personal worsts

The Best Time Minnie Mouse, My Hero, Took Off Her Head and Projectile Vomited At Me

Minnie Mouse is the spokesperson of domestic goddesses everywhere. Minnie Mouse keeps her house cute all the time. Minnie Mouse’s relationship with Mickey inspired my dreams of love. Minnie Mouse’s polka-dot dress summed up all that I hoped the future held for me.

When I was six, and my parents told me that we were going to Disneyland, I felt sure that this was my moment to blossom. Growing up I was hopelessly odd: I preferred to be called “Chest”; a turkey that police named “Rambo” attacked me; I permed my bowl cut. Disneyland was my chance to meet my idol, who I knew would make me feel cool.

I [...]


The Best Time a Diva Cup Suctioned Itself to My Cervix

I consider myself fairly crunchy on the “granola” spectrum. I homebrew kombucha, take a lax view toward showers and shampoo, and, yes, bake my own granola. So when I started hearing buzz about menstrual cups – much of the buzz from Hairpinners themselves! – it sounded way up my alley.

(Yes, that is a portent of things to come.)

I am pro-environment and as anti-spending money as the next twenty-something grad student, so I researched the heck out of those little guys. The number of review websites alone will boggle the mind. As usual, though I am totally willing to try new things, and want good information first, [...]


I Just Wanted to Fly Solo: A Night at the Sugar Ray Festival

At 6 p.m. on a Sunday night I’m driving an hour outside of Ann Arbor to attend the Clarkston, Mich., stop of the Under the Sun tour, which celebrates “the golden age of nineties pop rock ‘n’ roll with Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Vertical Horizon and Fastball.”

I am alone and wearing jorts and a baseball T-shirt, onto which I have Sharpied “MRS. RAY.” I am only slightly depressed that none of my friends in town seem to see the Under the Sun tour as the can’t-miss cultural event that it is. Mostly I’m glad, because now it'll be much easier for me to really [...]


The Best Time I Lubricated My Chicken's Vagina-Butt

About six months ago, my husband and I decided we hadn't become insufferable enough. Sure, we had abandoned the east coast to find ourselves in Tucson, Arizona. We were living in an adobe house, taking daily shots of apple cider vinegar, and attending yoga workshops featuring the progress mantra music of Blue Spirit Wheel. When a coworker mentioned she needed to find a home for her four chickens, we thought our next logical step was urban chicken farming.

We have a love-hate relationship with our chickens. To put it bluntly, our chickens—Miley, Joan, Denise, and Kanya—are assholes. They have destroyed our backyard, their disgusting fly-magnet poops are everywhere, and they [...]


The Best Time I Lost a Tampon and Found My Cervix

I am notoriously bad at knowing when I need to seek professional help. I’ve waited for eczema to completely take over the top half of my body before calling my doctor’s office. Even after I was prescribed the life-saving cream that eliminated the concerned looks from co-workers who would walk by my office and find me wrist deep in my sweater scratching my left boob because it always seemed to get worse mid-afternoon, I would wait weeks before calling to ask for a refill. Maybe it’s not eczema, I thought. Maybe it’s just dry skin. And I would peruse the lotion aisle at Target and spend tens of dollars on [...]


What Happened When I Tried to Read a Whole Book

I do not blame the internet, let's be clear about that. I blame my own inability to imbibe the internet responsibly. Before the internet, I probably read two books a day. I read exceptionally quickly; I have always looked at a page, and instead of reading word-word-word I see paragraph-paragraph-paragraph and it goes in like GULP, and then I turn the page. It's a decent party trick, and it's been good to me. In recent years, I have not been good to it. If I'm doing a formal book review, I turn on "Scholar and Gentlewoman" mode, and all is well, or if it's, like, the new Zadie Smith or [...]


The Best (and Worst and Last) Time I Went To a Sorority Party

In the fall of 1997 I arrived to New York University as a college freshman with two priorities. The first: to waste my parents’ money on a theater education. The second: to get drunk.

I accomplished both my goals, although in different ways and for different lengths of time. Which is to say: I wasted that money over the span of four years, but got drunk only once.

•••I never had an alcoholic drink all throughout high school, and that was owed to both (a) a lack of social invitations, and (b) a fear of projectile vomit. While there was an extent to which this disappointed me about myself, there [...]


A Love Letter to the Postal Service

All my life I've been a fan of temporality; everything is better when you know it will never happen exactly the same way again. But last weekend I saw the Postal Service play their penultimate set at Lollapalooza and since then I’ve been hit with thoughts that are both new and unwelcome, like “Take me back" and “I would do anything except kill a person to go back” and "Why am I crying into this sandwich?"

This is only partially based on the music. I am not claiming that Give Up, with its often-clumsy lyrics and constant reach for poignancy, is the greatest album of all time. [...]