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SET is a publication of Listerhill

VOLUME 01 ISSUE 02 FEB 2013

BE A TROOPER SHOW YOUR LADY A LITTLE ROMANCE

BAD ADVICE DON’T SAY WE DIDN’T WARN YOU

PRETTY FLY (FOR A POOR GUY)


2 TABLE OF CONTENTS

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FEBRUARY 2013


FEBRUARY 2013

TABLE OF CONTENTS 3

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WATCH “PREDATOR” WITH A BIG ‘OL BAG OF CHEETOS. MOVIES THAT MELT THE HEART P8

LETTER

FROM THE EDITOR

SPOTLIGHT

SEE WHO WAS OUT AND ABOUT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

MONEY

WHEN HARRY MET SET My father once said to me… (scratch that – let me give you the clean version)…“Don’t write a check with your mouth that your body can’t cash.” While we’re already halfway to breaking those impossible resolutions we made last month and wondering why we spent so much on that television for Christmas that is now fifty percent off (net stupid tax of 50%), ‘ole Dad at this point in our lives is either looking like a sage or a sadist. But while we’re busy sorting out how we’re going to tell Pops he was right, it hits us all at once like a Matthew Lesko Free Money commercial – I forgot the Valentine’s Day present. You stop by Wal-Mart to raid the flower section and it looks like the leftovers from the closing scene of Twister. You put the yellowing, twisted, potted carnage in the seat next to you (along with the dented box of Cadbury eggs you had to grab from the Easter section…already erected in the former Valentine’s Day section), start wondering if Bojangles is

DEFEATING THE FINANCIAL ODDS.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

taking reservations, and planning your new identity after this evening is done. No worries, mate. This scenario will not play out IF – and only if – you heed the advice of your local, handy-dandy SET contributors. Instead of your father’s ramblings about walking uphill to school both ways (in the snow) with a hundred-pound knapsack strapped to each leg, you have life’s wisdom directly from your peers. And you’re listening! We have SET flying off the racks in multiple locations, so if your stack gets too low or non-existent, drop us a line. Finally, we’re totally stoked to welcome our new editor – Linley Mobley! Please contact Linley at editor@getsetmag to extend your wellwishes, pitch a story idea, or just to vent about your dad. Next month, SET’s going to hit you in between the Ides. Aw… too soon?

MOVIES

SOME ROMANTIC, SOME NOT SO MUCH.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

MUSIC

DO IT YOURSELF, SORT OF. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

SPECIAL FEATURE

WHERE DID I GO WRONG? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

SPECIAL FEATURE

CRUSHING CUPID. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

FEATURE

THEY MEET. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

THE SET STAFF

SET CONTRIBUTORS

ANDY THIGPEN

Florence, AL

WILL RILEY

STEPHEN JACKSON

Sheffield, AL

SET is a publication by and for local young people dedicated to lifestyle, finance, technology and community. It is published by Listerhill Credit Union as

part of its ongoing mission to promote the credit union philosophy of cooperation and financial literacy. It is a platform for 15-20 somethings in the community and it is free.

Tuscumbia, AL

Florence, AL

STEPHEN JACKSON Tuscumbia, AL

CONNECT WITH SET MAILING ADDRESS:

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Please take one copy and share it. Listerhill Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative whose purpose is to improve the quality of life for the membership by providing cost effective services to meet their financial needs while maintaining financial soundness and promoting the credit union philosophy.

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SPOTLIGHT

PATRICK LINDSAY, ANTWAN WRIGHT END OF COMEDY

SET FINDS READERS IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT

ELVIS CONTEST WINNER SET LAUNCH PARTY

FEBRUARY 2013

PHOTOS BY KAYLA SLOAN & AMY JACKSON

SPENCER MURPHY, JAMES THIGPEN END OF COMEDY

JONATHAN OLIPHANT, PACE HOLDBROOKS SET LAUNCH PARTY

STAN COLLINS BOYD AND CHRIS BROWN SET LAUNCH PARTY

JONATHAN DUNLAP, MATT SEGO, CHANNING MORROW END OF COMEDY


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SPOTLIGHT 5


6 MONEY

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FEBRUARY 2013

MONEY 7

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Dress up. It makes you look more confident to your date.

On average, daters will kiss on the second date.

THE PAY DATE DEFEATING THE FINANCIAL ODDS She was the girl of my dreams, so I swallowed all fear and asked her on a date. I tripped on my approach and stuttered through my words, but she said yes. My sweaty palm shaking her soft hand may not have been the best way to end the conversation, but she already said yes. After she walked away I did my unique celebratory “happy dance” and then I stopped… I was nearly broke. All I had in my wallet was a twenty dollar bill given to me by grandma as a Christmas present, four 1’s from poker night with the guys and a piece of lint that kind of looked like Chuck Norris’ beard. I dug deep into each pocket and found enough change to add up to one dollar. Twenty-five dollars — really? I would take my 8th grade lab partner on a twenty-five dollar date, but not the woman of my dreams! I would have to use cunning and creativity to pull off the best, cheap date of all time. With one day to prepare, I needed a plan. So I did what every guy would do in my situation: I walked right into my room, and with a sense of determination, I played video games for four straight hours. So the date was totally unplanned, but that’s not a bad thing. We men are great at thinking on our feet, right? On the night of the date, I pulled up in my swagged-out 94 Hyundai Elantra (or Elane, I called her) — looking fly. Of course, she was immediately impressed with my snap-on tie. While opening her car door, her smile let me know she was digging my dad’s Stetson cologne

