Last week, I had a stalker experience that left me feeling very uneasy. I frequent a Starbucks about a mile away from my house and sometimes just spend the entire day there writing. On one particular afternoon, a young man came into the cafe. I just happened to look up at that same exact moment and we made eye contact. I politely smiled, then returned to my work.
The following day, I was walking my dog on my street, when a very familiar guy approached me.
“Hey, what’s your dog’s name?” he questioned.
“Um, it’s Sam,” I responded casually then noticed his face look very familiar.
“Hey, didn’t I see you yesterday at Starbucks?” I asked the stranger. He haphazardly nodded, responded, “Yeah, I think so.” Then we both said goodbye and parted ways.
I didn’t think too much of it at first. I figured the guy just happened to live on my street. A coincidence, right? That was until I got home and checked my Facebook inbox and noticed one unread message in my “other” folder. Keep reading »
“If you want to have kids you’d better do it while you’re young. The women in our family go through menopause early — 38 to be exact. Your grandmother? 39.”
My mother said that to me every few weeks from the moment I started menstruating until I hit 30. But at 25, I was more concerned with drink specials than finding someone special. During my monthly fertility chats with Mom, I’d internally puff up and congratulate myself for not being into all that conventional crap.
I was the cool chick. The one who didn’t need a boyfriend and didn’t want to get married and lived in a big, bad city and focused on work and traipsed about to parties; soaking up new experiences and bad dating stories like a weathered Army vet with a killer hangover. This was my identity and I loved every second of it. Keep reading »
As a child, I was sick with relative frequency. I remember returning to third grade after a month off with mono, several pounds lighter, and my skin pale from lack of exposure to sun. As I walked in, all Colin from The Secret Garden, the bitchiest girl in the class announced “You’re, like, always sick.”
It had occurred to me that I was sick more often than my peers. True, my mother had a fairly lenient stay-home-from-school policy, but by the time I was 10, I’d had mono, bronchitis, pneumonia, an ongoing bladder reflux issue and several sinus infections. My sisters are the same way. We’re evolutionarily weak. Whatever.
One might posit that having two orthopedic surgeries and a few viral and bacterial infections would foster some stoicism around unwellness. Well, one would be wrong. Practice, in my case, does not make perfect. When I’m ill, I’m a nightmare. Keep reading »
This month, Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Work Week and a bunch of his dude readers are going without booze and masturbation in order to up their testosterone levels and be, um, greater in general, I guess. I don’t currently possess the aversion to Tim Ferriss as a human being that the incredibly witty Samantha Allen does (my attitude is somewhere along the lines of “Who? Oh yeah, him”), but I am, at least, very skeptical about this no-masturbation-as-leveling-up thing.
No-masturbation challenges abound on the internet, not least of all in /r/NoFap, where I originally came across the concept. Their no-masturbation argument goes something like Ferriss’s spiel: If you quit jacking off, you’ll be more productive, your testosterone levels will increase and your interpersonal relationships will improve (they’re fuzzy on what that means). The no-fap pitch tends to be heavy on the science, but it’s not great science — even Your Brain On Porn, on which NoFap relies for a lot of its information, has noted that masturbation does not cause a decrease in testosterone levels, and although doctors agree that orgasms from sex and orgasms from masturbation are different and there are risks to compulsive masturbation, they have more to do with chafing and addiction than endocrine levels. Keep reading »