How We Choose To Love

My parents have the relationship that I’ve always dreamed of—the sort of relationship, I think, that a lot of people dream of. It’s the kind of relationship we’re taught, through movies, TV shows and books, that we’re supposed to aspire to.

They met when my mother was 19 and my dad was 23, and they’ve been, for the past 31 years, each other’s one-and-only in every sense of the phrase. My mom has called him her soulmate and her best friend. She told me recently that if she hadn’t met him, she didn’t think she’d be with anyone at all.

My life, on the other hand, has been markedly different.

I wrote about comparing my parents’ relationship style to the way I’ve learned and choose to love. It turns out maybe we’re not so different after all, and that I learned a lot from them, even though on the surface our styles are very different.

A lovey-dovey personal essay just in time for Valentine’s Day. And my first essay for The Establishment, which I’m completely thrilled about! I love The Establishment!

refrain

Jessica said this, about my anaphorafixation:

Also: “anaphora” sounds a bit like a prompt I’ve been toying with lately: “refrain.” Been trying to connect the idea of something you hear repeated in a song that moves you, with the idea of something (or someONE) you keep coming back to.

refrain2

I’ve been dreaming lately about somebody I used to know. A boy. An if you love him let him go type of boy. An if you love yourself you’ll let him go type of situation.

There’s such a tension in these dreams. I know the way things unfold; I watch them from the now knowing everything that comes after. In my dreams I choose to stay, to live it out again, to relish it, with and without hope for a different outcome. There’s still all this love, pale upon waking, this longing and misplaced certainty. And there’s the me who is watching the dream and wincing, but who knows that it’ll be okay.

I wrote a poem about it once. It was the first poem I ever wrote after knowing Crystal. I wrote about how I was certain like the sea, how the way I felt about him was like having my feet in wet sand, ankle-deep, being pulled. It was the only time I’d come close, really close, to knowing what it’s like to feel in love.

It seems pretty silly now, honestly. (It seems, sometimes, like the surest thing I’ve ever known.)

I tried to reach out to him recently. I wanted to apologize for something I’d said. I could have said it months ago, and I didn’t. But this situation was my perfection combination of definitions. A refrain, this person I keep coming back to; to refrain, to stop myself, for my own good.

refrain1

I met Crystal at an odd, sad moment in both our lives. We were both so young and heartbroken. We’re still pretty young, and we’re probably still heartbroken, sometimes, but it’s a little different now. She would come over to my apartment, a nicer place than I could afford, which was always lit in red and gold even though the walls were stark and bare. We’d drink a giant bottle of wine and scribble things down and cry. Twenty-three is a good time to be that way.

Of course it wasn’t always pretty. There was one time that we drank this awful passion fruit rum another friend had given me as a housewarming gift. I finished most of the bottle and promptly puked it all up from the top of my bed, which was lofted over the sofa. Crystal cleaned it up and made sure I fell asleep and in the morning we ate snowy pastries from the bakery around the corner. It had been there for a hundred-and-three years. It had probably seen generations of hungover girls short on sleep and seeking a sugar high, the only people who could save each other just by letting each other be, and by witnessing each other write it down.

gyno horrorshow

Hey, look. I’m quoted in Women’s Heath Magazine!

Some other fun things that are cervix adjacent:

Continue reading gyno horrorshow

My “Leaving New York” essay (sort of)

A friend of mine expressed concern yesterday that my going part-time might be a Bad Idea, life-wise. Either way, it’s in the works starting next week, so Good Idea or Bad, it’s happening. I’ve made arrangements for when my lease is up so that I’ll be in a place where my rent (amazingly) will be only $500/month. In order to do this, I’ll be living on Long Island, which is perhaps not ideal, but honestly it’s better than sleeping on the couch in my parents’ apartment. (No offense to my parents at all! They’re super supportive of my writing — they’re actually my first readers for my novel — but for whatever reason, it is almost impossible for me to write at home.)

The friend who I’ll be staying with once my lease is up has deemed the move I’m making “downsizing,” because she is an accountant and also the most grown up person I know. This makes the move seem much more official and much less frivolous. My friend who is concerned for my future/my choices, is concerned because:

  • I’ll be far away from the city, from the people I want to be around and the things I want to do,
  • By being at work only half as much as I am now, I will not be “engaging with the world” as much,
  • No one can write for hours and hours,
  • I will have less pasta/dinero/moo-la/cash/$$$.

Oddly, though, these things (with the exception of the money bullet) are precisely why I’m excited to make this move.

Continue reading My “Leaving New York” essay (sort of)

Books On My Bookshelf I Have Not Yet Read (Part One)

  1. Swanson on Swanson, by Gloria Swanson
  2. The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan (unfinished)
  3. Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara, by Eve Golden (unfinished)
  4. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
  5. Paris, by Andrew Hussey
  6. Girls to the Front, by Sara Marcus
  7. Gut Feelingsby Gerd Gigerenzer
  8. Why Does He Do That: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, by Lundy Bancroft (unfinished)
  9. The Selected Poems of Anne Sexton
  10. The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay
  11. The Everything Tarot Book, by M.J. Abadie (unfinished)
  12. The Girl With All The Gifts, by M.R. Carey
  13. Fifty Plants That Changed the Course of History, by Bill Laws
  14. The Vampire Book, by J. Gordon Melton
  15. Ghosts, by Hans Holzer
  16. The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories, edited by Alan Ryan
  17. Witchcraze, by Anne Llewellyn Barrow
  18. Vampires, Burial, and Death, by Paul Barber
  19. A Witches Guide to Faery Folk, by Edain McCoy
  20. Wyrd Sisters, by Terry Pratchett
  21. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon
  22. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
  23. Speak, Memory, by Vladimir Nabokov
  24. The Magic of Believing: The Science of Setting Your Goal and then Reaching It, by Claude M. Bristol
  25. The Tudors: The Kings and Queens of England’s Golden Age, by Jane Bingham
  26. Titanic, by Charles Pellegrino

Wearing the Pants

Girls would be wild, instead of quiet and modest, and no one would want to marry them. The family would be destroyed. Men would become weak and effeminate. They wrote editorials fretting that cross dressing by women would cause social and moral chaos, ranting that that the differences between the sexes “would be obliterated.”

 “Wearing the Pants” by Kathleen Cooper

All

good

things.