It starts early. Little girls give each other broken heart necklaces for their birthdays while boys have paintball parties. While boys are encouraged to participate in sports and group activities, us girls are pushed to more one-on-one activities like tea parties or making Barbies have sex under a blanket. Studies show that there are different friendship styles for boys and girls. In one, when middle school girls were faced with the prospect of meeting a new friend, their brains lit up in areas associated with pleasure and reward. Boy brains’ just didn’t do the same thing.
My “anecdotal evidence” from the field? Over the years, I could actually feel my brain light up when it became clear that a new friend would earn the title of “best.” I’ve learned that these relationships are just as valuable as any amorous one and that they do indeed have their own sense of romance.
For me, they also bring about a whole lot of crazy. Keep reading »
This Sunday, fathers and daughters everywhere will be spending quality time together talking about important life issues, reminiscing about stories from childhood, and waxing poetic about the future. While we highly encourage dad/daughter bonding, we’ve compiled this handy list of awkward conversations you may want to avoid if you plan on having a pleasant holiday with dad. After the jump, some unapproved conversation topics this Father’s Day. Keep reading »
As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours. The last few weeks have been pretty hard for me. An immediate family member is in the hospital; while they aren’t in mortal danger, the situation is messy and as their power of attorney, I’m having to juggle my emotional stress with a legal responsibility that feels uncomfortable but is nonetheless necessary. Additionally, there have been other, uh, unpleasant developments in my personal life that have left my heart feeling incredibly bruised and disappointed. Yet the last few weeks have been made much more manageable thanks to my amazing family, friends, and coworkers, who have shown their support in just the right ways. After the jump, a 4-step plan for supporting a friend or family member who’s going through a crappy time. If you have any additional steps you want to add, share them in the comments! Keep reading »
She found me next to the growing pile of crock pots and kitchen sets. I was seated near the bride, half praising her newest pair of plush monogrammed bath towels, half wondering if a fourth glass of champagne would be overdoing it.
She perched on a wing chair and turned to me. “So. How are you and the boyfriend doing?” Her eyebrows were arched and her lips pursed expectantly, as if she knew I must have a juicy tidbit to share.
“We’re doing well,” I said vaguely, determined not to let this friend-of-a-friend pry into my personal life.
“You guys have been together a couple years now, right? Out of school for one? When are you going to get The Ring?” She giggled and swatted my leg as if to say, “We’re so bad!” Clearly, she was determined, too. Keep reading »
This coming Sunday is Father’s Day. I’ll be honest; Father’s Day has been varying degrees of difficult for me over the last 10 years. In my adulthood, my dad and I (that’s us on the left — bowl cut circle 1984!) have had a tough, up-and-down relationship for a variety of reasons (that I won’t get into because I have a therapist I pay to listen to such things!). In the last eight months, however, we’ve managed to develop the most genuine, sincere, and respectful relationship we’ve had in years. How? I think there are two big reasons: 1) we’ve forgiven each other for things that happened in the past and 2) we haven’t tried to recreate the relationship we had before, instead focusing on getting to know each other as people now. It’s far from perfect and I still miss the relationship we used to have, but it has been a relief to let go of the past and to focus on the future.
With that in mind, in honor of Father’s Day, I decided to share the top five pieces of advice my dad has given me over the years. (He has actually given me a lot more than five, but much of it would probably rub the general population the wrong way — he is a Communist-leaning lefty with a taste for psychedelics, after all.) Share your favorite bit of fatherly advice in the comments. Keep reading »