Imaginary Instagram

TMZ BREAKING NEWS: I don’t have an Instagram.

1) Because I don’t have a smart phone.

Note: If anyone wants do a think piece on me being the last 20something to be living sans iPhone, hit me up. I can be reached by email or carrier pigeon or the scent of guacamole.

2) Because I would abuse the privilege of being able to share sepia-toned photos of whatever the hell I want.

Example of said abuse: I saw a lone, raw onion in the middle of an empty parking garage the other day, and my initial reaction was, “I’d Instagram the shit out of that.”

So, until the day I decide to upgrade my phone or the day I lose all self-respect and start taking pictures with my iPad in public (the latter more likely than the former), here is a small sampling of my Imaginary Instagram — or Imag-stagram, if you’re nasty.

0501172542 copy“We Love Kids / I (heart) Dogs!” Seen on a cubicle at work.
A lot of feelings all around. #OneLove #Feelings #DogsNKidz

0501172446 copyLeft behind by a kind stranger #blessed

1220093603 copy#TBT to when this greeted me every morning
walking to my desk at work.
Yes. Hi. Good morning to you too, wall letters.

The only other pictures I have on my phone are cross-eyed selfies #nofilter. But I’ll save those for a sexier post.

I really wish I would’ve taken a picture of that onion, though. It is my life’s biggest regret to date. My second biggest is the 5 string cheeses I ate for breakfast.

Easter Reflections

Because it’s Easter, and because I haven’t partaken in any of the Easter-y things many people are doing/talking about today, I’ve become hyperaware of the fairly everyday things that I have done today.

If you’d like to play along at home, just stop in the middle of a mundane task, and consider the situation in the context of today being a day people are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


“It’s Easter, and I’m eating shredded cheese over the sink.”

“It’s Easter, and I’m wearing a crop top to the grocery store.”

“It’s Easter, and my Google search history goes as follows: vision boards, spicy ranch dressing, aphrodisiacal.”

The most Easter-y things I’ve done today are eat a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg and make eye contact with a child in her Easter dress as I bought beer and canned corn.

I guess scanning this picture also counts as being Easter-related.

My brother, with the best facial expression while holding an egg ever; My mom, being a beautiful mom; Me, probably writing inspirational scripture.

While recanting the things I did today, I realized I forgot to buy avocados. Probably because I was too preoccupied with the potential consequences of wearing a crop top to the grocery store on Easter.

Someone, somewhere, is reflecting on Jesus dying for our sins, and I just said out loud, to myself, “OH NO, THE AVOCADOS.”

Sexy Road Signs from God

You know that thing in scary movies where a character is driving at night, and they see a flash of a person or ghost on the side of the road, but when they look back, there’s nothing there?

Sometimes that happens to me. Except with weird road signs, not ghost people. And they don’t so much disappear as I feel like I’m the only driver on the highway who notices of them. Also, these occurrences aren’t limited to nighttime, and there’s nothing particularly scary or suspenseful about the situation as a whole.

Basically, scary movies and road signs are not analogous at all, and I was just trying to do that thing where I start off on a relatable note, and then transition into a very specific story that virtually excludes myself from the general public.

Of course, this could all be solved by someone making a Paranormal Activity 6 (7? 15?) that stars me continuously missing exits while driving because I keep thinking I see signs that say “butts.” Oooh, spooky but sexy!

Today, while running errands/buying unnecessary things at Target (#relatable!!!!), I saw the most glorious church marquee. I wish I could have taken a picture to prove its existence. It read:


Guys, the Lord has had quite enough of your shit. Just give up your Facebook and sugary snacks for 40 days, and move on with your life. If ever I were to experience a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment, seeing that sign would have been it.

I also have a running mental tally of my favorite Adopt-A-Highway signs.

A suggestion in case you ever want to adopt a highway for me.

A new favorite I saw shortly after the sassy church marquee was for a highway that had been adopted by “Chyna Dolls Social Club.

That name could mean so many things.  And all of those things have vaguely sexual undertones. If you actually know what Chyna Dolls Social Club is, please don’t tell me. I’d like to live the rest of my life hoping it’s an organization of high-end, prostitute do-gooders who share a love of environmental charity work. In which case, they should have called it the Do-Gooders because the innuendo’s kind of built right into it.

The signs for highways adopted in memoriam of people are also so wonderfully confusing. I frequently drive on portions of US-71 that have been lovingly dedicated “Poopie Jackson” and “Carlton, Mastermind #1?

