My fairly new boyfriend Todd was a nice-enough looking guy with some questionable grooming habits. I tried to tell myself that these minor, easily fixable flaws shouldn’t influence how I felt about him.
But instead of gazing into Todd’s eyes, I found myself staring at his nose hair, fixated. Brownish-grey tufts looking like steel wool sprouted from his nostrils. An occasional bit of crust hung from his nose hairs like food caught in a beard.
Nothing says “I love you” like buying your man a nose hair trimmer. In retrospect, I realize that Todd could have gotten (justifiably) offended. But while he “didn’t see what the big deal was,” he reluctantly agreed to try the trimmer out. Todd examined the miniscule blades that didn’t appear sharp enough to cut the nose hairs of a squirrel. He turned on the trimmer and held it to the edge of his nostril as if afraid it would get sucked in too deep and shred his brain. Keep reading »
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 »
My mother and many of her second-wave feminist peers view pornography as an institutional ill that is degrading to women and damaging to developing sexuality. She believes that the camera-ready angles, waxed and plastic body parts and pervasive depiction of extreme acts as “normal” distort human sexuality and give young porn-viewers a whole bunch of false and dangerous expectations.
My mom is a smart lady, and she’s not wrong. While I agree that some porn (okay, most of it) fits the bill she describes as damaging, I don’t find the filming and viewing of sex acts as objectively offensive. In other words, I think that porn is not inherently problematic, but its content often includes problematic ideas and attitudes. I also believe when viewed as entertainment, porn can be a positive element in the repertoire of adult sexuality, Keep reading »
As a broke, 27-year-old graduate student slowly recovering from a messy break up, I posted a profile on OkCupid in hopes of meeting a guy who did his own laundry and didn’t kill animals. Despite my Baptist parents’ and grandparents’ longstanding encouragement to find a God-fearing gentleman, my standard was slightly lower. A man who was more or less moral would do. Keep reading »
I should have known the relationship was doomed the moment he brought up his all-consuming hobby: race car driving.
I spent an entire summer in the sticks of Ohio and Pennsylvania, feeling like an idiot as my then-boyfriend Sam, his dad, and a friend worked on the car, which was black and blue with a giant wing on top. It looked like an alien bug on wheels. The first time I came to a race, his mom told me to dress casually, but my outfit (jeans, a striped T-shirt, red flats, and big sunglasses) might as well have been a ball gown compared to the giant silk-screened shirts everyone else was sporting. Sitting in a lawn chair in the driver’s pit, I folded the cover of The New York Times magazine to hide the abortion cover story — that wouldn’t have gone over well — and offered everyone soy nuts. From the stands, I watched cars flame out, crash into each other, and kick up dirt. I prayed for one of the cars to mow me over and texted all my friends, “One of these things is not like the other….” Keep reading »
After a slew of flings that consisted of more games than the World Cup, I was practically in heaven when I met Jake – an intelligent, successful, Southern gentleman who eerily resembled New York Mets heartthrob David Wright. Keep reading »