Columns

2012.03.21 Young, modern and very embarrassed

on . Posted in By The Way

A little entertainment from March 1992

By David Green

I’m still seven years away from having a teenage mutant daughter, but it’s never too early to begin preparing for this strange adventure. I have a couple copies of y&m magazine (Young & Modern) that should get me on track.

I vaguely remember reading my sister’s Seventeen magazine back in the 1960s. Today there are still pages and pages of ads for makeup, still lots of suggestions for attracting boys, and even some advice about staying out of a hotel room on your prom night.

Pimples are still a big problem, and all the greasy fast food has actually complicated the matter despite so many advances in modern medicine. “From A to Zit: how to get awesome skin” addressed the problems of super-sore hair zits, rashy razor zits, gross back, neck and chest zits, and even information about buttocular zits. For that last problem, the author says not to sit around in a wet bathing suit.

As a reader of the magazine, I’m invited to vote for the Young & Modern Man of the Year. About 10,000 entry photos were mailed in (including five nudes) and 20 candidates were selected as finalists.

There’s a guy from Florida who wants to become either an actor, a model or a pet store owner. There’s a professional surfer from California who was nominated by his sister, and why not? If he wins, they split the $10,000 prize money.

I’m favoring the guy who wants to become a professional roller skater (he’s from New York City, he’s a Capricorn and he’s crazy about snowboarding.) But then there’s that guy with the two earrings. So hard to decide.

It’s time to get a magnifying glass and study the photos carefully for unawesome skin. Nostril zits, for example, don’t belong on my kind of young and modern guy.

Advice: Should you play hard to get? Maybe. It’s really not a bad idea—as long as you don’t get caught up in some sicko manipulative head trip.

Kissing: “There’s nothing worse than kissing a jellyfish.” Something I’ve never tried. The kissing article addresses the major elements such as lips, teeth, tongue and saliva.

What’s slutty? Fishnet stockings with heels and fake nails.

What’s sexy? Black pantyhose and red nail polish.

What’s embarrassing? Getting your finger stuck in your guy’s earring.

Your first date with a guy is coming to an end and you know you don’t want to go out with this guy again. What do you do?

a. Say thanks and shake his hand.

b. Jump out before he has a chance to put the car in park.

c. Give him a kiss on the cheek and murmur, “I had a great time,” because it’s not nice to have boys lusting after you.

Did you choose response c? Then you’re in the flirting danger zone. It’s like jumping on a guy’s lap when he invites you to share his chair. It’s like grabbing the sexy Italian exchange student and whispering your name in his ear.

My favorite part of the magazine has to be the “Say Anything” feature in which young moderns tell about their worst embarrassments such as the burritos, the loud release of intestinal gas and the overflowing toilet—all during dinner at the boyfriend’s house with his parents present.

Or the ball of phlegm which flew from the girlfriend’s mouth to the boyfriend’s father’s wine glass during dinner. That last story received only a three-star rating on the embarrassment scale while the first one hit the top with four stars.

The Nightmare of the Month happened at an expensive Italian restaurant. Boyfriend made a joke while girlfriend was eating. Girlfriend laughed so hard a spaghetti noodle came out her nose. Girlfriend pulled the noodle out and went into the bathroom where she suffered near fatal embarrassment.

That’s no Nightmare of the Month. That should be classified as a very special evening to be cherished forever.

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