Can I tell you something? It’s okay to not want kids.
No, really. It is. I promise. Your mom may not think that’s okay. Your friends may not think it’s okay. But I’m here to tell you that it is okay. It is very much okay.
It isn’t that I dislike children or anything like that. Some children are very lovely. I just know that I don’t want kids. My mom is aghast. She frequently asks me if I’ve changed my mind. I know she’s hoping that one day I will tell her, “Yes, I have absolutely changed my mind, I want children, lots of them, and very soon.” But that’s not going to happen.
And that’s okay. Even though I’m in my ’20s and am still “very young” (I’ve been told), in fact, “too young” to decide I don’t want kids, I know that I’m very comfortable with my decision not to procreate. You can be “very young” and know that you don’t want children. That’s perfectly okay.
Why is it okay?
I found his sock.
That was what did it. That stupid, little piece of beige fabric was my undoing. Months of holding myself together gone to waste. Maybe I’m just too sentimental. But that damn sock hit me like a punch to the stomach.
I was freshly graduated from college, and packing up my life for the past three years, and as much as I wanted to deny his role in it, he crept in. I was onto a bigger, better life in New York, already seeing college in my rearview mirror. But one rainy day, I found myself sitting on the floor of my walk in closet, surrounded by clothes and shoes strewn about, crying…clutching a dirty sock. How pathetic.
I hadn’t spoken to him in about six months, blocking and deleting him from all social media accounts to protect myself from desperate cyber stalking. For all intents and purposes, I had effectively erased him from my life. But somehow he still reared his head into what should’ve otherwise been an exciting moment in my life.
It’s hard – actually impossible – not to look back when you’re getting ready to leave everything you’ve ever known behind. It’s even harder when it’s staring you right in the face. But eventually you have to make the decision to either get stuck in suspended animation, or go on. So I did.
Have you heard of the new Lifetime show Girlfriend Intervention? If not, the premise of the show is “Inside every white woman is a strong black woman,” so basically, four sassy black women make over white women. It’s unbelievably absurd, so my good buddy Jessica Williams from The Daily Show and I decided to do a fun man-on-the-street video and tried to replicate GI in real life.
So I went to the doctor today, and I was dreading it for so many reasons. The first is, everyone knows doctors are scary. They’re like society’s acceptable bogeymen. They take your blood and judge your lifestyle. And this was my first time seeing this new doctor (thanks, Obamacare, for screwing with my insurance), and I was especially nervous. Thankfully, she was a doll.
But another secret reason that I was apprehensive about going to the doctor is that I know I’ve gained some weight, and I was afraid of being weighed. Yup, that’s something I’m ashamed to admit, but there you go. I told the nurse I didn’t want to know my weight, and she complied.
BUT THEN, I found out anyway, by mistake. I saw the number. And my heart sunk into my fat chest. This is the most I’ve ever weighed. It’s the highest that number has ever been. If it was a Donkey Kong score, I could be proud of that number. But it wasn’t. It was my weight.
Chances are, if you’ve been on Instagram long enough, you’ve noticed some themes developing in your friends’ photos…
Something weird is happening to me and my female friends — we’re unable to accept even the simplest little compliment. I don’t mean to sound like we’re getting complimented all day because we’re just oh-so-wonderful; I mean that when one of us is complimented, or if we compliment each other, we’re unable to just accept the compliment. It usually comes with some form of, “Oh, no, I look that crap today, but thank you” self insult.
Ladies, accept the compliment!
Sometimes, when a relationship is beginning, we see major red flags (like you saying “I love you” and your partner never saying it back.) But sometimes, there are smaller, little red flags that we don’t see until later. I was reading an advice column in The Cut in which a woman lamented that her boyfriend never had room for her in his life, both metaphorically and literally — the chairs in his apartment were always covered with clutter, so she could never sit down. There’s a little red flag.
It made me think about the own red flags I ignored in my previous relationships, both big and small. Here they are. Maybe they’ll resonate with you, too.