AS IF. I was wearing. Like I said, I was broke. Regardless, the date was off to a great start. “What do you want to do?” I bravely asked. “I don’t care.” She responded. Although that’s the answer most men dreadfully expect, I was ecstatic to hear her say it. A trip to Olive Garden and being dragged to see a French musical was not the date I had in mind. The title is appropriate — miserable. That kind of date would cost way more than the twenty-five dead guys I have sitting in my wallet. Before she had a chance to think about it too hard, I had to think of a quick alternative. And now. As I looked in my back seat, I saw my old portable DVD player; this gave me a great idea. What is more romantic than a picnic under the stars and a nice, romantic Nicholas Sparks knockoff? I looked at this dime piece in the passenger seat and conveyed my new idea. “Life is too short to have an average date.” I told her. “I want to give you

an experience you’ll never forget.” By her raised eyebrow and upper lip, I could tell she looked interested. We swung by the nearest corner drug store to grab our dinner and a movie. There I found bread, sandwich meat, mayo, plastic ware, red Solo cups and a bottle of sparkling grape juice for just $8.76. Dinner is served. Then I hit the DVD bin. I dug past the numerous copies of “Grumpy Old Men” and what seemed to be the complete anthology of “American Pie”. And there it was — a dusty DVD of the Valentine’s classic, “The Notebook” for just $5.35. Jackpot! To complete our spontaneouslyromantic shopping trip, I needed a quilt. Needless to say, druzg stores aren’t known for their choice selection of quilts. Like all great men before me, I improvised and snagged a SpongeBob fleece throw for only $10.71. Now we were ready. I left the corner drug store having spent $24.82 — successfully staying within my pocket’s limits. From this point, it was smooth

sailing. We cuddled on the chilly park grass, made turkey sandwiches and watched the romanticism of a man who never gave up. (Sounds familiar.) As I took her home, she said she would love to see me again. Success! It was the perfect night for the perfect makeshift date. A date isn’t defined by the amount of money or planning put into it. More money won’t solve your problems; using money wisely can keep you out of a lot of trouble. With a little innovation, a smudge of creativity and a load of luck, I pulled off a cheap date with a girl that deserved million-dollar treatment. Twenty-five dollars can go a long day when you’re in good company.

BY CHASE WISE


8 MOVIES

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Titanic was released on video while still in theaters.

FEBRUARY 2013

On average, men spend $130 on Valentine’s Day.

MOVIES THAT MELT THE HEART SIXTEEN CANDLES

LOVE ACTUALLY

This is for anyone who felt left out in high school or has had a crush on someone who didn’t feel the same way. The plot follows a girl who has a crush on “the most popular boy in school” (go figure), while she is the object of the geekiest kid’s affections. To make things worse, her entire family forgets she is turning 16 because her sister is getting married the next day. The late John Hughes is known for his 80’s high school romantic comedies — “Pretty in Pink” or “Breakfast Club”. “Sixteen Candles” would be a good choice if you’re spending V-Day with a new belle (or beau) and you want something lighter, or if you just have some deep desire to relive that high school angst.

This is a great “love” movie. It follows a variety of characters and couples through London as they all find new love, lose old love, find new lust, rekindle love and attach a variety of other verbs and adjectives onto “love.” The movie has a happy ending, but not all loose-ends are tied up, which I find great in a romantic comedy. Watch this if you want to feel good about your lover and love in general. Do not watch this if you’re single.

1984 Starring: Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Justin Henry Style: Funny, Whimsical, High school romance, Coming-of-age Kissing in the rain scene: No

EVERYBODY NEEDS A FRIEND LIKE ME.

WANT TO CUDDLE UP AND WATCH A MOVIE? CONSIDER THESE ROMANTIC CLASSICS It’s Valentine’s Day, and perhaps you’re lucky enough that your better half happens to want to stay inside for V-Day and not fight the crowds. Who needs all that when you’ve got warm, butter popcorn and the sensuous flicker of the silver screen? The only dilemma: what to watch? Do we go with a classic? Should we try something new? Should it be cute and funny, or dark and romantic? The trick is to know the person you are sharing your time with. Are they bright, whimsical shopping fanatics? Are they brooding, romantic and thoughtful? And, the most important question: how nerdy are they? That’s for you to decide, but here are a few movies that might make choosing a little easier for you — without resorting to “The Notebook”.

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S

1961 Starring: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard Style: Quirky, Funny, Flighty, Playful Kissing in the rain scene: Yes Truly a classic. This is for anyone who enjoys a light-hearted comedy with just enough weight to pull on your heartstrings. It involves a flaky, flighty gold digger who goes to Tiffany’s for therapy. To any guys who haven’t seen this movie because of its somewhat prissy title and even prissier content: get off your masculine high horse. This is Audrey Freaking Hepburn, and now you have an excuse to watch her that won’t hurt your ego. Enjoy it. Don’t watch too hard, though (your girlfriend is right beside you).

SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE

1993 Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan Style: Romantic, Totally unbelievable, Endearing. Kissing in the rain scene: Rain, but no kiss (it’s Seattle after all). Some people will scoff at my choice here, but hey: write your own article. Plus, it has Tom Hanks, and everyone loves Tom Hanks. This piece of well-aged, early-90’s cheese is about a widower (Hanks) whose kid forces him on the phone with a national radio talk show host who gives alliterative names (hence, the title) and relationship advice to her callers. Meg Ryan’s character, who lives in Baltimore, writes to him and they meet up — when else? — on Valentine’s Day. It’s a movie that should be watched if your date enjoys sappy love notes or cries during pet adoption commercials. Also, it’s a movie that should be watched if your date is my mother.

2003 Starring: a bunch of people. Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman and Keira Knightley are in it, so no worries. Style: Romantic, Funny, Bittersweet Kissing in the rain scene: No

STARSHIP TROOPERS

1997 Starring: Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer, and Neil Patrick Harris (NPH, out of nowhere!) Style: Heck yeah, Guts-blowingawesomeness Kissing in the rain scene: Really? Confused? Don’t be. This is totally a love story. In a dystopian, militaryruled future, humans have begun to colonize other planets and wage war with their inhabitants. There are enough oozing bug guts, cheesy one-liners (“I’m from Buenos Aires, and I say kill ‘em all!”) and dismemberment to shake up any Valentine’s evening. Oh, right, the main character also finds his true love. Related to this, if you are female and prefer to watch this over the other movies mentioned (including the multitude of ones not mentioned), please get in touch with the editor at SET Magazine for my contact information, because I want to marry you. That is all.

BY ANDY THIGPEN


FEBRUARY 2013

MUSIC 9

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Paul McCartney married in 1969. No other Beatles attended the wedding.

