Dear my dearest dear,
I miss you like God is good. I miss the way you open your eyes in the morning. I miss the way you smile during your favorite television shows. I miss the way you flip the pages of your voraciously read women’s literature. I even miss how excited you got after you tried on that new pair of Louboutins you said “don’t worry” in reference to you paying me back for it. Of course I’m not worried!
I miss the way you scratch your ears, wiggle your nose, and nibble on your bottom lip. I miss the way your toes curl in a cold room, or how you sit on the air conditioner after a hot Summer’s day. Speaking of which, I had to pay Con Edison for June, July, and August’s bill since your checking account had a negative balance. You should probably look into that, my sweetness.
But that shouldn’t get in the way of our undying love for one another. Our too-rare visits are moments I will cherish for eternity. There’s nothing more heart-warming than when I see you get off the Acela Amtrak train—which you make me pay for, for some reason. When you jump into my arms and kiss me, it almost makes me forget that I routinely spend my entire paycheck and more on dinners, theater tickets, and drinks for you and your friends whenever we’re together. But you’re worth every penny—or $87,984.39 to be exact.
I look forward to the day we’ll be together again, and I won’t have to write lofty letters punctuating my adoration for you. In fact, I wouldn’t even write you letters if I felt you weren’t intentionally ignoring my voice messages, texts, and emails—all of which clearly outline how the money you owe me significantly trumps my remaining student debt.
I’d hate for this whole money thing to create a rift between the two of us. I know that we will get beyond this, and it might even be something we look back and laugh about. That said, please don’t be upset with me when you get served. Trust me, it’s for the best. For us.
So please, my dear, pay me back. I could even put you on a friendly, thirty-year payment plan. Just—somehow—acknowledge that you’re receiving this.
P.S. You also owe me $337 for dry cleaning, $930 for that vintage trunk from Restoration Hardware, $89 per month for your phone service, $143 for your half of Brittany’s wedding gift, $229 for those bottles of organic Acai juice cleanse, $499 for the new iPad, $1,225 for your Bikrim Yoga classes, and $9.99 for the new Taylor Swift album.
For those who care deeply about the environment—and about picking-up chicks—use the following:
1. When you walk into a room, you light it up like a Light-Emitting Diodes bulb.
2. Our bond is so rare, it should be above the Crested Ibus on the endangered species list.
3. We’re like two peas in an organic, locally grown pod.
4. You’re more precious than a recently-planted tree in a country with high levels of deforestation.
5. I bet just kissing you would lower my greenhouse gas emissions.
6. You’d make me as happy as a grass-fed cow.
7. Our union makes sense, like when a highly-funded university implements solar paneling for its new science lab.
8. Your beauty is more stunning than a wind turbine at sea.
9. Your carbon footprint is so low, it makes Jill Stein look like a Republican.
10. Sex with me would last for hours, like a well-charged Chevrolet Volt.
At its core, BBH’s recent “Susan Glenn” Axe campaign is hardly presenting a new revelation or message in the wide world of advertising. The brand’s prior campaign, which more or less featured six-pack-equipped males with lustful, skimpy girls hanging off them, wasn’t truly different, ideologically, from their recent “Susan Glenn” sensation. Both campaigns essentially state that, with Axe, you get what you want in life—which, of course, are hot chicks. However, the key difference between the two is that “Susan Glenn” delves into the—until-now—untapped psyche of the average teenager. And boy, is this powerful stuff.
Narrated by the perennially-real-sounding Kiefer Sutherland, the spot explores the ultimate unattainable fruit—one’s high school crush. The copy is written retrospectively, with good ole Kiefer almost wistfully recalling his supposed crush, Susan Glenn. Yet Susan wasn’t just the girl that got away, but rather, the girl that was never in reach. This is an important distinction.
Similar to the campaign’s vanilla surface point, the usage of Sutherland is too nothing new to advertising. The former 24 star is a voice-over king, and, in general, having celebrities endorsing consumer products is as old as dirt. Yet, in the case of Axe/”Susan Glenn,” seeing a celebrity like Kiefer—who seemingly has it all—touch on something so intrinsically human, not only helps sell the spot, but also, more importantly, casts a completely different, more relatable—and haunting, for that matter—vibe than Axe’s former faux fantasy-land agenda.
But perhaps it is the the close of the spot that truly takes the [deodorant] cake. Up to this point, Sutherland is just the voice-over; but BBH had another gem up their sleeve. The audience sees the spot transition from Sutherland’s yonder year’s world into his present-day, “I’m Kiefer friggin’ Sutherland” world. Now, speaking directly to us, he states, “If I could do it again, I’d do it differently”—and then we’re hit with a tagline of, “Fear No Susan Glenn.” Woah. Did you just get chills? I know I did.
There is no doubt that BBH’s “Susan Glenn” campaign is superior to its previous campaign, but that doesn’t really matter. The real question is whether “Susan Glenn” can help Axe win back the incredible volume of customers it lost to Old Spice over the past few years. One can make the argument that while “smell[ing] like a man” is important (ala Old Spice), “having the confidence of a man”—as Axe is now, more or less, suggesting—is the more effective, provocatively psychological selling point.
