Lifestyle

To my overworked brother, I am writing this because I feel there is no better way to get across my opinion about your current predicament than to lay it all out for you to see. Our family has long known that you have been unhappy in your job, but you have our dad's work ethic and seem reluctant to leave a job that has affected not only your relationships but also your lifestyle. Of course most jobs are time consuming but you seem to have fallen into a job that demands an insane amount of your time and when you aren't working you are traveling too and from work all across the country. Not only does this give you no personal time but it also prevents you from forming friendships and even staying in touch with your loved ones. It saddens us to talk to you about it because when we do...
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Dear married couples, I write this open letter in a bid to help those who may be in a similar situation to one that I was in. That situation is of dealing with a marriage that is going through tough times...in fact this advice spans past marriages and into all relationships! Let me begin by explaining. My wife and I have been together for 9 years (6 of them as a married couple), we do not claim to be the perfect couple, of course we argue about the things that everyone else does but we are also fairly laid back. So you could imagine my wife's growing distress when these petty and regular arguments about unpaid bills and messy rooms etc became a lot more like direct criticisms at her character. It wasn't that I didn't love my wife I just found myself becoming more and more...
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To people afraid to be alone, With another Valentine’s Day well and truly over, it’s time to share that I am okay with being single. No I’m not one of those people who despise the idea of a relationship, but rather I am content with being by myself when it is called for, rather than putting myself in a situation where I am in a relationship with someone for the sake of it. It is pretty surprising to me just how many people find themselves doing the daily cycle of a relationship just because it becomes a habit, rather than because they love the person and want to be with them. It has happened for as long as I can remember! Back when I was at school I would see couples in my year either always arguing or sitting there with nothing to say to one another…of course they stayed together...
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Dear vaccine opponents: I wonder whether the reason so many young parents are refusing to vaccinate their children is that they themselves have never had measles, mumps, chickenpox, or rubella — especially measles. They were born so long after these vaccines were developed and widely used that they have no idea what it feels like to be sick with these diseases or to watch a child suffer their ravages. These “usual childhood illnesses,” as we used to call them in medicine, are no longer usual. To some young parents of today they are an abstraction. Let me tell you what it’s like to have measles. I came down with measles when I was about 10 years old, in the mid-1950s. I had never been as sick before then, and have never been so sick since. I was sent home from school one morning with...
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To the lady on my left, Well, this is awkward. I don't know if you've realised, but I can actually see into your kitchen from my kitchen. Unfortunately, that 5'9" fence installed between our houses is not tall enough to keep my 5'11" self from making eye contact with you as we do our washing up - what feels like together - most evenings. If you hadn't noticed, this may be a something you would like to take into consideration next time you decide to have wonderfully adventurous sexual relations whilst perched on top of your gas cooker. Last time I honestly felt like we'd made quite strong and uncomfortable eye contact. I remember because I was cleaning a particularly vicious stain from my stewing pot, and you were... well, you know what you were doing. I've gotta be honest, that's...
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Dear World, I was only three when I felt different from other girls. I played with the toys and wore the clothes of a girl, but I felt…weird. Uncomfortable. Alienated. The first time I got to choose my own toy, I picked out a hot wheels set from a white elephant sale. Mom yelled at me, so I started playing with polly pockets instead. I still felt like that was wrong. I developed depression, anxiety, felt isolated even among my closest friends, I started self harming and having suicidal thoughts. It wasn’t until I started experimenting with drag at age 16 that I began to feel more in my place. I came out as bigender at age 19. I still felt depressed and I managed to get myself to stop cutting, but the urges wouldn’t stop. It wasn’t until I came out as female to male transgender that...
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Dear People Who Write Open Letters to Their Exes, Yesterday on Jezebel, we learned that writing an open letter to your ex/ex's new partner is a universally bad idea. My preference is to institute a requirement for these you writers: before any open letter gets published and/or commented on, you MUST give the truthful reason for the break up. There's something highly suspicious and ironic when a writer (and I'm using that term OH SO loosely) such as Anthony D'Ambrosio bloviates and over-shares about how awesome his ex was, how much he misses her, how beautiful and irreplaceable she is, and HOW FUCKING HAPPY AND AT PEACE HE IS RIGHT NOW without her, but gets coy when asked the reason the break up occurred in the first place. (I'm intentionally not linking to the original letters so as...
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When I wrote about E. F. Benson’s very funny but also rather nasty Mapp and Lucia, I speculated that one reason I didn’t love it is that “I like my social comedy served up with a hint of conscience, or even of pathos.” “Give me Nancy Mitford any day,” wrote Min in the comments — and that reminded me that Mitford is another writer I keep meaning to read. So I asked for and got The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate for Christmas (thanks, D...
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Dear Porn Industry, I never watch porn. Or rather, before this week, I had never watched porn. I’m not sure why I chose this week to change that habit but my boyfriend was busy, I guess I got a bit curious, and everyone does it, right? I wasn’t looking for anything too “hardcore” or unusual. But in a way, this makes what I found even more shocking – I used a simple Google search and what I found was degrading, disrespectful, and outright damaging. I am not going to disclose how many sexual encounters I have had but I will say that when I was seventeen, I had my first “boyfriend”. We fooled around, as hormone-fuelled teenagers do – nothing too frisky, mind: just hands. And he came. As boys do. And he came over my stomach. And I thought, ‘that makes sense, he doesn’t want to get...
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I’m sorry you didn’t get the chance to be born and carry on the family line. You might have been funny and warm like your potential dad, Bob, or ditzy and slightly neurotic like your potential mum, Sharon, but we’ll never know. You see, I never felt particularly broody. Other women would drool over babies, but although I agreed they were cute I didn’t feel that I must have one. Whenever I held someone else’s baby they always cried, as if sensing they were being cradled by a novice. Now it’s too late. I am entering the perimenopause, you see. My child-bearing years are nearly at an end and Bob and I are too set in our ways now. Even if I decided to try to beat my biological clock and gave birth to you in nine months time, in September 2015, by the time you were 20 I would be 69. I’m...
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