Cast Blog: #MISSADVISED

Prom!

Wake-Up Call

Just Say Yes

Self Sabotage?

Breakdown Breakthrough

How Soon is Too Soon?

Changing for the Better

Dinner Date

Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde

In Treatment

Blindsided

Threesomes Please Apply

Witchy Woman

The More the Merrier

Fear of Rejection

Fire Away

Great Lake State

Your Love is My Drug

Never Initiate

Horrifically Brutal

Stripped

Carrie Bradshaw Complex

You've Been Advised

No Exceptions

Prom!

Julia really, really loves prom.

PROMMM!

Oh, prom. Prom, prom, how I love thee.

As I wrote in my ELLE Guinea Pig of Love column, “Why prom? Oh, hell, who knows? Why do some people love bowling and others enjoy chess? Why do some people appreciate beer and others get off on NASCAR? It’s just whatever makes you happy. And prom makes ME happy. I love it. I love everything about it. I love the gowns and the boys in tuxedos and the dancing and the cheesy posed photographs and the limos and the adolescent camaraderie and the milestone event-ness of it all.”I love the process of prom -- the detailed planning, the selection of the date (Will he ask me? Should I ask him!?), the arguably even more important selection of the dress (long, short, puffy, slender, strapless, blue, red, black, pink?), the selection of which questionable creative up-do I should pay $50 at a hair salon to get and then subsequently be miserable about, remove, and do myself.

To me, prom is a moving art installation rife with opportunities for creative expression. It’s the first time in most people’s young lives that they have an opportunity to wear formal wear, for one. And there’s something special about a group of people -- be they at a graduation or a dance or a charity event or a wedding -- all dressed up with someplace to go, someplace reminiscent of 1950s Americana, like the Enchantment Under the Sea dance in Back to the Future or Betsey Johnson’s ‘50s prom-inspired collection. (If I were making the calls, prom would always be set in 1955. But with iPhone cameras.)

More than anything, I love me a ball gown. Especially ones with lots of tulle, those that swish and swoosh around as you walk, those that billow and cocoon you in swatches of glamorous fabric, those that make you feel, well, like a princess! And I REALLY love me a man in a tux (I think we can all agree, every male looks a little more debonair, a little more James Bond, when they slip on a dinner jacket.) I even love Jessica McClintock. Don’t hate. I’m from the Midwest.

For my junior year prom I actually convinced my entire group of girlfriends to wear matching tiaras. Yes, really. Some (sparkly) things don’t change.In case you weren’t already convinced of my inveterate geekiness, senior prom, I went -- platonically -- with my debate partner, Andrew. (Yes, Andrew. Same name as my date in this episode!) The dress I wore? That very same blue tulle strapless gown, bought at Nordstrom, if I remember correctly. Or maybe Bloomingdale’s. Either way, I hadn’t tried it on since I was 18 -- that’s 12 years (at the time this was filmed)! I was terrified prior to surprising Andrew, because I literally didn’t know whether it would zip up or not. And I didn’t have another dress. HA!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. We start this episode with me freaking out about writing. Sigh. As I write in my ELLE column:

My “writer’s anxiety” (which sometimes morphs into the more virulent and better known “writer’s block”) isn’t exactly a new phenomenon with me, but it’s gotten exponentially more severe in the last few years. It manifests as an almost debilitating concern over how others will perceive my words, leading frequently to procrastination and temporary paralysis over articles that (in theory) I *want* to do -- subjects that are engaging and intellectually stimulating and even, dare I say, fun.

I’ve published over 400 print articles and columns, and that’s not counting my thousands of blog posts ... but many of them have been unnecessarily torturous experiences. I find that the more I care about the piece, the harder it is to write. Whether that’s because I interviewed someone I greatly respected or because I was writing it for a magazine I admired or because I was sharing something deeply personal and meaningful. The pieces that weren’t difficult were those I expected no one to read. Let’s put it this way: I don’t have writer’s anxiety in my diary. See the pattern?

Cue Peter Crone, the “mind architect” as he calls himself, or “happiness expert” as he is called in the episode. I greet him at my door, furious over my column, which isn’t going “perfectly.” I’m tense, rigid in my body, and Peter calls me out on it.

 

 

“You’re closed up,” he says.

“You shouldn’t be wearing a shirt,” I think.

Yeah, sorry. It’s hard to concentrate on enlightenment when someone that godlike sits mere inches from me on the couch.

As I go through the three-hour hypnosis (OK, OK, so he didn’t TECHNICALLY hypnotize me, but that’s certainly what it felt like), I felt my body -- and then mind -- relax. Sort of the way you feel after a glass of wine or a massage or ... an orgasm. Calm and clear and very UNblocked.

I write more in depth about my experience with Peter in my ELLE column, but suffice it to say, he began the long process of disabling my inner (nasty) critics’ diatribe -- which comes out both when I write and when I date, and doesn’t make either a more pleasant or authentic experience.As I said to Peter toward the end of our session, I’m not really sure who the authentic Julia Allison is. But I know that I’m closer than ever to discovering it. Or maybe it’s not a static set of traits -- maybe it’s dynamic, ever shifting.

Either way, that authentic Julia hates boring dinner and drinks dates, loves being silly, and adores prom. I couldn’t find an ACTUAL prom to attend (trust me, if I could have, I would have), but I though that a facsimile of one with a few twists -- food truck, empty dive bar -- would suffice. Besides, Andrew dresses up as a donut and raps for a living (seriously: http://www.mcjellydonut.com/), so I figured of all the people in the world who could handle this date, he could.

He could -- and he did. Although somewhat nervous (mainly, he told me, about looking like an idiot in a tuxedo), he loved the food truck and REALLY loved the dancing (the kid can dance). As for our first kiss, standing up screaming out of the roof of a stretch limo? Pretty epic. I never got THAT on prom!

