As a man, when I think about marriage I ask myself: When can I afford it? I understand that the formula for eligible bachelors weighs income and wealth very heavily. Recently, an article on The Atlantic entitled “All the Single Ladies” reinforced this notion, with its many implications that men who are not doing well financially are unworthy of marriage.
“All the Single Ladies” makes clear the idea that because women can now earn as much as men, the relative financial impact of a man’s income in a marriage is much smaller than it was 20 or more years ago. In addition, we all face the reality that many of us who have high earnings (men and women) have a lot of debt with it, and therefore much less cash for weddings, honeymoons, engagement rings, and even residential homes.
So when can a man afford marriage? I have come up with two scenarios that can help answer this question. In my view, there are two financial strategies for marriage, and both of them can work for just about anyone. Read more…
I made sure to get the thin crust pizza, because I knew that once it was just me and a couch and Liam Neeson rescuing some people from some horrible shit and/or wolves, I was going to eat all that pizza, and I did not want the bread bloat. I was treating myself. I was worth it. I was alone.
For the past two and a half years, in the process of dating, moving in with and then marrying my husband, I haven’t been alone much. I’d almost forgotten how to do it. I’d almost forgotten how to do something I love to do, and something that I’m very, very good at doing. I don’t mean being single. I mean being solitary. By myself.
For most of my 20s, I was in long-distance relationships, make-up break-up relationships or deep into singledom. I had a lot of opportunities to cultivate my own favorite kinds of solitude: taking long afternoon drives out into the Texas Hill Country, getting a six pack of High Life tallboys, watching British comedies all night, going bonkers on multi-hour sewing project marathons that ended in inevitable disaster. Doing whatever I wanted, when I wanted to, and never having to wonder whether eating all this ranch dip at 3 p.m. is that going to mess up dinner plans. Because I didn’t have dinner plans. And I fucking loved it. Keep reading »
What is UP with dudes these days? First there was Alexey Bykov, the guy who pretended to die in a car crash in order to make his girlfriend realize how she can’t live without him (really, really). Now there comes the story of Ryan Thompson, a guy who pretended that the small plane he was flying was going to crash in order to propose to his girlfriend Carlie Kennedy. He planted the proposal in a flight checklist, and while pretending that the plane was going down, he asked her to read from the checklist. Despite the elaborate and terrifying ruse, she accepted (they always do, don’t they?)
I’ve been walking around with a sketch of a uterus and cervix in my reporter’s notebook for several weeks now, courtesy of my gynecologist. She drew it while explaining to me how an IUD works. I keep it around both because I like it as a conversation piece and because when you write about ladyparts as much as I do, it’s actually quite useful as a reference tool at the office or, you know, the bar. Wherever.
But what I like best about my little IUD sketch is that I don’t need it, because my husband is getting a vasectomy. When it comes to long-term contraception that isn’t sterilization, vasectomies are the bee’s infertile knees. The benefits are many: I don’t have to live with a foreign body inside me (either of biological origin or one made of copper), condom breakage isn’t a constant concern, and neither do I have to rely on hormones or head back to my doctor’s office regularly for a Depo shot. Keep reading »
Sit down if you’re not already and I’ll hold your virtual hand as I walk you through this one. Sixty-year-old Ohio woman Valerie Spruill made a horrifying discovery after her husband Percy passed away: that he was actually her father. HOLYSHITOMG, I know.
You’re probably wondering, as am I, how this is possible. Here’s how it went down: Valerie was raised by her grandparents from the age of three months on. Her mother Christine, who was a “night lady” and put away for sex charges in 1980, got together with her father Percy when she was only 15. The pair had seven children together, including Valerie, and Valerie suspects she has more siblings out there. Keep reading »
I was never that woman who dreamt of having many children or starting my own “Brady Bunch.” Babies, little booties, and bottles were always an afterthought to enjoying a successful career, one peppered with travelling the world and enjoying a range of other adult activities a childless, flexible lifestyle could provide. However, after my husband Jason was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent a bone marrow transplant (which I wrote about here), it would be an understatement to say that my priorities and narrow definition of family underwent a fundamental revolution. One year post-cancer, I began to dwell on the thought of living and dying without a family of my own.
Cancer had forced mortality to become an issue that often occupied my thoughts during sleepless nights or long car rides, and in my worst nightmare, I became the modern antagonist of some sort of widowed cat lady fairy tale. I imagined myself an old hag with cracked skin in a big castle, hoarding treasure and cackling wildly all by myself, full of bitterness and regret over my own solitude. The adult lifestyle that once felt so plush suddenly transformed into a thorny horror story, and Jason and I decided to try IVF. Keep reading »
“Boston Marriage” was a term used in the 19th century and early 20th century to refer to two single women living together, independent of men. The term was originally coined in Henry James’ novel The Bostonians, which told the tale of an intimate companionship between two wealthy, Boston women. Rumored to have been based on his sister’s relationship with a woman, James referred to the novel as “a very American tale.” Whether he was referring to the notion of homosexual relationships or the promise of gender equality is unclear. Interestingly enough, Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004. So perhaps Henry James was on to something.
David Mamet brought the concept to popularity again in the year 2000 with his play of the same name, “Boston Marriage.” According to the New Repertory Theatre’s notes on the Mamet play, “[Boston Marriages] potentially fostered rather than interfered with the heady and exciting new ambitions of the early generations of professional women … Most likely, the Boston Marriage was many things to many women: business partnership, artistic collaboration, lesbian romance. And sometimes it was a friendship nurtured with all the care that we usually squander on our mates.” Keep reading »
I want love to be comfortable yet scintillating and constantly evolving. Even if life’s not full of adrenaline-pumping surprises, I still crave a little adventure. And the butterflies should never die, just perhaps calm down a bit. And just when you think I’ve gotten outlandish with my demands… I want to have all of these things with my best friend.
I believe it exists. Back in 2007, when I really started paying attention to the black man running for president and his elegant, radiant partner, Michelle, I realized that I was more enamored with their interactions than with his take on the issues (I eventually researched those before I stepped into the voting booth, I promise). When it comes to their relationship, I’m still not sure what’s real and what’s projected by the media. But since reality is one’s own mental creation, I’m rocking with my observations. Read more…
I woke up last Sunday morning — well, I don’t know that I was truly awake, but at least I wasn’t in bed any more — and stumbled to the kitchen for a giant glass of water with which to defuzz my thoroughly whiskey-fied mouth. In my hangover haze, I glanced across the living room to the coffee table, which held two empty glasses and a piece of old mail with my late-night scrawl on the back. It was a playlist.
We’d started with Darius Rucker’s new single, “True Believers,” because Patrick and I are true believers in pop country music. Now we are, anyways — I used to have more than a little detached irony mixed in with my Kenny Chesney appreciation, but that’s long since disappeared over the years of my relationship with Patrick, whose genuine love for the genre is both charming and contagious.
It’s becoming something of a tradition for the two of us: we spend a Saturday evening hanging out at the bar with a group of Austin feminists and allies that meet monthly to shore up our belief in the world being a livable place, and then we come home, drink whiskey on the rocks and watch music videos for hours. We sing along. We dance with each other. We trade stories about where we were when this or that song was popular. We debate the musical merits of the Zack Brown Band as musical successor to Jimmy Buffet. Keep reading »