I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is not known for being the most culturally rich and forward-thinking city. I’m not going to go off on my hometown, there were great things about growing up there, but let’s just say that I was counter-cultural peg trying to fit into a conservative hole. Meaning, I wore lots of black eyeliner, carried The Portable Dorothy Parker in my backpack at all times and accepted my lot in high school life as one of the disenfranchised. I was a Goth drama geek. I shopped at the Salvation Army so I could look like Bjork. I cut chorus to start an underground poetry reading club. I should have been rewarded for being subversive! Instead, I was denied entry into the National Honors Society on the grounds that I was “a troublemaker.” The faculty didn’t seem to appreciate what I had to offer the world. But there was one teacher who did: Mr. V was the only teacher who got my vibe. I had him two years for Latin, one for honors English. Keep reading »
My mom has a boyfriend.
For most children of divorce this is nothing new–or perhaps all too common–but for me, this is big. Really big. You see, my mother has been single for most of my life. She has great friends, a close-knit family, and a job she feels passionate about, but she’s never really had a guy in her life since my parents divorced.
A typical Friday for her involves her bathrobe, the couch, our dog, and “The Daily Show” accompanied by the phrase “I like my life just the way it is!” Now, I realize that this sounds like the ideal Friday night for many people, myself included. But, it’s not really about the bathrobe or the TV shows or even the fact that it’s a Friday night. It’s about seeing some variation of this over and over again: My mother, alone. 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 »
Over the last year, I have spent a lot of time — both in my free time and on this site — thinking and venting about the mistakes I made and the lessons I learned from the breakup of my five-year relationship with my ex. Lots of “I’ll nevers” have come out of my mouth and onto the keyboard. I’ll never date a professional bulls**tter again! I’ll never try to heal an emotional cripple! I’ll never ignore my gut instinct again! Good lessons, for sure. But honestly, all this “never” talk makes it easy to forget that I — hell, we — did a lot of things right in that relationship too: habits, feelings, and actions that I will always want to be a part of my romantic relationships going forward. Here are 15.
Keep reading »