I have big plans for my birthday this month. BIG ones. Wanna hear them? OK, I’m gonna sit at home in my pajamas, eat chocolate cake, and watch reruns of “The Gilmore Girls.”
I love celebrating my birthday solo. Partly it’s because I’m shy. The last thing I’d want is the waitstaff at Chili’s to sing me a rousing “For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow,” or for my loved ones to jump out at me from behind furniture, then wait for me to say a few witty, well-chosen words. I’m like my father, who wanted nothing for his 70th birthday — an important one in Chinese culture — except a nice meal with his family. But people don’t understand this. Keep reading »
I was 19 years old and had my legs spread on my new boyfriend Greg’s bed. We had been dating for a few weeks and had fooled around a bit, mostly talking dirty and dry humping while clothed. It was my last night in town before leaving for a three-month study abroad program and it was pretty much a given that Greg and I would do it. He invited me over to his Park Slope apartment, we listened to music, ate pizza, and he went down on me on his balcony. It was all pretty steamy until Greg took off his boxers to reveal his wood. At the time, I hadn’t seen too many penises, but now, after many years on the sex scene, I am aware that it was of the unprecedented, porn star variety. Keep reading »
Ned Weinstein* was the white, Jewish incarnation of Steve Urkel. He was a scrawny kid with a mass of brown hair that someone, presumably his mom, attempted to part on the right side. He had a turkey sandwich for lunch every day, and wore button-down shirts in the 1st grade. By the 2nd he had decided what he wanted to be when he grew up—a neuroscientist.
He also, by age 7, was completely and totally sure that I was the girl he wanted to marry. Meanwhile, I barely even acknowledged his existence. Keep reading »
There exists a school of thought that dictates if you think something catastrophic, then it won’t happen. What would happen if my family died in a car accident? What would happen if my house caught on fire? Two summers ago, I asked myself: Wouldn’t it suck if my first love met someone unexpectedly and got over me before I could begin to move on? Thankfully, my family and my house are safe, but my feelings, my love life, and my ego still need mending. Keep reading »
That video I posted earlier this morning of the 4 year-old girl who was heartbroken to be moving away from the boy (teacher, I think?) she was so in love with kind of hit home for me. Like our young heroine, I, too, moved to Japan at a tender age, leaving behind a boy I was pretty in love with. I lived on a Navy base in Korea at the time and Young was a little Korean boy whose dad was our base doctor, if I remember right. Anyway, I came across his photo when I was home for the holidays and showing my husband a bunch of old family photo albums. In the picture, I’ve just finished a performance of a community theater production of “The Wizard of Oz” and I’m dressed in a little green munchkin costume with rosy cheeks and my red hair pulled back into two pigtails. I’m holding a red carnation, which was probably a gift from Young, who is standing next to me dressed in blue jeans and a plain white T-shirt, with a little dirt smudge on his face. The two of us are looking at the camera ever-so-shyly, like too-forward a glance or too-bright a flash might make our young love dissipate in a cloud of smoke. It was only a few months later that Young did what, to this day — with the exception of my husband’s proposal to me — remains the single most romantic gesture anyone has ever made toward me. Keep reading »
I am not sexy.
That could be the takeaway if you’d been a fly on the pole — er, the wall — at my first pole dancing class this weekend. There are a great many talents I have in this world. But strutting sexy and swirling around a pole are not some of those gifts. Keep reading »
Recently, I put myself in a tangle that I will be the first to admit was stupid: I took someone’s bait when I just should have kept my head down and my mouth shut. And this chafed like a subcutaneous rash. Ugh … you did it again! You need to have more control over yourself!
I sat with this for a few days, wondering why I keep letting myself keep doing this. One of the things I admire about my boyfriend is when emotions are running high, he can just check out — deescalating a situation like a good police officer. Me? I take that bait. I escalate. And you know what? It wasn’t worth engaging in. The woman who was baiting me was just being a bully. She was trying to intimidate me and demarcate lines of power, which pissed me off. I’m not keen on authority that I don’t respect.
Then something brilliant occurred to me last night: I can’t control petty behavior and I can’t control what other people’s defense mechanisms are, but I can change the way I see situations like this. And the way I see it now is I don’t need to be a bitch to get what I want. Keep reading »
I have had my share of one-night stands. In fact, a significant percentage of the people I have slept with in the nearly 10 years since losing my virginity have been one-time deals. There was that guy at Mardi Gras — hold on … have to ask my friend what his name was … damn, she doesn’t remember either. Laird! His name was Laird, right? Anyway, there was Andrew, my realtor, who showed up at my apartment in the middle of the night and I was like, “Hey, why not?” The second guy I had sex with was also a one-night stand — his name was Sean. He was really good-looking and when it was over he said it had been “lovely” and I remember he had a cute face, but I cannot remember how we ended up in bed together.
What I also didn’t remember, until recently, was that most of these one-night stands didn’t make me feel very good the next day. Keep reading »
At brunch on Sunday, my friend Liza explained to me what she calls “the phone call rule.”
“Now that I’m out of the ‘one-night stand’ game, I have a rule that if I hang out with a guy that I’m dating, even casually, and we engage in intimate activities, I tell him that I would appreciate a phone call from him the next day.”
“Really?” I asked, my jaw kind of dropping.
“Yeah. I politely tell him that a phone call the next day represents respect,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be a long phone call, or anything. I just want him to ask me if I’m doing OK or tell me he had a good time or whatever. Is this really too much to ask?”
My first reaction was, “Yes.” Then again, this is coming from a girl who felt weird asking a guy I had just engaged in “intimate activities” with to help me find a cab at 3 a.m. Keep reading »
If you had brain cancer, would you date a neurologist? Would you sleep with a chiropractor to ease your chronic back pain? Around my twentieth birthday, I was hit with a sudden onset of crippling depression and anxiety. After two years, several doctors and a veritable rainbow of colored mood-altering capsules, I still felt hopeless. With no cure in sight, I fell for a psychotherapist. Keep reading »