This morning, I stood waiting at the bus stop, debating whether to pull a book out of my purse, or pop earbuds in my ears and listen to my NPR Addict app. NPR, I decided. You didn’t read any news yesterday; you need some culture. So I reached my hand in that little pocket of my handbag where I keep my iPhone and fished around for my phone. Nothing. Damn it! I left it on the dresser! Oh, well. No NPR for me, I guess. I scanned my busy avenue, no sign of my bus in sight, and resignedly pulled Some Girls: My Life In A Harem out of my bag to bide the time.
It took me about three seconds to get lost in my incredible book. But all of a sudden, someone appeared right in my face, startling me. I winced for a second, then realized it was my boyfriend. David’s just-showered hair was sopping wet and he was only wearing a tee shirt on this chilly New Jersey morning. He was holding my iPhone.
I kissed him, thanked him, and told him to get back inside because it was cold. And while I watched him dart across the avenue back to our apartment, I flushed with a familiar feeling. He’s too nice for me, I thought. I don’t know if I deserve him. Keep reading »
Yesterday I posted a quote from former Bond Girl Eva Green, who complained about being told she’s beautiful because she’d rather people compliment her for her acting talents. This quote irked me — as it irked many of you — and I’ve been thinking a little bit about why, exactly, I found it so annoying. On one hand, it’s irritating to hear anyone complain about being complimented. On the other hand, I “get” why it would be bothersome to have her good looks seemingly overshadow her other talents. Regardless, Green’s problem is utterly unrelatable; it’s certainly not one I’ve ever dealt with — quite the opposite, in fact.
Put simply, I would just love for someone to tell me that I am beautiful. Keep reading »
A year into our relationship, I knew Michael was about to pop the question. After all, we were crazy about each other, lived together, and made a great team despite our many differences. Now it was just time to make our union official.
“Babe,” he finally said one day. “Are you ready to get a dog together?”
I practically squealed with delight. Yes, I was an unabashed “dog person,” the type who regularly accosts cute canines on the street. But my real excitement was about getting a dog with Michael. In my eyes, our future pup would be a sort living, breathing, slobbering symbol of our intention to build a life together. Keep reading »
When I was about 10 years old, my dad made me promise that—as soon as I turned 21—the two of us would go on a father/daughter trip to Las Vegas. The pact stipulated that it would be just him and me making our way to Sin City—it would not include any kind of boyfriend, or buddy, and certainly not my mother. At the time, 21 seemed like fiction to me. I was still figuring out multiplication tables and it was hard to think a decade ahead to a time when I would no longer be belabored by math and old enough to drink and gamble as well. But at the same time, even at 10, I understood my father was serious, and that a large amount of trust was being entwined in this promise. Keep reading »
The true nature of my relationship ambivalence became apparent a few months ago, when a colleague at a work event asked my partner and me if we were married. I shrugged in my typical fashion, looked at the floor, and muttered, “Yeah.” My coworker nodded, then did a double take. “Wait, did you just say yes?” he asked, incredulous that I would seem so unconcerned about asserting my legal and romantic status. I laughed, as did my partner. It isn’t that we aren’t thrilled to be together. We just don’t care if you know it. Keep reading »
I was standing in front of a table lamp display in Crate & Barrel when I decided maybe I needed to be on psychiatric medicine. I had been alternating between staring at the display and wandering around the store helplessly for the last two and a half hours and was no closer to making a decision on what table lamp I was going to buy than I had been when I walked in. My heart was beating fast, my mind was racing, and I simply could not concentrate on making what should have been a very simple decision. I was thisclose to a full-blown panic attack. Instead, I walked out of the store, went home empty-handed, and told my therapist that Tuesday that I needed a referral for a psychiatrist. I seriously could not take this s**t anymore. Keep reading »
About a year ago, I was sitting at my desk at The Frisky when an email from my mother popped up. She was writing to tell me that my brother had checked himself into a rehab facility because he had started using drugs again. He had strained his back at his job, but didn’t tell his doctor about his past history of heroin and OxyContin addiction when he asked for a painkiller prescription. So he started taking Vicodin. And when he became addicted to the painkillers, he hid his drug use from his girlfriend. When she overheard him buying drugs on the phone, she kicked him out. But he did even more heavy drugs another night after that, and he woke up the next day realizing he’d hit “rock bottom” again. So my brother did another stint in rehab and when he checked out a month later, we watched warily, worried. But he lives in another state and, by choice, I hardly ever see him. Judging by the few holidays where I do see him, I assumed he was sober. Keep reading »
The other night, after having sex with the new guy I’m seeing, he said casually, “I’m going out for a drink with my friend. I’ll be back in half an hour.” Fair or not, it bothered me that he was going out with a female friend (I’d still have been a little miffed it had been a male friend, but not in the same way). The fact was, I was exhausted after having flown home on a red eye that morning, so perhaps I was overly sensitive, but still, I was jealous … especially when three hours later I woke up and he wasn’t there.
I almost left, but he apologized, telling me his friend had some major issues to discuss and they’d lost track of time. He rushed back and we fell asleep together. The next night, I got to meet the woman I’ll call Alice when we all went to dinner. She was fun and sweet — and has a boyfriend. In just a few minutes, I could tell she wasn’t a threat to my relationship, but still, the fact that the majority of his friends are women, and there are lots of them, has given me pause. Keep reading »
Thank you for sleeping with my husband. I’m not being sarcastic. A few years ago, I would have been. I’d be calling you something far worse than “you.”
I only saw you once, back when you were still living next door to his parents. You were from Japan, he said. We waved at you, but you didn’t wave back. You saw us, I could tell, but you turned away. You weren’t sleeping with him then, but you had a crush. You always seemed to be having some kind of legal trouble – sexual harassment at work, problems with your visa – and my husband being an attorney was quite convenient. Sometimes he helped you with paperwork at your house. Once he took you to a seminar on immigration rights.
I didn’t suspect a thing. Keep reading »
A few weeks ago I found myself in a peculiar situation. But first, let me give you some background.
I live in New York City but grew up in Akron, Ohio, which is located in a region where landscapes switch between cement tundra and golden cornfields as quickly as one pop song flips to the next on your car radio. In a way, this is emblematic of the people who reside or have resided there: we shift easily between modern-liberal and traditional-conservative thought (hence, a swing state). In my 27 years, I’ve seen this dichotomy play out in two key scenarios: the presidential election of 2004 and a recent trip home to attend my first non-family member baby shower. Keep reading »