I STAND YOU IF YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR SWEETIE SWOON, WHY NOT “WRITE” THEM A SONG? For years — no, millennia — men have used the power of music to sway the opposite sex. How else would Lloyd Dobler (played by John Cusack) in “Say Anything…” or Patrick Verona (played by Heath Ledger) in “10 Things I Hate About You” get their girls? Do not “fret”; I am here to guide you on your way to romantic success — I’ve done the hard work for you. I have provided you a song that is sure to have cupid playing a 6-minute guitar solo. Simply plug in the words that work best for you and play along! Not a musician? That’s fine; there are tons of iPhone/Android apps that will play chords for you. (Garageband & Guitar Chords are a couple great ones.) An alternative to surprising your date with this song is to fill out the mad lib together. It’ll be cheesy at first, but the bonding from this experience will be something you’ll both remember. I humbly submit to you (and your lady’s) listening pleasure “I Love You Mad(lib)ly”: Verse: G D C G D Your ___(adjective)___ hair ___(verb)___ my cares G D C G D It’s the ___(color)___ in your eyes that makes me sit back and wonder why Am G D Of all these ___(plural noun)___ you chose mine Am G D You stole my ___(body part)___ now I’m serving time Chorus: G D Am I have ___(verb)___ you from the start; I have given you my heart C D My ___(emotion)___ could fill seven seas; I love you mad(lib)ly G D Am My ___(emotion)__ won’t sit idly; I need your ___(emotion)___ vitally C D I just can’t let you be; I love you mad(lib)ly Verse 2: G D C G D Your ___(adjective)___ gaze sets my ___(body part)___ ablaze G D C G D The sound of your name sets my ___(body part)___ aflame Am G D You stole my ___(body part)___, and I’m serving time Am D ___(significant other’s name)___ will you be mine?

BY PATRICK BILLINGSLEY


10 SPECIAL FEATURE

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The majority of guys believe in face-to-face breakups.

FEBRUARY 2013

74% of people are guilty of Internet stalking an ex.

SHE LOVES ME … NOT. MY JOURNEY TO FIND OUT WHAT I DID WRONG WITH MY EXES. Heartbreak is one of the few illnesses that cannot be cured from over-the-counter medicines. Recovery takes time. So in an effort to come to terms with my inner self, I decided take an emotional sabbatical to discover what I did wrong with my ex’s. Like David Carradine’s wandering character in Kung Fu, I set out to find the foundational elements of the breakups by interviewing my exgirlfriends to get each one’s side of the story. Through this trip of self-discovery, I hope to find some revealing takeaways to pass on to my fellow bros.

PUPPY LOVE

I decided contacting my ex’s in chronological order made the most sense. I searched through the depths of my contacts, and found that I still had her number. If contacting her wasn’t going to be awkward enough, sending a text message containing interview questions would seal the deal. I looked past her “Oh my” comment and bravely took her side of the story. “I believe the reason the relationship did not function was because we were at different stages in our lives,” she explained.  She was right. Looking back, 14 seems a little young to start a serious relationship — and considering she was 17 — I was in over my head. I was the king of naivety. I never got on one knee, but I threw around the “L” word like it was going out of style with denim shorts. Although the reasons are clear now, it was challenging to realize the forces that led to our break-up. I remembered we were so happy in

the beginning, but as life choices needed to be made, our directions had us going opposite ways. In our text conversation, we ended up reminiscing, and we had our first substantive conversation since the breakup. They say time heals all things. In this case, I guess eight years was just long enough.

HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART

I composed yet another list of interview questions. The “read” receipt popped up on my iPhone. She received my message. Then, anxiety from the ellipses ... 30 seconds turned into 5 minutes, which turned into 10 minutes. A few years without a call … I guess this wasn’t the best idea after all. Looks like I was denied an interview. Regardless of the silence, I knew what I did wrong. I wanted to be her Noah and build her an ark, but I settled for Jack and left her on a floating piece of wood. Instead of drowning, I floated over to UNA while she stayed back to finish her senior year of high school. Once I applied to college, it was on a steady decline. I was focusing on my scholarships and auditioning for the UNA drumline. I really feel my “idols” are what tore us apart. I wanted to look past high school and everything associated with it — a fresh start. It felt like I was in a state of rebellion.

COLLEGE ROMANCE

When I wasn’t wooing this girl with my John Mayer falsetto, I was in the tool shed — distant. It was either high or low for us. “The relationship did not continue because it got to a point where one

WHAT WENT WRONG? of us wanted it more than the other,” she explained. “We both were too busy to devote time to helping the relationship improve. There was no ‘cuteness’ or ‘romance’ anymore. It just wasn’t meant to work out.” Seeing the pattern? There were parts in our relationship that were shadowed by the good times. She would have killed to sit down and watch “Halloween Town”, but I was too focused on school and “being involved”. For me, this continued over the course of the relationship until she had enough. We were both to blame, but it affected her in a different way than it did me. I immediately avoided cofrontation and refused to deal with it. This caused me to eventually lose my way in the relationship. Every one of the stories shared a common theme: my lack of emotional availability. I was always in a different place than my past

girlfriends — both physically and emotionally. They all wanted me to be there when they needed me to be. There were times when I obviously did not care about their feelings because I was too busy worrying about myself. I was looking at these relationships through a one-way mirror. What’s in it for me? I didn’t see their specific needs and never realized these things until writing this story. Thankfully, my past will not determine my future because I constantly seek to learn from my past decisions. I am taking the painful lessons I learned from these girls to resolve those issues preemptively before I embark upon another relationship.

BY WILL RILEY


FEBRUARY 2013

SPECIAL FEATURE 11

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Women say 7,000 words per day. Men say 2,000.

In France they call it an English kiss.

THE SINGLE MAN’S GUIDE A LESSON IN CRUSHING CUPID *WARNING: Most of the items on this list are awful ideas, and should not be attempted, EVER, let alone on Valentine’s Day. 1. Find a bro or two to hang out with on V-Day. Be careful with this one though. Avoid any and all forms of hand holding and crying. So, if you watch a movie make sure it’s action-y, like one starring Steven Seagal or Sylvester Stallone. 2. Watch an episode of “National Geographic Wild” and see animals rip each other apart. (No “Life” or “Planet Earth” — these shows talk about mating.) 3. Buy three gallons of cookie dough ice cream. Eat the first one because it’s Valentine’s Day. Eat the second because you’re sad about eating the first one. Then proceed to eat the third one because you just realized you were eating ice cream to combat your feelings. 4. Go see a movie. Be a man and stand your ground. You have just as much a right to see “Les Misérables” by yourself as that couple over there … and that couple over there! 5. Walk out of said movie, stifle your tears and mucus, steal the cardboard cutout of Anne Hathaway, and take her to a nice dinner at Red Lobster. Leave her with the check. 6. Pick up some construction paper and tape. That used to keep me content for hours. 7. Watch “Predator” with a big ol’ bag of Cheetos. 8. Surprise yourself with a candlelit dinner that you cooked for yourself, all by yourself! But go ahead and have the number for Pizza Hut ready, because you’re going to burn that soufflé. 9. Pop in those home videos of your 3rd birthday. What went wrong? 10. Cry into a pillow.

