Posts Tagged: growing up
10

You Belong To Me

When I was eight years old, the only thing I wanted to be was president, and Tommy Hanlon told me in front of everyone in my class that I couldn't be.

One plank arm, square in my face with a noodly little finger: "If you weren't born here—you can't be president!" he squealed, a proud look in his eye.

At the time I was ostracized and lonely and distinctly un-American. I was, by the Southeastern Pennsylvanian definition, a "normal looking" eight-year-old, with a whole lot of love to give, but I had an untrustworthy accent that I'd brought over from England and a few other Victorian ticks like asking a [...]

5

Mad Men: In the Land of the Lost

One of the recurring themes in Mad Men involves lost children, children who have lost their parents, parents who have lost their kids. We see characters who were abandoned, orphaned, or simply didn’t get enough love (Don Draper included) who go on to pathologically treat their own offspring the own way, often without much awareness or self-reflection about doing so. Don was a lost kid who became a lost adult, though he's kept it covered it up with bravado and a good sell over the years, albeit with a few cracks emerging.

This “lost” storyline goes well beyond Don, though. Pete lost his mother, in part because of Bob Benson. [...]

12

Costumes

When I was nine, I knew exactly what I wanted to be for Halloween. I wanted to be Cleopatra. At the grocery store, there was a rack of costumes-in-a-bag you could buy for $9.99, and while my mother insisted on spending her time at the grocery store doing boring things, like buying milk so we could all survive, I’d beeline directly to the costumes-in-a-bag rack as soon as we walked in. My mother told me that I shouldn’t do that, because I’d get lost and she’d be considered a bad mother for abandoning me, but I felt she was being irrational. I would obviously be by the costumes-in-a-bag rack. The [...]

73

When Friends Have Babies

Megan laid the stinking baby on the changing table and cooed at him. The little metallic plinks of his onesie pulling apart were almost drowned out by his cry. We were in the almost-dark. I sat on the rocking chair, witnessing my best friend, dumbstruck by her transformation. She was a mom.

The weirdest part about it was this: I had seen her perform almost every one of these motions a thousand times over already. But those times, the baby had been a doll and we had both been children ourselves. Those times, we had been equals in our fascination and our distance from real motherhood.

No longer.

In some [...]

7

Reviews, Then and Now

Old reviews excerpted and tweaked from my college newspaper, my college internship, my post-college journal and my post-college non-paying newspaper job, 1999-2002.

“New in Local Music,” Spring 2001

Worth more than its name would imply, Fydolla Ho tired me out with their head-banging riffs and naughty whispers in the studio this week, but didn’t leave me reaching for a tube of itch relief in the morning…. Punk princesses and veterans of the L.A. rock scene, the Eyeshadows channeled their fiery godmothers to play their hearts out well past two in the morning at the tiny Hollywood den Three Clubs yesterday…. Surfacing amidst the recent renaissance of the funky female songwriter, [...]

1

"And so we leave"

My mother once told me that these were the years that I grew a permanent smirk on my face, like I was always thinking of a joke not worth wasting on the people around me. A healthy portion of my attitude was surely due to the anger I'd built up following my parents' split and the general weight of my teen angst. But what had also risen inside me was the sense that I was a loser for living in Tucson, as if I'd come up short in a geographical lottery and now needed to take it out on the yokels too dumb to understand how dreary our days [...]

15

Bill Murray and Me

The first time I met Bill Murray, I was 18 years old and wearing a miserable brown ensemble.

The garments belonged to my mother, and for unknown reasons I had filched them to add to my own wardrobe in New York: a chocolate, polyester blouse, light-washed jeans, and mahogany, backless loafers in the style of re-imagined Mary Janes. I had just moved to the city for college and the independent film I interned for consisted of a tidy editorial crew (Editor, Assistant Editor, and me.) Rather than cool clothes, I outfitted myself with that spirited, blind alacrity only youth affords. I was thrilled to work on a real film—in the [...]

3

Amy Schumer's Appreciation for Sam Cooke, Among Other Things

Amy Schumer's speech at the Gloria Awards and Gala last Thursday night got some deserved pickup over the weekend, because in the space of about 1,900 words the comedian managed to hit on a unique element of female shame that tends to accompany particularly awful adolescent sexual experiences, and to expertly flip the whole thing into a power ballad about learning self-worth and confidence. Oh, and Sam Cooke:

I could feel I was losing myself to this girl in this bed. He stood up and put a new CD on. "Darling, you send me, I know you send me, honest, you do …" I'm [...]

0

Travelogues, Then and Now

London, spring semester abroad, Day 3, 1997: Things that are different from my hometown of Honolulu: Only 4 channels—all lame. Alcohol at every meal. Employees can smoke in the store, don’t have to be nice. Spice Girl stuff EVERYWHERE. Tapes and CDs cost the same in pounds and in dollars. KFC has no mash or biscuits. “Kleenex for Men.”

Nashville, fall getaway, Day 3, 2013: Things that are different from my current home of Brooklyn: Biscuits all day, every day, bring it. Near-empty freeways. No longer feel urge to change the radio station when a country song comes on. More old people than people my own age on vacation, drinking [...]

24

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 [...]