This past Monday, the Peabody Museum of Natural History held ID Day, inviting visitors to bring in their own objects and learn about their histories. Ever wanted to carbon-date objects from your own past and discover just how convoluted their journeys have been? WEEKEND writers did just that.
This right here is phone #3, also know as the phone I’ll be using for the rest of my life. Phone #1 was a beautiful BlackBerry Bold. It was the perfect phone for me. I thought I’d use it forever because touch screens made me feel awkward. (They still do, sometimes. They’re just so flimsy!) Then I lost #1 at Toad’s. Oops. After telling my parents a selective explanation of how I lost it, I opted for a perfectly functional flip-phone, which was free. (Shout-out to my girl T-Mobile! You go, girl!). Then I lost that one at Toad’s too and the employees cared very little while I probed the empty dance floor at the end of that Saturday night. Just when I was about to lose all hope and dignity, my mom let me know that a girl from “Quinnipiac University” had called her from my phone. I was reaching zero hope and negative dignity at that point, honestly. Fortunately, then “Quinnipiac” girl said she’d be happy to return #2 to me because she’d be in New Haven every weekend anyway. But that was before she started ignoring my calls. After another selective explanation to my parents, #3 was acquired and we’ve been going strong for over a year. It looks like I might have found my third and only.
Contact Vanessa Yuan at
There is a cluster of raw garlic cloves on my desk which has not moved for most of the semester. (FYI: There is nothing weird going on with this garlic. It does not even smell like garlic unless you get super close with your nose.)
Nobody has commented about it so far. This might be because garlic is basically kind of pale colored and unobtrusive, or because I generally give off the impression of practicing Wicca and/or slaying vampires in my spare time (vibes I can only aspire to).
The reason there is a bundle of garlic colonizing my desk is that if Anya, age 5, sneezed, or coughed or went outside with wet hair (which makes you sick if your people are from Russia?), the first line of defense was always the same. Raw garlic, sliced and put on bread with butter (which are apparently to raw garlic as salt and lime are to tequila). With any luck, my nose was already so stuffed up I couldn’t smell it.
But guys, this isn’t the Marxism-Leninism kind of Russian export — raw garlic actually is the cure to all of the world’s ills.
Every time someone has whined to me about how they can tell they’re on the verge of the cold, I always offer them a clove or two. “I know it sounds weird, but it works, I swear. You can actually feel yourself getting better.”
I haven’t had any takers yet, but have high hopes that WEEKEND will help spread the Good News. All I can say, is I knew I was getting sick in January. Two pieces of toast with garlic later, I was cured. It’s the Pravda.
Contact Anya Grenier at
I’d forgotten all about this tacky Mayan calendar I got in Cancun, the way most of us have probably forgotten the apocalypse it falsely predicted for us only months ago. But tragedies have a tendency to remind us of other tragedies — synapses going off like bombs — so it’s only natural that the Monday attacks at the Boston Marathon got us all talking about 9/11. That was the morning I was supposed to present the calendar to my second-grade class, along with other objects that I considered “representations of me.” It was only a meaningless memento from a family trip, but it was azure and circular and statuesque, and it made me look exotic next to the seashells I’d also brought along. Only three kids stayed in school long enough to see my presentation. The teacher cried her eyes out throughout.
I thought back to that calendar on Monday. I remembered how a friend teased me when I said the calendar was unbreakable. “Prove it,” he said. “Throw it on the ground.” I flinched. In retrospect, it’s darkly ironic that he dared me to do that the day the towers fell. But today what seems even more ironic is that the object was a circular calendar.
We thought we’d closed the door on an era. Bin Laden’s dead. Most young kids probably know him best as code word “Geronimo,” from “Zero Dark Thirty.” Bush the Younger has all but sunk into oblivion and ROTC’s back on campus, which is probably the best litmus test we have for the fact that we’re headed out of two wars in the Middle East. I’ve even taken liquids in my carry-on.
