What do you do when one of the things you used to like about yourself the most, looking back, becomes one of the things that you like about yourself the least?
From as young as I can remember, a rocket ship of ambition propelled me forward in all that I did. I didn’t — and still don’t — have a wide variety of interests, because writing was where I excelled. I threw everything into it. My parents, of course, fanned the flames of this. They loved having a daughter who made them proud.
And I loved getting some attention. My older brother Eliot*, his bipolar disorder and his drug and alcohol addictions, consumed most of my parents’ energy and nearly all of their attention. I wrote a poem when I was 13 or 14 that I can remember to this day because it still applies to my life sometimes. It was called “Measuring Cups” and it was about parents struggling to measure out love and attention equally amongst their children, but failing. When I was that young, the best way I could find attention, short of developing a heroin addiction myself, was to impress my parents with awards and articles and prizes and accolades. There was no confusion about this lifestyle, no hard choices to make. All I had to do was whatever made me look the best. Keep reading »
If you feel like you missed the class that taught everything you needed to know about dating and you just can’t make these things called relationships work, you may be stuck in some unhealthy romantic patterns. These default strategies can often kick in without us even knowing it — from the moment those first crushy feelings arise and take hold until the relationship inevitably crashes and burns and sometimes beyond, making it difficult to get over a guy and move on with your dating life. Ironically, the very behaviors you engage in to get into a healthy, loving, committed relationship do just the opposite, leaving you in tremendous pain and feeling like you’re destined to be alone forever. Looking back at the wreckage of your relationship history, you’ll know if it’s time to cleanse your dating palate of the chaotic and destructive patterns that have gotten you to where you are, overwhelmed by loneliness and afraid you’ll be perpetually single. Click through to see some of the biggest offenders and suggestions for how to let them go. If you can break these deadly dating patterns, you might have a shot at that love thing after all. Even though you clearly missed that day in class. I think all of us did.
Confession: I am pretty obsessed with Craigslist’s Missed Connections. It is my life goal to find one dedicated to me, and therefore I check them every day — so far, to no avail. After some deep contemplation, I’ve decided that the way I live my life is not necessarily conducive to the mysterious and sexy aura that tends to spark a Missed Connection. I’m not really a “wink and flip my hair” type; I’m more of a “trip in front of a large crowd while carrying a carton of eggs” type. After the jump, a few examples of Missed Connections based on my life that, alas, I will probably never get… Keep reading »
Increasingly, the line between adulthood and childhood is blurring. Some may blame a crappy economy for careers that strayed from the traditional path. Others adhere to the 30-is-the-new-20 theory. Or maybe a slew of forgotten birthdays got you confused about what year it actually is.
To remind yourself of the progress you’re making, here are 10 signs (among many others, of course), that you’re growing up. How many apply to you? Keep reading »
I have long suspected that I am bad at being a woman. There are things that other women can do that I am terrible at. There are days that I go out wearing giant boys’ sweatpants, my dad’s old football sweatshirt and a red knit cap. I forget that I’m supposed to try to look nice. There are other days when I try really hard to look nice, and then I see about 50 girls on the subway who all are much better at it. Their outfits are both more original and more trendy. Their lipstick has not ended up on their teeth. They always have a drawer full of makeup somewhere, and they know what each type of makeup thingy does. They have an intimate knowledge of flirty, confident, suggestively withdrawn, adorable, fascinating body language. I am in awe. I wonder how they do it. In my head, I keep a growing list of things that women can do that are a mystery to me, in the hope that one day it will all make sense. One day, I will unlock their secrets. After the jump, some of the things woman do that I just don’t understand. Keep reading »
Relatively recently, I dated two men in a row with the same first name—I’ll call them both Tom for the sake of this essay. One I fell in love with, and while I’m mostly over him, I’m not there all the way. Both are guys I was friends with before dating them, and I considered the possibility that the name thing would get weird with Tom 2.0, but I’d had a crush on him, so I overlooked it. They’re fairly different in personality, but the fact that in addition to sharing a name, both Toms have similar body types and professions adds to my sense that men with this name are not my type. Not to mention the fact that after I dated Tom 1.0, I had to keep calling Tom 2.0 by his full name when telling my friends about him, lest anyone get confused. Keep reading »