This is how it begins. He asks me to stand before him in my lace underwear, high heels, hose and bra. He sits in a chair and watches closely as I disrobe, making approving noises, even winking to put me at ease.
“Turn around please,” he says and then, “Yes, right there. Stop there.”
Even though we’ve been married for over three years, I’ve never done anything like this sober. I don’t know what to do, or where to put my hands. Without the buzz and fog of alcohol, I am clumsy and giggly and awkward. Keep reading »
I lost my engagement ring. I mean, really lost it. I haven’t seen it in a month, maybe more. I wish I was a robot and I could check my memory chip and replay all of my thoughts and actions, because then I would know exactly what happened, and I would also experience those amazing tortillas we got all over again. But maybe robots don’t like melted cheese as much as I do?
I looked under everything with a flashlight. My dad blamed the cat, but she maintains her innocence. I looked under everything again, with a different flashlight that seemed a little brighter. It was gross under everything and I didn’t want to reach in there, but I’m pretty sure there was no ring.
And I’m probably not supposed to say this, but I don’t miss it. Keep reading »
It usually starts with widened eyes and a slight lift of the eyebrows.
As I walk over to greet a new student, they slowly stick out their hand to meet mine. “Hi, I’m Anna. I’m so glad you’re here!”
“Hi,” they say back. “You’re the … teacher?” Keep reading »
When I was a little girl and my non-Quaker grandmother wanted me to pipe down, she would say, “Quaker’s Meeting has begun. No more laughing, no more fun.” I obviously never listened, but enjoyed the quaintness of Grandma’s axiom. The Quakers must be kind of quiet and shy, I thought.
I’ve been a non-quiet, non-shy practicing Catholic for 28 years, and for the most part I’ve loved my religion. But as a pretty liberal human being who enjoys condoms and thinks her gay friends should be able to visit their partners in hospitals, I have issues. Keep reading »
I am not a beach person. The way seagulls swoop over your head like rats with wings terrifies me. I hate that feeling of sand caked in every crevice.
But when my friend Thomas invited my husband and I to a nude federal beach in New Jersey, rumored to be filled with spectacularly hung men and tanned, pierced women, I decided it was something worth trying.
“I think we should go,” I told my husband.
Maybe it was because I needed a change. Spring had been of those staying-in-bed-smoking-cigarettes instead of going out seasons. I found myself fighting a constant drowsiness and listening to Jewel. Some days it took an effort to look both ways before crossing the street. Keep reading »
“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they’re untrue but they are incomplete.” — Chimamanda Adichie
Let’s play a game. It’s called Guess The Race.
Gentleman A was a hard partier. He did a lot of drugs and drinking in his youth. He almost failed out of college. He had a tumultuous relationship with his parents. He was in tremendous debt. He had a huge sense of entitlement. As he got older, he rarely exercised and gained weight. He cheated on his wife.
Gentleman B never drinks or does drugs. He prefers an evening at home programming or watching TV. If he stays out late, it’s to see a movie, listen to music, or talk about computers with his friends. He graduated from college in three years. He’s extremely fit. He always carries heavy loads. He cooks.
Which one is Asian? Which one is white? Keep reading »
I used to be the sort of person who was always looking for the next big thing. In high school, I wanted to be in college. In college, I wanted to have a job. Every job I had, I wanted to be more successful.
I didn’t learn about stillness, about just being, until I had to. And I don’t think it’s coincidental that the more I just be and the more gratitude I have for my life, the happier I am.
My bouts of depression have always had a chicken-and-the-egg quality to them. Was I on a downward spiral of depression throughout my mid-20s? Or was it from my stressful and demanding job and how hard I was on myself about not being the most amazing person ever? Did I feel depressed because I studied abroad in Eastern Europe away from my family and my friends? Or was I depressed already and that trip just exacerbated it?
I don’t think there are necessarily answers other than “both.” Just the way my mom is inclined to bruise easily if she knocks her leg on a coffee table, I’m inclined to get depressed easily. I wouldn’t have chosen to be this way if I had the choice. But since this is what the lottery stuck me with, I’ve learned how to cope with it. Keep reading »
You know that moment, where you’re gripping some of your side fat in the bath, and you just ate all of the leftover spaghetti at once, with pesto and tomato sauce and grated cheese and, weirdly, liverwurst, and you’re thinking, Tomorrow I will go to the gym. And then I’ll go every day after that, for the rest of my life. And I will lose weight. It’ll be easier than I expect it to. And then my hair will grow out and it’ll be thicker than last time. And then I’ll be prettier. And then I’ll wear sleeveless dresses all the time and I’ll be happy?
That moment is lying to you. Keep reading »