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Jessica’s 10 Best Posts Of 2011

The Best Of 2011!
Our picks for the best of the year in pop culture, style, sex, and more! Read More »

While there are still a few days left in 2011, we’re going to feature some of our best and favorite posts from the last year. Each of your regular Frisky bloggers has picked out her 10 favorite posts from 2011—some you may remember well, others might have slipped under your radar. Either way, we hope you’ll relive the best of The Frisky in 2011. Here’s what Jessica had to say in 2011…

1. The Soapbox: On Rape, Alcohol, Victim-Blaming, And Feminist In-Fighting

If you write for a living — especially opinion writing, and especially as a feminist — you set yourself up for criticism. You really have no control over how others respond to your work, other than choosing not to write it. By attaching your name to your views, you put yourself in the position to be agreed with, judged, lauded, mocked, quoted reverently, misinterpreted, called somebody others “must read”, called crazy or ugly or both. I’ve experienced all these things at some point in my career.

It sucks, though, when the worst of those experiences happen from within the feminist community. Read more…

2. Girl Talk: Welcome To Heartbreak

In the past three days, I have been suddenly and unexpectedly broken up with by my boyfriend of almost two years and asked to move out of the apartment that we have shared for a year and a half. The past few days have been horrible and sad, but mostly filled with dread about the uncertainty of the future. It feels like a nightmare that I am going to wake up from; a few times I’ve asked myself if I lost my mind a la “Black Swan” and this reality isn’t real. This morning I stood in line at Starbucks and pulled back the pinky finger on my hand, bent it so far until it hurt. Okay, I thought, I must be awake and alive. This must actually be my life. I don’t know how it is that I have put on pants every day, brushed my teeth, written emails, written blogs posts, done my laundry, and eaten food. My heart feels so bad I can’t believe I’m not glued to my bedsheets. Maybe I’m just in so much disbelief that I am numb. Read more…

3. Girl Talk: I May Be Single, But I Am Not Alone

I’ve always been kind of a loner. While I’m silly and funny and irreverent with one or two people, I clam up in social settings and in groups. I think this is why I’m a good interviewer: I focus very intently and intensely on one person. More specifically, I need a lot of time in my own head to think. The two activities that I love the most — writing and reading — both require being alone. As with anything, I’m sure I came to be like this with some combination of nurture and nature. I am the youngest of five kids, so I learned as a child to be in the physical presence of other people but still do my own thing. But my parents were pretty preoccupied with stuff going on in my brother’s life from the time that I was 14 years old onward, so I also learned how to be independent. This has served me well in life. Read more…

4. Girl Talk: Did I Fail To Keep The Romance Alive?

Yesterday I was idly reading the comments on one of my posts on The Frisky when a partner link caught my eye: “7 Things You Shouldn’t Tell Your Boyfriend.” Shouldn’t tell your boyfriend? I thought. I always told my boyfriend everything. Like, EVERYTHING. He knew about my bouts with depression. He knew about my brother’s struggles with drug addiction and alcoholism. He knew about how much I owe in student loans. He knew about my spanking fetish. He knew about my desire for dominant/submissive sex. He knew about the May-December romance I had with a 37-year-old man when I was 22. He knew when I farted and burped and had the flu. He knew what I looked like in sweatpants, in no makeup, and in sweatpants and no makeup. During the two years that we dated, he was my best friend Why wouldn’t he know these things? Read more…

5. Do We All Need To Learn How To Date?

Yesterday afternoon, I met up with an old ex-boyfriend for coffee. He’s staunch Catholic who was seriously considering joining the priesthood while we were dating; he has always been a lovely person, albeit more conservative than me. (He also happens to be my token pro-life friend.) I was filling him in on the past few years and months of my life — falling in lovegetting dumpedmoving out— and how I am growing from it. In the past, I have felt overwhelmed as the caretaker in a relationship, and going forward I would like to be with a stronger, more traditional alpha male type. I used to be a more casual hang-out-and-hook-up-er before; now I would like to date with the intention of a serious relationship.

He suggested I check out Kerry Cronin. Read more…

6. Girl Talk: I Get More Than One Shot At Love

The other day, my new dude, Juan, and I were talking about breakups. We both went through bad ones in the past six months or so and he has a female friend who’s in the drinking-and-crying stage of a breakup now. (‘Tis the season, I guess?) After they hung out, Juan told me he could still recall the sting she’s feeling right now.

“I remember how that is: feeling like no one is ever going to love you in the same way again,” he said. “You feel at that time like it couldn’t possibly happen ever again … even though you know logically that it will.” Read more…

7. Girl Talk: Compromising Positions

I made decision when I was a young adult on the kind of regrets I’d try to have: I want to regret only the things I did do, not the things I didn’t. So far it’s worked out just as I’ve hoped. I have never had to look back and wish I had fallen deeply in love, or traveled around Europe when I was young, or quit a steady job to freelance write fulltime, because I’ve done all of those things. I’m proud that I have very few regrets about things in my life I have done — very, veryfew, like, I’m struggling to think of examples now. But as each month brings more and more distance between myself and a devastating heartbreak I suffered with the guy I wanted to spend my life with, one regret is becoming pronounced. I look back now and I’m not proud of all the small compromises that I made for him without, I think, getting as much as I should have in return. Read more…

8. Girl Talk: We Can’t Be Friends

There’s this (amazing) song on the soundtrack to the (terrible) movie “The Romantics” called “We Can’t Be Friends” by Lenore Scafaria. My favorite lyrics go:

“I want to wear a skirt, I want to make mistakes,
I want to kill you first and then take your name,
I want to tear you apart, I want to make your bed,
I wanna break your heart, I want to break your head,
I guess this means we can’t be friends.”

In the days, weeks and months following a big breakup, I listened to this song on repeat. Every word of it spoke to me (especially the part about breaking his head). We’d said to each other on our first date, moony-eyed, that even if this didn’t grow into anything, we should still be friends. Read more…

9. Girl Talk: Finding The Good In Goodbye

About a month ago I was standing in a sandwich shop near my office and my mind went to the place it usually does, which is wondering what I would do if Ex-Mr. Jessica walked in. His office is only 10 blocks away from my own, so there is a very real possibility we may run into each other by accident sometime. I looked at the men dressed the same way he would dress — glasses, dress shirt, slacks, an iPod — and imagined him walking in.

And then I realized I wouldn’t have cared. I could nod my head at him and ignore him. I could even muster a small smile and a “hi.” In the day’s experiences, it would register as “whatever.”

And that release felt hugeRead more…

10. Girl Talk: On Carpetbombing A Relationship

“It was like I had to do something serious, something to cause a rift, that we couldn’t come back from.”
That was my friend Caitlin*. She stopped me dead in my tracks. We were walking off brunch last Sunday afternoon, a brunch filled with sharing our mutual dating tales and reminiscing about our past relationships that brought us to where we are today. Caitlin started telling me for the first time about her ex-boyfriend, a guy she had been with for four years in her late teens and early-20s. They’d fallen in love, moved in together and settled down seemingly happily. Then Caitlin started to feel anxious. She was too young to settle down. She wanted to “go out.” She wanted to have more life experiences that didn’t necessarily involve him. It wasn’t that he was doing anything wrong; in fact, she still recalled him sweetly. So she started to sabotage the relationship, to hurt him so badly that they had to break up.

She had carpetbombed the relationship. She needed to carpetbomb the relationship. Read more…

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