My husband has a knack for being out of town during disasters. I’ve weathered blizzards, tornadoes, and freeway bridge collapses on my own. This has never bothered me. Far from it, I take a kind of sick pride in not asking for help. Sure, it may take me eighteen hours to build an Ikea desk or do my taxes, but you can’t put a price on the thrill of independence. Or so I thought, until I became a new mom.Read More
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of feeling powerless. Also, if I’m being honest, my small actions of resistance, like calling my senators and voting—while important—don’t exactly make me feel like a rebel. So, short of leading an outright revolution (who’s in?!), what’s a girl to do?
Here are five ways to feel powerful.Read More
My friends with daughters are terrified for their future. They’ve been watching as a man accused of sexual assault sails toward a seat on the Supreme Court. They have seen the bravery of his accuser rewarded with death threats and mockery from the highest office in the land, occupied (no coincidence) by a self-confessed perpetrator of sexual assault.
I have no words of comfort to offer these friends. In their shoes, I would be equally fearful. However, when one of them suggested that I was lucky to have a boy—lucky not have to worry about any of this, I had to disagree. The thing is, while my friends with daughters are striving to protect their girls from the world, I am striving to protect the world from my son.Read More
I was in junior high the year the U.S. invaded Iraq (the first time). My left-leaning parents, particularly my father, were incensed about this. I, however, was spending more time tight-rolling my jeans and doodling Derek Hallman’s* name in my notebook than I was thinking about social justice and geopolitics. As with most almost-teenagers, my sole focus in life was to be cool. This involved carefully crafted sky-high bangs, the Guess logo on all my clothing, and aspiring to sit at the right table in the lunchroom It most certainly did not involve my long-haired hippy dad showing up at my school waving an anti-government placard and inciting a war protest.Read More
I was ten years old when I first took to the streets to protest the patriarchy. Growing up, I was the kid who allowed to go to protest rallies but who couldn’t watch Adventures in Babysitting because of its PG-13 rating. (I snuck and saw it anyway at a neighbor girl’s house, the same one who taught me about eyeliner and George Michael). I had no idea how to to save the princess in Super Mario or what happened last week on Beverly Hills 90210, but I could (and did) teach my elementary school classmates anti-Reagan chants in the lunch line and help organize a walk-out at my junior high to protest the Gulf War. Needless to say, my childhood did not exactly resemble that of Mallory Keaton.Read More
I became Catholic because of gay pride.
My husband and I were recently married, and we were building a life together in a new city after his company moved us from New York City to Georgia. I was not looking for church to be a part of that new life. He was raised Catholic, and while not particularly devout, was clear that if we had children they would be raised Catholic. I was less than excited about this. I associated the Catholic Church with droning, dull services and the general oppression of women and other marginalized groups. High on the list of things I can’t stand are boredom and patriarchy.Read More
My first real encounter with injustice was when my drug dealer went to jail. Up until that point I’d led a pretty sheltered life. I grew up in a well-educated, middle-class family in the Midwest in a small town with little diversity. I went to college in the not far from home where I was surrounded mainly by more of the same. This was the 90s, before the Internet enabled the viral spread of social justice movements or even the simple ability to have a window into other people’s lives.Read More
My husband and I spend a lot of time not talking to each other. Not because we’re fighting or because we’ve run out of things to discuss, but because it’s a comfortable respite for both of us. This is what happens when an introvert marries another introvert.
We introverts are frequently misunderstood to be shy, but many (like me) socialize easily. This means that we can “pass” for being an extrovert. I did this for a long time, mainly because I thought I was one. I assumed that being introverted meant you hated people and lived by yourself in a basement that smelled like cat food. Yet as I went about my “extroverted” life, one question always nagged at me: If I truly liked people, why was being around them so damn exhausting?Read More
My baby turns one today. Later I’ll probably post an adorable picture of him and write something about how I never knew what love was until he came along and what an honor it is to be his momma. All true. This morning, though, I’m thinking about the moment in the hospital when they laid him on my chest for the first time. I looked down at his tiny body and puckered face and thought, “Well this is going to be inconvenient.”Read More
This week I’ll celebrate my son’s first birthday. Looking back on this first year makes me want to sob with that weird, nostalgia-tinged joy that is motherhood. The kind that makes you say “Slow down time!” and "How the heck is it not bedtime yet?” in the same breath. Already the hard moments from the year have faded from memory or become things to laugh about: the panic of coming home from the hospital and wondering “What the $%*& do we do with him now?” Or how long it took us to to put in the “easy install” car seat. I’m left with the highlight reel of his first smile. First steps. The feel of his little arms around my neck while I rock him to sleep.Read More