Tag Archives: relationships

What I Did While You Were Busy Breeding

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When you turn 30, an odd thing starts to happen. You start noticing the things others chose that you did not. Sometime in our mid 20’s, the ponies start to separate and some folks travel the tried and true path while others seek to forge their own way, riding the coat tails of their passions to the very end.

As Frank Zappa so eloquently puts it:

If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.

Whether you decide to climb the corporate ladder, have babies, travel or launch your own business, do it because you want to. It’s your life. Here’s what I did with mine.

  1. I traveled. I wandered through castle ruins in Wales, rode a horse after one too many beers in Tennessee. I missed trains, got stranded at bus stops, got lost in Rome. I fell in love in London, got stoned at a commune in Copenhagen, looked for witches in Salem, camped with elks in Colorado and experienced the stench of death in New Orleans.
  2. I played roller derby in three different states. Learned to ride a horse, a motorcycle, a plane by myself. I raised a dog.
  3. I had chickens living in my apartment kitchen. Got tattoos. Shaved my head. Traded shoes with drag queens. Wrote a sex advice column.
  4. I moved to Vermont. I moved to Philly. I lived in a sergeants mess in England.  I slept in the back of a car in Brooklyn. I owned a horse, a Ford, a Honda. I helped a sheep give birth on a cold night in New England.
  5. A boy made a movie about me. I worked at a bar where “lingerie lunch” was a thing, a book store, a dry cleaners. I was a hostess.
  6. I wrote a lot. I lost my job and so I launched my own business. I paid my way through Europe with my words.
  7. I dated. I dated a lot. I meditated. I ran. I lost God. I wondered if little girls could be raised by wolves.
  8. I suffered. I witnessed a friend get raped, another take his own life with a rope. I was a bridesmaid. I was a bartender. I was in a burlesque performance – once.
  9. I wanted to publish a book. I practiced yoga. I ate fire.
  10. I found God. Stroked a pet wolf in Portsmouth. Napped in a castle in Cardiff.
  11. Thought about grad school. Thought about marriage. Contemplated babies. Dismissed them all.
  12. Dedicated my hours to my art. Locked myself away for months at a time and honed my skill. I wrote. I wrote. I wrote.
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All of the Dating Advice I Have

89bcd9bb3cb831aaf37a34e29d676dd51.) “Musician” is simply a euphemism for “I will fuck you and then I will copulate with your best friend, cousin, sister and anything else with a pulse and a hole.”

2.) Skateboards are practical methods of transportation for humans under the age of 12. Anybody who uses a skateboard after that age should be avoided, unless they are making big bucks for riding around on a two-by-four attached to four roller-skate wheels.

ie:

Betty, “I have a hot date tonight with Johnny!”

Sally, “That’s wonderful! Where are you two going?”

Betty, “Down the block. We can’t go very far away because he’s picking me up on his skateboard. Isn’t that romantic?”

Sally, “…….”

3. “I’m not ready for a relationship” means I am not ready for a relationship. It does not mean the following:

– I want to take things slow because I respect you and I am a gentleman.

– I am emotionally hurt by your predecessor and fear that you’ll hurt me too. My heart is a big gaping wound and I need to be treated as fragile goods and be nursed back to heath by a caring and devout woman such as yourself.

– If you hang around for like five months and bake me cupcakes and have naked sleepover parties with me, I will suddenly realize how amazing you are and put a ring on it.

4. Stop talking about your dating life in hyperbole. Every dude out there isn’t an asshole set out to break your heart and you’re not going to be alone forever. Shit happens to everyone. This is why dating is as exciting as it is sucky. Chin up, slugger.

5. Having sex does not mean he is your boyfriend. Three weeks of dating doesn’t mean he’s your bf either.

6. Do not, under any circumstances, get drunk and text him, “Do you like me?” Also, do not show up to his place of employment in nothing but a trench coat and garters.

7. Relax. Relax. Relax.

8. Do not rely heavily on dating advice from your female friends or gay male friends or your mother.

9. It is not cute or becoming to get drunk in front of him and then shrilly sing Miley Cyrus and/or throw up in your purse and/or get into a brawl with the grouchy broad wearing leggings with a Lisa Frank-esque pattern of cats and space ships who gave you the stink-eye.

