Jessica Writes.

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They say that all women have a type, and I should know. The men I date always turn out to be two kids on each other’s shoulders wearing a trench coat.

The first time it happened, I figured it was a fluke. When “John” picked me up, I was immediately drawn to his youthful energy and playful gait. When we arrived at dinner, he said, “My mom loves this place. She’s always taking me here!” Finally: a man who was comfortable talking about his mother, I thought. My heart fluttered. When John ordered “pisghetti and milk,” spilled both all over himself, and eventually stuffed portions of the meal into his shirt, I assumed he was playfully trying to lighten the mood. But I should have known that he was really two eight-year-olds sitting on each other’s shoulders.

Filed under love dating funny fun satire humor comedy reductress

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Must is why Van Gogh painted his entire life without ever receiving public recognition. Must is why Mozart performed Don Giovani and Coltrane played his new sound, even as the critics called it ugly. Must is why that lawyer in his thirties spent three years writing his first novel only to be rejected by three dozen publishers. He honored his calling, eventually received a “yes,” and that is why John Grisham is a household name today. Must isn’t exclusively for writers and painters and composers, though. Must is why, in the early days, Airbnb sold boxes of cereal to make ends meet because no one would give them money and every conceivable metric said they should quit.

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Women who have experienced this can recognize that placating these men is a rational choice, a form of self-defense to protect against setting off an aggressor. But to male bystanders, it often looks like a warm welcome, and that helps to shift blame in the public eye from the harasser and onto his target, who’s failed to respond with the type of masculine bravado that men more easily recognize. Two weeks before the murders, Louis C.K.—who has always recognized pervasive male violence against women in his stand-up—spelled out how this works in an episode of Louie, where he recalls watching a man and a woman walking together on a date. “He goes to kiss her, and she does an amazing thing that women somehow learn how to do—she hugged him very warmly. Men think this is affection, but what this is is a boxing maneuver.” Women “are better at rejecting us than we are,” C.K. said. “They have the skills to reject men in the way that we can then not kill them.”

Filed under harassment street harassment misogyny elliot rodger sexism louis ck violence abuse

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After being fired from a $200-a-month advertising job (“I wouldn’t sleep with the boss,” she said), Lois found herself in a magazine shop, determined to figure out how to break in as a writer. She bought 22 copies of 22 different confessionals — pulp magazines that published lurid, anonymous secrets that hinged on an easily replicated formula. “I sinned, suffered, got caught, and repented,” Lois explained. She regularly began exposing new, fictionalized sins. One week, she was a kleptomaniac who, at the grocery store, couldn’t help but stuff her purse with overpriced tins of smoked oysters. The next week, she was a mother so frustrated with her constantly interrupted love life that she accidentally killed her colicky infant with an overdose of paregoric. Her most popular story was headlined, “I WANTED TO HAVE AN AFFAIR WITH A TEEN-AGE BOY.”

Filed under writer author writing writers lois duncan i know what you did last summer murder mystery death murder albuquerque

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Maybe knowing how much a diverse range of attraction upsets people is part of the appeal of interracial dating. No matter how much more commonplace relationships between black men and white women become, the historical context always gives them a rebellious, taboo component that, honestly, kind of adds to the fun and excitement.

Interracial marriages weren’t even legal in every state 50 years ago. I’ve never gone into an interracial relationship outright trying to rebel against anything, but I’ve always enjoyed making people uncomfortable because ignorant, close-minded fucks need to have new ways of thinking shoved in their faces so they understand that they’re wrong and shit is different now.

Filed under interracial dating race relations relationships dating gawker ernest baker

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Writing in Salon recently, Laura Miller drew attention to “a handful of great literary husbands” whose support enabled the likes of Virginia Woolf and George Eliot to produce great works: “It took an extraordinary man to acknowledge the superior gifts of his wife and to devote himself to bringing them to fruition.”

Kendall saw something from the start in those message boards. “I’m going to work and she’s going to write all day — when you are marrying a genius, that’s the deal,” he said, watching her on the swing. “It’s like marrying Aretha Franklin. She’s going to get to sing. If you hear Aretha Franklin sing — ”

“This is so grandiose,” Lockwood interrupted.

“ — you understand what’s going on musically. Whoever was the first person to hear Aretha sing, understood. I just happened to be the first.”

Filed under poetry love marriage patricia lockwood