1. How I Found Love Through Television
This is a fascinating and very unexpectedly sweet article by Giancarlo DiTrapano (NYTYRANT) about how he met his boyfriend.
That show he was on, and advertisements for the show he was on, were everywhere I turned. There was little escaping. His face was on buses, billboards, and on the top of taxis. His show was on a 24-hour marathon and I couldn’t bear to watch it. I didn’t even turn the television on. I thought, “Now you’ve done it. You’ve finally gone mad. All of the drinking and drugs you’ve done in your life have finally caught up to you and your brain is now snapping, clear as a bean. You’ve become one of those people you see in the movies who are crazy people and who think they have a date with a movie star or a television actor when they totally do not. You’ll soon be murdering and you will definitely die in prison. Goodbye, Mom…Dad.” I was close to convinced of this. All I had was his email as proof.
2. The Hamptons
We all wonder what life is like for those rich, beautiful people who seem to exist in another, better, universe where “rich kids of instagram” is just “Instagram.” Here’s your peek ℅ Kelley Hoffman.
One idyllic afternoon particularly stood out to me. I was sailing on a boat for a small gathering. The Travie McCoy ft. Bruno Mars song came on, the one that goes “I want to be a billionaire so freakin’ bad.” The next line is about how he wants to be on the cover of a magazine, and I looked at the man on the boat with the same last name of the magazine’s title. I wanted to see if, by his body language or facial expression, I could understand what it could be like to hear your name referenced in pop culture. But he was blank.
3. 50 OMG Stories From People On The Internet That Will Definitely Make Your Heart Stop
I am breaking my “I don’t need lists on Saturday rule” because this Michael Koh article was open on a tab on my browser for seven hours while I tried to read through all 50 stories in between doing actual work. I love the feeling of being creeped out so this was a big payoff–but fair warning–I was jumpy for the next four days.
My family used to rent a house in town along with my aunt and uncle when I was very young that we eventually moved out of because of very strange things that happened while we lived there, but the most memorable and final straw was the night my aunt was using the toilet and just happened to look down at this small hole in the floor that had been there since we moved in and saw a man standing in the basement looking right back up at her smiling. My aunt ran out of the bathroom and screamed for my uncle. After explaining to him that there was a man in the basement my uncle went and got my Dad and they both went down the stairs (the only entrance into the basement) where they found nothing but footprints in the dirty floor where someone had been standing and moving around under the hole.
4. Gun Play: An American Tragedy In Three Acts
Use your Saturday morning to Learn Something. This is about guns. It will make you think.
Still, the blood tide of fantasy gunplay washing over the American mind, practically from birth, must have some effect, if only to implant in our collective consciousness the seductive lie that, if all else fails–if you’re suicidally despondent, like my friends’ father; or a demented nonentity like Mark David Chapman; or a grinning paranoiac like Jared Lee Loughner, mind swirling with the free-floating fears of the lunatic fringe–there’s always a magic bullet.
5. Every Rehab Romance I’ve Had. In One Part.
In my mind rehab seems like a fun vacation where you are coddled all day and get to work out your problems with a therapist and emerge whole and beautiful, with a great back story to explain all your past indiscretions. Not true. But you do get to have some fun hook ups.
We spend the next thirty-four days attempting to evade the prying eyes of the techs and counselors as we exchange long stares, pass notes (the subject of most: Anthony’s 10-inch penis which he promises to show me as soon as we’re on the outside), and make sure we are standing next to each other every time we have to pray (a lot) so that he can wrap his arms around my waist and grab my ass. But the staff is hip to us and we’re punished with a mutual “focus”–a disciplinary action that forbids either party to speak to the other.
6. Why Go Out?
A Sheila Heti article that can confirm your decision to stay in tonight, or at least give you something to consider when making plans. She asks the long-unasked question, why bother going out when it’s a poor investment?
At home, you can wear your pyjamas. No one is going to snub you or disappoint you. At Trampoline Hall, you could be snubbed, or disappointed. The scotch is not cheap. It is less depressing to think the same thoughts you thought yesterday, than to have the same conversation you had last week. Few of us will get laid. Why did we go out? My father never goes out. His emotional life is absolutely even keel. He is a deeply rational person. He doesn’t see the advantages.
