Dude Ballerinas





What is the most awkward date you can imagine?

If ever again a dude ever asks me about my views on society’s treatment domestic abuse, gender equality and the wage gap, I’m going to run like hell, because it’s a trick… a very clever trick to coerce you into a date (i.e. date rape)

NOTE: no actual rape occured. It was more like social harrassment.

Introducing Ben, an unattractive, chummy, cocky grad law student who sat at my table at the Student Leadership Summit on Sexual Violence. He told me all about his dissertation on domestic violence issues and police reports and asked me if he could bounce some ideas off me, being that I felt passionate about these issues. I thought ‘oh, that’s interesting.’ He first suggested cocktails at a pricey martini bar to which I replied “nah. My boyfriend wouldn’t like that. I’m incredibly not interested.”

He wrote me back and convinced me what a harmless vagina he was since he was in the only campus feminist club and he sent me a short story so I figured this guy was really asexual and lunch on campus would be alright. I’m always down for helping someone with their studies or whatever because I’m a nice person and all.

So fast forward to this afternoon. He shows up wearing this asinine rust colored turtleneck (uhm, it’s April, dude). It went really nice with his dark-ringed eyes and his grease slicked hair. Very lawyer-ish. In his thanks-for-lunch email, he said that some chick at the flower shop complimented him on it and that he suspected she had ulterior motives, but really I think she had a good case of sarcasm.

During this entire hour-long lunch I felt like that witchy-faced beast, Carrie, from Sex and the City. What a fucking disaster. I was desperately trying to remember everything he said because it was absolutely ridiculous. It was a near impossible task, however, because he didn’t shut the fuck up. Oh, look Manolo Blahnik!

Oh, please, Ben, tell me about when you were a junior associate at a proxy-acquisition firm!

Tell me more about your evidence class! Can you give me the exact definition of an exclamatory utterance? How about a couple trite examples?: Golly! That car was going fast!

And when he wasn’t filling my head with useless law jargon, he was telling me about his “foxy” Serbian-Croatian ex-girlfriend:

“She must have had that female sixth sense because whenever I got involved with a new woman, she would magically appear in my life. And she called me one night and when I got there I thought *leans in* heh, I think this is a, heh, bootycall”

He said ‘bootycall’ and I vomited a little in my mouth. He told me about the gorgeous chick he met on the slopes during his law retreat. And some chick that he went out to dinner with that didn’t seem to be interested in him… oh, she didn’t have a good time dining with you? Weird cause I’m having a blast.

He was incredibly rude to our waiter and immediately ordered his gnocchi he’s been talking about all week. He didn’t even tip him, which was way shady.

Aaaand cue awkward rust-sweater goodbye hug.

Hey, do it again sometime?… eh, no.


Belleville Mix

young knives – “turn tail”

black kids – “i’m not going to teach your boyfriend how to dance with you”

skye – “feel good, inc”

minus the bear – “panchuca sunrise”

granddaddy – “you are my sunshine”

ima robot – “lovers in captivity”

elton john – “goodbye yellow brick road”

brazilian girls – “never met a german”

the walkmen – “louisana”

belle and Sebastian – “if she wants me”

fischerspooner – “all we are”

someone still loves you boris yeltsin – “glue girls”


Ovum Hysterics

The advent of the pill ushered in the women’s liberation movement by allowing women to take control over their fertility. Our bodies, ourselves. Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, made the miracle drug a US mainstay and sparked the second wave of feminism in the 1960s, just in time for all that “free” love. How the pill basically works is that it stops ovaries from releasing eggs. Taken correctly, this makes you 99.7% prego-proof.

Feminists are stereotypically regarded as man-eaters, man-haters, ball-busters, dykes, bitches, cunts, because they tend to be strong-willed, outspoken, independent, stubborn, headstrong, etc.

Then how appropriate is it that, when on the pill, sperm devote their entire existence to swimming upstream looking for the holy grail that isn’t even there. It’s like putting a dog on a treadmill for days; it’s not really getting anywhere.

Maybe if those sperm asked for directions they’d know they were on the wrong track. Maybe sympathy is in order- poor sperm running the marathon of their life and no one will get to the finish line. They will all perish in the Sahara environment of my uterus. And it’s not even like a IUD or spermacide where they’ll be immediately disintegrated. Nope, they’re going to die of exhaustion (the dumb ones that don’t try impregnating body cells and such). I bet my eggs are laughing in their ovaries like an all-girl sleepover watching on the big screen.

This puts feminism and gender relations on the most basic and biological of stages, and it’s a comedy alright.


Mockingbird Snooze

I curled my body around the trunk of a strong pine

with the idea of sleep.