DON’T YOU POINT THAT AT ME! Guys, let’s bring it in. It’s February, and you know what that means. That’s right — it’s the birth month of great president, William Henry Harrison. But it’s also the month when that dreaded beast known as Cupid rears his cute, bow-wielding face! Single guys all over wonder, “Why won’t he just shoot me?” Then they proceed to scream out to the heavens, “I’m right here you flyin’ baby archer, you!” If you haven’t figured it out, I’m talking about Valentine’s Day. I know how tough it can be out in that cold world as a single guy on Valentine’s Day, and that’s why I’m here to help. I specialize in giving single guys like you great, never-terrible advice. That’s why I’ve compiled a somewhat comprehensive list of the most important, the most essential, and the most … well, it’s a list, and it’s got more ideas than you at the moment.

11. Stay at home and play “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” with all the other singles out there. Who knows — maybe you’ll meet someone … probably not, though. 12. Actually ask the girl at that coffee shop out. Maybe to Ricatoni’s? 13. Did she say yes? Then stop reading this and go to your “fancy” date — ya jerk! 14. Did she say no? Review the rest of the list. I’m sure you’ll find something. As you can see, there are numerous ways to get yourself through the reddest (for several reasons) holiday of the year, and I’d bet there are hundreds more cool, fun activities out there just waiting to be explored. So buck up chap, and remember that old saying: you know … that one about all the oceans and the fish.

BY STEPHEN JACKSON


12 FEATURE

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FEATURE 13


14 FEATURE

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BY STAFF WRITER

WHEN DID THE RELATIONSHIP START? JESSIE: In 10th grade, during a breakup with my

ex-boyfriend, I texted Ben. I was clearly upset, but he was encouraging and helped me get through it. Ben said he wanted to take me out to eat for breakfast that next day. So that night, I went to Wal-Mart to get some things to bake Ben a cake. It was my way of saying ‘thank you.’ But while I was out, my house burned down. didn’t feel that Ben and I were close enough for me to cry over the phone. So I didn’t tell him. That morning, he called me a ton of times but had no idea. I’m pretty sure he thought I was ditching him. He ended up finding out about it at school that day.

BEN: I was totally mad. I thought she had stood me up.

But when I got to football practice, everyone told me what had happened — I felt terrible. We ended up meeting at her grandmother’s to talk about it. She told me she had nothing. Not even clothes. She agreed to let me take her out the next day to buy her some clothes. That next day, she was going to meet me at Logan’s to eat. I got a table and ordered for us. Drinks came out ... appetizers came out ... salads came out ... entrées came out ... and still no Jessie. When she finally showed up, I learned she didn’t have any shoes to wear. Because of the fire, she literally didn’t have any more shoes. She had to go and buy shoes just for us to hang out. It was then I realized that if she had died in that fire, I would have lost someone I always loved.

HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE READY TO GET MARRIED? B: I’ve been in love with Jessie for a long time, but

putting a ring on her finger? That’s a whole different thing. When I moved to Nashville, Jessie was still in school at UNA and we saw each other maybe every other weekend. Then I thought, ‘I can’t do this on my own.’ She’s always been my rock. She’s always been there for me. When you date someone for this long, you’re absolutely each other’s best friend. I went from seeing her every day to being alone in a big city — just working. It was then I decided I wanted her to be my wife.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO DO IT? B: Once I knew, I started saving up for an

engagement ring and bought two plane tickets to New York. Jessie and I have always gone to a baseball game for her birthday. So I told her we would go to a Yankees-Red Sox game for her 21st birthday. That was the first part of my plan, but not the plan. We went to the game the first night we were there. I knew she would suspect something then, so I planned to ask her at Shakespeare Garden in Central Park the next day. But when we woke up the next morning, it started raining. When the bottom dropped out, so did my heart. What was supposed to be the greatest day ever was turning out to be the worst. The next day (Jessie’s birthday), the rain started letting up and I knew it was my best chance to do it. The proposal was back on.

FEBRUARY 2013

J:

While I was getting ready, Ben was basically tugging on my arm the entire time. We rushed out the door and I ended up leaving the curling iron on. So we get there, sit down on a bench, and then Ben starts his spiel. To this day, I can’t even tell you what he said!

B: Jessie and I have always loved movies. So like George in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, I told her I would ‘lasso the moon for her if that’s what she asked for’. Every time we watch a movie, she always asks questions – so I said, ‘but now I have a question for you…will you marry me?’ J: We didn’t want to tell everyone we knew over the internet. We wanted to tell our friends and family face-to-face and see their reaction. So keeping that in and not telling anyone was so hard. I wanted to tell the world! When we got home, we visited our families and told them first. Ben had it planned so that when we got home we would have a birthday party for me, but he knew it would actually be a revealing party for our friends. It worked out perfectly! At the party, Ben got his camera out and pretended that he was going to take a group picture, but he actually had recorded video the whole time to get their reactions.


14 FEATURE

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FEBRUARY 2013


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SET is a publication of Listerhill

VOLUME 01 ISSUE 02 FEB 2013

NOODLING 101 HOW TO CATCH A CATFISH IN THE ACT

SINGLED OUT ALONE ON VALENTINE’S DAY ADVICE

UN-SOCIAL MEDIA WHAT’S YOUR STATUS?


