The first man I ever fell in love with was eight years older than me. He was on probation for stealing a video game, and his fingertips smelled like cigarettes and shellfish, having spent most evenings washing dishes at a seafood restaurant. At one point, he kept going to work even though his boss had stopped paying him. “Why don’t you start looking for a new job?” I asked.
“Cuz it’s fun just chillin’ with the boys, smoking cigarettes in the back,” he told me.
Jeff wouldn’t find another job for nine months, mostly because his unemployment allowed him to sit in front his PlayStation all afternoon. At age 26, he still lived with his dad, but couldn’t be bothered to sleep in the spare bedroom because all of his crap — a graveyard of sporting equipment he lost interest in and old surf tees — was piled so high, he couldn’t find the bed.
Instead, he slept on a makeshift bed-couch in the living room. It was here, with his father bumbling in to ask, “What’s going on?” that I lost my virginity. Keep reading »
Make It Stop is a new weekly column in which Anna Goldfarb — the blogger behind Shmitten Kitten and Shlooby Kitten — tells you what’s up. Want a fresh take on a stinky dilemma? Email email@example.com with the subject “Make It Stop.” She’ll make it all better, or at least make you laugh. Girl Scout’s honor.
First up, how to deal with an overly-friendly neighbor who just won’t shut up: Keep reading »
In March, Michael and I met up with my friend and her boyfriend for a double-date. I already knew that they’d gone to look at rings, but their big news that night was that he had gone ahead and bought it, and already talked to her mom and dad about proposing to her. I was thrilled for my friend: She is one of the coolest people I know, her boyfriend is a really good guy, they work well together, they’ve started building a life that suits what she wants, and now they’re making it official — things are working out really nicely for them.
When we left the bar and were safely out of anyone’s earshot, and asked Michael to stop. “I just want to be clear,” I told him, “I want to get married. That’s where I’m headed. I’d like to know if that’s what you want, too.”
“Yeah,” he said, and smiled. “Yeah what?” I asked, because I hate having things in uncertain terms. “Yeah, I want to marry you some day,” he replied. Keep reading »
My ex-husband was the most romantic person I’ve ever met. He also hit me on the day we got married, while I was wearing my wedding dress.
That’s why when I saw the footage of ex-Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer, I wasn’t surprised that she was now his wife. It isn’t — as many of the commenters on the original TMZ video have said — “all about the money,” or “she doesn’t care about taking a punch,” and it’s especially not that “she is telling all women it’s okay for your man to beat you.”
Domestic violence is so much more complicated than a lack of money, or not having self-respect, or feeling like it’s OK for your man to beat up on you. I’m not an expert on what makes women stay in abusive relationships or even marry their abuser. But I did both of these things and I can speak to my particular story. Keep reading »
Pretty much everything about Kale and I getting married was untraditional. But we were actually quite traditional by not moving in together until a few days before our wedding.
Kale and I certainly weren’t opposed to premarital cohabitation on principle: both of us had lived with exes in long-term relationships before. We simply hadn’t been together long enough to move in together: we had only been dating for four months when we got engaged and got married just five weeks after that (yeah, we moved quick). Kale ending his lease in Brooklyn to move into my apartment in Queens a few days before our wedding was pure circumstance.
By cultural standards, the “getting married” part is supposed to be the huge change that occurred in my life. One minute I was filing my taxes solo and then — ba-bam! — I’m legally joined to another person by law. And to be sure, sponsoring Kale for immigration was also a significant event. But the honest truth is that the biggest change during that time, in terms of how it affected my life and how I had to adjust and grow as a person, was acquiring not just a new husband but a new roommate. Keep reading »
According to a new report by the University of Virginia, couples who have larger, more formal weddings are more likely to have quality marriages. This is pretty hard to believe because in my mind, there are few things more stressful or challenging to a relationship than planning a big wedding. The study, which is part of UVA’s National Marriage Project, surveyed 418 people about their histories and the current quality of their marriage. Marriage quality was determined through questions about factors like happiness in the relationship, thoughts about divorce, how often the couple confides in one another. Researchers found that only 30 percent of couples who had less than 50 guests at their ceremony had a highly successful marriage. On the other hand, 47 percent of couples who had over 150 guests had highly solid marriages, which is still hardly an awesome success rate. Keep reading »