My stomach concaved to fit its bark

my arms a circle around its waist.

“Keep an ear to the ground,” he said.

So I did.

I tried my best

to hear earthworms wiggle and turn the soil

sweat and toil

but all I heard was ticking.

And all I smelled was beets

And bicycle grease.

A pillow of half digested leaves

and a pine needle cot.

A mockingbird alarm clock,

swooping away with duel blurred white spots.

Or was it a veery or a finch?

Perhaps a barn swallow?

Though I guess it doesn’t matter much

as a mockingbird by any other name

would sing and sound the same

…as others.

Finally, those worms did rise and shine and stretch

And kissed me with their dragon breath

We lay in bed with blaring forest radio news

But rolled and hit that mockingbird snooze.

[ I lick your fingers before I turn the page.]


A Spring Day

So effortlessly she appeared
Gliding on her white bike
As I was reading my white book
Under cloudless blue skies.

She spotted me
As I spotted her.
And instead of waving-
She made a funny face:

Something like an open-mouthed frown
And buggy eyes.

I half smiled.
I half waved.
And fully thought
‘go to hell’


Celebrities I Don't Look Like

That's right. I look like a Japanese supermodel, Buffy and the president of Georgia.

Know who I don't mind looking like?
Jason Schwartzman.
Because Jason Schwartzman is one of the most attractive men in the world, ever. And he's just getting hotter every time Wes Anderson directs something.


The Meaning of Wife

He asked me what kind of husband I wanted. What kind of marriage.

To say I was taken off-guard would have been a vast understatement (though surprise is one of the bajillion things he’s good at). At the ripe age of 21, marriage is a creeping reality looming just over yonder. Friends are pairing off, for real, for keeps, for life. For babies, and mortgages and shared checking accounts. This shit is fo’real.

The average woman gets married at age 25. Throw in a couple years of dating and that tells me that most chicks in the next couple of years are going to primping for wifehood.

I’ve had my nose tucked into “The Meaning of Wife” by Anne Kingston, trying to figure out the state of our unions, because if you had told the pre-teen me that I would one day be fantasizing about Nordstrom’s Caldrea-Green-Tea-Patchouli dish soap, I would have laughed with wild unabandon. What is marriage other than a public declaration, a tax break and way to get your mother off your case… right?


I answered his question about what kind of husband I wanted, though I don’t know if I did so thoughtfully. What do I want in a person that I will (hopefully) spend decades with? Beats me. Hope he’s not a dick. Maybe he’s a she, though that wouldn’t fit into the 1950s dream bubble I’ve constructed.

I wear the seersucker dress and peep-toe pumps in this relationship.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fantasize about white linen sheets and William Sonoma’s KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer in Buttercup Yellow. Secretly, I doodle my first name with his last, just to see how it would look, to see if the loops of J’s and L’s and Y’s balance. I stare a little longer at guys who wear the baby carrier, as if their new sack of joy were akin to camping gear.

But maybe marriage is only an eyelet and lemonade fantasy. I know these days are far away, and good thing, because I’m scared that one day, there will be legal divorce proceedings over who will get that Persian rug that neither of us really want. There’s the simple reality that wives do a shit-ton more housework, and I hate folding laundry, can’t remember to take out the trash, and dirty dishes are a-ok by me. And then there are all these naming conventions to take into consideration (last names, baby names).

“You need more than love.” Grandma, in her infinite wisdom. Amen to that. I’m not naïve to think that some strapping lad is going to rescue me from my city apartment fire escape a la Pretty Woman (because I am certainly not looking for rescuing; a partner in crime would be fantastic), but I rather like journalist Lynn Darling’s reasoning:

“I married the man I married because I liked his version of myself better than my own.”


Are there prince charmings? Do they come with baby carriers and 401(k)s? Are there Cinderella stories and fairy tales? I’m not sure, but if you shell out a pretty penny, you can have your dream wedding at Disney’s with a Wizard of Oz theme, though Oz itself was a façade.

The actual day of the wedding is the most bizarre, come to think of it. I can’t help but think, ‘when the groom carries the bride down the aisle at the end, where does he put her down?’ I think it’s a completely romantic gesture, but seriously, how far do you carry her?

Is the electric slide state-mandated?

And I’ve heard theories that the wedding cake, in all its prim white confectionary glory is just an analogy for the bride herself. A veiled triangle of sweetened perfection, ready to be penetrated and consumed for the first time on her wedding day. Or something like that.

Whatever, I just like cake.

And I’m sure in time, and with my Buttercup Yellow stand mixer, in a pressed apron, I can make a banging cake.