2 TABLE OF CONTENTS

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 3

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STALKING CAN LEAD TO IRRATIONAL PREJUDICES ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN P5 SPOTLIGHT

LETTER

SEE WHO WAS OUT AND ABOUT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

FROM THE EDITOR

TECH

SOCIAL MEDIA HABITS.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

WHEN SALLY MET SET My father once said to me…(scratch that – let me give you the clean version)…“Don’t write a check with your mouth that your body can’t cash.” While we’re already halfway to breaking those impossible resolutions we made last month and wondering why we spent so much on that television for Christmas that is now fifty percent off (net stupid tax of 50%), ‘ole Dad at this point in our lives is either looking like a sage or a sadist. But while we’re busy sorting out how we’re going to tell Pops he was right, it hits us all at once like a Matthew Lesko Free Money commercial – I forgot the Valentine’s Day present. You stop by Wal-Mart to raid the flower section and it looks like the leftovers from the closing scene of Twister. You put the yellowing, twisted, potted carnage in the seat next to you (along with the dented box of Cadbury eggs you had to grab from the Easter section…already erected in the former Valentine’s Day section), start wondering if Bojangles is

HOMETOWN HEROES

A MUCH NEEDED VOICE.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

taking reservations, and planning your new identity after this evening is done. No worries, mate. This scenario will not play out IF – and only if – you heed the advice of your local, handy-dandy SET contributors. Instead of your father’s ramblings about walking uphill to school both ways (in the snow) with a hundred-pound knapsack strapped to each leg, you have life’s wisdom directly from your peers. And you’re listening! We have SET flying off the racks in multiple locations, so if your stack gets too low or non-existent, drop us a line. Finally, we’re totally stoked to welcome our new editor – Linley Mobley! Please contact Linley at editor@getsetmag to extend your wellwishes, pitch a story idea, or just to vent about your dad. Next month, SET’s going to hit you in between the Ides. Aw…too soon?

NON PROFIT

SERVING VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

FOOD

YOU HAD ME AT “BACON-WRAPPED”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

SPECIAL FEATURE

THE IRISH HAVE NO LUCK. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

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A SINGLE GIRLS GUIDE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

FEATURE

THEY MEET. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 THE SET STAFF

SET CONTRIBUTORS

LINLEY MOBLEY

Sheffield, AL

ANNA GRACE USERY Florence, AL

BETHANY OLIVER

Muscle Shoals, AL

AMY JACKSON

Tuscumbia, AL

SET is a publication by and for local young people dedicated to lifestyle, finance, technology and community. It is published by Listerhill Credit Union as

part of its ongoing mission to promote the credit union philosophy of cooperation and financial literacy. It is a platform for 15-20 somethings in the community and it is free.

ELIZEBETH BROCK Florence, AL

CONNECT WITH SET MAILING ADDRESS:

P.O. Box 566 Sheffield, AL 35660

Please take one copy and share it. Listerhill Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative whose purpose is to improve the quality of life for the membership by providing cost effective services to meet their financial needs while maintaining financial soundness and promoting the credit union philosophy.

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4790 East Second Street Muscle Shoals, AL 35661


4 SPOTLIGHT

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SPOTLIGHT

MARY BETH COATS AND AMY JACKSON SET LAUNCH PARTY

SET FINDS READERS IN THEIR NATURAL HABITAT

STACY VERROS, VICTORIA SPARKS END OF COMEDY

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PHOTOS BY KAYLA SLOAN & AMY JACKSON

KAITLIN CHAPPELL AND BETHANY OLIVER SET LAUNCH PARTY

LINLEY MOBLEY, ELVIS, AMY J ACKSO SET LAUNCH PARTY

ATHENS STATE UNIVERSITY ART CLUB END OF COMEDY

CELIA PRINCE, MALLORY MCGHEE, KAELEIGH NUSS, EMILY SMITH END OF COMEDY


FEBRUARY 2013

TECH 5

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60% of Facebook users claim a relationship status

ON AGAIN? AS WE GROW DEPENDENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA, OUR ONLINE HABITS GET CREEPIER. Does anyone else ever become exhausted by the influence of social media in everyday life? Technology is a wonderful thing, but it has pushed and shoved its way into every aspect of our existence. Social networks, while great for creating contacts and keeping up with friends, have taken dating drama to a whole new level. We now view and do relationships differently. Facebook allows (and nearly forces) you to share your relationship (and its demise) with an online audience. Here are just a few of the common actions of newly (or soon to be) single Facebook junkies.

STALKING.

It’s the overuse of the search field, or excessive click-throughs. Stalking can lead to irrational prejudices and loss of time. It may also cause disorientation. (I mean, how did I even get here?) In a study conducted by Western University, 88% of participants admitted to “creeping” on an ex’s Facebook profile. In other words, if you have never taken part in this phenomenon, you are probably a liar.

Possibly the most awkward for everyone are the heartbroken who decide to Facebook us their breakup diary. We have all witnessed a relationship’s end via status update. Most can be read as, “Hey, just wanted to give you guys a heads up.” However, there are some who go much further than changing their status to single. A digital scream for attention clogging the news feed. 11:00 p.m. –“Just want to eat an entire chocolate cake.” 2:00 a.m. – “(Insert Tay-Swift lyrics.)” 8:00 a.m. – “I am so much better off. What a douchebag.”  If your strategy is anything except to keep scrolling, shame on you.

WANDERING.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 33% of US divorce filings in 2011 contained the word Facebook. That was 2 years ago. Just chew on that for a moment … I’ll wait.

DE-FRIENDING.

As most people own a computer, tablet, or smartphone, the world seems to be shrinking. One has to go to ridiculous measures to separate themselves from someone they want nothing to do with. It may seem childish, but deleting an ex from your “friends” list can be more healthy than immature. Afraid of what could result? Hide their status from you’re feed?. When presenting your relationship to the online community, just remember: you have a choice as to how much you share. There is nothing wrong with dispensing affections in comment form or keeping your friends updated on your life. Relationships can be tricky enough as it is, and you may be inviting more complications than you can handle.

(OVER)SHARING.

We have become a needy generation — gaining satisfaction and worth from how many likes our photos receive. We want the world to know everything about our lives. What we eat, how we feel, where we are.

BY AMY JACKSON


THE

6 HOMETOWN HEROES

Sexual violence is a tough subject for everyone.