10. Do not listen to Jawbreaker while sitting by yourself on the couch in the dark waiting for him to call you back.

 

Welcome to the Winter of Our Discontent

winter

I think I went a little crazy when I turned 30. I did the typical “Woooo, let’s get drunk and try to take home anything with a pulse and a penis (even that fugly bartender with a nose like a dorsal fin) because I’m sad and lonely and single and things are going to start sagging in the next two years and I still don’t have kids (but do I even want them?) and I’m 30 – did you hear, y’all? I’m 30?!?! LOOK AT MEEE WHILE I TWERK ON THIS TABLE!!! WOOOO YAHHH…Fuck, I think I threw my hip out. Where’s ma drink??”

But other than getting white girl wasted, I really think I lost my mind. I lost my mind in the same way people fall asleep or in love; slowly at first, and then all at once.

This winter has been a hard one. Not because I suddenly realized I’m old, but because things are changing and staying the same simultaneously. People are getting married and having kids and moving to the ‘burbs. Some are making drastic life decisions regarding love and education and career. Still others are in the same exact spot they were at when they were 23, 24, 25. They’re combing the bar for chicks, shopping alone in the frozen food aisle at 3am because they’re stoned and too lazy to cook. And their refrain has become, “I’ll change. I’ll change. I’ll change.” even though I know they won’t.

Do you understand what I’m saying?

My dog died so I bought a puppy. It thinks “No” means “Yes, good boy! Continue eating my Jeffrey Campbells! Atta dog! Shit on the floor! Good dog!”

I’ve been vigilantly stalking a girl who is an uglier version of Courtney Love circa the heroin years. A guy I like who used to like me now likes her and it drives me nuts. I’ll sit for hours browsing through her pictures and each bug eyed, bleach blonde, pouty lipped, baby doll dress, ripped stockings, the 90’s are screaming at you to wake the eff up and realize grunge is dead photo makes me hate myself even more.

I can’t stop buying shit from Free People. Every girl needs a $600 crocheted rose print ruffle frock in her closet!

I got a second gym membership because I hated my first gym. I found a fourth shrink because the first one didn’t “get” me, the second one was too handsome and the third one was too paternal.

I apply for five copywriting jobs in different states every day.

Do you fucking get what I’m talking about?

I am 30 and my refrain is “I’ll change. I’ll change. I’ll change.” But I don’t. You can dress it up any way you want, play semantics and call it “stuck” or “lost.”  But the fact of the matter is I’m 30 and nothing has changed.

Advice for Difficult Women

difficultwoman1.) You’ll feel like you want him more than anything in the world that night. More than winning the Pulitzer. More than babies. He’ll have this face that just devastates. And it’ll be December and you’ll be lonely, thinking that nothing will ever grow again. You’re wrong.

The city will look like it’s on its last legs and then spring will come like an explosion.

Don’t use him as a scratching post for your own loneliness. He may be gorgeous, but he won’t understand when you say you disagree with Rilke’s whole essay about love meaning to deny the self and to be consumed by flames. He will teach you that men desire the satisfaction of desire; a woman desires the condition of desiring. Let him go and go home to your dog.

2.) Fairy tales end after 15 pages, our lives do not. We are multi-volume sets, stories on top of stories on top of stories. Just because that guy left you standing outside the bar in the rain in your best dress or that friend decided you were not worth her time, it goes on. It gets better. There’s is always another chapter waiting for you, and then another, and another…

3.) You may be waiting on a train that’s late or suffering from money problems and believe that your whole life is going to fall apart. These are welcomed respites from the heartbreaks and breakdowns. Don’t lose your mind if the dog shits on the floor or you get a run in your stockings. Life is a series of intense beauty and mundane problems. Save the worry and tears for the big stuff.

4.) In every assumption there is contained the possibility for its opposite. If he doesn’t text you for a day, don’t automatically assume he’s not interested. He may be working late or have been hit by a bus.

If he kisses you sweetly, don’t think he’s promising you the world. He may have a wife and kids or a secret collection of decapitated heads in his closet.

Never jump to conclusions right away. Allow the person to show you who they really are, and then judge.

5.) Be less hard on people. They’re not always out to hurt you. This applies especially true to men. Just because you’re thirty and still single and have dated every guy who lives in the Tri-state area doesn’t mean they’re all fuckwits. Have hope and be soft.

6.) Fear of failure, pride, those last 15 pounds you want to lose, all of these things fall away in the face of death. You will die someday. You are already naked. There is no reason to not follow your heart.

