Whether we notice it or not, we all face the occasional visit of a nagging voice inside our heads that questions whether we’re good enough. You know the one — it turns up when you’re face to face with your ex, putting yourself out there creatively or just looking at yourself in the mirror. That little inner critic can become our own worst enemy and even hold us back from pursuing the things that would make us happiest. The negative running dialogue in our head can sound like came from a bratty girl in a middle school cafeteria — only it never left. Where the hell does it come from? Keep reading »
It’s been a month to the day since I met Andrew, my surprisingly charming OKCupid run-in who recognized me and introduced himself out at a bar. We’ve been hanging out pretty consistently over the last few weeks, going on dates every few days, and continuing to get to know each other. I can honestly say that the hesitations I had about his height when we first started seeing each other have subsided, and I’ve been able to tap into the real Andrew: his hopes, his dreams, his demons … and unfortunately, his ex-girlfriend.
Andrew and I were talking on the phone one night last week when his most recent ex casually came up in conversation. Without hesitation, I blurted out: “What happened between you two, by the way?” Upon realizing what I’d just asked him, I apologized for my bluntness and told him that I totally understood if he didn’t want to go into the story of his failed relationship. To my surprise, he wasn’t offended at all and gladly told me the tale of their fallout. In a nutshell, after several years of dating, Andrew and his ex moved in together and hit a rough patch when their dynamic completely changed. They went from a happily-in-love duo to bickering strangers in a matter of months. I’ve heard about couples who move in together and pretty quickly realize that they’re not as compatible as they thought, but I’ve never actually known anyone it’s happened to. Apparently, despite all of their efforts to work through their problems, they’d hit a point of no return. He ultimately ended things with her, leaving both of them understandably devastated. Apparently, he’d even set aside money for an engagement ring.
“But that’s the past, and I’m ready for the future now,” he told me. I was so grateful that Andrew felt comfortable enough to open up to me about his ex, and I recognized that my curiosity about it in the first place meant only one thing: I’m really starting to like this guy. But there was one problem… Keep reading »
I remember the very first time that I felt jealous and possessive of my husband. It was back when we were still dating. One weekend, he and his friends did a Bloody Mary bar crawl; I abstained because I’ve never been a big fan of Bloody Marys, but I was happy to look through the pictures Kale posted later that night on Facebook. Between all the tomato juice and the celery sticks, though, I found something I was not happy about: two pictures of him giving big smooches to a female friend on the cheek.
I really liked his female friend. In fact, she’s a friend of mine now, too. But at the time, I didn’t know her well at all and Kale and I were a fairly new couple. All I could see was my boyfriend, who was in love with me, being affectionate with another woman — who happens to be strikingly beautiful, hilarious and smart. I must have turned the brightest shade of emerald green.
I called up one of my girl friend’s to commiserate. Surely she would agree that not only kissing another woman on the cheek but posting the photos on Facebook for all to see was rude at best and troublesome at worst? Grab the pitchforks! Let’s storm the castle together!
But she didn’t say that. She said friends kissing opposite-sex friends on the cheek isn’t a big deal. She and her long-term partner do it all the time. She said I was overreacting. And, most cuttingly, she said my response to Kale’s photos said more about my insecurity than it did anything about him. Keep reading »
If you were to ask me about my favorite season, fashion-wise, I would always say fall. I would tell you how much I love the deep colors, the sumptuous layers, and the rich textures of wool, leather, and tweed. I love getting dressed up in glamorous coats and take-no-prisoners knee-high boots. I love seeing the new trends come down the runways. There is one thing I love about fall clothes, though, that I might not tell you: I love that they cover me up. Keep reading »
Ugh. The very last thing we (i.e. women) need is a “study” claiming to observe women’s snarky reactions to another woman dressed sexily. The lead author of the study begins with a quote that is concerning in and of itself: “I was convinced, having lived a life as a woman, that we’re not as pleasant as some people make us out to be.” Huh? I’ve never heard of anyone making women, as an entire gender, out to be pleasant. Tracy Vaillancourt, who is also the professor of psychology at University of Ottawa, invited 86 women to participate in a conflict resolution study, but she had a different agenda when she documented how the women reacted to a young female student entering the room in a certain outfit. Vaillancourt did not document the ages of the 86 women who partook in the study or, well, anything about them, only their responses to the student, who wore either a T-shirt and khakis or a low-cut top and mini skirt. Vaillancourt stated that “ninety-seven percent” of the women responded inappropriately to the student. To use the same scientific term that Vaillancourt herself uses, the reactions were bitchy. Keep reading »