ELBOW

is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

A NEEDED VOICE UNA GRAD KASSIE STANFORD STANDS UP FOR ME, YOU AND WOMEN ALIKE

Innocence. Brokenness. Hope. These three words are continuously used by Kassie Stanford when describing what drives her passion to help others. Stanford graduated from the University of North Alabama in the fall of 2012 with a social work degree and since then been putting her studies to good use working as the Victim Services Assistant at Rape Response in the Shoals. She first connected with Rape Response as an intern, and it is her belief in the organization and mission that keeps her there. Each day is different and consists of everything from training and recruiting volunteers, counseling victims, organizing the hotline logistics or working to maintain good emotional standing of the volunteers. “While we have to focus on the emotional stability of the victims, we also have to check

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FEBRUARY 2013

Many trafficking victims are runaways age 12-14. in on the volunteers,” said Stanford. “Sexual violence is a tough subject for everyone.” Stanford’s passion to help victims of sexual violence and human trafficking started in her teens and has only continued to grow stronger. Years ago, Stanford had the opportunity to travel with Make Way Partners to Romania where she worked one-on-one with victims of human trafficking. “I felt so broken hearing some of their stories.” Stanford added. “Instead of being scared of the situation, I had a fire lit under me to want to help them.” Stanford has also traveled to Tanzania to help dig a well at the top of a mountain so that the women would have easier access to fresh water. This project with Dig Deep, Give Well also called for the appointing of women on the well committee in order to empower them in their community. Stanford is determined to stand up for and be a voice for the innocent. In the Shoals area and across the world, Kassie Stanford is changing lives — including her own.

BY BETHANY OLIVER


FEBRUARY 2013

NON PROFIT OF THE MONTH 7

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1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have suffered an attempted or completed rape.

HELP.

RAPE RESPONSE

24 hours a day. Rape Response, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to the reduction of sexual violence. The organization is committed to the idea that victims of sexual violence have certain rights. As advocates for these victims, Rape Response facilitates their access to medical and legal services, supportive services in the community and continued education for victims, family members and the community as a whole.

24 HOUR CRISIS LINE:

256-767-1100 TOLL-FREE CRISIS LINE: OFFICE: FAX:

800-917-7273

256-765-0025

256-767-1151

info@shoalscrisiscenter.org www.shoalscrisiscenter.org

Rape Response

Shoals Crisis Center

RESTORING LIFE INTO THOSE FACED WITH SEXUAL VIOLENCE “Rape� is a scary word with a very heavy definition, but the Shoals area has an organization that offers help and hope. Rape Response is dedicated to the reduction of rape as well as serving victims of sexual assault. As advocates for these victims and their families, Rape Response facilitates their access to medical and legal services, supportive services in the community, and continued education for victims, family members, and the community as a whole. The Rape Crisis Center serves victims of sexual assault in Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence and Marion counties. Rape Response provides services designed to help victims of sexual violence emotionally heal. They make available on-site collection of forensic evidence, medical

and legal accompaniments, crisis counseling, information and referrals in addition to providing a 24-hour crisis hotline. They also offer prevention programs at area schools, businesses and community organizations in an effort to raise awareness and eventually end sexual violence in the Shoals community. All services provided by Rape Response are confidential and free of charge. Kassie Stanford gives credit to her direct supervisor Selena Rachelle, (Executive Director) Kathy Connolly, (Prevention Educator) Tina Scott, and (Office Manager) Jenny Tice, for the success of the organization and for their hard work to fulfill the mission of Rape Response. These women work together on a daily basis to aid both adolescents and adults that have been and are victims of sexual violence. If you, or someone that you know, is a victim, please call their crisis hotline. Trained volunteers and Rape Response staff operate this hotline. No time is a bad time to call for help. The crisis line numbers are (256) 767-1100 and (800) 917-7273. There are many opportunities to support Rape Response and those that are victims of sexual violence from both a male and female perspective. If you would like more information on how to get involved, please contact Kassie at (256) 765-0025 or kassiestanford@ bellsouth.net.

BY BETHANY OLIVER


8 FOOD

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FEBRUARY 2013


FEBRUARY 2013

FOOD 9

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Almost eight billion candy hearts were made in 2009.

Chocolate boxes have been around for over 140 years.

THE WAY TO A MAN’S HEART … VALENTINE’S DAY MEALS WITH YOUR MAN IN MIND Next, wrap a half a slice of bacon around the cheesy jalapeno and place them on a baking sheet. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place baking sheet in oven for 20 minutes. For a bite that’s even hotter than you, ladies, sit back and watch your guy drool over this enticing appetizer.

THE “EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK” BURGER I’LL BE THINKING ABOUT YOU LATER. Valentine’s Day dates back to 240 A.D., but has usually been centered around one thing (other than you, ladies). Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the kissing, hand holding and I love you’s, but the lavish face-stuffing that sparks the “love flame” between couples. Think about it. What’s a good date without a good meal? Also, what is typically the setting of your favorite, cheesy, romance movie proposals? You’re right—at a fancy-schmancy restaurant, laden with pearly white tablecloths and finer-than-royalty china and crystal. Ladies, although the movies are intended to glorify you, let’s not forget the gentlemen who diligently rub their brain cells together to make your “perfect evening” come true. On this Valentine’s Day, assume the role of master chef to prepare your sweetheart a truly awe-inspiring meal, making it a night to remember.

CHEESE STUFFED, BACON WRAPPED JALAPEÑOS Not only is this perfect for the Super Bowl party in his man cave, this is an easy appetizer to prove your worth as a domestic goddess. Start out by halving approximately 8-10 jalapenos. Pit out the white membranes and MOST of the seeds (which cause jalapenos to have a hot flavor) and add cream cheese to the middle. *For an even cheesier bite, add your favorite shredded cheeses on top of that!

This will satisfy any man’s craving for that big, artery-clogging, succulent burger fried in fat and oil topped with every meat, veggie, condiment and crowned with an obscene heaping of cheese. First, pat out your hamburger meat and place on a George Foreman grill, or any cooking device that you choose. Sprinkle heavily with the “secret ingredient”, Lowry’s Seasoning Salt, and let simmer to desired cooking temperature. Next, place cheese slices on top of freshlycooked patties to allow premium melting coverage. Other items needed for this burger: 2 eggs, fried 1 onion, chopped and sautéed with butter and black pepper 1 package sliced mushrooms, sautéed with soy sauce 1 package bacon, fried Cheddar cheese slices Blue cheese crumbles, optional BBQ sauce, optional Add all, or some, of the toppings listed above to give your man a burger that not only fills his stomach, but also his heart with satisfaction.

