Posts Tagged: identity

A Place Like Home: On Being Black and Punk

The first year I went to Fest was on a whim, with a ticket bought while drunk. I drove down to the annual punk music festival in Gainesville, Florida, and crashed in a double hotel room with seven white dudes. Fest is a lost weekend of sloppy music and sloppier crowds, a beer-soaked vacation. I didn’t regret it.

On the second night—a particularly long one in which I found myself falling asleep in a dive bar as a loud band played—I wandered to the back bathroom to splash water on my face and wake up. Someone walked in while I was at the sink and suddenly a girl [...]


What Your American Girl Doll Says About the Rest of Your Life

Samantha Parkington: Did you know, when you picked her out, that Samantha was the cool one? Or were you simply drawn to her glossy brown hair, sophisticated accessories (she had a fur muff!) and rich demographic? Either way, every girl wanted a Samantha. If you owned her, you quickly learned the value of cachet.

By virtue of acquiring a status symbol early on (a Samantha doll was the designer jeans of third grade), you never quite had to worry about things the way other girls did. You therefore grew up to be confidant, capable, and nonplussed. You've always been well liked. You aren’t the funniest in your group, but you’ve [...]


Office Personas of Note

1. Office spouse.

2. Office mom.

3. Office gay uncle.

4. Office asthmastic nephew.

5. Office slightly taller sister who leaves deodorant streaks on your dark t-shirts she borrows without asking.

6. Office dragon egg baby.

7. Office Zelda Fitzgerald.

8. Office hipster grifter.

9. Office retro wife.


[Maybe] Good Books That Defined You

Let's make this a more collaborative post about literature. I'd like to hear about the books, either good, or bad, or seemed good at the time, or superb, or mildly embarrassing, that you feel had a significant role in shaping the person you became.

Me, I write about a lot of books, and will natter on recommending The House of Mirth until the end of time (read The House of Mirth!), but it's, um, definitely The Lord of the Rings that has, historically, mattered more to me than any other book. That's just how it is. I read it, myself, for the first time in second grade. And I [...]