But something’s back. The calendar’s circular, and it won’t break. And on days, we may find little comfort, but it’s still valuable to figure out what’s important. The calendar isn’t. For God’s sake, I bought it in a hotel gift shop.
Contact Yuval Ben-David at
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every SERIOUS archaeologist — re: Indiana Jones, khaki pants, all capital letters — in possession of a SERIOUS reputation must be in want of some SERIOUS artifacts.
But let’s be SERIOUS for a moment. Nothing says, “I chose my career based entirely on Michael Crichton novels” or “I think Pawn Stars is a realistic and educational 23 minutes of television” like an unrelenting desire to 1) dig up old shit from the ground and 2) sell that old shit to other people. Archaeologists, historians, storytellers of distant times and distant lands — these are the people we allow to sort through the proverbial trash bin of posterity and extrapolate conclusions from the crap we’ve thrown away.
I was super-into that Shakespearian skeleton from a couple of months ago, but my new archaeological pet cause is both nearer and dearer to my heart: misogyny, which, as you all know, silly ladies, is DEAD. Gone. Goodbye, alas-poor-Yorick, I-award-you-no-pints, I-said-good-day-sir — gone.
I’d like to formally take credit for this find, which I found in a landfill next to some velociraptor bones and my seventh-grade retainer, because upcycling is the future. Since there is no more misogyny in society anymore, and decreases in supply lead to increases in demand — hire me, hedge funds! — I am sure I can sell misogyny to the highest bidder on the free market, leading to increased utility for all parties. Because no one has ever profited from misogyny ever. Especially not Indiana Jones.
Contact Marissa Medansky at
Doc Martens are back in style now, which is bullshit because people made fun of my love for Docs for years and years. I have had the same pair of Doc Martens since I was twelve years old. I saw the Doc/baby doll dress combination on VH1’s I <3 the ‘90’s and I was fucking sold. It took a year of convincing to get my folks to buy me a pair because they were afraid I would turn into a goth or something. Nahhhhh, I just wanted to wear my Docs and short-alls with ribbons in my hair, basically, I wanted to be Rachel Leigh Cook in “She’s All That” pre-transformation when she was artsy and didn’t let some dickwad change her. When I read Meg Cabot’s “All-American Girl” and the protagonist and the love interest both wore Doc Martens, bonded over Doc Martens and fell in love because of their Doc Martens, I knew I was doing my adolescence right. My Docs have served me well. They totally solidified my weird theater girl status in high school and I’d wear them when I was afraid of turning into my parents. Turns out my dad owned a pair in the ’80 … Whatever! I love them despite of my impotent teenage rebellion. Seventy years from now (when I am a true SWUG), I’ll be wearing the same pair of behemoth black combat boots. Haters gon’ hate.
Contact Mila Hursey at
My old pointe shoes, hanging from one branch of the colorful standing lamp next to my bed, testify to a key aspect of my personality — I am a voluntary “what if”-er. The economic concept of an opportunity cost, alongside being the only one I ever fully understood on the pages of Mankiw et al., is also one I savor in real life. I take a strange kind of pleasure in being aware of all the things I have given up to be where I am today. The polaroids on my wall are remnants of a forsaken career in photography; the marked maps in my drawer are leftovers from my short but sweet time as a free spirit with no academic aspirations; and my pointe shoes gently swing to remind me that I spent almost 11 years of my life on the stage.
Up until my sophomore year of high school, I was a dancer with good grades. Not until YaleDancers passed me by for callbacks last fall did I finally realize that I had turned into an intellectual who occasionally dances. As I gravitated away from the stage and toward the prep books, my priorities changed and so did my body, my abilities. But my pointe shoes — which I still occasionally try on when the realities of my opportunity costs weigh down on me — are always there to remind me of what I could have been and of how far I’ve come.
Contact Aleksandra Gjorgievska at