I wonder if Poopie Jackson would’ve wanted the origins of his nickname to be left to the imaginations of Kansas City drivers. I wonder how Carlton would feel knowing his rank as number one mastermind was questioned by his loved ones.

Today I discovered a stretch of Route 350 adopted in honor of “The Horses in the Community.”

Nice of them to leave us the opportunity to dedicate roads to horses of other communities.

In addition to the sign pictured above, I’m starting a list of pre-approved highway adoption dedications, in case you ever want to buy a highway for me or whatever. (Except don’t actually do that. Just use the money to buy sandwiches or Target gift cards for me and/or in memory of me.)

A few Mia-approved road sign dedications:

  • In Honor of Mia “Pharrell Williams’ #1 Lover” Mercado
  • For Mia, Head Mistress of the Chyna Dolls Social Club aka the Do-Gooders ;)
  • Dedicated to Mia Mercado, star of Paranormal Activity 6 (7? 15?)
  • For Mia Mercado, who once farted in her car over this part of the road probably
  • (a sign that just has a picture of me winking and giving the thumbs up)

This is the part where I’m supposed to ask you to comment with any goofy road signs you’ve seen. But yours probably isn’t as great as the “Get Over Yourself” church sign. So, sorry.

Going on Dates with Murderers

I think I somehow missed the part in my young adult life when I was supposed to be reckless and excusably stupid. I didn’t graduate college with stories about waking up in bathtubs or fondling strangers in foreign countries. I’m guessing those are stories that people have. I wouldn’t know. I prefer showers and I never studied abroad.

One time, I did go on a date with a serial killer, though.

I mean, not a proven serial killer, and he wasn’t on the date with me. I was just there for protection. Not that I’m much of a bodyguard. I’m very scared I’ll ever be in a situation where I’ll need to use my pepper spray, because I will undoubtedly mace myself in a fit of panic. And I’m equally as fearful of the shame that comes with explaining to the authorities that I can’t work pepper spray properly as I am of being assaulted. Girl power!

So, a few summers ago, I was out to dinner with two friends at a Mediterranean buffet. If you’ve never experienced a Mediterranean buffet, stop what you’re doing asap, go put on your stretchiest pants, and get your hummus-less belly to the nearest MediBuff.

(I know MediBuff isn’t a thing people say. Just go with it. I’m on an entirely different level of consciousness right now thinking about endless baba ghanoush.)

After we falafel-ed the shit out of ourselves, we paid our respective tabs, and left. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, one of my friends got a notification on her phone saying she had a new Facebook friend request.

“Do you either of you know who this is?” She asked, showing us the profile picture of a 20-something male wearing sunglasses and standing somewhere outdoorsy like a mountain or very large hill. Neither of us recognized him. We assumed he was a fake robot person and carried on with our lives.

Until a few minutes later when my other friend also got a notification from the same 20-something sunglasses guy requesting to be friends. Cue suspenseful music.

I waited for my friend request, but none came. Cue “slightly offended by a robot” music.

Upon further examination of his photos, we realized he was not a robot but a real live human we all knew. Specifically, one of the employees from the MediBuff. (Shh…don’t fight it.)

We pondered how he could have known our names. Did we introduce ourselves when he took our order? Did he overhear us call each other by full name in conversation? No, because neither of those are things that human people do.

But apparently, learning a person’s name by looking at her credit card when she pays her check and then Facebook friending her is a thing that people do. Or maybe just a thing that he did. He must have felt some spark when we each handed him our credit cards because that was the sole interaction we had with him during our entire meal.

We felt it only right to look through every corner of his Facebook and learn a little more about our new friend. We found out that English was not his first language, that he may have been engaged to be married at some point in his life, and that he’d recently friended an “Amelia Mercado,” which is my given name. The name that would have been on my credit card.

Cue “Oh good I am worthy of being stalked” music. And then transition it into the “But I’m not memorable enough for a stalker to distinguish me from the thousands of other racially ambiguous Amelia Mercados there are in the world” music.

When I said I missed the reckless part of my youth, that isn’t to say that I’ve missed the reckless parts of other people’s youths. I’ve often been the overly cautious mother bird to my baby bird friends, hovering closely when they leave the nest, regurgitating maternal nervousness into their mouths.

One of my friends – bless her baby bird heart – noticed our new friend listed his phone number on his Facebook page and decided to text him. He responded and the conversation eventually ended in an established meetup between the two of them. Cue anxious music/the sound of me internally hyperventilating.

All three of us went to meet MediBuff guy because I was not about to let one of my friends be murdered. At least not all by herself. We arrived at the hookah bar where he’d said to meet and saw him seated at a table near the door. I was already devising an escape plan and trying to remember which way to spray my mace.

