Over the weekend, my boyfriend Michael visited his mom and his sister, who was home from school for the weekend, out in the burbs. He told them he was going to propose to me soon, and his sister said she already knew that because she reads my work. Whoops! I’m so glad I don’t talk much about our sex life here.
The reality of working as a writer, and specifically as a woman writer, while in a relationship comes with a few problems. I can’t say anything too specific about Michael, and I’m glad he has such a common first name, because it makes him hard to identify. Part of that gladness stems from the fact that there are nutso predators on the Internet who might take issue with what I have to say and decide to make my life worse by making life worse for the people I love. The other part of it is that I am an unconventional woman with strong, non-mainstream opinions, and I don’t want them to be attached to my boyfriend’s public persona. Dating someone doesn’t mean you agree with everything they say or believe, after all. My job in terms of his career is to show up at the annual holiday party and be charming. His bosses don’t need to know anything else about me lest they start believing that because I’m unconventional, Michael is also less conventional than they’ve been led to believe (he is less conventional than he comes off, but not in the leftist/feminist/sex positive/gender nonconformist/takes clothes off on the Internet sort of way). Keep reading »
A New York City couple spent a month using only emojis instead of written words to communicate in their text messages, and weirdly enough, it didn’t totally wreak havoc on their relationship. Alex Goldmark, who works at WNYC’s New Tech City, thought it would make for a sweet experiment for the radio show, and by the end of the month, he and his girlfriend Liza Stark found that emojis were actually improved their connection. Keep reading »
“I’m sooo busy!”
I’m soooo over this phrase. So over it I want to throw something when a person says it. Usually at them. I’m sooo busy is code for, “I don’t care enough about you to remember to text or call or see you.” Telling someone you’re sooo busy isn’t an excuse. It’s an insult.
You know who’s busy? Doctors. Doctors are busy. You know who else? New mothers. I would not trade places with them for a minute. Everyone else? Nope. You’re really not that busy.
We all want to think we’re that busy. But, we’re usually busy playing Candy Crush or perusing other people’s “busy” lives on Facebook or watching “Scandal.” We’ve become too lazy to pick up the phone and get back to someone. Keep reading »
I have a phobia of the phone, don’t have time to write lengthy emails, and my handwriting is so out of practice that signing my rent check each month feels like a chore, so Instant Messenger/GChat is my preferred method of communication (followed by texting, though “in-person interaction” trumps both with certain humanoids). It allows me to keep in touch with friends and do business with colleagues, while multi-tasking on everything else I like to do. When someone tells me they don’t use IM/GChat, I kind of feel like they’re from another planet and I don’t really trust them. (No offense. I mean, I still use the same AOL AIM handle I’ve had for, like, a decade, even though I’ve never had an AOL email address. So the rest of you, join me in the 1990s, please, the water is warm!)
But even those people with whom I IM/GChat on the regular manage to drive me insane sometimes. Here are four bad IM/GChat habits that makes me kind of want to block your ass. Keep reading »
My senior year of college I mentored a group of teen girls at an alternative high school outside of Portland, and it was one of the most powerful and moving experiences I’ve ever had. Not only did I meet my best friend in the process (she was my co-mentor), I saw what an amazing impact we can have on the lives of teens if we just give them a safe space to express themselves. The 5 young women in the group didn’t know each other that well, and they didn’t know my friend and me at all, but when we gathered around a table and asked them to tell us about their lives, the results were absolutely magical. I’ve always believed that since I made it out of adolescence relatively unscathed, the least I can do is offer other young women a little guidance and support along the way. Whether you’re an aunt, a big sister, or a family friend of a teenage girl, you can make a huge difference in that young woman’s life, so I encourage you to reach out and try.
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned in my years of mentoring. Every girl’s communication style is unique, and every interaction might not be perfect, but remember: every conversation is valuable, and every effort really does make a difference. Keep reading »
The first and only time my husband called me a “nag” invoked a cringe-worthy shudder, followed by the thought, “Am I seriously turning into my mother?!” In my personal catalog of unsavory labels, “nag” occupies a space somewhere between “brownnoser” and “snob,” insults I neither want to be called nor become, yet sting fiercely because they often embody a flicker of truth. No woman aspires to be a nag. Yet the moniker remains synonymous with marriage, as though men across the globe all spat, “Nag!” when the word “Wife” is drawn in those psychological word association tests.
The stereotype that all wives are nags is filed neatly under another catalog of mine, the Marriage Myths List. My favorite examples include “married couples don’t have sex” (really?), “all husbands are under the thumb” (mine’s not), and “new moms inevitably let themselves go” (yes, she’s a model, but has anyone seen Miranda Kerr lately?). Since I am in the business of debunking matrimonial fables, it’s worthwhile to expose the easy and cliché tag for wives who mean well everywhere. Truthfully, nagging should be defined as a breakdown in communication that can characterize any relationship, not just marriage. Keep reading »