Ryan* and I started dating during my junior year of high school, when I was going through my Christian good-girl phase. I dutifully attended church lock-ins, Bible camps, and crushed on worship band boys. Ryan, who played guitar in a Christian band (sigh) and just so happened to be the son of my 6’5″ Pentecostal Pastor, was the one I chose. In addition to being a couple, we were best friends who were in choir and church drama team together. Ryan was absolutely hilarious, super tall like his dad, and best of all, my mom LOVED him. He really knew how to get old broads to swoon.
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“I’m looking for bliss … for Candy Land,” my last boyfriend said during our breakup.
Even though I was sad that we were splitting, I couldn’t help but laugh. It sounded absurd.
“That doesn’t exist,” I told him, trying to keep a straight face.
“Maybe you’re right,” he went on. “But I’m not ready to give up the dream yet.”
I pictured him venturing off into the vast single universe in footsie pajamas, wielding a plastic light saber, off to find Queen Frostine. I wanted to tell him he was wasting his time, but it would have been pointless to try to convince him. Like an encouraging parent would, you smile, pat him on the head, and say, “Good luck, soldier.”
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In high school, I had a single group of really close friends. Yes, I had other friends outside of that core group, but those five girls were unequivocally my best friends – the ones with whom I shared monumental milestones, the ones I could talk about everything or nothing with for hours on end. When I left for college, I couldn’t fathom ever replacing them. I wondered if I would ever find a group of friends that close again.
But here’s the thing: I haven’t made another group of really close friends. And the fact that I haven’t has actually been a blessing. Keep reading »
Writing about eating disorders feels like an exercise in vulnerability, not because I am ashamed to share my story, but due to the extremely emotional nature of the topic for countless women. In an era of Kate Moss, skinny jeans, and “she’s too skinny!” tabloid fodder, eating disorders run rampant like a cultural epidemic, continuing to fester alongside a never-ending preoccupation with body image. Although the majority of the media narrows the scope of the issue to models and celebrities, eating disorders are actually most prevalent amongst us everyday girls. Simultaneously, the reality of EDs extends beyond the teenage anecdotes of starving ourselves to be popular; these serious diseases have lifetime physical and psychological ramifications and are far more multifarious than extreme dieting. Weight is a sensitive subject to say the least, one I am going to handle diplomatically. The objective of sharing my story is not to be controversial, blame Hollywood, or spark debate on how to confront eating disorders, but to reflect on the complexities of a ghost that has haunted me and so many others for over a decade.
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At some point in time, “gamers” got a bad rap. Let’s stop stereotyping the “gamer” world as a place exclusively for basement dwelling social pariahs in dingy underwear who subsist on Hot Pockets microwaves with love by mom. Those of us — yes, women game too! — who play video games also enjoy socializing with friends (outdoors even!) during the daylight hours and have other hobbies besides completing the “Braaaaaaaaaaaaains!” mission in Borderlands. In fact, we even date! Keep reading »