In fifth grade I was the new kid in school, which is always hard. But I think it’s hardest in gym class. Especially if you’re the new “chubby” kid with zero athletic ability. Hello locker room spitballs.
It was the day before Thanksgiving and, much to my dismay, running day in gym class. Running days were my most dreaded, aside from dodge ball days — my head is a ball magnet for some reason. I was the slowest runner in my class besides Stephen, the even fatter, even newer kid who everyone called “Snuffy.” I already knew what would happen out there on the track. Everyone would be staring at me from the sidelines, having finished ages ago, as I rounded my final lap, huffing and puffing from my allergies, turning red with embarrassment and possible heat stroke, everyone laughing as I crossed the finish line flapping my arms. I can’t do this today, I just can’t, I thought. I hid in a corner of the locker room trying to come up with creative ways to get out of running.
Mr. Pollack, the gym teacher, announced that we would be running the “Turkey Trot” — a glorified one-mile run with a stupid name to make it sound fun. The person who came closest to guessing their time would win a giant, chocolate turkey. How awesome would that be to receive a giant piece of chocolate at the end of this torture session? So totally radical, to use the vernacular of the day. Not that I needed any chocolate. Keep reading »
In elementary school, I was the only kid in my class whose favorite Ninja Turtle was Donatello. Later, I was the only one of my girlfriends who chose Jon Knight as her favorite New Kid on the Block. In other words, I have a thing for the runt of the litter. And the current runt of the pop culture litter is Miranda Hobbes, the one who nobody picks as their favorite “Sex and the City” character. Keep reading »
I know “Lost” fans are still reeling from the series finale, but I have some TV show attachment issues of my own, and they have nothing to do with smoke monsters. While I don’t become obsessed with shows to the point where they dictate my schedule, I do find myself becoming inexplicably emotionally attached to TV couples. To the point where it can affect my real-life relationship. This is bigger than just cheering on Jim and Pam or Dawson and Joey—I was always a Pacey fan anyways. I see TV relationships as a reflection of my own—to the point that when a TV couple is in a fight or (gasp!) breaks up, I find myself worrying that the same fictional fate awaits my boyfriend, Wil, and me.
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The other day, as I watched Laura Bush tell Larry King that she’s pro-choice and pro-gay marriage, I instantly pictured the Bushes having shouting matches at the dinner table, looking around furtively to make sure no one was witnessing the spat. Reading my thoughts, Larry asked Laura whether their politics were a source of friction between the couple. Unflinchingly, Laura said no.
“I understand his viewpoint,” she said. “I really do. I understand his viewpoint, and he understands mine.”
Really??? Keep reading »
I met Brad* a few months after my first serious relationship blew up in my face. He was pretty much everything my ex wasn’t, and after getting a few rebound flings out of the way, I thought maybe I’d found someone I could really feel safe with. True, he didn’t have the intellectual prowess my ex had; he wasn’t terribly charming or adventurous, and as far as I could tell, he didn’t have much passion for anything other than golf. But he was nice and respectful … and comfortable. My grandmother once described him like “an old shoe,” and that actually wasn’t far from the truth. He was completely different from my usual type, and therefore, I figured he’d never hurt me the way my ex had. Keep reading »
After my interview with dating coach, matchmaker, and Have Him At Hello author Rachel Greenwald, I was totally pumped to test out some of the tips she gave. Specifically, what Rachel calls “I Spy a Facebook Guy.” The dating game? Give yourself some time each day to cruise around your friends’ Facebook pages and find 50 guys that you think are interesting. Then scope out their profiles and write them a message.
OK, confession: I logged onto Facebook the following day, went through one friend’s 431 friends, found one cute guy, and chickened out of writing him. I couldn’t even tell if he was single or not. Besides, I felt like a weird, desperate stalker. Not my style at all. Maybe I lack the necessary cajones to find love on Facebook. I logged off, dejected. But quitting is not my style either. So, I came up with an alternative plan that felt a little more “me.” Keep reading »
I shouldn’t even have gone to prom with Bryan. Just a couple of weeks prior he had made out with another girl and told me the purple marks on his neck came from soccer. Like the lovefool that I was, I believed him — until his best friend tattled on him over Instant Messenger. Oh, the acute heartbreak of a first love: I scribbled Ben Harper lyrics — “please bleed so I know that you are real, so I know that you can feel the damage you have done” — on my bedroom wall and devoted pages and pages to this fresh wound in my journal.
Still, I wanted to go on as if none of this had happened. I had just delivered a bouquet of roses to his class on Valentine’s Day. I had just lost my virginity on his bedroom floor while listening to Dave Matthews Band. I had just tanked my grades in Algebra II ditching class with him. What’s more, his mother actually baked casseroles for dinner and grounded him when he flunked AP calculus tests! That is to say they were so blissfully, utterly normal. Given the drinking, prescription drug use and daily acts of familial terrorism at my house, I clung to my first real, serious boyfriend like a life raft. Keep reading »
The evening started out harmless enough. My self-sabotage was not premeditated—more like a white lie that got carried away. I was on my way to class to take a test I hadn’t studied for, and I realized I just couldn’t do it. On a whim, I decided to ditch. I needed a drink, stat. I was supposed to meet up with my new guy, Kennedy, after class but he was working late and wouldn’t be ready until later. I went through my mental contact book of friends I had in the area and remembered that my ex-boyfriend Justin worked down the street. As soon as I sent him a text message, he responded. I wrote Kennedy to let him know I was skipping the test and meeting a friend for a drink.
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When I turned 30, I was suddenly hot.
Before then I was OK. Cute at best. I had my awkward years, of course. As a baby, I had gravity-defying hair and bulldog cheeks. At 13, I wore glasses and braces, and was one of just a few Asian kids in a Jewish-Italian neighborhood, where big Bambi eyes, pert noses, and long legs were all the rage. In college I gained the freshman 15, lost it, gained it, lost it, and gained it again. Keep reading »
Sex has always been painful for me. Since the day I lost my virginity at the age of 16, having sex has hurt. The first few times the pain was almost unbearable, but that didn’t strike me as terribly unusual; I knew that losing your virginity often hurt and, frankly, I was just grateful that I didn’t bleed, which would’ve meant sneaking into the laundry in the dead of night to scrub my sheets. I knew that first-time sex would hurt, and wasn’t surprised when the second and third time hurt as well. I figured it would take time for my body to get used to what was going on, and for me and my boyfriend to figure it out, too. For something that’s supposedly the most natural thing two people can do, sex sure takes a lot of maneuvering, negotiating and post-game analysis. After a few tries, I thought, it would start feeling good. Keep reading »