When I was a totally angsty teen with very tall Aquanet bangs and a regrettable perm (SHUT UP IT WAS THE 80s AND SOME OF THE 90s) there was nothing I liked more than Seventeen magazine. It was just the best. It taught you all the smart things: how to dress, how to get guys to like you, what to do in difficult situations like if you caught your BFF smoking dope in the bathroom. VERY HELPFUL.
The best things were the quizzes. My friends and I would just obsess over these quizzes. We’d get the magazine and we’d all huddle around each other in study hall and think VERY SERIOUSLY about our answers and then score them on scrap paper like we were taking the SAT and wait none-too-patiently for our results and then discuss our results. VERY SERIOUS STUFF, this. Like, “Does He Like Me More Than a Friend?” And “What Will I Be When I Grow Up?” and “What Haircut Is Best for Me?” I mean, seriously. HOW were we supposed to plan our lives without Seventeen quizzes?
So today I was thinking, probably I need help, let’s see if Seventeen quizzes can help me out. I totally have a lot of questions. Seventeen was always so helpful, yo.
Um. Apparently I am very, very old. Or Seventeen got really stupid. Or a little of both. I think I failed all the Seventeen quizzes today.
What started all of this was that I was typing in “How to…” into Google to look something up and you know how it autofills shit and sometimes it’s hysterical? One of the things that popped up was “How to Make Out.” What? People worry about this? Was I supposed to worry about this? I just did it, I mean, back when I used to do it. Not NOW. I’m not doing it NOW. Grumble. ANYWAY. Was I doing it wrong all those years ago? I mean, no one COMPLAINED. But I didn’t go online and look up HELPFUL TIPS, either. SHIT. Now I feel like I probably should have had a makeout to-do list and I let a lot of people down. Dammit.
So one of the results was a Seventeen quiz about “What is Your Kissing Style.” Well! I mean, I’ve gone almost forty years without knowing what my kissing style is. Probably I should figure that out. I mean, the next time I’m on a date and I start having ALL THE SEX that’s totally right around the corner according to Dr. Ernie probably that imaginary boyfriend’s going to be all, “Amy, what is your kissing style, I don’t date just any yahoo WHAT IF OUR KISSING STYLE IS NOT SYMPATICO” and what if I didn’t know the answer? That would be alarming. And who even knew there were STYLES? A-LAR-MING.
So you KNOW I had to take the quiz.
After asking me some totally weirdo questions, one of which was squeeing about Pattison and Twilight and sparkly vampires (I don’t like the direction Seventeen is going with this) I found out this:
“You’re a Phi Beta Kisser! When it comes to kissing, you’re at the head of the class! You’re kissing M.O. is simple: Smooch well and smooch often, even if it’s on your first date with a guy! As long as you keep things from getting too heated up, why not have a little fun?”
I think Seventeen just called me a cocktease. A sorority cocktease.
Then I was totally pissed at Seventeen for implying I was a cocktease (SEVENTEEN, it’s like you don’t know me at ALL, I TOTALLY put out) so they recommended I take some Hunger Games quizzes. I like The Hunger Games. I’ll totally take some Hunger Games quizzes, Seventeen.
So first they wanted to know what Hunger Games character I should date. Well, really the only viable answer is Haymitch. Because anyone else would be jailbait. I was fairly sure that Seventeen would figure this out about me, because Seventeen is nothing if not savvy.
SEVENTEEN TOTALLY FIXED ME UP WITH PEETA.
OK, fine, I’m all about Team Peeta, but not to DATE him. I’d like to feed him a cookie and tell him to stay in school, Seventeen. I’m old enough to be his MOM. Seriously, Seventeen, I’m starting to doubt your veracity.
However, I’m not taking any more of these Hunger Games quizzes, Seventeen, they’re creeping me out.
But I was NOT DAUNTED. Next Seventeen indicated that I should take a quiz to find out which “HGP” was right for me. What’s a HGP? I don’t know. Research tells me it is “Hot Guy Panelist.” Um. I don’t think this is going to end well at all. BUT I PERSEVERE. It’s what I DO. There’s isn’t a dead horse between here and Antarctica I haven’t beaten into submission, seriously. One time Ken gave me an AWARD for it. SHUT RIGHT UP. It was NICE of him. It’s because I LOVE awards. And he KNOWS that. Even for horse-beating. That is NOT A EUPHEMISM.
Now, already, on the first page of this thing, it asked me what my dream date was, and I sat here for like three minutes confused by one of the answers. Answer C was “You like your date to go all out — candals, mood music, dancing, the whole works!” And I was all, “What the hell is a candal? Is it a sandal? Why would he bring me sandals? Or am I wearing sandals? I hate wearing sandals, I never do that, toes are ick. Or is HE wearing sandals? If this asshat can’t even be bothered to put on real shoes for our dream date, we are SO OVER.” But then I realized it was “candles.” Who is writing these things? I could do a better job with my eyes pecked out by a flock of sparrows.
Then on the next page, it wanted me to describe my “flirting style.” Since my “flirting style” is pretty much to ignore the object of my affection and be confused why they don’t psychically understand I want them, and that wasn’t one of my choices, I was forced to choose something else. Some of my choices were “baking for him” (um…I’m not Betty Crocker, make your own damn brownies, lazy) and “writing your crush a song” (hee! Yep! That would TOTALLY get him for me. I am SO the next Sondheim. I would totally throw in jazz hands which would NOT AT ALL scare him off!) I chose “showing off your smarts.” I think that could be interpreted as “sitting in a corner ignoring him until he gets the psychic call I want him to lick me like a summertime popsicle,” right?