7.) Breath slow, eat slow, take the time to take things in. Don’t always be in such as hurry for the next big thing. Enjoy now. Rejoice in what you have NOW. Your  job, your new puppy, your friends, family, that new guy. These are all blessings. But remember the impermanence of your situation. These things will all be gone eventually, so bask in them now.

How to Become an Adult

older-people-the-web1Quick story: My toilet broke and my dude friend had to take me to Lowe’s to point out what part I needed to buy. The item in question was called a “shank washer,” and, through some kind of great cosmic misfortune, the brand that made it was Ballcock. Put those two phrases together and you get comic genius. I, a thirty-year-old editor, was giggling for the rest of the day, so much so that my buddy decided to leave me at the hardware store.

I’m in no way harping on folks who have the sense of humor of a prepubescent boy. But the ability to break out in maniacal laughter after someone says the word “balls” is an indication of stunted growth. Real grownups surely wouldn’t snicker at some saccharine term for the male genitalia.

Gen Y has been dubbed the unabashedly coddled, microwave-dependent and entirely too selfish generation. And we are! We totally and undeniably are a bunch of adult infants waddling around with our flies down and our heads up our asses.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn how to figure out this thing known as “adulting.” Here are a few things I’ve learned about being a grownup along the way.

Credit Card Debt

I took myself on a vacation to Mexico while I was in college, all paid for by Mr. Mastercard. I drank fruity adult beverages with tiny umbrellas while hot, semi-naked cabana boys fanned me with palm leaves. Seven years later, I am still paying for that fucking trip.

The Aesop fable? Pay your debts.

Tell the Truth

Do you want to know why 70% of Americans are “depressed?” It’s probably because a.) They’re married to somebody that they hate; b.) They’ve been slaving away at a job that they could care less about for way too long; c.) Their friends suck.

Being honest with yourself and others is one of the easiest ways to live a happy life. Don’t cheat on your boyfriend. I mean, why would you? Are you a giant sniveling piece of chicken shit who’s using him as a scratching post for your own loneliness? Just dump him and the next thing you know, you could be naked on all fours in a cabin in Aspen with Ryan Gosling.

Living with Significant Others

Just don’t do it. Ever. You’ll end up with the cat that they just had to have or else they’d die. And believe me, cats are the worst parting gifts ever. It’s 10-20 years of having to live with a creature that hates you.

Friends

The older you get, the less effort you’ll put into making friends. By the time you’re in your late 20’s, you basically know who you want to keep on Friendship Island and who you want to kick off. So be sure to start picking your tribe wisely.

Travel

Many things have gone wrong while I was traveling. I’ve been robbed.  I also had a French guy vomit in my suitcase and passed out in the bed of a Russian stripper. But all of these add up to awesome stories you’ll want to share with everyone in the end.

Before you’re tied down to a career or kids, dive headfirst into this big, bad lonely planet to gain some perspective.

Boundaries

If you’re the kind of person who thinks it’s totally okay to trade dick pics with a married woman or bail your friend out of prison for the fourth time, you definitely need to learn a little thing called boundaries. These imaginary lines in the sand will come in handy in regards to your self-respect and intrinsic worth.

A Dog is Good Practice for a Baby

If you want to see if you’re up for the challenge of reproducing, puppy-sit your buddy’s dog for a weekend. Watch all of your carefree time watching YouTube videos on how to communicate with zebras circle the drain. Become comfortable with the fact that you have to clean up another being’s huge, warm pile of shit. Remember that you need to come home early from the bar and you can’t go home with Mr. Tall Dark & Handsome because you need to let the dog out.

Going Out

The need to be a mover and shaker 24/7, do things in public and document those things on 23 different social-networking sites is overwhelming, especially in your 20’s. As human beings, we have a huge desire to be accepted by the pack and fit in. And if that means a night of heavy binge drinking while listening to some awful Bauhaus cover band while goth kids are grumpily hula-hooping, then so be it.

Facebook

One of the most important things to learn is that nobody’s life is as fantastic as the way it appears on the internet. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all self-indulgent mini-me websites that only document the fun and exciting times in a person’s life. I mean, nobody is going to tweet about how they just got stood-up or Instagram a picture of their face during a menstrual-cramp session.

