“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 »
I’ve been obsessed with animals for as long as I can remember. I’m sure you’ve seen me (or one of my ubiquitous, 30-something single-lady soul twins, perpetually emitting twee-voiced animal baby-talk while ensconced in an inch-thick resin of cat hair). As a child, I was the annoying, overly sensitive, bleeding-heart kid who orchestrated elaborate funerals for dead squirrels in the backyard; cried as her parents explained why birds kept dying by blindly flying into the oversize windows of our sunroom; and went vegetarian-and-proud (hi, obligatory PETA membership) at age 14 when I could no longer stomach the idea of having animal flesh anywhere near my own, er, animal flesh.
Lots of years have rolled by since then, but I’m still an oversensitive, dyed-in-the-wool creature-lover. So, obviously I’ve always had pets — cats, to be specific. I grew up with a calico named Trouble, then took in Jobie in college, and adopted Joon during my crazy twenties. My animal family has expanded over time, as families are wont to do, and now I play mom to Joon, another cat named Batman, and a dog called Hennessy (aka Henny, pictured above). I love all my animals, of course. But I need to be honest: my dog is … a lot. More than I was expecting, at any rate. Keep reading »
High on my list of lifetime headdesks is a morning on which I set off to “sweep” a terrain park on a mountain to declare it open and I suddenly needed to pee. I was a ski patroller, wearing the heroic black bib and brace with the yellow medical cross on my back, so I skied under the ropeline, past the “closed” sign, and traversed past the ski jumps to take a piss. I had my suspenders and pants down around my ankles when I heard the telltale crunch of a snowboarder grinding to a halt just above me. His face dropped as we locked eyes. He mouthed a silent “fuck,” then kicked the board to face down the hill and took off.
Dear all: You do not beat a ski patroller down a hill. I yanked my pants up and skated after him, cranking my best G.S. technique until I cut him off. “Did you ski under a closed ropeline?!” I asked him rhetorically. “DO YOU SEE WHY THIS RUN WAS CLOSED?” He hung his head silently. “SHOULD ANYONE HAVE TO SEE WHAT YOU HAD TO SEE??” He shook his head. This was an existential question; he understood. I let him go. So many people saw my butt during my ski days. It was the peeing. Peeing in storm-force winds, peeing on 30-degree slopes, peeing as tourists in jeans whizzed by. Some of the most difficult peeing of my life, really. Keep reading »