Then it wanted to know if I have a big date, what I wear. THIS IS SO MUCH WORK. One of my choices was “A flirty dress and ballet falts.” WHAT THE HELL IS A BALLET FALT. I am not impressed with your copyediting skillzzzz, Seventeen. I don’t remember this being that bad when I WAS seventeen. And I was a totally snotty spellchecker even then.
Then Seventeen won my love again by having one of the options for “what is your biggest turnoff” be “bad grammar” because you KNOW it totally is. Well, that and being a psychokiller but that wasn’t an option.
Then Seventeen told me this was my dream date.
THIS BOY IS LIKE TWELVE.
He doesn’t even have any CHEST HAIR. I mean, come ON. Also, what’s with that HAT? It looks like one of those hats you get free with purchase if you buy really shitty beer or an oil change at Jiffy Lube or something. Also, too many lady-necklaces and bracelets. I AM NOT IMPRESSED WITH THIS CHILD SEVENTEEN. Even if he DOES list “people who screw up your and you’re” as his biggest turn-off. Aw, Hector. Stay in school, here’s a cookie.
Well, I have just had enough. There was a whole section of “Vampire Quizzes” and I know ALL THE THINGS about vampires but much to my chagrin they were all Twilight-related. THERE ARE OTHER VAMPIRES IN THE WORLD SEVENTEEN. Even my new friend Hector probably knows that.
So THEN I thought, Seventeen! You are NOT helpful NOT AT ALL. So I will MAKE YOU BE HELPFUL. I found a quiz about “Could you Date Justin Bieber?” If Seventeen says yes I can? Then Seventeen is DEAD to me. You all KNOW I could not date La Biebs. His lips are too red and moist, I’ve TOLD you this. They squick me OUT.
I’m already having a really bad feeling about this. None of the options are “Does Justin Bieber squick you out?” Also it’s asking me questions I can’t answer honestly. Like, “Which MTV reality show is your favorite?” and I’ve never SEEN any of them but I have to answer this or I can’t go on to the next page and is getting really mad at me all, “please answer question four PLEASE ANSWER QUESTION FOUR” and I hate when people or webpages yell at me. Also, it wants to know which of these three teen girls I want to hang out with and has photos and names and the only one I’ve ever heard of is Miley Cyrus and I KNOW I don’t want to hang out with her because she annoys me but I don’t know who the other two are. I AM VERY WORRIED I’M GOING TO LOSE THIS QUIZ.
I AM JUSTIN BIEBER’S PROM DATE. SEVENTEEN SAYS I HAVE TO GO TO THE PROM WITH THE BIEBS.
OK, I’m thinking that probably NONE of the answers were “you can’t date Justin Bieber” because then there would be a rash of teen suicides. Right? And who wants that, so much mess to clean up. But I don’t want to go to the prom with the Biebs. First, is he even 18? I think I’d be arrested. Second, THOSE LIPS UGH they look like FRUIT ROLLUPS. Third, the blurb where I won this date with Justin Bieber says that I am a “girly girl to the core” (what? I KNEW I picked the wrong teen girl to want to hang with) and that on our date we would be “spend(ing) serious quality time together (slow dancing, anyone?)” I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS I THINK I HAVE A PRIOR ENGAGEMENT THAT NIGHT WHAT IF HE TRIED TO TOUCH ME WITH THOSE RED RED LIPS THEY’RE LIKE CLOWN LIPS SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY.
I know I said Seventeen was dead to me but now I have to have one more palate-cleanser to get the thought of being forced to attend the prom with Justin Bieber out of my head.
Are you Emotionally Ready for Sex. AWESOME. I’ve always wondered. (They would NEVER, BTW, have had this quiz when I was a kid reading Seventeen. They were so not talking about sex in Seventeen in the late 80s/early 90s. They pretended we were all anatomically built like Barbies and Kens back then.)
Um…this test is bogus. One of the questions is, “What’s the reason you want to have sex” and my options are “I really love him and he really loves me,” “All my friends are doing it,” or “He’s pressuring me to.” THERE NEEDS TO BE A D. “Because sex is awesomesauce, momma.” Sheesh.
YAHOO. Seventeen totally thinks I’m ready to go all the way. This is fortuitous news! But it thinks I need to talk it over with a parent first. Probably I should call my dad. I think he’d love to have this conversation again and it would not at ALL give him flashbacks to when I was seventeen and he found out the FIRST time and there was all the screaming and yelling and crying. Cool cool cool I’ll call him tonight this won’t be awkward at ALL. THANKS SEVENTEEN!
Well, what have we learned today, ladies and gentlemen?
Seventeen is NOT GEARED TOWARD OLD PEOPLE who totally found enough white hairs on their head today that they have a little skunk-stripey thing going on that is the most awesome and they love it but probably other people won’t love it as much as they do.
Or people who like things to be typo-free.
Or people who don’t like Twilight.
Or people who think Justin Bieber’s mouth looks like the mouth of the Flukeman from The X-Files.
I HAVE OUTGROWN SEVENTEEN QUIZZES YOU GUYS.
This is just the worst, no fooling. Shit. Sorry. I have to go. I have to go prom-dress shopping, I think probably if I don’t go soon I’ll end up with the leftover dregs. Does anyone know what Flukeman Bieber wants me to wear to prom? Anyone? Sigh. This is just going to be the worst date ever, and one time I went out with a guy who had just gone off his meds and kept threatening to jump off this footbridge all night but the footbridge was only about a foot high (ha! FOOTbridge, get it?) so I kind of wanted to be all “whatever, go for it” but that seemed rude because he was threatening suicide and all. See what it’s come to, Seventeen? SEE WHAT YOU DID? Shame on you, Seventeen. SHAME.