The names, details, and genders of the two people referenced in this story are unimportant. This essay is about forgiveness, not the things that needed to be forgiven.
Over the course of the last few months — and as recently as the last few days — I’ve taken the opportunity to forgive a few key people in my life. While my relationships with these two people are very, very different, they both hurt me in some strangely similar ways. Both betrayed my trust, both became strangers to me, and both made me extremely angry. The kind of anger that, even when you don’t have the person in your life for a long period of time, still grips your heart and claws at your skin every single day. The kind of anger that makes you forget the person is still a human being — the kind of anger that’s poisonous. Keep reading »
The email perplexed me:
Joanne, Sorry to sound pathetic, but have I done something to offend you?
There was no clue, no context. Really, was I on my own here to deconstruct what the hell Michelle, a college buddy from 12 years back, was referring to? How could she have done anything offensive when we hadn’t spoken in more than a few months?
This discovery came on a recent Saturday morning; while mulling over my response, I poured myself a second cup of coffee and settled into the couch again with my laptop for another weekend ritual, catching up on Facebook, where Michelle’s status update, I suspected, was designed for my eyes: “Is it still possible to remain friends with someone whom you have very little in common? I thought it was.” Double-whammy. WTF? Keep reading »
The other evening, after a long day of writing, a train stalled on my line as I was attempting to make my way home. The train wasn’t stuck for long, but all the people who had been kicked off other trains behind it were now at the same station. It was so crowded that I couldn’t even make it down the stairs onto the platform. I took one look and decided to take a taxi. I jumped in the first available one I saw, thinking $15 wasn’t a lot to spend for an uneventful commute home. But things didn’t actually go as I had planned.
Keep reading »
Most mornings, I wake up, throw on some tights and a comfy dress, hop on the train to work and zone out to the same songs I always listen to on my iPod.
Other mornings, I wake up with trumpets in my ears, eager to break free from the quotidian rat race and wondering how I could make this day better than all the rest. The solution usually involves eating beets, calling my sister to chat or buying a plane ticket. But lately, I fear only one thing will release that burgeoning Whitman yawp: my G-spot. Keep reading »
“Oh no!” My boyfriend started moaning. “This is not going to be a classy affair! Do I have to go?”
As far as invitations go, this one was direct: Montreal. Drinking. Strippers. Ah, yes, an invitation to a bachelor party from one of his high school buddies.
“He’s one of your best friends,” I shrugged. “It would hurt his feelings if you bailed.”
“But it’s going to be awwwwwwwful!”
And that’s how I found myself in the rather odd position of a woman who has less of a problem with her guy going to a bachelor party than he does. Keep reading »
I laughed (like I’m sure many of us did) when I heard about American Apparel’s “Search for the Best Bottom in the World” competition. I found myself aggravated by the douchebaggerous lengths that Dov Charney would go to violate and objectify women. And then I visited the site and was totally taken in by looking at all of the bum entries. They were kind of hot and not in an underfed, underage model kind of way. There was something kind of awesome about all these women photographing their real butts, privately and (mostly) respectfully. I couldn’t help but think, “What would happen if I photographed my donk?” My curiosity outweighed my feminist rage and the next thing I knew, I was slipping on my AA lace body suit, bending over for my camera, and actually kind of enjoying it. Keep reading »
A typical Saturday night for me can be summed up one of two ways: food or sex. Do I skip dinner and start drinking, adopt the “eating is cheating” adage so I can feel thin and attractive and get tipsy quicker, thus increasing the chances I’ll get naked later, or do I cave and open the box of Triscuits, resigned to an evening of stuffing my face in front of the TV and going to bed with a bloated stomach full of carbs and a phone full of sexually frustrated text messages from potential paramours? Keep reading »
A couple of strange things have happened on my way to adulthood. Perhaps the biggest: that my days of impromptu diner eggs with friends at 4 a.m. have faded into official coffee and drink dates. No longer can I meet my bestie up on the roof that connected our Brooklyn brownstones. Now if I want to see her, we make a plan at least a week in advance. I’ve (gasp!) started keeping an Outlook calendar. Turns out that it takes a little official planning to keep track of a grown-up life.
Even stranger, I’ve started adding question marks at the end of my appointments. Coffee with Sarah? Supposedly, but she always ends up canceling. A drink with Paul? I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s gotten to the point where I will sometimes double-book, knowing that the chances of one of my friends ditching is almost guaranteed. Is it just me, or have social conventions changed around how comfortable people feel canceling on one another? Keep reading »
Seven years ago, I was doing an internship in Mexico and attempting proficiency in Spanish. One night at a club with some friends, I nearly broke my face after slipping on the booze-soaked floor. Had I been with English-speaking friends, I would have dusted myself off and uttered with a sly smile, “Well, that was embarrassing.” Instead, I looked at my Mexican buds and pooed a clumsy “Estoy embarazada.” Their jaws dropped. I’d forgotten for a moment that “embarazada” does not mean “embarrassed.” It means “pregnant.”
It’s hard to be cool in your second language. But it’s even harder to be sexy. Keep reading »
The moment that my boyfriend got up to use the restroom, my friend Liz* turned to me and said gravely and in hushed tones, “All right, I need to make this quick before he gets back from the bathroom.”
Surprised, I replied, “OK???” She sounded like she’d been desperately holding something in all evening, just waiting for us to be alone.
“I just need to tell somebody this. I found out this week that Jay*” — her fiancé whom she has been with for 10 years — “has been masturbating to porn when I’m not around. Like, instead of having sex with me.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. I thought Liz was going to say she found out Jay was cheating. He was only looking at porn, though! Thank God!
But as I would soon find out, for Liz, there wasn’t much difference between the two. Keep reading »