Lifestyle

Dear ugly mug I painted at Paint A Dream last weekend, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to turn out this way. Do you think I wanted this to happen? I am not that horrible of a person. I knew you were the one right away. I chose you above all the other mugs and plates and cat figurines. How could I deny your seductive lip, your curvaceous handle, your sturdy broad base? I cleaned you, scrubbed you with the little round sponge provided by Lexi of the Paint A Dream staff. I dipped the sponge into a Dixie cup of water and gently washed you, like you were my beloved grandmother, too frail and unknowing to wash yourself. Couldn’t you tell I wanted only the best for you? I whispered into your cavernous mug-ear, “What color would you like to be?” You said nothing. Coy. I closed my eyes...
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Dear MTA Riders of the Male Persuasion, I know you like to spread your chests wide, inhaling deeply and filling your lungs with that special patriarchal air that is your birthright. I know you need to place your legs in wide stances to give ample room to your massive testicles, which you have inherited after generations of Darwinism have assured only the largest and best scrotum survive. I know you need to mount your body against the entire center subway pole, claiming your land like Columbus. I get that. Therefore, as a woman who is subordinate to your powerful Y chromosome, I will happily stand in the middle of the subway car, rudderless. A ship out at sea, if you will. Perhaps if I were a little taller, I could reach the bars that run across the ceiling of the cars. Alas, I am...
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Dear Hashtags That Should Really Be Sentences, This is an intervention. Did you catch that? #thisisanintervention. We need to talk. You’ve come a long way in a short time, and I’m worried about you. Remember when hashtags were simple? #work. #mondays. #TGIF. An adjective here, an acronym there, nothing more committal than a proper noun. Things were cut and dry, we knew exactly how people felt about their weekends and life was simple. Until one day, someone tweeted “#fivebeersin” instead of “#drinks” and everything changed. After that, everyone was convinced it had always been their destiny to be well-liked for creating long, clever hashtags. Of course hashtags existed to convey emotion and tell a story! Once the possibility presented itself, there was no going back. Suddenly, it was...
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Dear Balding Men, I’m not sure why you’ve decided to lift up your bangs and show me your widow’s peak so recently after we’ve met. You tell me you’re balding too, as if answering a question. Thanks for the information. I imagine this is something like the inverse of when I had long hair in college and older dudes would tell me they used to have long hair too, letting me know that if they didn’t get drug-tested for work they would totally spark a joint with me right now, man. But those guys were just looking back, remembering days that were good and ol’. No harm there. Balding men, what you’re doing is something different, and you should probably just stop right now. Are you trying to empathize with me? I’d rather you not. Yes, I’d prefer to have hair, just like an amputee...
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Dear Me When I Used to Have Seven Cats, I know you didn’t mean for this to happen. The cats were incremental. First the two kittens you actually meant to adopt. Then a year later, the tiny female kitten you found yowling in the alley on the coldest day of the year, the one you loved the most. Two years after that, three kittens from the pregnant barn cat you fostered, which put you at six. And not long before you moved into your house, the alley cat showed up at your apartment. You didn’t want another cat, but he sheltered on your back porch from time to time, exhausted and dirty. It was a safe spot and his sleep was so deep. He’d start awake when you walked out the door on your way to work, purring audibly, and clenching his paws in pleasure when you stroked him. He wasn’t meant to...
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Dear Adorable Couple, I see you staring at me. You are the most glorious goddamned couple I have ever seen. It is 7:49 a.m. on a Wednesday, and you are fresh-faced, your matching black curls tousled just so. You are tucked together sweetly, cozy against this crisp fall morning. I’m sure you just threw on those perfectly fitted, not-wrinkled jeans and those probably J. Crew rugged-but-not-too-rugged cargo jackets you are both wearing on your fit bodies. You didn’t make coffee because, why bother? You are on a natural high, and that high is called LOVE. And anyway, there’s this quaint café just around the corner from where we all live, and you’re in no hurry. Why would anyone be in a hurry at 7:49 a.m. on a Wednesday? You are already staring, but I request that you stare harder. Bear...
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Dear Armpits, I grew you by accident, having forgot to bring a razor on a recent vacation to Belgium. I could’ve bought a pack during one of several shopping trips to the nearby grocery store, but you know what? As soon as I noticed those first precious millimeters of growth (both amazed and proud at how fast you sprouted), I felt like a Wild Woman: Fierce. Disruptive. Formidable. Sounds silly now. After all, it’s only a bit of hair. But at any rate, I resolved to let you flourish. And then my father threatened to visit, and I thought flashing you, in all your burgeoning glory, might ruffle his Army captain sensibilities. I guess I was ready for a spot of rebellion, however small, and it seemed like a good place to start, with you. Turns out, his ass never even showed up. But I...
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Dear Blonde Woman in the Stock Photo, We’ve got to stop meeting like this. It’s Tuesday night, 1 am, and once again I see you at the bottom of a news article in that bewitching section called SPONSORED CONTENT. As usual, I’ve come here to fill an existential void with slideshows of botched plastic surgery. You’ve come here to sing your siren song, “10 Ways Millennials Are Changing Wine Forever.” You have changed my life forever. Let me number the ways: 1. Before seeing you, I never knew a person could be so excited to drink wine. I grew up in a household where wine was a pleasant accompaniment to dinner, or maybe something you passed to Uncle Moshe after a Hebrew blessing. For you, it is rapture. Your eyes in that stock photo sparkle as if the experience of drinking pinot has...
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Dear Blonde Woman in the Stock Photo, We’ve got to stop meeting like this. It’s Tuesday night, 1 am, and once again I see you at the bottom of a news article in that bewitching section called SPONSORED CONTENT. As usual, I’ve come here to fill an existential void with slideshows of botched plastic surgery. You’ve come here to sing your siren song, “10 Ways Millennials Are Changing Wine Forever.” You have changed my life forever. Let me number the ways: 1. Before seeing you, I never knew a person could be so excited to drink wine. I grew up in a household where wine was a pleasant accompaniment to dinner, or maybe something you passed to Uncle Moshe after a Hebrew blessing. For you, it is rapture. Your eyes in that stock photo sparkle as if the experience of drinking pinot has...
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Dear Sneakers Hanging Over a Power Line on East Lake Sammamish Parkway, How’s the view from up there? I’ve only observed this stretch of road through the window of my minivan. I’ve caught glimpses of tile-roofed houses and, beyond the houses, glints of sunlight on water. There are seven miles of lakefront property along East Lake Sammamish Parkway. Because Pacific Northwesterners like to feel democratic, a public bike trail meanders all seven miles like a hem sewn by an inept seamstress. One day I will replace the bike I sold when we moved to Washington and ride the East Lake Sammamish Trail. I’ll muster the resolve to enter a bicycle shop and explain to the rope-muscled store owner what I desire: a comfortable bike for a middle-aged woman who does not own Lycra shorts or a Gore-Tex...
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