In college, I was part of a tight-knit group of young women. There were five of us in the core group. Two were roommates and their room, 513, was our central meeting place. There was a lack of formality when it came to hanging out. It was totally normal to walk right in if the door to 513 wasn’t locked and downright mandatory to stop by if it was propped open. We were honest and comfortable with each other.
Or so I thought.
Rape doesn’t happen the way you think it will. I wasn’t drunk or drugged at a party, no one jumped me after dark while walking home alone; the attack didn’t even start as being physically rough. It was slow, insistent, and shocking. My rape was terrifying, uncomfortable, and incredibly confusing. The physical pain was as bad as the betrayal; the psychological injury of living in the same building as the rapist almost ended me entirely, but I still had my friends, I reasoned, so I was able to keep going with my collegiate career. Keep reading »
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 »