Simply marinate T-bones (or preferred steaks) in Dale’s sauce for a few hours, then sear to desired temperature on a grill or skillet. After allowing the lobster tails to thaw, use scissors to cut a rectangle shape into the top shell of the tail. Reach your index finger under the tail to pull the meat up, allowing it to sit on top of the shell. Next, put Red Lobster to shame by making the easiest, most delicious lobster butter known to the culinary world. Melt ½ stick butter ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper ½ teaspoon powdered garlic ½ lemon, squeezed Thoroughly mix and apply to uncooked lobster tails (which also serves as a scrumptious dipping sauce!) Place lobster on a baking sheet and let cook on 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until tails are bright red. In the South, men are bred on steak and “taters”. Potatoes are truly an easy side dish for any meal, especially for surf and turf. Place small russet potatoes (with the skin on) in boiling water and boil until tender. When the meal is prepared, place potatoes on the plate, slice in half, and appropriate a thick sliver of butter between each half. Wow your guy with these simple but hearty foods, teleporting him from Maine to Idaho all in one bite. Restaurants are packed full of a jillion lovebirds from all walks of life on this beloved day. Try avoiding the hustle and bustle of two-hour long waiting lists, squeezing into an uncomfortable dress and slipping on gravitydefying high heels. Ladies, set out your mother’s fine china, clank together your greatgrandmother’s pots and pans, and get your Paula Deen personality together to prepare your hard-working man a hearty meal from … well, the heart.

SURF AND TURF This dish combines delectable meats from both land and sea. Steak and lobster may not be on the typical vegetarian menu, but ladies, let your man live a little by delving into this dish fit for a king.

BY ANNA GRACE USERY


10 SPECIAL FEATURE

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40 million U.S. singles have tried online dating.

Catfish [kat-fish] noun 1. someone who pretends to be someone they are not to pursue deceptive online romances.

FEBRUARY 2013

71% of people believe in love at first sight.

CATFISH IN THE SHOALS ARE YOU SURE THE LOVE YOU MET ONLINE IS REALLY WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE? This is not a story about noodling or fishing. This is a story about online dating, which can very well be compared to both. You get online, throw your bait out (pictures, personal information, etc.), wait for what feels like years, and then snag the perfect catch (a hottie with a body). Well, what about the people who spend all their energy dragging the 14–pound bass out of the river only to realize they’ve caught a huge bag of garbage? I’m talking about the people who have been sucked into relationships only to find out later that the ‘model’ they’d been dating online for almost a year is really a middle-aged Trekky who lives in his mom’s basement. According to the Online Dating Statistics on statisticbrain.com, there are 54 million single people in the United States. Out of that number, 40 million people have tried online dating. In this technical age we live in, that number does not surprise me at all. However, this way of dating does open up some not-so-good doors. Think about this — how easy is it for you to lie about who you are when you strike up a conversation with someone randomly at a cafe? Not very easy at all for most! But, how easy is it to sit

EMOTIONS ARE REAL. behind a computer screen and make up lie after lie, creating a completely new identity? Pretty easy, I’d say. Ever seen the documentary, now MTV show, “Catfish”? If not, allow me to summarize. In the documentary, Nev Schulman fell in love with Megan, a girl he met on Facebook. During their chats and phone conversations Nev began getting suspicious about her true identity. So he and his filmmaker buddies took a road trip to go surprise Megan and meet her face to face. They knocked on Megan’s door and 40-year old Angela, who was married with two handicapped children, answered. Needless to say, there was no Megan, instead stolen pictures, fake profiles, and Angela’s wish to have another life made up Megan’s whole existence. After watching documentaries like this we often think, “That sucks and everything, but it would never happen to me.” Well that’s probably

what Shoals’ resident Holly Fritts* thought when she met Stephen Clark*, a wealthy accountant, on an online dating site several years ago. They talked over emails and phone calls for about a month before meeting face to face. “I was skeptical that the pictures I had seen of him wouldn’t really be him, but that was one thing he was actually honest about,” Holly said. Their first date went great, only it ended with Stephen saying he had to go out of town for several days on a business trip. Holly didn’t think much about his absence or the fact that he came back from the trip saying he landed a huge account that would cause him to travel a lot. The relationship continued on, and although he was frequently gone for business, things were going seemingly perfect. He received a fully loaded Escalade as a bonus for the large account he had landed, which he was letting Holly drive. “I

felt like a princess in a fairy tale that had finally met her prince,” said Holly. After less than 3 months of dating, Stephen took Holly along to New York for a business trip. After this trip, small arguments started popping up because some of his stories weren’t matching up, “but he always had the right answers to make me believe him.” Five months into the relationship, Stephen went down on one knee and Holly joyfully agreed to marry him. Ecstatic over the fact that she had finally found Mr. Perfect, Holly shared the news with friends, family, and co-workers. The newly engaged couple immediately began looking for houses and planning their wedding. Things were going well until Holly received a phone call at work one day. Not from Stephen, not from her mom, not from a friend — but from a U.S. Marshal. He informed her that Stephen Clark was in custody and


FEBRUARY 2013

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Women lie most about weight, age, and physical build in online profiles. she needed to promptly meet them at the police station with the Escalade so they could get it to its’ rightful owner, who just so happened NOT to be Stephen. Holly left quickly — confused — but sure there was an explanation for everything and this was just a misunderstanding. When she arrived, and the U.S. Marshal realized that Holly had no idea what was going on, he quickly filled her in. “The U.S. Marshal told me Stephen had previously been in federal prison for bank fraud. He owed the U.S. government $900,000. The Escalade belonged to another woman, who happened to be his girlfriend. His girlfriend had been in a bad car wreck several years ago, confining her to a wheel chair. She must have gotten a large settlement from her wreck because everything he had bought for me, including the trip to New York, was bought with money and credit cards he had stolen from her. How could I be so stupid and believe all the lies this man told me? He was a true con artist,” Holly recalled. Holly soon found out that she was not the only girl to whom Stephen had done this. At the same time he had been dating Holly, he had also been dating four other women, all of whom he had met through online dating sites. To add on to this avalanche of emotional damage he caused, Holly was faced with having her TV, Internet, and cell phone cut off due to the bills being paid with a stolen credit card. She had to come up with over $1,600 to have everything turned back on and for a year after all of that, she was only allowed to pay with cash. This left Holly embarrassed and heartbroken. It is so easy to fall into a relationship online these days and we don’t usually think about having to take such drastic precautions to protect ourselves. I gleaned a few pointers from Nev Schulman himself, taken from an ABC news interview, along with a few tips from Holly to help you avoid being manipulated and conned in the online dating world.

