Greetings, sweet kittens. It's me, Zara, your digital big sister.
While I love the weekend as much as the next free-wheeling, high-heel-wearing, winged-liner-sporting, booze-swilling, red-lipsticked PARTY GIRL, 99.9 percent of the mistakes I've made in my life have taken place during the weekend. I've spent one too many Mondays spiraling down the dark vortex of weekend guilt, regret and shame.
But hey! Don't fret. Because I'm going to be here every Friday to stop you from the awful weekend f*ck ups that are screwing up your life. Here's this week's Very Important PSA.
Do NOT go home with someone just to make your ex jealous tonight. Don't. Do. It.
Look, I'm not slut shaming you. I'm the last girl in the universe to slut shame you, because Lord knows I've had MY NIGHTS with both men (EW, I know, though it has been almost a decade) and women, which makes me a mega slut, especially in the eyes of the conservative moms with those minivans that have those "Jesus Take The Wheel" bumper stickers.
Go home with someone, but only if you want to.
Here's what I've learned the hard way: There is a massive difference between going home with someone because you desire his or her sweet body, and going home with someone because your heart is smashed, you're drunk as hell and you're vying for the attention of your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend.
I regret to tell you I've done the latter more than once, and I've witnessed friends, acquaintances and enemies do it, too. Many, many times.
One time, I was at this awful gay club in Bumblef*ck, USA and my ex was there. I was young, drunk and getting down-and-dirty on the dance floor, swilling strong comped drinks because I was friends with the lesbian bartender. That's already a recipe for disaster (PSA within a PSA: Strong comped drinks will get you into trouble. That's how unintended pregnancies happen. JUST SAY NO).
I was also wearing my scandalous onesie. And anytime I wear the scandalous onesie, I make a horrible life mistake.
I was feeling hot and like the night was filled with endless possibilities when whatdoyaknow, Ms. Ex-Girlfriend comes waltzing into the club in her signature distressed black denim and hipster fedora. Her hair is perfectly mussed and a long, lean cigarette is pressed between her fingers. Ugh.
And then my hazy eyes saw something no girl ever wants to see: There was a petite femme girl trailing behind my ex, following her like a vulnerable puppy just rescued from the shelter. She looked like a poor man's version of me, with long black hair, vampire white skin and jet black lashes. Only, her "designer" handbag looked fake and my quilted Chanel was the real deal (I was the real deal, too).
I know, I know, I'm being horrible and un-feminist, but I'm trying to tell the story honestly and that's what was going through my head at the time. Jealousy, my darling, is an ugly emotion.
My heart stopped dead in its tracks. I'd never seen my ex with anyone else -- we'd only been broken up a month -- but I couldn't believe the girl I was seeing her with was a bizarro version of ME.
I felt the tears coming, so I snuck away to the bathroom. I'm a proud bitch, and proud bitches do whatever they can to not let anyone know they're rattled. I stared at my reflection in the mirror as black mascara tears made their way down my ghost-white face.
"Hell no, you're not going to cry. You broke up with HER! You, Zara Barrie, are a strong, independent woman who can handle anything life throws at her, YOU HEAR?" I actually said aloud to myself in the disgusting mirror. It was streaked with something sticky and suspicious looking. I tried not to vomit.
Suddenly, a huge sweep of false confidence penetrated my bones. I reapplied my violet lipstick and strutted back into the club (though lez be real, what I thought was a strut was probably more like a drunken sway).
I loudly ignored my ex and decided to make a big show of giving attention to the first girl I made eye contact with. She was tall and blonde with tattoos on both arms. She was not my type at all. But I decided to recklessly flirt my face off with her to make my ex jealous.
Through the corner of my eye, I saw my ex making out with that bizarro version of me. I felt a knife stabbing at my frail heart, so in order to NOT FEEL THE STING, I grabbed my victim's hand and slurred, "Let's go back to your place."
"Sure!" she said, visibly surprised. I was surprised, too. I hadn't had a one-night stand since I was 19. But I wanted to make sure my ex saw me leave the club with someone.
I loudly said goodbye to our friends, air kissing, waving, winking coyly and making a big show that I was going home with this random girl. My ex saw me.
I went back to this girl's house, a decent little studio in a nice part of town. It was cute, but it was the opposite of my ex's apartment, which just drove the point home that I was not with my ex. My ex had pretty art on her walls and black and white photographs on her dresser, while this girl just had unframed concert posters haphazardly taped up. It seemed lazy, sad and very telling of her soul.
We started kissing, when all of a sudden I cried into this poor girl's mouth.
"Are you CRYING?" she asked, her eyes widening. She looked more incredulous than angry.
"NO!" I shouted, even though black tears were streaming down my face.
She looked at me like I might have been insane, and in that moment I realized I was. I didn't want to be this girl -- intoxicated, trying to hold back tears, going home with someone random I didn't even know or like. Even her lips felt weird pressed up against mine.
I was suddenly filled with a pressing desire to shower her scent off me. I just wanted to go home, but I didn't even know where the hell I was. She told me she'd drive me home, and it was the most painfully awkward car ride ever. She knew she'd been used. I felt bad for using her, but the worst part is that I'd used myself.
When I got home, I cried into my pretty pink pillowcase. I didn't feel empowered, I felt like sh*t. I always feel like sh*t when I do sexual things with someone for impure reasons. Sex is sacred, beautiful and never to be used as a tool to make someone else feel bad.
I learned a life lesson that night (you'll always learn the biggest lessons at the trashiest clubs). Never go home with someone to make your ex jealous, and never go home with someone to prove to yourself you've "still got it." That's validation sex, and validation sex is like cocaine. It feels good for ten minutes, and then leaves you feeling low, empty and worse than before. I don't want that for you (nor do I want you to do cocaine).
Darlings, when you're out this weekend, don't go home someone just to make your ex jealous. I totally get the desire. I get it so bad. But remember, it will only make you feel worse. It might not even make your ex feel jealous at all. I know my ex didn't care. She knew me so well that she knew my going home with someone wasn't authentic, just a ploy for attention. And inauthenticity is the ultimate turn off.
If you feel compelled to do it, just imagine me, sipping a dark, iceless whiskey out of a silver tumbler glass at the club. I'm rocking winged liquid eyeliner and a pastel faux fur coat in the summer. I'm whispering to you, "Don't do it, kitten. Don't do it, kitten. Don't do it, kitten." Or, message me if you need to.
I'm your lesbian big sister, and I know what's best for you. You're under my protective wing now and, so long as you listen to me, you're safe.
Zara, Your Internet Big Sister