SparkNotes Blog

I Have Opinions

As a Sparkitor on this site, I feel it is important for me to be accepting of all your viewpoints, each representing a single note in the chaotic Carmina Burana of internet dialogue. This is why I spend my lunch hour practicing writing supportive replies to comments; responses like, “Allegiant never pretended to be Paradise Lost! … !” and “I mean, who here hasn’t had a romantic dream about Lucius Malfoy?” and “Trump may be a mean girl dressed up like a racist neon glowbug, but if you’re voting for him that means you are exercising your democratic right, which is great! Participation is🔑 !”

I respect and value everyone’s opinion! I want you to feel good about yourself and your choices! But also, Allegiant had some insurmountable plot issues and I cannot with this guy in maroon camo running with a keytar-shaped gun.

~Generally~, I hold keep my own views stashed in the overhead compartment, but today I am peeling back the curtain between you and absolute truth. Come with me, it’s going to be like the end of Indiana Jones 4 when the crystal skulls woke up and everyone was all “MY HEADDD,” which if we all think about it is probably what messed up Shia Lebeouf.

Here are my unfiltered opinions on everything.

Bras

Never trust a bra advertisement featuring a model with A-cup boobs—bras aren’t like pancake batter, you can’t just double the size and end up with the same end product.

Being single

The idea that you are “single” as a 16 year old is harf ridiculous in itself—it’s not like you are a divorcee because your boyfriend of two and a half months started dating your friend (which might happen, by the way). You didn’t even talk for one of the months you were dating. Dating is b.s. until you are in your mid-to-late twenties, at least if you are as immature as I was. Treat your teen and college years as a game of musical chairs—it’s a weird twilight zone where everyone is out, milling around, not tied down, with all the possibilities in the world (like platonic lap-sitting!) and too too too much new music to listen to. Soon enough, everyone will pick a mate and sit down, and you will have plenty of time and deadening silence to freak out about either a) your “singledom” or b) the fact you have “moved way too fast” with your person of choice/won’t be single when Jake Johnson finally comes knocking.

Bread

The anti-carb brigade is full of it. I did a hike in France and we ate basically an entire baguette and quarter wheel of cheese EACH for lunch EVERY DAY. I felt amazing. Sometimes, I have multiple croissants in a single day, but I buy them from different bakeries so no one gets judgy. (If you buy them from a Pret a Manger, the staff are always sky high and won’t remember you coming in.) That said, America does make some awful bread-ish products: if your “bread” doesn’t go mouldly left out on the counter for a few days, it is not bread.

Pret a Manger

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to pronounce this, so I call it “Prett,” like it’s Chris Pratt’s French cousin. I hope it’s not actually supposed to be “Pray” or something. I pronounce “croissant” “kra-sont” in a compromise of mild Francophilia and not being the most annoying person in Pret.

Parties

Go. You can stay for one hour and then leave if it’s awful—anyway, there are always refugees there who will commiserate with you about how modern parties almost never end with a drunk guy driving a jalopy into the swimming pool. Leave before it’s super late: Nothing good ever happens after midnight.

Hoverboards

It’s not that they are the offspring of the Segway. It’s not even that they frequently burst into a hellfire beneath your feet, it’s just… why choose a locomotive that turns you into an atrophied lump? Your body wants to be active, it loves skateboarding (well, mine doesn’t), it loves cycling, it loves rollerblading. Pro tip: the only thing better than rollerblading is rollerblading with ski poles.

Braces

Get a Waterpik, opt for clear rubberbands (even if your orthodontist is really psyched about selling you on “Halloween colors”), and choose the spearmint flavor of plaster when you have to make another mouth mold (*not* bubblegum flavor). USE your elastics, or you will have braces on longer. After you get them off, use your retainer! Keep using the Waterpik.

Kissing

If you’re a guy, use less tongue. If you’re a girl, you’re doing fine.

