I’ve never categorized myself as a girl.
In fact, I’ve never even felt like a girl.
I recognize myself as a “woman” and as “Lauren”, but not a “girl”.
I’ll even take “lady”, but no “girl”.
“Girl” conjures up images of monthly hair, manicure and tanning appointments. Weekly shopping trips with girlfriends, yoga classes every other day and nightly wine drinking. All these activities are buoyed by one topic, men, and the ritual of peacocking is an important daily priority.
I know a group of girls who do everything together. Not a day goes by where they don’t see or talk to one another. Their week is filled with exercise classes, lunches and slumber parties enjoyed together. The topic of conversation is typically boys, but often flecked with diet, health and current events. From the outside, I often look at their narrative and want in. I’ve never had what they had. A part of me is wistful, maybe even a little jealous. Here is a sisterhood of girls who will always be there for (more…)
Yesterday I took a big chance. I wrote an article about my boyfriend on CultureMap- which gets way more traffic than my blog does. I often find it difficult to write long posts, but I found myself able to nearly write a book about my boyfriend. The post, titled “Do You Believe in All the Cliches? A Sappy Relationship Story”, is about how I used to date douchebags and then one day I stopped. I met the most wonderful person and it made me believe that all those cheesy cliches about love might be true. I nervously watched as my boyfriend read the piece once it was posted. The more he read the more my stomach twisted in knots. He loved the piece and when he was done reading I went and gave him a tear-filled hug.
Enjoy the sap…
I used to date douchebags, then one day I stopped.
I’m not sure what made me stop acting this way. Maybe I finally grew up. Maybe I became more confident in who I was. Maybe I met the right person.
Or maybe it was all of those things combined.
Sitting across the room from him, writing, listening to the consonance of alt-country, thinking how one day I hoped for a moment like this. How I used to write about the faceless passenger who rode beside me, out into the desert at night, the top down, thinking how there was nothing more beautiful than this. These thoughts converged as your face became clearer.
Sitting here thinking whether or not I’m a good daughter, if I should live closer to home, if I should not feel guilty about the impending leap I’m about to take. That will make me more hyper-focused than I’ve ever been.
I spoke with her earlier on the phone and I could tell she was bored. She recited the entire contents of a magazine she picked up in Walmart. A magazine featuring all the places one should visit in America. She deserves to go to all of those places. She deserves to do it sooner than later. Because life is short, right? And that is what I keep telling myself about the impending leap I’m about to take.
I have a boyfriend.
This may be nothing amazing in developments for Mankind, but for anyone who knows me, it is nothing short of incredible.
Or maybe it’s not.
Maybe it’s just mind-blowing to me.
You see, I haven’t had a boyfriend in a very long time. Instead, I mostly dated a string of assholes or, now that I’m older and have more objectivity I can say, “gentlemen who were not interested in me enough to date me and/or not at a place in their life where they were able to satisfy my dating needs or any other person’s dating needs”.
I dated the sort of guys that kind of said they “didn’t want to date anyone right now” but that didn’t stop them for getting all up in your grill like they were super interested in you, then disappearing, confusing the living shit out of you even though you should have been wise enough to decipher that “they don’t want to date anyone right now” really meant “THEY DON’T WANT TO DATE ANYONE RIGHT NOW” and that’s why they disappeared, duh.
I was twenty-something (more…)
I wondered if you even existed when I would see a couple on the street.
At the rate I was going, it didn’t seem like I would come to meet you.
You were an elusive figure.
Someone I was left to writing about. A stranger I was to meet on a subway in a big city and discuss metropolitan topics with such as David Byrne and top hats. You were the fictional love interest to my semi-autobiographical, slightly solitary female protagonist. Existing only in words on the paper. But one day you materialized, in the form of a sandy-colored cowboy, and instead of meeting on a subway, we met at an eastside watering hole.
We talked about David Byrne and top hats.
In our relatively small gestation period, I have come to feel that I’ve known you forever. Maybe it’s because you were a character I constructed, or maybe it’s because you and I are reassuringly similar. That the traits I’ve grown to understand about myself over the past 28 years are akin to the ones you share. When you randomly (more…)
Life is always an adventure.
Even when it takes you to a border town in Texas where friends and loved ones suggest that your safety will be in great danger if you go.
Texas is 268,581 square miles of curios. Even on the long stretches of dry nothingness or repetitious sand-colored strip malls, the state is never boring. When I first moved to Texas two and a half years ago, I felt like a child seeing the world for the first time. Everything about the state fascinated me and it continues to do so. From the freeways that ascend into the sky to the characters in cowboy hats to the forgotten main streets to the sprawl of major cities, I write a tiny love letter to Texas every day. And now this is my tiny love letter to Laredo.
Laredo, Texas borders the larger Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo. If you Google Nuevo Laredo you will see warnings from US Consulates urging Americans not to travel to Nuevo Laredo and pictures of people’s heads blown open. Laredo is the 88th largest city in the country (more…)
“I haven’t been in love in a long, long time,” she said to herself in the best Otis Redding impression she could muster up. Heightened emphasis on the first “long.” Eight ‘o’s’.
“I haven’t been in love in a loooooooong, long time,” she kept repeating just enough so the purpose behind the sentence meant nothing anymore.
“Hell, I’m not even sure I’ve ever been in love,” she laughs to herself. “I’ve been in infatuation and then something thereafter, I think?”
This prompts her to sing the Rod Stewart song of the same name, but it’s not as enjoyable as her made-up Otis song.
She takes a moment to think back on them all.
It started with Adam. He was the only one to run the course of infatuation, to post-infatuation, to end of the road.
Adam is married and lives in Kansas City and has a second baby on the way. Three weeks after he ended their four year relationship seven years ago, she stopped thinking about him. It scared her how quickly she got over (more…)
Most of the time she doesn’t think about how she’d like to be in love.
Except for those nights when she watches a movie where the lead characters walk hand-in-hand through Central Park. Or where the man realizes he made a huge mistake and jumps a plane ride back to his love. Or where a couple banter like Tracy and Hepburn. Or where a woman decides that he is the one. Or when someone who may or may not be Cary Grant holds the object of his desire in his arms and won’t let go.
Sometimes the thought enters her mind when she reads a book like Patti Smith’s Just Kids. A tragic love story that causes young women to yearn for the affection of a tortured young man. A man that they can believe in more than themselves. This sort of romantic tale makes her long for Sunday mornings in bed or Saturday nights sitting on the floor and creating.
On the occasional happenstance, she’ll acknowledge the thought when she’s sitting at the train station and sees two people completely lost in one another. (more…)