He stood to greet us and introduced himself. He said he knew the owners of the bar and ordered us baklava and some fancy kind of hookah (if you can consider a communal tobacco-smoking device fancy?). He was attractive and polite, and I thought for a moment “At least I’ll die at the hands of a man with nice teeth.”

We learned that he was originally from Jordan and his family owned the MediBuff. He was going to school for something science-y. Microbiology, maybe? I was distracted by his well-kept facial hair and my own mortality for most of the conversation. I eventually got the courage to ask him very bluntly about the credit card name thing after shoveling more baklava in my face.

“Ha ha! Yes!” he laughed and very proudly extended his hand for a high-five. You know how you aren’t supposed to wave or give a “thumbs up” signal in some cultures? I would list “celebratory high fives for stalker behavior” as an American no-no.

Much of the conversation was typical, getting-to-know-you banter while he subtly peppered in completely insane details.

On Where He Grew Up
Us: “Tell us more about growing up in Jordan.”
Him: “It was good. For fun, we’d sometimes throw rocks at birds.”

On Pets
Me: “I’ve had a couple of dogs.”
Friend 1: “I had a steer when I was in 4-H.”
Friend 2: “We traveled a lot and never really had pets.”
Him: “Once, I put a cat in a dryer.”

On High School
Us: “High school was a weird time for everyone.”
Him: “Yeah, once my friend and I pulled a prank on our teacher by cutting the brakes on her car.” (recollective laughter)
Us: “…was she okay?”
Him: “Not really.”

On How Our Day Had Been
Us: “Work was long, but that’s about it.”
Him: “A car accident happened in front of me yesterday.”
Us: “Was everyone okay?”
Him: “I think so. Do you want to see the video I took of it?”
Us: “No…Also, was that before or after you called 911?”
Him: “What?”

We tried to pry on the almost-marriage he’d alluded to on his Facebook. But conversation on personal relationships was a line not to be crossed. Murderous, psychopathic tendencies? Sure! Previous girlfriends? GTFO.

Eventually, we called it a night, and that was really the last I saw of him. We went back to his family’s MediBuff once or twice, mostly at the prospect of free baklava. But I avoided initiating any conversation at the risk of becoming an accessory to another one of his crimes.

(Side note to murderers: if you want to party and talk about your feelings, apparently I’m easily enticed by complimentary pastries.)

In retrospect, I’m a little surprised this story doesn’t end with me in a bathtub. But like, chopped into pieces in the tub with my skin hanging off the side, drying out to be used as a lampshade or for human jerky.

This is why I don’t get offers for freelance writing.

Stuff I Bought

I’m a nosy person. I like knowing all about everyone’s everything, which is probably why I’ve been grossly obsessed with product haul videos on YouTube. Yes, show me all of the beautiful, fancy things you bought while I drool onto this tank top I’ve somehow had since 7th grade.

(Guys. I’m not the same size as I was in 7th grade. That’s part of the comedy. My 23-year-old body has stretched the shit out of this Kohl’s brand tank top. The straps have essentially frayed into a single piece of elastic, and my belly button is very visible when I wear it. I am not what you might call a “fashion icon.”)

I figured you may be as nosy as I am and find pleasure in seeing some of the things I recently bought online. And if you’re not into that, here’s a gif of a baby goat for your trouble:

Now, let’s take a look at what I recently decided was worth $4.95 in shipping and handling to have hand-delivered to my doorstep.

These Leggings

Screen shot 2014-03-22 at 10.49.58 AM

I think I was mostly seduced by the heels that the model is wearing. And then, I got distracted by the millions of color options. And I was like “Do I need leggings in a shade called ‘oyster?’ Probably? I’ve never thought about it, but the product model’s butt looks fantastic in them. Maybe I could have a beautiful oyster butt. I’ll just get the black ones because I’m boring.”

But, SURPRISE, the black leggings are not really boring at all. I realized after trying them on they’re very sheer in the butt region. Like “Hi, World. Have you met all of my butt cheeks?”

I kept them because I’m too lazy to return stuff. Also, they’re kinda comfy. Also also, when I wear them, it’ll be like playing a fun game of “How Far Can I Bend Over Without Indecently Exposing Myself Today?”

To sum up my leggings experience:

Cons: more light-weight than expected, you can definitely see your underwear through them
Pros: tight without being super uncomfortable, you can definitely see your underwear through them (Maybe that’s a pro- for you. I don’t know how you live your life.)