Let’s Have a Moment of Silence for Your Dignity

According to Wikipedia, the term “beating a dead horse” is an idiom that means “a particular request or line of conversation is already foreclosed or otherwise resolved, and any attempt to continue it is futile; or that to continue in any endeavour (physical, mental, etc.) is a waste of time as the outcome is already decided.”

I tend to like to take this approach to dating. I feel the need to hit the corpse of the relationship over the head with a stick for months after the initial breakup happened just to really ensure that it’s dead. I do not recommend this method to anybody.

For women of a certain age (aka those that are about to turn 30), breakups are particularly harsh. I mean, I know our generation is evolving at a snail’s pace as far as marriage goes in  contrast to the baby boomers, and I’m not suggesting that every girl in her late 20’s wants to be jogging down the highway with a stroller in velour sweats, but there comes a time in your life when you start to question how you’ll possibly find a well adjusted dude when they all seem to have a need to dump you via text or Twitter.

I feel that one can overcome a breakup while still retaining their dignity. So, I’ve compiled this handy breakup guide that is 100% guaranteed to butcher your pride. Read it, let it sink in, and then never, EVER follow this advice.

1.) Weep openly in public: People don’t understand public displays of emotion anymore. To these people I say, crying openly in public places is perfectly healthy! In fact, more people need to break down in restaurants, pet stores and Walgreens more often. Since when did having feelings become illegal? Since when did listening to Soul Asylum’s Run Away Train at full blast on your iPod  and soulfully singing along to the lyrics while simultaneously wiping tears from your eyes at the gym become a sin? If you’ve been dumped, you have every right to start crying hysterically and hiccupping at a Frido Kahlo exhibit.

2.) Animal Hoarding: When you witness a grown woman who looks like a caricature of Glenn Danzig buying three bags of kitty litter at the grocery store, you can’t help but to visualize her returning to her one-bedroom apartment filled with various feline paraphernalia and popping open a bottle of Arbor Mist while eight cats crawl all over her. You’re feeling very vulnerable right now and the best way to feel better is to get a pet. Animals love you intensely and with unrelenting bliss! And you deserve to be reminded that you are worthy of this kind of devotion, no matter how many times you checked your ex’s email.

3.) Pull a Say Anything: So you gave your ex your heart and he gave you a pen. The next logical step is to dress up in a khaki trenchcoat and stand outside of his apartment while blaring Peter Gabriel from a boombox. If you don’t have a boombox or a khaki trenchcoat, your friend’s car radio and your gym clothes are the next best thing. Ignore the angry shouts from the neighbors. They’re just upset they don’t have the balls to semi-stalk their ex at 3am on a Tuesday. So what if you end up in the back of a cop car blubbering about how this stunt worked for John Cusack?

4.) Get Drunk Daily: Alcohol is a social lubricant. It also helps you sleep better. And you’re going to need all the help you can get while you’re facing all those long, dark and lonely hours in your big empty bed with your newly adopted family of eight cats. When drinking alone isn’t enough, you should totally get blitzed in public too! Send your ex 32 text messages about how much you miss him in one night. Have an eight minute conversation with a support beam that you thought was a person. You’ll be the center of attention after you somehow end up on the roof of a five-story building using nothing but a cherry-picker! All your friends will adore you after you urinate under a booth in Burger King! And who cares if you get a drinking problem? You’re still young enough to fix that.

5.) Impulse Buying: You just got dumped and feel like shit. You need a temporary distraction from all of your pain. You need to feel a twinge of joy again. What better way to fill that boyfriend-shaped hole in your heart than by stuffing it full of designer handbags, tickets to Europe, and gerbils?

6.) Sign Up for a Dating Site and Only Go on Dates with Men Who Look Exactly Like Your Ex: So what if your ex reminded you of a giant pile of rocks you toted around on your back and got scoliosis from? You kept that pile of rocks close, especially at night and in bed during the winter. You miss having somebody to eat Mexican with on Thurdays. Even though you hated his dancing hotdog tattoo and obsession for Bruce Campbell, you magically find yourself trolling OKCupid for men with ridiculous tattoos and an interest in zombie movies. It’s more than fine that you date clones of your ex for the next eight months and then wonder why none of these fetal relationships bloom into the real deal. It’s natural to go on a first date to Applebee’s and want to put a shoe through your face after you realize you’re more interested in reading the description about the Buffalo Blue Burger than your date’s 45-minute tangent about how your predecessor broke his heart by running over their puppy with her Jetta.