Earlier this month, the world met Susan Patton, a 1977 graduate of Princeton University, authoress of the world’s snobbiest letter to the editor of The Daily Princetonian. Its utterly-sincere advice that female undergrads marry fellow Princetonians because they’ll never find men as intelligent anywhere else in the world — followed by the news that Patton had recently divorced and blamed her husband for attending a no-name college — made her an instant Internet villainess.
It also got her invited back to speak to Princeton last week, where she shared more of her dating tips, including: “A woman looking for a husband in her 30s gives off total desperation.” Such spinster harridans are absolute “man repellent,” she warned. Keep reading »
It wasn’t until we were sitting on a bench on a beautiful, sunny March day in London’s Kensington Gardens, that Patrick and I had what I recall as being our first actual argument. Just under a year into our relationship, we took our first big vacation together. The details of the disagreement, of course, were beyond stupid: I didn’t like the way Patrick exchanged money. I thought he should exchange his money differently. More specifically, I thought he should exchange money the way I exchanged money, the way I had explained to him was the best way to exchange money.
I told you it was stupid. And it was our first day together in London. I had a whole week of being annoyed at money exchanges ahead of me.
Of course, it wasn’t about the money exchanges themselves, but about the fact that I felt like Patrick wasn’t listening to my valuable input about logistical minutiae. And I am the kind of person who feels like “my valuable input” roughly translates to “literally the only input you need.” Keep reading »
“Forget about having it all, or not having it all, leaning in or leaning out — here’s what you really need to know that nobody is telling you.”
That’s how now-infamous “Princeton Mom” Susan Patton began her letter to “Princeton women,” advising them to lock down a Princeton man by the time they graduate, lest their lives turn, over the next three decades or so, to fetid piles of vaguely unfulfilling upper-middle-class Princeton shit.
Princeton women — and all women, and actually everybody in a place of transition, as so many college students and young people and old people and middle-aged people are — please allow me to finish her premise with the actual thing you “really need to know that nobody is telling you.”
You don’t have a “shelf life.” There’s almost nothing you can’t undo, deal with or mitigate the damage of. You do not have to set your life trajectory on ascend, now or at any other time. You are going to be fine. Keep reading »
Yesterday in Austin, Texas, a city I’m very proud to call home, 250 people gathered on the south steps of the state capitol for a nice round of bigoted back-patting, peppered with lines like this, from state senator Donna Campbell: “They want to redefine marriage between a natural man and natural woman the same way they want to redefine the Constitution.”
This, of course, while the Supreme Court was hearing arguments on same-sex marriage.
“Our core values are being attacked on a daily basis,” Campbell told the crowd.
I like that line, about “core values” that are “being attacked,” because if there’s one thing that gives me a little pleasure when thinking about people like Donna Campbell, and others who would deny civil rights to all Americans because something something Jesus, it’s the thought that maybe they stay up at night seriously worried that the gays, or whoever Donna Campbell thinks “they” might be, are coming for her values and children, cowering beneath their quilted comforters.
Maybe that thought is funny to me because things like the “Future Bride” baby onesie exist in the world. If anyone is coming for your children, it is hyper-normative heterosexuals who can’t even wait for a little girl to get out of goddamned diapers before casting her as a sexual being. Keep reading »
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek checklist from the Wedding Industrial Complex to all the brides out there who are doing weddings wrong, and who will no doubt regret their many wedding-related sins forever.
But seriously folks: I have some regrets about our wedding.
Not the but-what-does-it-all-mean kind of regrets. But the logistical, practical kind of regrets that I think I can help folks getting married avoid having in the future. Read on for proof that I am not the smartest bride who ever lived. Keep reading »
I seriously never thought I’d say this: I miss being engaged.
I don’t miss wedding planning, and I don’t miss being talked to as if, as a human with a ring and a vagina, I had no interests aside from talking about the details of “my” (so rarely, “our”) big day. I sure as shit don’t miss shopping for wedding dresses. I don’t miss getting Wedding Industrial Side-Eye because Patrick and I had, like, a wedding budget.
What I miss is the day-to-day experience of preparing to love someone publicly. Keep reading »
Hey, heterosexual ladies, the only people who matter when it comes to weddings! Gearing up for your big day this summer? Here’s a handy checklist of things essential to a great wedding day, to make sure everything is as perfect as possible or everything in your life will be meaningless.
Do you have … Keep reading »
Shortly after Patrick and I got engaged, my mom called with a request that was so cute, I didn’t know what to say: “The ladies at church want to throw you a bridal shower.”
The “ladies” in question were women who had watched me grow up in our small-town Methodist church, with whose daughters I attended countless birthday parties, bunked with at church camp and defied the chaperones at all-night lock-ins for Jesus.
I was touched. I hadn’t had a conversation with these women for years and yet they wanted to throw me a party. And not just any party. A presents party! Keep reading »
People on the internet have been telling me I’m fat for at least a decade — since whenever the first full-body photograph of me appeared on a blog author page. I still remember one of the first times it happened. I was probably 22 years old, wearing a pink pencil skirt and cute black top, retro-style, in the photo.
“Just like I thought, she’s pear-shaped,” snarked one commenter, who apparently previously inferred from the quality of my writing that my body was not up to his high expectations, only to have it all confirmed by a photo.
I stood in front of the mirror in that same outfit, staring at my body from every angle, trying to figure out just how pear-shaped I was. Was it my thighs causing the problem? Had to be, right? I measured them. I calculated my BMI. I took more digital photos and compared them to the existing photo. I went through the size tags on all my clothes, trying to find the biggest one so I could prove to myself that I either was or wasn’t fat. Definitively.
Keep reading »