Lifestyle

Dear Havingsaidthat, A certain tentativeness of opinion has become fashionable of late. By that I mean a little rhetorical polka that avoids asserting anything of consequence, a verbal watering down that would put your Miller Light to shame, an everyday, omnipresent flip-flop that has squashed direct communication everywhere. I’m talking about you, Havingsaidthat. You have wriggled your way into the mouth of every Letterman, every shiny-tied anchorman, every political pundit who can now read one poll every way but sideways, every Fox News body language “expert,” and every reality talent show judge. Even the humble weathermen and subway station apocalypto (2013 end of times! Havingsaidthat maybe 2014!) have paid homage to your cutesy chicanery. You have transformed thousands of...
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Dear Elf on the Fucking Shelf, You’re a book, a doll, a keepsake box. You’re an iPhone app, a newsletter, and a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon. You’re everywhere. You’re a fucking nightmare. When I was pregnant I made a list of things that I was going to ban from my house upon my daughter’s arrival: Barney, Crocs, Tickle Me Talking Elmo, all other battery-operated toys, and light-up sneakers—to name just a few. If I had known about you, Elf on the Fucking Shelf, you would have been right up there at the top of the list. But I was blissfully unaware of your felt trend sweeping the nation, as I waddled around gorging my face on lemon bars. Being out of the loop gives you a certain sense of liberty. It is the same liberty that I felt when we recently moved into an...
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Dear Self-Interrupters, You don’t know who you are, but I do. I’m the one listening, giving you my undivided attention while you prattle on about how your boss can joke around with you but sometimes he jokes about how lazy you are, which might actually be true and what if he… AND THEN YOU ARE ON YOUR PHONE LAUGHING AT JARED’S TEXT MESSAGE. You have just self-interrupted, and it makes me feel like shit. Because I was listening. And so you know, it’s hard to be a good listener. It’s a choice. I was not just nodding over here. I was for real listening. I was NOT glancing at those girls. I was NOT staring at your breasts. I was—for once—NOT planning the plot of my first novel. What I WAS doing: I was actually absorbing your life and getting prepared to respond in a way...
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Dear Class of 1994, I regret to announce my resignation as “Most Likely to Succeed.” Nearly twenty years since the senior superlative was announced in our yearbook, it’s clear that I’ve fallen short of your expectations. Meanwhile, “Most Popular” Jennifer B. recently received 44 happy birthday wishes on her Facebook timeline. In these uncertain times, there is talk of different definitions of what it means to succeed: loving your job regardless of financial reward, having a family, attaining internal peace. But as eighteen-year-olds in rural Florida, we saw only one road to success: amassing status and wealth—and/or orange grove acreage. I understand the hope you had in me. I was part of the Academic Team. I drove a new Ford Mustang, surely the first of many sports cars. I swept...
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Dear #fitgirls, I’m worried that if I see another green smoothie on your Instagram, I might throw up on it. Or in it. The minute I see your muscular bodies, fluoride smiles and read you telling me I have the moves, my body is thrown into a fit. Not fit the way you’d like it. I am motivated away from your sugar-free dessert recipes on your blog and want to go and have myself a cake. I am confused because you all seem so high-performance, but I can’t keep my heart rate up at 85% RPM. In fact I don’t feel like that’s very regular. Thankfully I took your quinoa salad recipe advice, and that has kept me regular. But regular is not very high-performance is it? The #ThankfulnessThursday hashtag on Instagram confused me. I muddled it up with #ThrowbackThursday. I realized that I shouldn’...
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Dear mango fly larva currently taking up residence in my left buttock, It’s time to come out of there now. I’m serious. I’ve had enough. A woman’s got a limit, a limit to how much she can take and a right to the sovereignty of her own butt—both cheeks. But you don’t care about any of that, do you? You just perch smugly in the little home you’ve carved out down there, squirming and writhing, knowing full well that my longstanding fear of going under the knife basically guarantees you rent control until you’ve pupated. Or so you thought. Because I’m done. Why me, anyway? Looking objectively at the situation, it now seems it was mere opportunity, not attraction, that brought us together. That hurts more than anything, even more than when you dig your pincers into the subcutaneous...
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Dear Ladies, I don’t know you and you don’t me. Yet, when you noticed the basketball “hiding” under my shirt and asked if I knew the baby’s sex, and you learned that I already have a two-and-a-half-year-old son, and I am expecting another son, you felt the need to sigh heavily and say: “Oh, maybe next time you’ll have a girl.” Maybe, Farmer’s Market Lady, just maybe, next time you won’t feel the need to add your two cents when I’m having a lovely conversation with the butcher at the deli counter who is slicing my Boar’s Head turkey breast, and confessing how sexy he finds pregnant women. Maybe you won’t assume that I’m having a third baby when I HAVEN’T EVEN HAD THE SECOND ONE YET! And maybe, just maybe, you won’t assume that I was “trying for a girl” this time. And, you,...
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Dear Ladies, I don’t know you and you don’t me. Yet, when you noticed the basketball “hiding” under my shirt and asked if I knew the baby’s sex, and you learned that I already have a two-and-a-half-year-old son, and I am expecting another son, you felt the need to sigh heavily and say: “Oh, maybe next time you’ll have a girl.” Maybe, Farmer’s Market Lady, just maybe, next time you won’t feel the need to add your two cents when I’m having a lovely conversation with the butcher at the deli counter who is slicing my Boar’s Head turkey breast, and confessing how sexy he finds pregnant women. Maybe you won’t assume that I’m having a third baby when I HAVEN’T EVEN HAD THE SECOND ONE YET! And maybe, just maybe, you won’t assume that I was “trying for a girl” this time. And, you,...
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Dear truckers, I found your piss. Twenty-three bottles, to be exact, in the grass along an I-94 entrance ramp. I assume you intended to leave them there. Why else would there be so many? The golden-amber hue of my first find—a gallon jug of Arizona Iced Tea—implied, well, tea, so I picked it up with less care than I otherwise would have shown. The lid, which you failed to secure, fell off, and your stench splashed out onto the grass and splattered across my tennis shoes. In the heat of the late summer morning, the odor overwhelmed me, and I heaved into the grass. What sort of monster, I thought, would do such a thing? That was before I found the other twenty two bottles. Mountain Dew, Sobe Peach, Propel Berry. Some of you, in a surge of irony, had chosen Aquafina or Ice Mountain...
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Dear Paleo Diet Enthusiasts, The thing is, we just don’t care about what you eat, or why. And we’re tired of your pseudo-science rationalization of why this new diet is the best thing you’ve ever done. But what’s really ridiculous is how presumptuous it is of you to assume you know what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate way back in the Stone Age. What do you really even know about the Stone Age? Have you even thought about it since fifth grade? It was a hard life back then. Just to survive was a real challenge. Apparently, language was pretty new, and yet you think they had time to make kale chips and bake with coconut flour. Amazing. There is one thing that would impress me about the Paleo Diet, and that’s if you went full on. Like, move into a cave and start hunting your meat and...
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