It’s really difficult to talk about the end of a relationship when you haven’t exactly had a breakup.
“Well, how did it end?” someone inevitably asks.
“Umm … I left him a heart-wrenching voicemail,” seems too embarrassing an answer.
I dated someone for more than eight months until he completely ghosted. I honestly thought this only happened to relationships in their infancy, after maybe a few dates — eight months seems like it deserves a breakup phone call at the very least. But he had stopped answering my calls and texts right around Christmastime, and I was left with no other option. Show up on his doorstep and demand some answers? Nah, not my style. So, I left a long voicemail explaining that clearly things were over, and I’d love to talk about it with him if he could summon some basic decency.
And I never heard from him. Keep reading »
In the months leading up to my move from Portland to Nashville, my life wasn’t exactly going smoothly. My family situation was growing more stressful by the day. Some of my closest friendships had turned toxic. I felt extremely out of place in the hipster culture that dominated the city. My boyfriend wasn’t happy in his job and was getting increasingly depressed. I suffered from terrible anxiety that had started around the time my neighbor’s house had been broken into, and kept me awake most nights, convinced that every creak of our old apartment was a robber prying open the downstairs window.
Those long nights gave me lots of time to think about how unhappy I was, and what I could do to fix it. Therapy, new friends, better self-care, meditation, and sleeping pills all came to mind (and in fact, I’d tried many of them already), but all these potential solutions were always eclipsed by one word: leave.
When I started telling friends and family members how miserable I was, I noticed a common thread in their responses. I’d reveal my plans to move away and start fresh, and they’d gently touch my shoulder and say, in hushed and concerned tones, “You can’t run away from your problems, you know.” Keep reading »
We all know that Valentine’s Day is a contrivance of greeting card companies and florists. We all know that even those who have nice relationships aren’t really enjoying February 14th, as there is nothing particularly romantic about eating overpriced heart-shaped ravioli in a restaurant full of unhappy couples on the coldest night of the year.
And yet, the holiday still manages to make us feel like shit.
Every stupid drug-store box of chocolates, every generic bouquet of deli roses, every Macy’s ad hawking tacky jewelry and embarrassing underwear is all basically saying this: Everyone is buying this crap, knowing full well it’s crap, because there is someone out there who they love, and they don’t want that person to be left out. You, on the other hand, are being left out. Keep reading »
Let’s set the scene: I’m 23, drinking chai in a charming coffee shop. Sitting across from me is a gloriously burly guy in a leather jacket (and, as I know from his Fetlife photos, also in possession of two equally glorious full sleeves of serpent tattoos).
Then the conversation veers from what we do for a living to something more intense. He takes my hand, gently stroking the back of it, and indicates the deeply unsexy red burn line on my wrist.
“And is this from doing one of your… scenes?” he whispers in a voice full of anticipation.
“Nah,” I say. “I burned myself making muffins this morning.”
The devastation on his face is so remarkable that I wish I had taken a picture. It was like I’d farted right before he was about to come, AND kicked his puppy in the face.
Next, he asked me if I’d like to have sex with him in his car, which was currently parked on a busy street during the height of tourist season. I ended the date right then and there and sulked my way through the rest of my tea, alone, wondering how something that seemed so promising could go so wrong in the span of 15 minutes. Was it unreasonable to assume that I didn’t need to be constantly projecting submissive vibes during a first date? And certainly other kinksters made muffins, right? Keep reading »
“You would be in better shape if you had a German wife,” I tell my husband.
I’m sure this is true. Not only do the Germans have a fondness for fitness, but they generally don’t take a lot of shit. As an American, I am more susceptible to his feeble pleas that pizza has been classified as a vegetable, and both our waistlines suffer for it.
“You would be the funniest person in the relationship if you had a German wife,” I tease him. Keep reading »
We’re all born with the ability to eat intuitively, to listen to our body’s needs, to eat nourishing foods when we’re hungry, to stop when we’re full. It’s our default setting; our natural state. Even just writing that out right now, it’s such a “duh” that I can’t believe how easy and common it is for people to lose this ability, but it is. I stopped eating intuitively when I was a kid. I can’t pinpoint one exact moment that my sense of hunger became more emotional than physical, but I remember lots of little moments that helped redefine my relationship with food:
- When I realized that eating half a box of Cheez-Its after school made me feel numb to the mean things my classmates had said to me that day.
- When my grandma literally stuffed cookies into my mouth while saying, “Don’t get fat.”
- When I started eating tons of refined carbs to self-medicate my ADD.
- When I learned to lean on food for emotional support.
And even beyond all that, I just genuinely love food. Always have. I view it as one of life’s great pleasures, but like any pleasure, overdoing it is a surefire way to take all the pleasure out of it. Keep reading »
“What time do you go to bed?” the acupuncturist asked while monitoring my pulse.
“Like, midnight?” I said.
“And what time do you wake up?” she asked, examining my tongue.
“Um, 6:30,” I said, proudly.
I’ve always thought of excessive sleeping as a sign of weakness. Just for myself, not for others. It’s too closely related to depression, so I try not to do too much of it. I didn’t say this out loud, of course.
We sat there, staring at each other for a silent moment.
“You need to sleep more,” she told me. “You don’t take good care of yourself.”
That’s when I started to cry.
“Let her out,” she said. “Let the real you out.” Keep reading »
I am a woman who is engaged to be married. But unlike lots of your friends who are busy posting photographs of their diamond engagement rings on Facebook, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at my left hand.
This is because I told my fiancée many times before we got engaged that I wasn’t interested in getting an engagement ring at all, diamonds or no. There are a lot of reasons I feel this way, including my particular indifference to jewelry. “Honestly, I’d rather have an iPad,” I told him.
Diamond engagement rings are a translation of a much older sexist tradition of putting a down payment on one’s bride. This is, incidentally, still legally the case. In many states a bride-to-be can still sue her fiancée for breach of contract if he breaks off the engagement, as a Georgia woman did last year. After all, it is only women who are marked with an engagement ring as taken, suggesting that the balance of power doesn’t lie with the one who wears it. Keep reading »
I moved to Charlotte a few months ago by way of Syracuse, New York. I left my family, the only place I’d ever lived, and snow in both May and October to check out life down south. Since I was Syracuse born and bred, I didn’t fully realize how monumental moving is until I did it.
When you move, you go into survival mode. It’s time to stop being polite and start getting real, as the kids say. Whereas at home you could get by just binge-watching Netflix and going to the same places with the same people, that’s no longer the case. You have to put yourself out there so you can start to build a life for yourself. Some of the other things I didn’t realize until I moved include… Keep reading »
Up until two months ago, I was drinking, on average, a bottle of wine a night. I don’t know if that makes me an alcoholic. I wasn’t going out and getting blotto at bars; I was coming home from work, pouring myself glass after glass while I did responsible adults things, like laundry, cooking dinner, watching “Scandal,” scowling at OK Cupid messages, and getting ahead on work tasks. I wasn’t sending inadvisable drunk texts, maybe because I wasn’t even drunk — my tolerance was that high. But I was doing it night after night, all the while thinking, I should probably take it down a notch. Drink less. I’ll start tomorrow. Keep reading »