These Makeup Brushes

This was me pretending that I’m going to stop using my hands to apply all my makeup. It was also me pretending I’m going to use that tiny comb for whatever it’s meant to be used for and not to comb my tiny mustache when I forget to wax for too long.

I’ve used three of the least intimidating brushes. They work, I think. I can almost do top eyeliner now, which is a skill I can list on a resume, right?

Cons: None so far, I guess. The tiny comb probably wouldn’t be good for bristly mustaches, though.
Pros: Fun for pretending you know how to do makeup

A Peppermint Foot Repair Salve

Yeah. I know. I had $10 to Birchbox, so I bought a lotion specifically for my feet. I don’t even care about my feet, really. Sometimes I forget I have toenails that need to be tended to until it hurts a little when I put socks on.

I haven’t used this yet, so this is more a review on foot lotion as a concept rather than how the product really is.

Cons: I bought a lotion specifically for my feet, so I’ll have to live with that choice on my credit card history forever.
Pros: I’m going to have the mintiest feet in all the land.

Yes to Cucumber Towelettes

These smell a little bit like puke to me. But I don’t hate it. Also, if they made Yes to Sandwiches towelettes, I wouldn’t hate that either.

This all says much more about me than the product.

Cons: vague smell of vomit
Pros: My face feels very clean and soft, which I suppose is the point.

Bo Burnham’s New Book

I have nothing funny or clever to say about this because the funny, cleverness of this collection of poetry trumps anything I could say about it. It made me laugh and think, which is a wonderful combination of things to experience. Here’s my favorite piece right now:


Pros: Everything. All of it. Go buy it now. You’ll be a better person for it.
Cons: You might hate yourself a little bit when you finish because it’s lifetimes more clever than anything you’ve done. But this book is so good, it makes the self-hatred worth it.

Okay. I can’t lie to you. This isn’t everything I’ve bought online recently. I also got three shirts, a subscription to Birchbox, two giant candles, and another pair of black leggings. And I’ve got an Amazon shopping cart full of various body cleansers and face masks.

Mind you, I haven’t showered in two days. So, I don’t know why I think I’ll actually use four kinds of face creams before bedtime when I can’t get myself to bathe.

This has all been less a product review and more a cry for help.

In other news, I may have just sharted myself, so I suppose I should deal with that.

Fashion icon.

Beauty Tutorial: A Fun Weekend Look! (or How to Ruin Your Face/Self-Esteem)

I don’t have a proper camera to document each step of how I get ready on the weekends. So, I figured the next best/most accurate way was to show it through pictures of the Kardashians.

STEP ONE: Preparation

Before you start, spend a solid 4 hours watching beauty and style videos on YouTube. It’s a great way to get inspiration for new looks that you’re way too unadventurous and poor to try.

Basically me minus the millions of dollars.

Bonus Tip: Before this step, don’t even worry about showering. Or brushing your teeth. Or changing your pants for three days.

STEP TWO: Getting Started

Attempt to stand up for the first time in 4 hours. If you get lightheaded, that’s just tiny parts of your brain dying from being completely sedentary for an extensive amount of time. Oopsies. No worries. You didn’t need to remember the Bill of Rights anyway.

Now go to the kitchen, eat three brownies, then hop back onto the couch and start watching another hair tutorial for long, ombre hair even though your hair is shoulder-length and one color.


STEP THREE: Okay, seriously. You should do something.

Keep that hair tutorial video playing on really high volume while you do the dishes. Wow! Multitasking! You’re getting so much done! You deserve a nap!


STEP FOUR: No. Stop it. You don’t need a nap. You’ve literally only done 3 things today.

Internal arguments can be pretty exhausting. It’s basically cardio for your subconscious. So, you’re going to want to cue up a video reviewing different teeth whiteners and rest your greasy little head on a pillow.

This is going to lead right into Step 4.1, where you have a mini-dilemma when you realize how badly you have to pee just after you got super comfortable.


Succumb to your bladder.

STEP FIVE: Hey. You’re in the bathroom. Might as well clean yourself up a bit.

Haphazardly splash water on your face, but try not to make eye contact with your soggy, dirty reflection, because I think that’s how The Ring starts. Then, take out that old bottle of deep cleansing, something-something Clean & Clear goop you have in the cabinet because it’s face mask time! The best time of the day/month/year/how often are you supposed to face mask?


STEP SIX: You could really just wash your face normally, but whatever.

Put an excessive amount of the mask goop on your face. You should look like Mrs. Doubtfire when she sticks her face in the pie. (Bonus points if you also have the slight upper-lip stubble!) Now you have to wait while the face mask hardens.

