The first time I asked my boyfriend if he had ever actually dated a black girl, we had not even met yet. It was during one of our online Skype sessions that the conversation came up.
“I’ve never really lived around too many black people,” he confessed.
“So have you ever dated a black girl?” I asked half-jokingly.
“No,” he responded simply.
Crickets… Keep reading »
After 10 years together, my husband and I are pregnant. Or I’m pregnant. It sounds too cutesy to say we, but it’s not happening to me alone. At the same time, I notice it’s only my alcohol intake that has dropped off dramatically.
Whatever the terminology, we got pregnant easily. Almost on a whim, we embarked on the birth control-free road thinking nature would give us a while to get used to the idea.
It didn’t. Keep reading »
In my new book, The Harm in Asking, one of the chapters, “The Boogie Rhythm,” is dedicated entirely to the topic of farting. To be a bit more specific, it is all about what we, as women, go through when it comes to our gas.
In the run up to the book’s release I’ve done a handful interviews and without fail, each one of these interviews has focused on this particular chapter of my book. This surprised me considering the book itself is 306 pages long. The chapter on farting is 7.
As I was writing, it did not occur to me that devoting seven pages of a 306 page book to farts would garner such such dramatic reactions. I never imagined it would be the only thing my interviewers cared to talk about. I hoped it would be funny. I knew some readers would find it un-funny. Lewd. Offensive. That I had prepared for, but I hoped that by keeping it brief, light, to the point, intentionally amusing and so on, I would seem like less of all those things. Keep reading »
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 »