I was fourteen years old on September 11, 2001. It was the beginning of 9th Grade, and I was very nervous. I was nervous because I was a little on the chubby side, and had braces. I was nervous because just the year before, the girl who I liked (and still continued to like) informed me she would only lose her virginity to Brad Pitt. And I was nervous because I was terrible at Spanish, and my Spanish class was scheduled to be my first class that day.
Like most mornings, I arrived at school, and went to the cafeteria to hang out with friends, and grab some breakfast. Liz, the much beloved Hispanic cafeteria lady, made a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich that would even make Gordon Ramsey a little wet. Said sandwich probably played a supporting role in my above mentioned chubbiness. As I waited for my sandwich to be prepared, I started watching the miniature-sized television Liz always had set-up near her cooking station. Usually, her television clamored with Spanish soap operas or unintelligible interviews with, I assume, Hispanic celebrities. This morning, however, it was the local news, in Spanish.
Out of boredom, I tuned in, and attempted to understand the foreign language that completely befuddled me for my Middle School and High School years. The slick-looking anchor mentioned something about an “avion” and an “edificio.” Coincidentally, these were two of the very few Spanish words I actually knew. I thought to myself, “Plane and building! I can understand Spanish! I did it!” I was basically fluent now. But then the news segment cut to b-roll of the “avion” crashing into the “edificio.” My moment of self-celebration and approval turned quite somber and scared. What the fuck just happened? Moments later, the Dean of my grade entered the cafeteria, and announced that there would be an emergency school-wide meeting in the auditorium. I grabbed my egg sandwich (remember, I was chubby), and joined my schoolmates towards the auditorium.
I took a random seat in the packed audience, and braced myself for the news. The auditorium was usually a place where we watched awkward Jewish girls attempt hip-hop dancing, student-presidential candidates promise us the likes of installing vending machines (a notoriously impossible, but popular platform), and even that one time when my school thought it would be a good idea to let a zoo keeper come in and release a hawk. For better or worse, the school’s auditorium was always used as a vehicle for positive events. But over the course of the next ten or so minutes, its oft-light-hearted stage and podium informed us that New York—that we—were under attack.
Many students began crying. Others were just silent with their thoughts. And some, unfortunately, realized that their family members worked in or around the World Trade Center area. We all had different emotional reactions. For me, it was the first time—ever, in fact—I stopped thinking about my low self-esteem, the supposed “girl of my dreams,” and the fact that I sucked, really hard, at Spanish. This moment was much more significant than anything comparatively petty that had happened in my privileged life.
With the help of a friend’s parent in the neighboring area, I walked across the bridge, from the Bronx, and back into Manhattan. I hailed a cab, and arrived home. Upon entering my apartment, I instantly hugged my parents. Once their expected, Jewish neuroticism subsided, and I assured them that I was—obviously—okay, we all sat down to watch the news. Over the course of days, we tuned in—glued to the television—trying to cope with and understand the how, why, and who’s of this tragic attack.
There are still many facets of September 11, 2001 that remain unknown, and might never be fully unearthed, but a lot has happened to me in eleven years. I have since graduated High School and College, I’ve gotten laid a few times (though not by my former crush), and I’ve lost weight and proudly sport straight teeth. Yet, as those various life events—important in their own right—become a combined blur, it is still that incredible isolated moment—awaiting my breakfast sandwich, and beginning to realize the calamity of, arguably, our nation’s greatest moment of vulnerability—that I will never forget. And for the record, I am still terrible at Spanish.
…And I’m going to have to punch that person square in his/her fucking face.
As a professional person and frequently bearded adult (pronounced “a-DOLT”), it is my duty to drink as much coffee as possible in a given day. It tastes pretty good, looks super cool, and makes you go to the bathroom often (which, subsequently, positions you to work less). These are all good traits. However, when you drink too much coffee (or espresso, specifically), as I did yesterday, bad things happen.
Maybe it was because the espresso at Ost Cafe in the East Village was particularly powerful, or perhaps I was just concerned about dying alone, but regardless, it got to me. I was shaking. And not “shaking” like how many girls describe themselves angrily reacting to something minuscule, like Starbucks running out of pump caramel syrup, for instance. No, this was real shaking. Twitching, in fact. My heart was sweating.
Yet, I don’t know why I feel the need to fill my body with that much caffeine. There are some people who literally cannot wake up in the morning until their first cup of Joe; but for me, it’s not like that. There’s often days where I don’t take one sip of coffee. So it must be out of impulsive indulgence.
On a final note, before I curl up into a ball on the floor, I think that if my body were to be described by a pop, love ballad from the past ten or so years—but with slightly altered lyrics to properly address my current state—it would have to be “[My] Body is a Wonderland [With Lots of Caffeine-Induced Earthquakes].” So thanks a lot, John Mayer.