8 TIPS TO AVOID BEING CATFISHED Check him/her out! If you are using a dating site, make sure it is one that reviews members before allowing

membership. If you’re just using Facebook, Google is a powerful tool for checking someone out. Too good to be true? Then it probably is, Nev says. If they are telling you everything you want to hear, proceed with caution. Make them earn your trust. Skype! Basically everyone has access to some sort of web cam now, whether on their computer or their phone. If they are making excuses not to video chat, be wary — they could be a “catfish.” Keep your distance. Be cautious about protecting not only yourself, but also your family and friends. Catfish will attempt to get close to the people you are close to in order create familiarity. Request a specific picture. If you are doubting this person’s identity online, request that they take a picture with their photo ID, or even holding up a piece of paper with your name written on it. Safety first. When finally meeting in person, make sure to meet in a public place the first few times. Just because you’ve chatted with this person for 2 months doesn’t mean you really know them. Bringing pepper spray might not be a bad idea… Ask lots of questions. Not everyone can keep up with every lie they tell. If you ask enough questions maybe you can catch them in it before you get too involved. Avoid models. This is Nev’s number one tip. Catfish love to say they are models because they know it will suck people in. Who doesn’t want to date a model? Online dating is not necessarily a bad thing. Many people have beautiful stories that started online. Just remember that it is more dangerous. Protect yourself by remembering these tips and being smart about your dating life. *All names have been changed to protect identities.

BY LINLEY MOBLEY

11


12 SPECIAL FEATURE

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Women purchase 85% of all valentines.

The most fantastic gift of love is the Taj Mahal in India. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his wife.

FEBRUARY 2013

15% of women send themselves flowers.

SINGLE GAL’S VALENTINE’S GUIDE TEN THINGS NOT TO DO AS A SINGLE GIRL ON VALENTINE’S DAY Okay all you hopeless and heartbroken — listen up! All you cynics with sarcastic tongues. All the weepy pity-partiers and Nicholas Sparks addicts. To all you single girls that are bracing yourself for Valentine’s Day, I have comprised a list of ten things NOT to do on this dreaded day of pink. Listen carefully. DON’T get on the Wedding category on Pinterest. In fact don’t even get on Pinterest at all on February 14th. None of us are stable enough to scroll past pictures of wedding gowns and DIY bouquets, or worse yet—‘Hey girl’ quotes next to Ryan Gosling’s face. DON’T feel jealous of your friends who are getting boxes of those Bach heart candies. No one likes those. I mean, let’s face it — the things taste like chalk. Here’s what you need to do: go and buy a big bag of these disgusting candies, take them with you to a nice restaurant and throw them at attractive couples bathing in Valentine’s Day tradition. Do this until you’re forcibly removed from the restaurant. I imagine this will make you feel much better. DON’T go out and buy yourself a cat. Do not sigh to yourself and say, “Well, I’m going to end up a cat lady in the end…might as well start now.” And if you already have a cat, do not go home and have dinner for two. Stay as far away as you can from this snobby animal and you will save yourself from some serious feline judgment. DON’T turn on the romance movie marathon on ABC family. If you cry today it will be because you stubbed your toe — not because you were

inciting tears by watching Noah Calhoun say, “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” DON’T think you can cheat my rules by leaving the TV off and turning your attention to the stack of Nora Roberts romance novels by your bed. You will not hear me say this often, but put down the book. We will not wallow in fictitious romances and create a pity party in our living rooms. This may happen someday, but it will not be this day. DON’T go buy yourself a pint of ice cream and four boxes of chocolate. Most of us have been on health kicks since January 1. Well, we’ve been on health kicks ever since we first met someone skinnier than . In other words, since infancy. Don’t ruin yourself by stuffing your face just because the whole world is having a sale on sweets. DON’T put your iPod on a Taylor Swift marathon. Don’t get me wrong, I love T-Swift, but sometimes after I listen to her songs, I end up furious at the entire male sex. Bless their hearts; they’re already submersed in this female holiday and forced to participate. Don’t make it worse on them by fueling your animosity with her catchy tunes. DON’T call up your ex and ask what he’s doing. Seriously, if you do this I will come and find you and slap you in the face (for your own good, of course). Remember that if he is your ex, THERE WAS/IS A REASON. DON’T post the words “Happy Single Awareness Day” on ANY social media site. For the love of all that

I HATE CHICKEN, I HATE LIVER. is good in this world, do not take this day to rant about all the stupid Valentine’s traditions or how happy you are that you’re single. Refrain from mistaking your 140 characters with your private journal. You don’t want your followers thinking that you are so bitter on this day that you had to tell all 5,000 of them about it. If your cynicism does become more than you can bear, go to the gym and hit a punching bag. At least you’ll burn some calories and maybe bump into that stud you’ve been stalking. And finally… DON’T forget what it’s all about. Even though the world is painted red, disturbing pictures of babies with arrows float everywhere and sappy couples seem to be parked on every corner, don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love. Not just

the romantic kind, but the everyday kind. The kind of love that laughs at dumb jokes and hugs away sadness. The kind that encourages life to go on even when it’s hard. The kind that fights battles and shares meals. Make a list of at least ten people that you love with an everyday kind of love. Then make a list of at least ten people that love you in the same way. Bask in all that is Valentine’s Day. Enjoy the cheesiness. Laugh a little. Avoid the temptation to make snarky remarks or harbor cynical thoughts. Say no to the tendency to cry and wish life looked different. Remind yourself how beautiful your life is. Remind your heart how full it is with love that lasts beyond Valentine’s Day. Don’t wish for more. Love what you have.

BY ELIZABETH BROCK


FEBRUARY 2013

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