So you’ve finally found The One (or at least The One For The Foreseeable Future) and you’ve committed to a serious relationship. Now what? In our new weekly column, Life After Dating, we’ll discuss the unique joys and challenges of coupledom.
A few weeks after Nick and I started dating, he got his wisdom teeth out (alas, oral surgery is another pitfall of the high school sweetheart relationship). I was secretly really excited about the idea of taking care of my new boyfriend as he recovered, so I put on my cutest “casual caretaker” outfit and headed over to his house to spend the day nursing him back to health. When I got there, Nick was lying on the couch moaning in pain. The painkillers had upset his stomach and, unable to chew solid food, he’d been sipping canned chocolate protein shakes all day. It was pretty clear he was miserable and there was nothing I could do. I sat next to him and stroked his hair, wishing I could do more to make him feel better. And then, very suddenly, he clutched his stomach, whispered, “Oh noooo,” and projectile-vomited chocolate Slim Fast all over me.
As I was cleaning myself up, I did the math. This was technically our third date.
We joke now that reaching the “vomiting on each other” milestone so early in our relationship might have fast-forwarded our level of intimacy and helped us stay together for going on 10 years now. Because the painful, beautiful truth of being in a serious relationship is letting someone else see you exactly as you are, bodily functions and weird insecurities and crappy moods and all. When people talk about relationship “firsts,” they’re usually talking about sweet things like first kisses, first “I love you”‘s, and first dances. I think it’s time to give a shoutout to the not-so-pleasant firsts, the ones that, in their own way, might actually be more meaningful. Here are some examples, culled from my own experiences and red-faced confessions from friends in LTRs…
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Right now, pretty much everyone I know is sick in bed with a cold, the flu, or some nasty stomach bug that turns your digestive system into mincemeat. Seriously, flu season is the worst. But did you know it’s particularly awful for men? That’s because men tend to react to sickness in very specific, very dramatic ways. Based on years of observations of brothers, dads, boyfriends, and friends, I’ve identified the 7 stages all sick men go through on their journey from first symptom back to wellness. They are as follows: Keep reading »
The new year has officially begun, which means that self-improvement starts today, right now! That’s where it gets tricky — putting all your lofty ambitions in action. Endeavoring to eliminate kettle cooked potato chips from your diet is hard, especially when your office manager keeps them fully stocked at all times. But at least you know what you generally need to do to make it happen: come to work early and set the chip cupboard on fire. But what if you’re aspiring for a bigger, trickier change? You might need to stop being hung up on that guy that you’ve been obsessing about for the last eight years or figure out why you’re so ashamed that you apologize every time you sneeze. What does this kind of self-improvement entail? Sometimes the first step is research. These books will help you dip a toe into the unique and complex issues you’re hoping to dive headfirst into this year. Godspeed! Keep reading »
I’ve already done quite a bit of serious reflecting on the life lessons I learned this year. Now it’s time to reflect on a much shallower topic: the cool stuff I bought. After selling most of my belongings in the spring, I tried to be a bit more careful with my purchases this year, although I’ll admit to more than a few impulse buys and giddy-if-not-entirely-logical purchases made for the sole purpose of decorating/filling up our new place (antique “hot pretzel” sign, I’m looking at you). Here are the 10 products I’m most excited about, in no particular order… Keep reading »
New Year’s resolutions are always painfully predictable. Lose weight. Quit smoking. Learn French. Stop making snarky remarks behind your mother-in-law’s back. These kinds of resolutions are not only cliche, they’re difficult — if not impossible — to follow through on. They’re probably going to make you feel crappy when you give up on them in February, if you even remember them by then. We thought it was time to infuse the New Year’s Resolutions game with a touch of reality and attainability. Here are 101 resolution ideas that might not change your life, but will definitely improve it. And the best part is: they’re all actually doable. No expensive gym membership required. Keep reading »
This weekend, I visited the vortexes (actual plural is vortices, but I didn’t want to confuse you) in Sedona, Arizona. More on the actual trip to come, but for now, let’s focus on these spiritual energy centers. What exactly is a vortex? Good question. And confusing to try to answer. According to our grey-haired, crystal toting, feather-clad tour guide, a vortex is like a human accupressure point, but on the earth. Following the metaphor, vortices fall upon certain connective points the planet’s energetic meridians, (like body meridians in Eastern medicine) known as “ley lines.” Keep reading »
I just started working at a boutique on the weekends, and I’m having a blast. This weekend was particularly entertaining, because we had a steady stream of men wander into the shop looking to buy gifts for their wives and girlfriends. It didn’t take long before I noticed that the vast majority of these last-minute male shoppers fit into one of 10 categories. If you brave the stores today, you’ll easily be able to spot them, and if you’ve ever worked retail during the holidays, you already know the guys I’m talking about. They are as follows: Keep reading »
People are always talking about how the holidays are a time for giving and blah, blah, blah. But what if you’re broke? Or too up to your ears in family stress to think about anything else? It’s OK, you can still give without engaging in heavy consumerism or abandoning your Christmas plans to volunteer at a soup kitchen (although that is a wonderful and generous thing to do). And don’t worry, we’re not going to suggest that you to smile at a stranger or bring your neighbor homemade, chicken noodle soup in a plaid thermos. This is real life, not a Folgers commercial. We know it’s not feasible to slave away over a crockpot during work hours, but it is totally possible to ask your co-worker if they want you to grab them lunch while you’re out — ask them for money, of course; we promised these things would be free! Here are 25 little ways to give this holiday season that cost nothing and might leave you feeling warm and fuzzy… Keep reading »
Forget retail therapy, I prefer to deal with stress by engaging in GIF therapy. It’s cheaper, faster and has a far longer-lasting effect than the high you get from a Sephora bender. From the LED baby to the baby walking on ice for the first time, and other things that don’t involve babies, I’d like to thank the following GIFs for bringing me unprecedented joy this year. Do yourself a favor and let them work their animated magic on your soul. Keep reading »
2013 was a pretty big year for me. I turned 28. I moved across the country. I started doing art again. I got a Twitter reply from Wynonna Judd. But most importantly, 2013 was the year that a shit ton of really important, embarrassingly simple life lessons finally clicked. You know how you can hear something 100 times in 100 different ways before it actually gets through to you? All of the things I learned this year fall firmly into that category: things that I maybe should have learned when I was, like, 10, but for whatever reason, didn’t get until just now. This, my friends, was my year of “getting it,” and here are my humble epiphanies: Keep reading »