7. Oops! I Accidentally Wasted My Entire 20s (And I Feel Fine)
There’s so much anxiety in the lives of 20-somethings about whether we’re “doing it right” because our lives look pretty different at this age than they did for our parents. Gabrielle Moss’ article Oops! I Accidently Wasted My Entire 20s (And I Feel Fine) is a literary benzo for that fear.
Maybe you got lucky and had perfects parents and clear-cut goals that were acceptable to society, and you worked really hard in high school so that you could go work hard at a really nice college, so that you could go work hard at some job that everyone respects and pays you well and oh look at you, you’re so great, you have your own office with a door and everything, blah blah blah. That’s one path.
Or: maybe you took a Level 1 improv class, then accidentally got drunk for 10 years straight, and now you’re 30. That’s another path.
Guess what? The path you took doesn’t actually matter!
8. I Am Tired Of Competing With Other Women
Another piece to guide you out of your comparathon ways and a Chelsea Fagan favorite. You will feel better about yourself after reading this, I promise.
There is no secret about how tough women can be on one another. The viciousness we reserve for judgment about each other’s lifestyles, views, manner of dress, or mere existence is well-catalogued, echoed by every woman who ever proudly stated that she has “more guy friends, because they don’t start drama.” I think most women can safely say that, though they have likely experienced criticism or disdain from people of all gender presentations in their lives, it was usually another woman who let forth the most damaging venom.
9. How To Not Take Things Personally
I think probably the #1 thing you can do to make the rest of your life easier is learn to not rely on external factors to feel happy. A big part of that is realizing that the way other people act is about that person–not about you. To this end I present a very helpful Kovie Bialko article, How To Not Take Things Personally.
Still, the unavoidable nature of our human experience is that we will feel things, even when we don’t want to. Even when we’ve committed ourselves to being cold and numb to the world, it involved great effort to not care what people think, and to not take what they say and do personally. Sometimes people seek to hurt us and sometimes even without intending it, they hurt us anyway. It is difficult not to characterize anything we disagree with, any perceivably negative word or unkind action as a personal attack on who we are.
10. Nobody Else Can Heal You
Step #2 of being happy is taking responsibility for your shortcomings. You deserve the highest quality of life you can give yourself–if you have mental health issues, see a therapist. If your foot hurts, go to the doctor. Be the person who gives a damn about your own happiness and don’t wait around for someone else to look out for you. Brianna Wiest nails this.
But you can’t just wait for somebody else to do the work. You have to get your ass on the floor, realize that you’re imperfect and you feel unworthy and you’ve made mistakes and you’re afraid of this and that and the other thing. You have to come to terms with these things that are inside you. You don’t have to like them. You just have to be able to sit with them. You have to be okay enough to still be standing on your own if and when somebody leaves you there.
11. I Will Be A Leftover Woman
I Will Be A Leftover Woman is a great read for anyone who–like me–doesn’t jump into relationships by default. The world does not understand us, but Lisa Leysen does.
Why don’t I just embrace the bonds of marriage? It’s simple; I’ll say it with a movie quote: “I don’t actually feel comfortable being anyone’s anything.” This is what Summer (Zooey Deschanel) said to Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in the movie ‘500 Days of Summer’. When it comes to marriage, I am Summer. Just like her I feel the pressure of giving myself away to someone. I can just feel it weighing on my shoulders, and I’m not even with someone right now.
12. Water To Wine
This is one of my favorite things to be published on Thought Catalog. In full disclosure–I solicited it because I think it is beautiful and explores a concept I am really fascinated by: people’s relationship to religion.
I was tall, like I was floating or stretching, and cold from the inside out. Is there something real here? Is there an experience or power? Maybe the boy had a thousand demons and I cast out one or two, or sixteen. Maybe Satan had to leave at my command but some little taunting demons got to stay behind to make me think it didn’t work. Maybe those were tongues of angels falling from my lips, groanings of the Holy Spirit, like prayers for something I didn’t know I wanted; answered prayers that I don’t remember praying. Or maybe I just thought I experienced it.