One of the things I lost when I stopped shampooing and cutting my hair was regular hangouts with my former hairstylist/now friend, Maggie. I met her after several bad experiences at Hair Cuttery and Great Clips, where I’d go for a $20 hair cut, say, “Fuck my hair up!” and the stylist would interpret that as “You want a layered bob.” I did not want a layered bob. I wanted fucked-up hair.
I think I was 22 when I started seeing Maggie on the reg. I decided I’d splurge on a $35 haircut at Regis, one of those slightly-more-upscale mall hair salons where you learn that paying $15 more for your haircut really goes a long way. It was a lot for me at the time when you counted the tip, too, but Maggie made it worth it. I said, “Fuck up my hair!” and she looked at my hair for a minute or so, decided how to artfully fuck it up, and proceeded to do so. Keep reading »
I think I may have had a small mental break down last week. I knew it was coming, I was all tight with emotion after some of the responses I received on an open letter I wrote to some New York school teachers who wore NYPD shirts to school on the first day of class– in a largely minority school. When I skimmed through the comments section, I noted an almost sheer disregard for the humanity of the men I referred to in the piece who were murdered by police in the streets. Men like Eric Garner, Michael Brown and John Crawford, whose unfair deaths justify the movement against police brutality. A movement intended to end discriminatory judicial practices. One that most certainly should not be opposed by teachers of minority students.
To many White readers, the issue was simple: the NYPD deserved support from teachers, even if they mess up a couple of times. After all, not “all cops are bad” and most of these guys were doing something wrong anyway. Keep reading »
I was 25 when I kissed someone for the first time.
I’d met him at a local book club, and we hit it off almost instantly. Our first date started at eight p.m. and ended shortly after one a.m. Though we’d planned a second official date for the following Tuesday, we ended up hanging out every evening for the next few days. I was smitten, he was smitten, and it wasn’t long before we were A Thing.
Two months later, I moved to Chicago and we broke up. But before all that happened, before this relationship went down in the flaming ball of pain that plagues so many long distance relationships, we had several wonderful evenings together. We watched movies, went out to eat, walked through parks, and, yes, fooled around on his small loveseat in his apartment.
In the technical sense, I never actually “lost” my virginity (at least not with him). But I no longer felt like a virgin because I was now sexually experienced. And this was a problem for the culture I came from, because I had committed the greatest of all sins: I had engaged in premarital fooling around with someone. Keep reading »
It was October 2012. My Australian boyfriend and I had just been on a romantic, whirlwind adventure road trip around Europe. We spent the first month with his parents in Spain and France, and then spent the following month on our own. We zigzagged through Switzerland, Austria, a brief drive through Lichtenstein, Germany, and finally Belgium. We’d been living in London before our travels and this was to be our final trip before we relocated together to San Francisco.
The preceding months had been fraught with anxiety as the expiration dates on our visas approached. As is the the case in many international relationships, my boyfriend and I struggled how to proceed as a couple. San Francisco was my choice, but he was not quite ready to leave Europe. In Bruges, on the last day of our trip, we broke up. We were one day away from going back to London, saying our goodbyes and then going our separate ways to reunite a few months later. The impending separation felt like it spelled doom, and we suffered over what to do. Keep reading »
My life three years ago is sometimes incomprehensible to me. Retrospectively, it’s so absurd that it’s hard to believe that the things that happened happened, or that I tolerated some of the things that happened, or that I actively participated in some of the things that happened.
Enough mystery. When Jessica’s article about the time her husband spent unemployed went live, I told her about my experiences on both sides of the unemployment-in-a-relationship fence. I spent three years with an unemployed (former) spouse, and then became unemployed myself last year, during the course of the relationship I’m in with my boyfriend now. Jessica recounted beautifully the anxiety of watching a partner she loves undergoing the stress of unemployment and job-searching. Keep reading »
As sometimes happens, I came to it — rockabilly — for the clothes. I started collecting vintage clothes from the 1940s through the early ’60s when I graduated from college and was entering the working world, because I wanted more than black pants and a sweater for business casual. I clicked away hours on my laptop, gleaning important bits of knowledge from old photos and bloggers everywhere from Australia to Austin. These stylish women were wonderfully put together for work and play, and danced to a soundtrack of music more powerful and raw than what I’d been listening to at the time. Keep reading »