PROMMM!

Read more about:

Breakdown Breakthrough

Julia Allison think Andrew did the right thing being honest with her.

Well, hello there! Welcome to the penultimate episode of this first season of Miss Advised. Only one week left until the finale in which... Oh, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? This episode finds us back at my house in Marina del Rey surrounded by my ELLE editor (Keith) and a lovely ELLE photographer who can’t stop laughing at my ridiculous bedroom/closet/home/life. Sigh.

Photo shoots with new photographers make me self-conscious as it is, but to have one conducted by ELLE (in my own home, which tends to veer toward the eccentric) was beyond nerve-wracking. My mother was in town at the time, and I felt like she wouldn’t be thrilled with the concept of a photoshoot (She thinks they are “frivolous” and “self-indulgent” -- even though the shoot was my editor Keith’s idea). My nerves stemmed from that, along with anxiety thanks to a confluence of stresses, most notably my blocked writing. So much so that I was breaking out and stress eating. Not exactly what you want prior to a photo shoot.

Plus, Keith sort of...rolled his eyes at my closet. It’s not often you have your boss in your closet, but when you do, you definitely don’t want him to react like that. Especially if he works at a prominent fashion magazine. You start wondering if you just aren’t cool enough to exist, let alone write for said magazine. In a misguided attempt at "cool," the first outfit I tried on for the photo-shoot was this Rachel Zoe maxi skirt in blue (not pink!), which I paired with a simple white tee. It was a look that felt a lot more hip than I actually am. Ironically dressing that way made me uncomfortable. It just didn’t feel ME. But when I put on a vintage pink dress and sat (upon Keith’s request) in a pile of pink tulle on my bed, tiara in my hair, somehow I felt like myself again.

My editor chastised me about my taste (both in fashion and in home decor), but at the end of the day, I sleep in my bedroom every night, and I have to live with myself. Keith doesn’t! I figure it’s more important I like my own space than if anyone else does. Besides, it’s a great litmus test. If something as silly as a pink bedroom or a proclivity toward occasionally wearing frothy dresses scares a guy away, then I’m not convinced he was worth the trouble in the first place!I hope every woman realizes this: you don’t have to smooth away all your “eccentric” personality traits to find the right man. If he’s right for you, he’ll love you FOR those eccentricities, as long as you’re not counting “being a total bitch” amongst them.

As for the writer’s block I discussed with Keith: I DID eventually get through it, although it took some serious work with therapists regarding my anxiety and self-esteem issues. So far, I’ve published seven columns on ELLE.com (it will be eight by the end of the Guinea Pig of Love series, next week) each written at 2,000 words (they ended up getting edited down to 1,000 or so). You can read them all here. For someone who has been as tortured by writing as I have recently, getting through these is a victory for me. I know it could always come back, but at least I’ve won the battle. Next up: trying to win the war!

Ah, and now for the slightly more depressing portion of this episode -- my ill-advised (if you will) trip to San Francisco to see Mister Andrew. So, about Andrew. Sigh. I don’t know where to begin, but suffice it to say that although it seemed that trip was fast, it really wasn’t. Since the first “PROMMM!” date, we had spent time together, including weekend trips. We talked frequently on the phone and sent zillions of texts and emails. He played me music on his guitar and cooked dinner. I had met his friends and he had met mine. It was time to have that talk. You know, the dreaded “where is this going?” talk. I’m not a huge fan of those talks, but things were getting (as Andrew put it during that conversation) “to that depth” where we needed to discuss it. But Andrew did me a favor, and as much as it hurt at the time, for that I thank him. He didn’t feel that he could fall in love with me, and while that wasn’t what I wanted to hear then, it certainly was the right thing for him to say, because it was true. What if he had led me on, allowing me to develop deeper and deeper feelings that he didn’t reciprocate? That would have been brutal and kept me from being able to heal and move on to find someone who COULD fall in love with me. Andrew is a good man, and he couldn’t do that.

I cried quite a bit when Andrew broke up with me. (Oh, let’s be honest, when Andrew dumped me.) But it wasn’t just over Andrew. I started crying over Andrew and segued into crying over every guy who had EVER dumped me, and then from there into every relationship that hadn’t worked out, and from THERE into a future filled with men who would dump me and relationships that wouldn’t work out. It was quite a cry I had, and poor Andrew sat there rubbing my back, wondering what the hell was going on. Had he accidentally killed my puppy? No, I explained to him later. This is simply how women grieve (some women...sometimes). We stack all of these terrible things on top of one another, one after the other after the other, until it feels like our romantic lives are doomed, like we won’t ever succeed, like we won’t ever be loved. It was as if everything I’ve ever feared I looked at and felt completely and totally throughout my body. I grieved for every end I’ve ever had.

And here’s the strange part -- after I sobbed for about half an hour (and drunk half a bottle of champagne), I felt inexplicably better. Like I had gotten it out of my system. It wasn’t pleasant, but it was certainly cathartic. I had been holding in so much pain, so much fear, so much disappointment and regret over my love life, and Andrew was pretty much the last straw to a mini-breakdown. A breakdown I needed to have, as it turns out, to have a breakthrough.What breakthrough, you ask?

Oh, about that. Well, you’ll just have to wait until the season finale for that!



P.S. That slap? That was just a joke. Even in moments of sadness and disappointment we can (and should) laugh.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND ME ONLINE (if you want to read more!)

Me: @JuliaAllison / Facebook.com/JuliaAllison / www.JuliaAllison.com / JA@JuliaAllison.com: email me!

 

My roommate, JP: @JuliaPriceMusic / YouTube.com/JuliaMusic1 / Facebook.com/juliapricemusic / www.JuliaPriceMusic.com