Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions

From chinese food to college.
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I’ve lived in the same small town, Shrub Oak, for almost my entire life. Long enough that I can’t remember living anywhere else, or even moving here. A lifetime within a single town has certain benefits, even though Shrub Oak can feel suffocatingly small. I instinctually maneuver my car to avoid pretty much every pothole, I always have a direct plan of attack upon entering the grocery store, and the woman at my favorite take-out place knows my voice on the phone and hands me my order without thinking when I walk inside.

One of the best perks of knowing my hometown so well, is knowing the best, and in my opinion, only place to get Chinese food. Despite knowing that Golden House is the best, and my family’s weekly habit of ordering from there, I still find it impossible to decide what I want to order. I inevitably end up ordering the same meal, an egg roll, a soup if I’m not feeling well, and a roast pork with mixed vegetables. Thoughts of sesame, orange, or sweet and sour chicken always flood my mind and tempt my tastebuds. I deliberate over whether lo mein or fried rice will be filling enough as opposed to the possibility of chicken and broccoli and my mouth waters along with a grumbling stomach. And even though I always end up with the same food in front of me when all’s said and done, it never stops me from an hour’s worth of contemplating.

From all of this you’re probably thinking that I’m a pretty indecisive person, and in terms of the little things, I am. At 18 years old, I still do not have a set shampoo and conditioner that I always buy. Going to Starbucks is always a struggle about whether it’s a coffee or tea kind of day, hot or iced, flavored or plain, an extra shot of espresso or is it too late in the day for caffeine. My daily decision making debates are constant and never ending. Left or right, short cut or the long way, what to wear, what to eat, nothing is simple.

Strangely enough, I find no need for pros and cons lists or debates or even doubts when it comes to the big stuff, though. I feel like the opposite of most as I inspect every side of trivial things such as whether to buy cinnamon or honey graham crackers, while easily determining the crucial parts of my journey into adulthood as I start to shape my life and my future. Somehow, the inconsequential questions, like making the decision over what to order from the local Chinese restaurant are the hardest and most daunting decisions I ever have have to make. You might think that this feat would be far surpassed by the stress of the college process or the pressure of knowing what to do with the rest of my life, but those decisions seemed to fall into place fairly easily, almost like a calling.

I may never know what to get when we order Chinese, but I have somehow made the most important decisions of how to start the course of my life away from Shrub Oak with an almost scary ease. I have decided that I am in love with studying chemistry and that I will follow through on that passion by devoting my college career to it, I have decided that Hamilton College is my next home (a no-brainer), I have decided that going to medical school to pursue a career in surgery is my ultimate goal and dream. I have made these big, seemingly scary decisions based on the feeling that it’s just right, and yet, my next Chinese food order is still a mystery.

So, here I go, to make a new home and to start my journey and I’m so excited and so sure of the path I’ve chosen

Cover Image Credit: Goldenhousechinesefood.com

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Top 10 Gay-Themed Commercials That Should Be Celebrated

Gay-themed advertisements are an important part of our representation in pop culture. Here are the ten best gay-themed commercials that deserve celebration.

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Advertisements have a long history of reflecting and influencing popular culture. As someone from one of the boroughs of New York City, I've always been surrounded by advertisements. So it is extremely obvious to me why representation in these advertisements matter. Commercials online and on television are no exception. As a gay man, I'd like to present you with ten commercials that make me feel a sense of pride.

1. Israeli Gays Get Distracted On The Beach

Israel is a safe haven for LGBTQ people living in the Middle East. While places like Saudi Arabia and Iran treat gay men horrifically by enforcing Sharia Law, Israel welcomes them with open arms. That open minded attitude was even more obvious with this commercial from 2006.

2. Pepsi Brings Out The Confidence In One Guy (With A Gay Twist)

This Pepsi ad from the UK has a comedic twist that will delight the viewer with the main character's confidence. I find the women's reaction to him passing by each of them even more humorous than his friend's reactions.

3. Doritos Gay Sauna Contest Entry That Could've Gayed Up The Super Bowl

This commercial was created as a contest entry where aspiring filmmakers could create commercials for Doritos. The winning entry would be aired during the Super Bowl and the filmmaker would win a cash prize. This viral smash didn't make it, however. It seemed unfair, as several straight-themed commercials feature tons of innuendo. Unfortunately, it seems as though gay male sexuality is still threatening to some.

4. Campbell's Soup Portrays The Adorable Gay Household We All Wish We Had

This Campbell's Soup commercial is a short and sweet depiction of two gay dads sharing a sweet moment with their son. If it proves anything, it's that gay households are just like any other.

5. Marriage Equality Gets An Endorsement From Tide

While marriage equality has been a source of debate over the years, the only thing wrong with this union was the attire chosen for it. A brilliant twist ending courtesy of Tide.

6. This Heinz Commercial Is A Gay New Yorker's Dream Come True

As a gay man and a New Yorker, this commercial makes me very happy. Affection between same sex couples hasn't always been something we could see on television. However, this Heinz commercial squashes all that.

7. A Sweet And Unexpected Coming Out At McDonald's

This McDonald's commercial from Taiwan features a twist ending that is heartfelt, not comedic. For anyone who has struggled coming out, this should hit you right in the feels!

8. Sister And Brother Fight Over The Hot Pool Boy... With Coca-Cola

A nice bottle of Coke is quite refreshing. Who knew it was the perfect ice-breaker to approach your crush? This ad features a brother and sister competing for the pool boy's attention. However, it seems like someone else beat them at their own game.

9. This IKEA Commercial Was A Historic Turning Point

This classic IKEA ad from 1994 was groundbreaking for gay representation in advertising. It would be remiss of me not to include this important commercial on the list.

10. What Happens When Your Dad Sets You Up On A Tinder Date?

It's always nice to have your parents acceptance. However, even for gay guys, parents can get a little too close for comfort. This Vote Savvy ad portrays just that. But hey, they mean well, right?

Whether comedic, heartfelt, or provocative, these ten commercials have done wonders for gay male representation in advertising. It also reflects the representation of gay men around the world. From Israel to Taiwan to the UK, these commercials reflect the growing acceptance around the gay community. As far as I'm concerned, that's something to be celebrated.

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