Ben Affleck

Do we really need him?

Student loans

Avoid them, or opt for the smallest loans you can manage. They will haunt you forever.

Schools

Being the biggest fish in a small pond isn’t the worst, especially if you lack confidence or aren’t super assertive when there is a bigger personality in the room, so a smaller or less-name brand-y college might be for you. Know that if you get into the top, top, dream school, that will validate your intelligence and work ethic for… 0.3 seconds, before you realize now you are now surrounded by 3000 other people just as smart and hardworking. Unless you are Paris Geller, and have bowels of titanium, that can be a real turnoff.

Velveteen pants

Don’t do itttt.

Chevron print

Some of my best friends are people who love tons of Chevron print, but I can’t do too much of that stuff.

Introducing people

I will often do an introduction like so, “Chase, this is Penn. Penn wrote his thesis on fourteenth century hats—tell the story, Pennn! About the hat and the guillotine and the ferret!” People h888 this. You are better off just doing names and letting them settle on an inoffensive topic themselves.

Cycling

If everyone rode a bike to work or school, the entire country would be happier and healthier. I have seen people actively beaming while cycling over potholes so deep you can see Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis fighting over Cameron Diaz in the bottom of them; not infrequently, I have heard cyclists singing happy tunes as they pedal. If you have never thrown your leg over a bike and cycled through town, BE MINDFUL of your reflexive hatred toward the two-wheelers when you are driving a two-hundred-pound steel box.

Empathy

People really are the worst, especially stupid people. That said, my trick for rustling up some empathy for a true poopstew is to imagine them as a wee child, and think about how loving and hopeful and protective their parents probably felt about their precious kid. I have the emotional range of an iPhone charger cord, but even for me, this drums up a lot of feels and I get a wild urge to give everyone in sight a gigantic bear hug. The good news is Donald Trump barely was ever a child, so we don’t have to feel empathy for that hateful old windbag. (jk, Trump supporters!)

Which friend is best

Chandler.

When your friend is dating a git…

Don’t tell them you think their bf/gf is a git.

But now they’re going to marry them!

Unless there is some new information you have that they don’t, your friend knows their fiance is a git and has decided to marry them anyway. Play along, be supportive.

Soda

I don’t know why this is a thing. It’s bad for you and it’s hard to drink. If you want to get nicked in the throat while you hydrate, drink seltzer! Add a lime to your seltzer and live like a king.

Likes

Favs and RTs cost nothing.

Tanning

DO NOT GO TANNING. Always wear sunscreen. I don’t know why America is still offering up its flesh to the sun like bacon to a frying pan, but for perspective, half of Australia is covered with a giant shade pergola at this point in time because we have seen how easy it is to develop skin cancers. Hats are mandatory in schools, as are long sleeves. It is only a matter of time before we move permanently underground and develop infrared vision capabilities. If you must glow, rub some of that Jergens mess on your body after showering. Get your skin checked at least once a year—you get to keep the paper gown, and maybe even some skin cream samples! (I’m so worried about all of you!)

Gale versus Peeta

Well, I’m Hayniss, but if you’re making me choose between Gale and Peeta, then yeah, I’m sorry but I’d rather git my face all up into Gale’s cable-knit sweater than Peeta’s sad hospital pajamas. And I just KNOW that Gale smells better, like wood chips and Old Spice. Did Gale inadvertently set up Prim for death? Yes, but there was no way to win the game that Snow had set up. In some ways, architecturally speaking, killing Prim was the only way to send Katniss so far outside the box that she realized Coin was a deadlier choice than Snow in the long run.

Opinions

I think the biggest problem with opinions is a) feeling like you have to have one (staring blankly is underrated), or b) feeling like you can’t change your mind about something, for fear of being branded a hypocrite (“shame! shame!“). If no one every changed their opinion, we would all still be bleaching our bangs and wearing metallic sweatpants to the club.

What else do you need Opinions on?