Posts Tagged: life

What the Hell Should You Do With Your Life?

So you just graduated. Congratulations. Hopefully you spent the weekend patting yourself on the back. It took me eight years to graduate from college. And that was in the '90s, when the internet wasn’t even any good yet. But you got it done. And you deserve to feel the accomplishment of it. But you may be feeling something today, in this moment, that you haven’t ever felt before. Concern for your future. What will you be in five years, five months, five minutes? You temporarily experienced concern for your future when you applied for colleges. But there are always safety schools. Life has no safety schools, except maybe the [...]


Sacred Socks

I'm making small talk with a group of new acquaintances when the problem of spousal socks comes up. He leaves his dirty socks everywhere, says one woman. The group, mostly made up of married women, has her back. We nod in understanding, all of us innocent of leaving socks lying about. The lone man in the group sticks up for his gender. I'm the one who picks up her socks, he says. We cut men a little slack then, but there is a widespread agreement that crosses gender lines. Stray socks: always the other person's fault.


When I moved out of the house my husband and I [...]


Old Mom Stuff

Mother's Day, let's do this! Maybe your mom is not alive, maybe she is somewhere very different than you are. Maybe you're the mom, maybe your friend is a mom. Maybe you feel like the mom of a website.

In any case, here a few really lovely pieces we ran in advance of Mother's Day last year, and which — like so many things we've been lucky to feature — deserve repeat readings/viewings. I think so, at least!

- "Mothers' Day," by Drew Zandonella-Stannard

- "Moms," by Jon Cotner and Claire Hamilton

- "What I Meant to Do," by Simone Eastman

Also, why not, "[...]


Miss Manners Doesn’t Live Here

For old hands like me, well-meaning bigots are easy to spot, if only because they never know they’re doing anything wrong.

I can see ‘em coming from a mile away. They’re almost always slightly boozy. They close-talk, reeking of misguided knowledge, insecurity, and entitlement all at the same time. Even if they haven’t been drinking, they adopt the loose, grandiose gestures of those who are deep in their cups.

It’s easy to handle them. Smile, turtle my shoulders a bit, look out from beneath my bangs, and say, “That’s fantastic that you were able to visit. I’m not from Korea/Japan/Vietnam, but it’s easy to make that mistake. Don’t worry.” Or, [...]



A friend of mine recently shared this comic, which is an amazing peek at what it feels like to be a woman and suffer the near-universal scorn of boys in geek culture. At least … I think it’s an amazing peek. I’m not a woman and haven’t experienced that unique brand of shitty exclusionism, so I can’t say for sure. I have lived through my own brand of exclusionism, however (at least, I believed I did, but more on that later), so I wanted to share my interpretation of why this happens.

Let me first make a few disclaimers. What follows are not excuses but possible explanations. The behavior is inexcusable, [...]


In Case You Missed It: Loneliness, Part Two

"This is not proof that loneliness causes dementia; the reverse could be true."

Well, that is a relief.*

Yesterday: Part one.

*No, both of these articles are sad but also end in touching and uplifting ways. Although hopefully there will not be too many more installations. :-/


Life, Love, Lower Learning

The other day my 15-year-old daughter and I were discussing her top choices for colleges, and she breezily mentioned that she didn't want to make the mistake of ending up like her poor uneducated parents.

Wait, what?

This comment thrown out so casually shook me. And, mind you, spoken from our hilltop home with the vast ocean view. Rented, yes, but we do live here, thank you very much.

But let me start at the beginning. I wasn't university material. My teachers told me I'd do great if I just applied myself, but I didn't have the patience or drive to seriously consider college. The vague marketing and business majors [...]


Interview With a Person Who Thought She Was Reincarnated

Savannah is a 26-year-old woman who grew up believing that she was the reincarnation of her dead aunt Laura.

Hi Savannah! What are you doing right at this moment?

Hi! I'm lying in a hammock with my beagle.

What?? I am … very jealous. Let’s just get right into it. Do you remember ever not believing that you were your aunt Laura? Did anyone have to convince you, or did you always think it was true?

I always believed it. It was always, always a thing. It started when I was a newborn and my parents brought me to meet the family. When they handed me to my great-grandmother [...]


Smoking With Friends

Just as we once knew that infectious diseases killed, but didn’t know that germs spread them, we’ve known intuitively that loneliness hastens death, but haven’t been able to explain how. Psychobiologists can now show that loneliness sends misleading hormonal signals, rejiggers the molecules on genes that govern behavior, and wrenches a slew of other systems out of whack. They have proved that long-lasting loneliness not only makes you sick; it can kill you. Emotional isolation is ranked as high a risk factor for mortality as smoking.

Good morning! The New Republic's current cover story explains why being lonely is killing us. The illustrator at least seems to [...]


Minor Tragedies on the Internet: A Yearly Diary

We are all scarred. We are all damaged. Life sometimes feels like a cycle of Internet horror stories coming at us furiously, one after the other. Year after year. It’s enough to make you want to start a diary of Internet disasters. I write this diary from the second person point of view because I want to make clear that none of this stuff has actually happened to me, in particular. I just happen to be the one who’s written the story. It could be any one of us. It could be you.


You get into trouble for fingering people in your junior year at college. “Fingering” is the [...]