Dear Fat Girl,
Last week, I saw an overweight news anchor respond to a bully with such power and confidence that it made me cry. It also made me want to write about my own experience of being a fat girl. I almost wrote this letter to my younger self: a deeply sad, chubby fourth grader who endured horrific taunts from classmates at recess, and even worse abuse in her own head when she’d go home and look in the mirror. But then I realized that there is something about these two little words, “fat” and “girl,” that denotes a shared life experience. If you’ve ever been a fat girl, you know what it’s like to have a body that feels like an enemy, to suppress your own voice because you think it doesn’t count, to be informed with a sigh that you have “such a pretty face,” as if it’s a bit of a tragedy. Here are some things I wish someone would have told me, back when I felt so hopeless, back when I felt like I would never be anything more than the fat girl… Keep reading »
Listen, I don’t want you to take this letter the wrong way, because I appreciate your work, I really do. You valiantly protect my boyfriend’s jaw night after night from the very real dangers of bruxism (aka teeth grinding), and it’s thanks to you that he hasn’t gnashed his teeth down into sad little stumps in his sleep. “Teeth” are like, number three on my Desirable Qualities In A Mate checklist, so in a way, you’ve ensured our relationship can continue to flourish.
It’s just, I guess I didn’t realize what a big role you would play in our relationship… Keep reading »
Dear Whoever Took The Baja Hoodie My Neighbor Left In A “Free” Box On The Sidewalk,
When I saw that my neighbor had placed a Baja hoodie out on the sidewalk in a box marked “free,” along with a diverse collection of books, glassware, a compost bin, and what appeared to be an old washcloth, I laughed. This striped gray and black garment reminded me of the precious group of stoner skateboarders who lurked in the halls of my rural high school (once I wrote a feature story for the school paper about how the skater boys were misunderstood and deserved at least as much respect as our chapter of the Future Farmers of America). It reminded me of a guy in my freshman fiction class who would plagiarize Nietzsche during workshops and always wore–you guessed it–a Baja hoodie. It reminded me of the glassy-eyed surfers I met when I lived in Hawaii.
I didn’t know which neighbor abandoned it, but I can be relatively sure this person attended some reggae concerts in the early ’90s. I can be relatively sure they inhaled deeply and often. I can be relatively sure they recently got a “real job” and felt it was finally time to let go of their past.
What I couldn’t be sure of is who on earth would see a frayed Baja hoodie peeking out of a box on the sidewalk and think, “Score!” Since the box had been placed directly under my office window, I decided to wait and see…
Keep reading »
Dear Monocle Man,
This morning, Jessica sent me a link to the Warby Parker website, alerting me to the fact that for a mere $50 it is possible to buy a prescription monocle. This realization made me unreasonably upset. Maybe it’s because I live in Portland and the implications of thousands of steampunk hipsters trying to balance ironic monocles atop their cheekbones while riding fixed gear bicycles are not only disturbing but dangerous. Or maybe it’s because I think monocles are dumb … Keep reading »
It’s always a little awkward to admit these things, but I know I’ll regret it forever if I don’t, so here it is: I have a huge crush on you. Like, an actual crush. Not in the cute anthropomorphic way that some girls might pretend to be “crushing” on a cute purse. More like the way that crazy Korean guy had a crush on his pillow, and then he married it.
Let me explain. Keep reading »
Dear Justin Bieber’s Pants,
Sometimes I wonder what life must be like for you. I mean, just a few years ago you were making cameos in YouTube videos and today you’re probably the most famous pants in the world. All eyes are on you, and people are talking: “What style of pants is Justin wearing now?” “Who’s trying to get in his pants?” “Who wears the pants in his relationship?” “How does he get his pants to stay up?”
And that’s what I’d like to talk to you about: the whole “staying up” issue… Keep reading »
Dear Platform Shoes,
I have an issue that I need to resolve with you, but I want to do it in a sensitive and productive way so I’m going to try to use “I-statements.” Did you ever learn about “I-statements,” Platforms? According to my 7th grade health textbook, you can solve any problem by simply filling in the blanks to this sentence: “When you _______, I feel _______.” Example: “When you borrow my favorite sweater without asking, I feel sad.” Or maybe “When you talk about Justin Bieber, I feel old.”
So here it is, Platforms: When you are the only type of shoe available at every shoe store, I feel cheated out of my inalienable right to a wide variety of heels… Keep reading »
Dear Kate Middleton’s Hair,
I know it’s kind of awkward to write you a letter, because, well, you’re hair and I’m not even sure that you know how to read, but I really need to talk to you. I would have called, but I don’t know the number for your direct line.
Every time I see you, KMH, you look good. Not just good, but breathtakingly good. You are thick and lustrous and shiny and styled into artfully cascading curls. If there was a contest for Best Hair In The World, you would win it every day. Maybe the hair of Blake Lively or Beyonce or Zac Efron would challenge you every once in a while and the World Hair Judges would pretend to deliberate. But ultimately every other head of hair in the world is the Justin Guarini to your Kelly Clarkson–there’s just no contest. So here’s my question: how do you look that good all of the time? Keep reading »
Dear Everyone Who Has Ever Offered Me A Store Credit Card,
I don’t want a store credit card. I really don’t. I haven’t wanted any kind of credit card since I got my first one at age 18 and maxed it out in an eBay bidding war over a pair of limited edition purple Ugg boots. At the same time, I understand that selling store credit cards is an important part of your job, so I always try to validate your efforts. I nod and smile as you tell me about the benefits of a store credit card, and then I sigh and say something like, “Hmmm … maybe next time.”
And herein lies the problem… Keep reading »