It’s freshman year of college, and Janie and Dave are best friends. They do everything together – hang out in their dorm rooms, go to the dining hall, walk around campus. Their friendship is great, until one night, they decide to head to a “fraternity party.”
At the party, Janie and Dave drink alcohol. When they decide to leave, Dave walks Janie back to her dorm room – to be sure she gets there ok, of course. Once inside, Dave confesses that he loves Janie. He starts to kiss her and gets on top of her. Janie is confused, saying that she’s not sure about this…
I’m sure you can fill in the rest.
This is the plot of a play in which I once starred, called quite aptly “The Date Rape Play.” It was the summer before my junior year of college. I was cast in the play — and, crucially, paid $200 — in order to perform it for groups of incoming freshman, who Needed to Know About Date Rape. The play was written by an adult trying desperately to be “down” with the way the kids talked and acted. Sample lines included: “Have you heard about the date rape drug, Rohypnol?,” “I don’t know, I’m worried people will be drinking alcohol there,” and “You got the look girl, work it!” My fellow theater kid friends and I thought it was the best thing we’d ever seen. Keep reading »
Every few days, they would come home with hundreds of dollars worth of brand-name groceries and struggle to fit them into their bursting cabinets. They had two freezers and two refrigerators to hold food for three adults and one child. The food would spoil in the fridge or go stale on the shelf and just stay there for weeks. They ate out almost every night, spending $60 at a time at KFC, wrapping up the leftovers, and then never eating them.
On Christmas, the child would get fifty presents, and not tiny presents but whole playsets, Lego sets, motorized cars, animals. Birthdays were the same, and Easter, the Fourth of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving were all treated as further opportunities to give the child presents. If the kid wanted something, they’d hound the parents for weeks, throwing tantrums, guilting, pleading for hours at a time, until the parents’ patience would wear thin and they’d buy it, even between the holiday milestones. Keep reading »
When my first love and I broke up, I was still new to the world of sex. I was 22 years old when we said our tearful goodbye, knowing full well that what we had at that young age wouldn’t be able to transcend time. I remember thinking I’d not only never love again, but never, ever have sex again either. Sometimes I really miss the equal parts drama and naivety that comes with youth.
As a way to cope with the loss, I set up camp on my couch with endless supplies of veggie burgers and Ben & Jerry’s, and drowned my sorrows in “Beverly Hills, 90210″ reruns. I still contend that Emily Valentine really was one of the highlights of the show, and I have the months of obsessively watching it as scientific evidence. I also saw a wee bit of myself in her.
After a few years had passed, I started dating men here and there, having superficial flings steeped in alcohol as the common denominator, and by the time I moved to New York City, casual sex was all I was really interested in. It was there for the offering, I knew I enjoyed it, at least most of the time, so why not take advantage of sexual opportunities that life presented me?
Then I fell in love again. Keep reading »
When I started writing my memoir, Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair With China Gone Wrong, I began networking with authors who wrote books set in Asia. I imagined developing solid friendships with a group of supportive authors. There’s a Chinese saying, huxiang bangzhu. It means “mutually helping one another.” That’s what I pictured.
Fast-forward six years. My memoir was being published and I arranged for review copies to be sent to authors I’ve gotten to know through social networking or in person. I knew I couldn’t expect rave reviews just because we have a connection or because I had given their books five stars on Amazon and Goodreads. But for the most part, I had been extremely pleased with the feedback.
Well, except for this one guy. Keep reading »
A year and a half ago, I tossed out hormonal birth control in favor of … no birth control at all.
Well, that’s not really accurate. I do practice a method of birth control, one that’s commonly relegated to the realm of hippies and the uber-religious. And although I am neither super crunchy nor super Christian, this method — the Fertility Awareness Method — is what is working for me. It’s easy, accurate, and helping me avoid pregnancy without any of the side effects of hormonal methods. Keep reading »
Here’s something I kept private for a good long time: I was, once upon a time, jane_doe_eyed and RexyRockit on Reddit, and specifically on Reddit’s GoneWild subforum. Ta-da! Hello. You can see a lot of my skin on the Internet. Someone reading this might have pictures of me cached on their hard drive. Nice to meet you. Keep reading »
It has become abundantly clear to me over the past couple of months that people don’t know much about sponsoring someone for immigration. That makes sense, of course, because the majority of us will never do it. But insofar as people do know about the process, they know it involves getting a green card and having “an interview” with immigration officials. While true, but the interview and green card (hopefully) don’t come until the very end of an expensive, months-long process.
As I’ve explained before, sponsoring my husband, Kale, involved filling out a lot of paperwork. He had to do things like get a checkup and we had to gather documentation proving we like together, like bills and a bank account we both are listed on. We also submitted pics — most of them culled from my at-times cringeworthy Instagram account — of ourselves together since we started dating and from our wedding day. We also had to write affidavits about each other explaining why we wanted to be together and our best friends wrote affidavits for us, too. It wasn’t hard work, but it was a lot to get done, especially for two people who are otherwise occupied being schmoopy newlyweds. Keep reading »
I wish more men were like Nick Gilronan, winner of last year’s Smallest Penis in Brooklyn contest (this year’s contest is this Sunday, aka Father’s Day). He is proud of what he’s got between his legs, so much so that he was willing to stand almost naked, wearing just a mankini, in front of a crowd and strut his stuff. He told an interviewer, “The size of a man’s penis does not matter for who he is as a person or in a relationship,” and I wholeheartedly agree. See, I prefer guys who are a little less endowed, with good reason. Firstly, the best lovers I’ve ever had have been on the smaller side, which I don’t think is a coincidence. My hunch is that because these men feel self-conscious about their size (all of them told me as much at some point), they go out of their way to make up for it, excelling at oral sex and making good use of their fingers as well as positions like doggy-style. Keep reading »
Two years ago today, you never would have caught me drinking alcohol or coffee, doing any kind of recreational drugs, or even taking ibuprofen or prescription drugs unless it was absolutely necessary. I wasn’t straightedge (labels are dumb). Mainly, I was suspicious of the allure of substances and the tendency I saw for people to use them as a crutch — alcohol to unwind, coffee to wake up, recreational drugs to … honestly, I still don’t know. Antibiotics as a cure-all, ditto ibuprofen.
The other part of it was that I entered a seven-year, monogamous, committed relationship with a conservative Christian who didn’t drink on moral grounds when I was 18. So if I didn’t see the point of drinking when I was in high school, and I was with someone who also didn’t drink, what reason could I have to start? Keep reading »
I recently signed up for six sessions with a personal trainer, LaMarcus, and told him my goals: get more toned and lose a few pounds.
Then he weighed me. I clocked in at 125, and he asked me if that’s what I expected. “Yeah, but I’d prefer to be closer to 122,” I told him. WHAT? As the words came out of my mouth I realized how ridiculous that probably sounded. Why do I even need a trainer for that? I’m not overweight. I know this (if not by looking at myself, then by furiously Googling “healthy body weights”). But that doesn’t stop me from telling myself that I am. Sometimes. I’m a pretty confident person. But, on some days, I can’t help but hate my body.
My self-diagnoses? I’m a Body Image Waffler. Keep reading »