Kim KarDoubtfire

Back to more tutorials on Hunger Games inspired hairstyles!

STEP SEVEN: I think the mask is done now. It’s been almost 20 minutes, and the bottle only said 5-7.

Rinse your face off, you beautiful angel goddess!

If I had perfect cheekbones, this is when I would’ve thanked Yeezus for giving them to me.
Except I don’t, so I didn’t.


Okay, so your skin’s started to turn a rashy-looking red where you had that face mask.

Honest Note: I really did have a temporary red skin-mask. I looked kind of like this except much less bloody and with much more terrible eyebrows.

No worries, just splash more water on it. Okay, not working. Or maybe moisturizer? OH GOD NO THAT BURNS WHY HOW USE MORE WATER.



So much regret. About so many things.


STEP TEN: Acceptance

Your face will be forever marred by this red skin-mask. You will retreat into the woods and find your place with a pack of local coyotes. They won’t mind your red face and the fact that you haven’t washed your hair in 3 days. Because they are coyotes. Also, try not to get eaten.

A wild KimYote

STEP ELEVEN: Distraction

Yay! A 17-minute video on fun fall looks! (More bonus points if you’re watching it in March!!)


Your boyfriend will be home from work soon, and you want to give the allure of actually accomplishing something today. Essentially, the threat of human interaction is enough to shame you into bathing.

This is a still from a Kris Jenner music video. Click this photo and watch it. Now.

STEP LAST: Take a shower, you stinky, trash goblin.

Hey, the skin-mask is only a very dull pink now. Yay! We did it!

Kardashian+Christmas+card+2012Note: If any of the products mentioned are in the market for sponsorship deals (Clean & Clear, Bath & Body Works, The Ring), please feel free to contact me. I’ll be in the woods near my apartment with my new coyote family, so just howl ;) #CoyoteLife

A Letter to My Sister

You start college in a few weeks, and I have a lot of feelings about it. Many of them are gastrointestinal, which probably has more to do with coffee than you. However, both you and coffee fall under the umbrella of Things I Associate With Poop. Everything is connected.


I think this is the part where I’m supposed to offer advice and wisdom and butterfly kisses. Because who better to give those things than someone who often prioritizes getting a McDonald’s smoothie over taking a shower?

There are some obvious tips and tricks, like actually show up to class every once in a while and don’t drunkenly pee on your roommate’s belongings.

So, let’s just skip those common sense things, and get right into it. Just dig our paws in, and go for it. Balls to the wall, grab it by the horns, both hands on the steering wheel and feet on the dashboard, no shoes, terrible foot odor, but we don’t care because, like, free to be you and me, you know? What are we talking about again?

Try things. Or don’t try things. Just do what’s right for you and is going to make you happiest.

When opportunity comes knocking, you can answer like, “Hey, Opportunity. Cool sweater. Where are we going today?”

But sometimes Opportunity is giving you a weird vibe and looks nothing like its profile picture. Or Opportunity is scary and feels kind of serial killer-y. I’m just saying, you don’t have to go with Opportunity to a glow stick rave if you don’t want to.

Also, remember that you can make your own Opportunity. Not in a eugenics-y way though.

And sometimes, Opportunity looks more like Inconvenience or Ordinary, and you just haven’t seen it with its glasses off and ponytail down. Don’t be afraid to take Opportunity to the drive-in, or ask Opportunity to prom.
To paraphrase the popular aphorism: Seize the day, and then, maybe you can do some over-the-shirt, hand stuff with Opportunity.

Remember that you don’t have to have everything figured out right away.

Take for instance one of my former bosses: He seemed super put-together, ran two separate businesses, had a strong clientele.
But there was also that one time when I saw a condom sitting on one of his shelves in his office. Still in the wrapper and everything. So, it was only like 98% horrifying.

My point is, you can be a 40-something business owner, have little sense of appropriate work-place behavior, and still be doing okay. But have that be the low, low bar for success.

Or maybe just ignore this whole section.

College alone does not dictate the rest of your life.

You are going to do a lot of new, cool, exciting, beautiful, inspiring, scary-in-a-good-way things. Some of them will happen in college. Some of them will happen because of college. And some are going to just happen.

College is a beginning. It is not the beginning. Or, rather, the only beginning.

As long as the person you are and the things you do are built on a foundation that is good and happy and solid, who you become and where you go will be good and happy and solid, too.

Kind of like a tree.

A tree with boobs.

Originally posted here.