Dear Página

Welcome back, girls and boys, for another installment of Dear Página, where I help you navigate the murky waters of life along the Río de la Plata. Whether it’s learning to decipher the personalities at your local gym, getting advice on how to best decorate your new home or just trying to understand why some animals use social media, I’m here for you.

Please submit your Dear Página questions to Paige[at]bubblear.com and prepare to be enlightened.
                                                     

Dear Página,

Yay! I finally saved up enough and am moving out of my shared PH and into my own place. It’s in a great location and I can’t wait to get to know my new barrio. The problem is, it’s unfurnished and I can’t really decide on how to decorate. I definitely want it to reflect my unique, international style – but with flair! Thanks –New Tenant

Dear Martha Stewart,

First off, let me congratulate you. There are few things better than leaving behind the horrors of communal living and settling in to your own digs. Sure, it’s fun when you’re in college, since your massive daily hangovers will impede you from ever leaving your living room couch – that is when it’s convenient to live with your BFFs. As you get older, you prefer to suffer through these post-drinking shame spirals alone and in peace. You go, Glen Coco. But moving on to your question: home décor. Unfortunately in BA you might find that there isn’t necessarily an abundance of home goods stores, so the tactic of “I’ll just go to Anthropologie, buy a ton of random crap and hope for the best” isn’t going to work out.

It seems that – save for the truly creative and innovative (we love to hate them) – rather than try something new, many people tend to stick to a few schemes that guide their home aesthetic. My two favorites are the Black-Red-White combo and the Faux Shabby Chic train wreck. I feel like the former best conveys that you’re a dope who doesn’t mind being literally blindsided by starkly contrasting colors at all times. The white pleather capitone couch is the perfect touch to tie a room together, por supuesto. Just remember that your friends might think you live in a telo if you decide to choose this style.

For the girly-girls, you can(‘t) go wrong with the shabby chic aesthetic, largely introduced here by designer Milagros Resta. Check out her website; the showroom looks like every pastel color, painted wrought-iron piece of furniture and faded floral pattern had sex and simultaneously vomited on each other. While decorating your apartment this way might condemn you to a life of solitude, perhaps this is exactly what you’re looking for. Besides, nothing eases a killer white wine hangover quite like a tufted pillow with a nice toile fringe.

                                                     

Dear Página,

I’m having a hard time finding my groove at the local gym. Maybe it’s just my neighborhood, but I don’t feel like I really see anyone who reminds me of myself, you know what I mean? Should I cancel my membership and find somewhere else to sweat it out? –Lonely Weightlifter 

Dear Buns of Steel,

Personally, I think you should stick to your lone wolf workout routine. No one is more intimidating than the dude who grunts and talks to himself while doing squats and stuff. I’ve never been one to go to the gym to socialize, though you do definitely feel less lame when you have a buddy to help peel you off the floor after tripping over the treadmill.

There are a few characters you’ll find at every gym – the ambiguously gay, ridiculously cut dudes who also spend more time in a tanning bed than is considered socially acceptable (these men also tend to enjoy regular Botox sessions, my research tells me), the cougars who look way better than you in spandex and somehow manage to work out with their hair down (and looking as if they just left the peluquería), the pretty young things – both male and female – who have no need to be in the gym other than to make us feel bad and the “regular” people (like myself) who often look like they were hit by multiple trucks and other heavy machinery before even entering the gym.

The trendy chains like Megatlón tend to have higher concentrations of these social aberrations. Remember this: People watching is always more fun when they’re all freaks. Go ahead, spend your workout wondering how on earth that woman does not break a sweat while her mane of mermaid hair falls down her back, or if the young 20-something girls doing sit-ups next to you actually robbed the Nike store last time they were in Miami (Too. Much. Neon.). Concentrate on them, and before you know it, your workout will be done, and you will have simultaneously made yourself feel better at the expense of others. Sounds like a pretty standard recipe for success. High five!

                                                     

Dear Página,

I don’t really need any advice, per se, but I was wondering if you could explain why it seems like so many dogs have Facebook profiles here. Is there something I’m missing? Some memo I didn’t receive? Should my dog have a Facebook profile? Help! –Pooch Parent 1.0

Dear Luddite,

Have no fear. Just like with humans, it’s actually kinda cool not to have Facebook. Not only because dogs can neither type, turn on a computer or formulate a status update, but because no one cares enough about your animal enough for it to keep others in the loop all day, every day. Flying below the radar FTW.

It seems that this local trend is almost exclusively limited to French Bulldogs. My only explanation for this is because Frenchie owners in BA tend to either be minitahs who neither work nor study enough to actually keep themselves busy or pseudo-celebrities who think it’s appropriate to bring their dog with them EVERYWHERE. There are obviously normal owners mixed in there, but the truth is hard to deny. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg struck a deal with Argentine French Bulldog owners? The more profiles created, the more lives they’ll get to play on Candy Crush? Only God knows. Really.

The most perplexing part of this phenomenon is the reality that it’s the owners who are creating these status updates, photo albums and other nonsense on behalf of their dogs. (Full disclosure: I will show photos of or tell anecdotes about my dog to anyone who will listen. I know, it’s nuts, but at least I’m not assuming the first person (canine?) perspective when talking about my day – “Went for a walk, peed on the grass! Tried to eat a toy poodle. Now I’m waiting for dinner. Woof.”) While there’s nothing wrong with loving your animal, cherish the notion that she doesn’t have to struggle with finding the perfect profile picture or de-friending that weirdo she met once during freshman year in college. Let’s be honest, don’t we all wish we could do this?