So you had a summer fling, and it was pretty great. Now that summer’s basically over, the fling is too…right? Or do your plans for fall include picking just so many apples? Michelle Markowitz and David Ross show us that for some people, relationships can be a little tricky to define after Labor Day.
I’m a woman in her twenties, and yet sometimes, I feel like a woman in her eighties (no offense to all those badass 80-somethings out there.) I just feel like there are certain things in my life I’m getting too old for, and as my birthday draws near, I’m reminded of exactly what they are.
Dear Oprah 4,
Adulthood is the best. There is so much freedom! All you have to do is fulfill your responsibilities and the rest is basically up to you. Sure there are drawbacks, like cleaning out your own fridge, but that is the small disgusting price you pay for being able to vote, rent a car, and pay for your own square dancing lessons.
Sometimes I feel like a little kid walking around doing grown-up things in grown-up shoes, as if tricking people into believing I’m a human wasn’t enough, so I further tricked them into believing I’m an adult. But the evidence is clear. I can drive to Taco Bell and get nachos at 1am. I can legally buy fireworks in 16 states. And there is no rollercoaster for which I am too short. The privileges of adulthood are numerous.
The first time I ever felt this kind of freedom was when my friends and I would go for long bike rides during summer vacation. There were no schedules to stick to and no rules to follow. Our parentals were like, “Here’s a quarter for the pay phone, check in with us in 5 hours, peace,” and off we’d ride. They probably thought we were going on some adorable suburban-kid adventures, like tanning in the park or graffitiing abandoned properties, but no. We had other priorities.
My friends and I didn’t care about anything on Earth except hanging out at Aldo’s Pizzeria, every day, where we would get pizza and discuss the important tween things happening in our lives. Aldo’s was in a strip mall that was sort of like the town hub. If you wanted a Coolatta or a haircut, you went there. There was also a bank, a dry cleaners, a pharmacy, a deli, and a Foodtown. Aldo’s was in the middle of everything, so we would sit outside and people-watch the shit out of everyone’s comings and goings. It was a place to see and be seen, to leisurely sip Coolattas, and to admire the pimped-out gumball machine. But superb ambiance wasn’t the only reason Aldo’s was our preferred destination.
All of the Aldo’s employees were males in their 20s, and they all had tattoos and knew how to toss pizza dough in the air. Everyone who worked there was greasy in the best way. We wanted them to think we were cool so badly. It was with this goal in mind that we set forth upon our bikes each day. While other kids our age foolishly wasted their summers earning paychecks as junior camp counselors, we were heading off to flirting practice.
I get it. Online dating is stressful. When you don’t have someone else’s physical face in front of your physical face, it’s hard to get a read on what’s going on in their weird, strange, little mind. It makes you uncomfortable; it makes you insecure and, most of all, it makes you IMPATIENT.
I understand it, I do. But still. If I get one more goddamn pathetic second message within 48hrs of first contact, I am going to find a way to explode the universal mainframe* of OkCupid so that every man registered on the site has an immediate malfunction on their laptop, tablet, and/or smart phone which causes the device to spontaneously combust.
The second-sh%^&iest thing Roger Goodell’s NFL did yesterday was pre-empt my viewing of Bachelor in Paradise’s finale with PRECIOUS AMERICAN INSTITUTION FOOTBALL. Given this, you all probably know what happened on the finale, which makes me sad, because you won’t be reading it from me. I will do my best to keep this lively.
The Day Everything Changes
Everyone’s nervous about how Chris Harrison said everything is going to change on this day.
AshLee is feeling super-smug about her super-special relationship with Graham. Graham is more apprehensive, knowing that whatever is about to happen could render all of his previous experiences on this metaphorical love boat meaningless. “Lacy” comments, “Change in the Bachelor world can mean lots of different things.”
“Lacy,” c’mere, I have a sad secret: Change can mean a lot of different things in the real world, too.
The-Gaggle.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click here to submit your work to us. We love you.