Shortly after Patrick and I got engaged, my mom called with a request that was so cute, I didn’t know what to say: “The ladies at church want to throw you a bridal shower.”
The “ladies” in question were women who had watched me grow up in our small-town Methodist church, with whose daughters I attended countless birthday parties, bunked with at church camp and defied the chaperones at all-night lock-ins for Jesus.
I was touched. I hadn’t had a conversation with these women for years and yet they wanted to throw me a party. And not just any party. A presents party! Keep reading »
People on the internet have been telling me I’m fat for at least a decade — since whenever the first full-body photograph of me appeared on a blog author page. I still remember one of the first times it happened. I was probably 22 years old, wearing a pink pencil skirt and cute black top, retro-style, in the photo.
“Just like I thought, she’s pear-shaped,” snarked one commenter, who apparently previously inferred from the quality of my writing that my body was not up to his high expectations, only to have it all confirmed by a photo.
I stood in front of the mirror in that same outfit, staring at my body from every angle, trying to figure out just how pear-shaped I was. Was it my thighs causing the problem? Had to be, right? I measured them. I calculated my BMI. I took more digital photos and compared them to the existing photo. I went through the size tags on all my clothes, trying to find the biggest one so I could prove to myself that I either was or wasn’t fat. Definitively.
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You can read wedding magazines, and wedding blogs, and wedding everything, but you’ll almost never turn the page and see the marriage. Everything stops in a last, beautiful moment, blurred by sparklers or bubbles or birdseed as the (inevitably white, inevitably young, inevitably thin, inevitably straight) couple disappears into the back of a limousine, a horse-drawn carriage, or, if they’re very edgy, maybe a racy vintage sports car.
Having a wedding can be glamorous; certainly the Wedding Industrial Complex sells it that way. And being engaged is exciting. People send you pretty cards and congratulate you for being nothing more than very lucky. They ask you where they can go to buy you some presents so they can reward you for being in love. You are actively encouraged to brag about yourself. Everything builds up to the big day. Your perfect day! Your princess day!
And then … what? Keep reading »
Like everyone else in the country with excellent taste and a belly full of adult beverages, I very much enjoyed Beyoncé’s half-time performance at the Super Bowl on Sunday. I loved her all-woman band, particularly Bibi McGill’s spark-shooting axe. I loved the Destiny’s Child reunion. I loved that my Beyoncé half-time BINGO card included a square for “killing it,” which I ticked off within seconds of the show’s start.
And yet, my reaction to her post-halftime announcement of the upcoming “Mrs. Carter Show” tour was not to cheer her on in a post-feminist choose-your-choice fist-pump, but to huff: “Call me when Jay-Z goes on a Mr. Knowles tour.”
Why does the most powerful woman pop star in the world want, or need, to remind everyone she’s married? What does a Mrs. moniker have with her ability to sing, dance and write songs? And no, the name issue isn’t what gets me. I’m not raising a figurative eyebrow at “Carter,” I’m raising a figurative eyebrow at “Mrs.” Keep reading »
The New York Times, ever concerned about the plight of the three people it takes to make a Style Section trend story, has identified a disturbing new tendency among women to … plan their weddings. But wait for it: they’re not just planning their weddings, they’re doing it on the Internet and they’re doing it while single.
The horrors, they are horrifying. Time to muster the judgment and disdain appropriate to the situation: these pathetic cases are wasting their sad-ass time, and their real human relationships are suffering for it, because using the Internet means shunning all human contact, only going outside once a week to get a gallon of milk and a bag of cat food. Keep reading »
It happened in slow motion; I couldn’t stop myself. It was like I watched from outside my body — NOOOOOOOOOOOOGGGHHH — as I reached into the seat pocket, pulled out my phone, and took an artsy photo of — STTTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPP — my newly paired engagement ring and wedding band.
“It’s a six-hour flight to Hawaii,” I probably told myself. “What else am I going to do to pass the time?”
And then a force greater than myself caused my thumbs to move swiftly across the iPhone screen, open Instagram, and post the photo — tinted green, of course, to match my beautifully manicured, fir-colored fingernails and peridot-paired diamond, posed artfully above the mostly unreadable text of a Big Island guidebook — before I even knew what I was doing. Keep reading »