In 1995, an unknown writer published a book of self-help musings. This book contained 365 entries–one for each day of the year–and promised to “transform your life and help you excavate your authentic self.” It extolled the joys of simple pleasures, like “the smell of fresh laundry” and “porridge with warm apple sauce.” It promised that by appreciating the simple things in life, you would have “more.” The author doesn’t say more what. Just more.
My freshman year really sucked. My only friend switched schools, so I faced the Catholic high school alone. Without that automatic Best Friend confidence, I prayed to just be ignored, lest I say the wrong, weird thing. I was nervous and bookish and also 6’1”. I wore black pants and a black sweater and never raised my hand. I did not care that my quiet, detached attitude just seemed stuck-up; it kept me from having to talk to people. I […]
On the nights I feel most in control of my gender, I wear thick eyeliner and paint my nails and let my blue mane down. I sit in a dive bar and watch the men stare. I listen to whispered what-is-thats and don’t-they-know-this-isn’t-a-gay-bars. Sometimes, a man will put his drink near mine and look at me for an uncomfortable amount of time, like how a dog looks at food when it hits the floor, before I say, “YOOOOO—are you gonna […]
One Fourth of July a few years back, my dad invited me over to his friend Jean Anderson’s house for her party. I guess I could’ve said no, but I probably would have felt bad, so I went. I knew it would most likely be lame. Actually, I knew it would be lame. There was zero chance it wouldn’t suck.
I’ve worked in advertising for almost 10 years. Up until last year, running out of water was the wildest thing that ever happened to me in a meeting. Even though I got my start at McCann Erickson, I avoided the racy advertising culture you see on episodes of Mad Men. I mean, I’m still willing to bet we drink more than any other working professionals, but the real wild stuff, like working overnight and having sex in the office is… […]
I was eight years old when I entered politics. I ran for Class Delegate to the Student Activity Committee. On Election Day, I wore a dress shirt and put gel in my hair. In a two-way race I came in second, which made me the Alternate. I thought of it like being the Vice President. In the event that the Delegate could not carry out his duties, I would assume office. Coming in second did not disappoint me. It was […]
Before I thought I was a man, I thought women’s hormones made us crazy. I didn’t know that was what I thought. There are some beliefs in life that exist so deep in the brain’s dark soil that you can’t see how many of your decisions are rooted to them. When I was a little girl I knew that my mom was the crazy parent, because she was often upset- at my dad not coming home from work till long […]
I don’t normally fret too much about my clothes, but it’s my first hanging and I want to make sure I’m dressed appropriately. Do I go casual/comfortable—tennis shoes, khaki shorts and sweatshirt—or sexy, which for me is knee-length jean skirt, button-up three-quarter- sleeve blouse with first button undone, and flip-flops? I decide on an in-between: jean skirt, hoodie and sandals. I layer, in case it gets hot. This seems like a reasonable approach.