you soon, guys.

*Keep in mind that "entertaining" is a relative term, and that these essays are pretty much only entertaining in comparison to 10-page papers about what the color green means in The Great Gatsby.


Ellie said...

That is utter genius! Real funny and totally true!

beccaaaalove said...

Yes. Yes yes yes to everything you said.

Justine said...

I loved this! And as a recent graduate myself, I don't have answers to many of your questions - but YES, we do still eat a whole package of Oreos in one sitting. :)

Christina said...

Hahah, this is hilarious and I loved reading it! And the result is me being torn between wanting to eat something gooey and bad for me or something way too healthy.

Erin said...

This is so damned true. I gain and lose the same ten pounds over and over, too. Haha

comelygrace said...

I LOVE this. You're gonna go far, Hayley!

Sidenote: I was trying to think of a better candy than Jolly Ranchers for your analogy and my favorites are butterfingers. So my brain went there and then was all like O.o yeah.

Alexis said...

I think I'm going to eat some pseudo healthy food now. Like, I can justify its pseudo health benefits through (only slightly) questionable logic.

Yes, I have two sugars and a huge splash of milk in my tea. And drink five or six cups a day. But like, it's mainly WATER. How can water with leaves diffused in it be bad for me?

And I don't care that raisin toast is full of sugar, and it doesn't matter that I melt about a pound of butter into each slice. It's BREAD and FRUIT. How can I go wrong?

It's science. They've done studies...

Rosanna said...

I fucking hate food. Thanks to it I spend my time jumping between 'feminist, fuck society, I can look however I wanna look' mode and 'if I just don't eat anything then I can be tiny!' mode.
Anyway, every time I open my google reader and open all the blogs in my feed, I always save yours to read last. I just don't want to spoil it by being distracted by the rest of the world, its too good for that.

Stefan said...

One day you will be able to do this. Science will make it so you can turn off the storage of extra calories. The human body can last multiple weeks without food and that's probably excessive in this day and age.

The problem is some people are going to try and turn calorie storage completely off and then one day they have to wait an extra hour for lunch and then they will die.

This is the kind of scifi bullshit that I can talk about way too long.

PS choose your first job carefully. Don't rush into employment.

TonksftMemories said...

Ahh I love it. I really enjoy reading your writing.

sterff1face said...

Yeah, that sounds about right. ^^ This I say on the first day I finally exercise after a week of sitting on my butt while considering moving. =P

Kiera Jo said...

I completely relate to this, Hayley. I go through phases every week that go something like this:

Monday through Thursday--eat like a health nut. Exercise. Feel like a total bad-A.

Friday through Sunday--begin by trying to eat healthy, eat some ice cream, figure "eh, I already ruined today with ice cream calories... I'll also have a brownie", then calorically destroy the entire weekend and gain three pounds.

Seriously. Every week. And like you, I have that 10 pounds that goes up and down every couple of months. Oy vey.

-Kiera Jo

Pip said...

I loved your essay! So funny and so true, which is just the kind of reaction a comic essay is supposed to elicit. I think you're writing style works really well with the personal essay form - after all, your blogs and vlogs are each, in some sense, personal essays. I could see you writing a David Sedaris kind of book, comic personal memoirs and essays.

Kaitlyn w/ a K said...

I tend to concur with everything you say, but to this essay I am the concurriest I've ever been.

Kara said...

Spot on. Honestly, I would love to read your Gatsby essays, or your other Englishy essays or anything you've ever written. Not in a plagiaristic way, just in a I-really-enjoy-the-way-you-put-words-together way. :)

Moa said...

Now write a book like that, because that was genius

Tinsley said...

oh my god i was laughing out loud the whole time. The onion ring thing. its just too good.

Anonymous said...

I know this was an exaggerated for effect type of thing, but I just wanted to say I really appreciate the candor of your relation to food. It's 4am so I am making little sense now, but I just appreciate that you're up front about this stuff without letting it get way too serious.

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