Spoon & the Walkmen

The boyfriend and I went and saw Spoon at the Electric Factory last night. Never disappointed. What I am usually disappointed in is their opening acts. Clientele? Really? The Ponys didn’t even show up the last time. And their other four opening acts I’ve seen them with… uh, can’t remember.

But this time, the Walkmen opened and were fan-motherfuckin-tastic. I don’t mind admitting that they didn’t even hit my radar until last night, but I think this is the first opening act that I didn’t spend at the concession stand for. I’m a sucker for any dude in a three-piece suit. Suspenders make me hot.

The show was marketed as an ‘intimate performance,” but that’s awfully hard when it’s sold out and sponsored by Camel cigarettes. However, a couple drinks will make anything feel more intimate.

The set list was pretty good (though how can they not play “Way We Get By” or “Fitted Shirt”??). I think I like concerts just for the mere fact that the bass is loud enough to rattle my ovaries and I can see what all the other hipsters are wearing.

Last words: does this mean I have to wait for a whole new album before another Spoon show? Sadness.


Dear Allie Column

"take things as they are when they come. if you can't take them, then dont."

I'm not sure that makes any sense, but I'm going to heed it regardless.


Playing House

It was an experiment in grown-up relationships. I ‘moved in’ for the weekend. It probably wouldn’t have worked if he didn’t work Saturday and Sunday during the day. I imagine I’m pretty unbearable to co-habitate with and doing something productive during the day is the key to a healthy relationship. So I’m told.

Thursday, his parents visited for dinner. His mom cooked, of course. And she brought us Easter candy, with both our names iced on which made me feel quite warm’n’fuzzy. I had worried that she didn’t like me much. Admittedly, I look like a porn star and no one likes their son dating someone who could make a living getting fucked on camera.

That and I didn’t eat her roasts.

Friday, after work, we had our usual dinner with our couple friends, and two other people- a sarcastic gay guy and a loud friend-of-a-friend who created an organization to raise awareness for Darfur. (this already would suggest a full foray into yuppie adulthood, but don’t be fooled yet).

Everyone left early, because, ya know, we’re getting old. (be fooled now)

Saturday, he woke up early and went to a meeting. I stayed in bed and thought about laundry and dishes and vacuuming, about perhaps going to see the cherry blossoms in DC or the Empire State Building.

Baby, I won't be coming home until later, but I want to take you out to dinner tonight.

Ok, darling.

Now I won’t go into the details (because some things I keep locked in a treasure chest for myself), but do you ever find yourself in a moment and think ‘yeah, this is it’? It was that.

There was wine and fantastic food, free books, laughing and hand-holding, in weather warm enough for flip flops, but cool enough for my favorite blazer.

It was that. How sweet it is to be loved by him.

Sunday, he’s working again today, late. I’m in my own place, meeting with my own friends, cleaning my own things. And it’s probably a good thing. Besides, I’ll be super excited when he gets home.



That was my phone number in the first house I lived in. Or rather, the first house I remember living in. A blue apartment building with a bedroom window ground level so I could watch my mom planting on Saturdays, flats of pansies.

You didn’t need an area code because the world was much smaller then.

At that tender age of five, my parents quizzed me endlessly on my address, my phone number, their names, just in case I was kidnapped, I suppose. A phone number would be my saving grace from a life of tea parties with strangers-turned-family.

Living with my grandparents felt a lot like living in a hotel. Continental breakfasts, limo service, maid service and an outdoor pool to sun yourself- complimentary towels. The deal also included a rent-a-mom who frequently made cupcakes for class bake sales, went to girl scout meetings and ceremoniously rolled eyes when I streaked my hair with highlighters.

My sister and I shared a room, and a bunk bed. The sheets were made by the time I came home from school, and all the imprints of thoughts the night before were smoothed, erased and pulled taut.

Back to the basics. Know what happens if you get carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen in the right combination? It explodes.

Here I am, ever transient, with only a wireless signal, clinging to a home with a disposable phone. In some ways, it’s so I’m ever connected, always available, always ‘on-call.’

But I believe if this were really true, then I wouldn’t long for the fuzzy echos of a tin can on a string, because at least then, you know you’re within running distance.


March Status Report

I spent most of March being reminded that I am not as smart, or fast, or clever, or whatever else as I thought I was. I'm not as irreplacable as I thought.

Adulthood is all about realizing that we're not bigger or smaller fish in fishbowl. We're plankton in the ocean.

I hate failing, and silver medals. I want to be really awesome at something, anything- yodeling, whatever. I want to be better, all over.

I want to be better all over you, all over me, and all over in between.