We’ve been seeing each other for years; short, weekly sessions that often leave me enlightened, teary-eyed, or with a skip in my step. Ours is one of the most gratifying relationships I’ve ever had, defined by an openness and comfort level that allows for complete honesty. It took a little while to get there and I was certainly guarded at first, but now? Well, I wouldn’t know where I would be without her.
She’s my therapist. She knows everything about me. But sometimes I wish I knew more about her. Keep reading »
Women who demand respect often get exactly that. And why shouldn’t they? We not only deserve it, we should expect it. But there’s a tipping point when a woman’s demands jump the shark from self-respecting to totally high maintenance, or, as I like to call it, highmay. There are the obvious one-name offenders: Madonna and her overnight full body saran wrapping, Cher and her multiple costume changes. And then there are women who demand maintenance in ways that are less obvious, but just as lethal. She is “the worst kind,” as Harry so clearly explained to Sally. “You’re high maintenance but you think you’re low.” So girls and guys, I’m going to be like your cool older sister who bought your sorry 15-year-old ass beer from the Quickmart and offer you a few tips on how to preemptively spot a high-maintenance girlfriend. Because those dudes I described yesterday have company.
Gals, you can write your seemingly benign behaviors off as girly or cute, or you can see them for what they are—blinking red lights indicating you’re about to take the onramp to the highmay highway.
Guys, ignore the warning signs at your peril—unless, of course, you’re a glutton for punishment; then ending up with a woman who’s just like your highmay mother is probably inevitable.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out something about Nick* was different. Everything about him was outsized, super-charming and a bit impulsive. For our second date, he seriously considered whisking me away to Atlantic City for the weekend to go gambling. After only two weeks of dating, he told me he thought I was “the one.” He chatted a mile a minute, exhausting one topic and moving right on to the next without missing a beat. On our earliest dates, I literally felt as though I was his audience — though I didn’t exactly mind, because he was charismatic and bright and his life story fascinated me. I’m not the life of the party at all, so to be with someone who is the life of the party was extremely fun. When he finally told me after several dates that he had bipolar disorder and ADD, I nearly smacked myself in the forehead. Of course he does! I realized. He’s textbook!
My older brother Eliot* also has bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression). Eliot’s behavior when he has not been taking his medication is almost exactly like Nick’s. He’s just as impulsive, if not more so; a few Christmases ago, he tried to persuade me to ditch our family and drive to Foxwoods to go gambling. Eliot is also very charming, charismatic, bright and the dictionary definition of “the life of the party.” Our personalities are so different that our friends can hardly believe he and I are related.
So when Nick mentioned that he is not taking medication for his bipolar and ADD, I nearly smacked myself in the forehead a second time. Of course, of course, I thought. And then: F**k. Keep reading »
In the spirit of Columbus, Magellan and Lewis and Clark, I spent my teenage years as a fearless explorer of uncharted carnal terrain, reporting back to my tight-knit group of girlfriends with play-by-plays and handy tips from my randy sexual exploits. I was the ﬁrst in my high school crew of gals to do pretty much everything: kiss a boy, get felt up, get naked, get ﬁngered (in a movie theater), receive oral sex, give oral sex, and ﬁnally, have sex (on the ﬂoor of my high school boyfriend’s parents’ basement). A new world of experiences was opening up, and I took on my role as trailblazer with fervor, drive and anthropological scrutiny. That ﬁrst night on the basement ﬂoor, I remember thinking to myself, Wow, the cavemen did this! Keep reading »
When I was 8, some friends of my parents had a party at their house. The main attraction was a palm reader they hired to entertain the guests. “You will marry someone from your childhood,” she told me. I squirmed at the thought of love or marriage; I still thought boys had cooties. This same palm reader also told a woman at the party that she would be separated from her husband of 20 years. A week later he died suddenly of a heart attack. Keep reading »