Love & Romance


It’s Valentine’s Day! This isn’t me reminding you because it’s impossible that you went almost the entire day before realizing this fact. As was pointed out to me this morning, Valentine’s Day is not recognized with any sort of bank holiday—ergo it basically doesn’t exist. Actually it for sure doesn’t exist. However, I still kind of enjoy it—it reminds me of cheap little candies taped to paper cards given out in grade school. Also I dig the color pink.

Things that have happened to me today precisely because it is Valentine’s Day.

1). Kissed my friend to get a free meal at Qdoba.

2). Read the OUT100 “Most Eligible Bachelors” 2017 list.

3). Was stuck walking behind a “cute” couple who had linked arms and blocked me in.

4). Listened to someone in my Columns class read a piece about power-eating pasta carbonara on a Valentine’s date and got misty-eyed.

Things that have happened to me today in addition to its being Valentine’s Day.

1). Stress-ate a burrito from Qdoba after having a particularly gruesome career advisement meeting.

2). Watched last night’s episode of The Bachelor.

3). Went to Trader Joe’s.

4). Made a grilled cheese (that hasn’t happened yet but I have a good feeling).

Things that I hope will happen to me on a future Valentine’s Day.

1). Someone buys me a burrito and I don’t have to go back in the closet for it.

2). Get on the OUT100 Most Eligible Bachelors list.

3). Horse-kick linked-arm couples in the back of the knees.

4). My husband makes me a grilled cheese with at least “eight dollars of Jarlsberg” in it.


Today is pretty and cutesy and annoying because greeting card companies told us that it should be. But that also doesn’t mean that we can’t make it pretty and cutesy and annoying. Millennials have the power to make anything annoying. I like the idea, despite its obvious commercial overtones, that there’s a day to be romantic and icky and loving. A day to wear pink and buy yourself chocolate and pretend to be in love with your platonic female friend to get a free burrito bowl.

Anyway, I’ve got to go finish The Bachelor and make myself grilled cheese. AND I bought myself Ben & Jerry’s yesterday and I didn’t sad-eat all of that last night so mama’s got a treat for later. What’s the saddest thing about this post? Is it that last sentence or are there too many things to pick just one?


Article, college, Humor, Love & Romance


A few weeks ago, I briefly mentioned that I had noticed a lot of people getting together as the weather took a turn for the colder. I made a hilarious joke about Noah’s Ark and biblical floods (very well-received, don’t you worry). I put it out of my brain until a friend/fan of mine, Emily Rizzo (her life is so glam I want to reside in her pocket and just observe) brought it up again when we were getting coffee/I hijacked her and her other friend getting coffee.

“Have you heard of cuffing season?” she asked (ugh, she’s so good at asking questions, which is very important for a fan. It shows I’m not just a glamorous social media prop to her).

“No, what the fuck is that?” I answered, thinking it must refer to pant-lengths, which is a political issue I am very passionate about. However, she explained/I figured it out because I wasn’t listening that closely, cuffing season is exactly the phenomenon I had witnessed.

What’s the dealio, yo?

People who I knew as single were starting to drift into each other, and the amount of handholding went skyrocketing. But what’s behind this turn towards #love? Is it born (borne?) out of a desire to not pay for heating (body heat is, like, the best kind of heat)? Is it a reaction to the more dangerous fall weather (bears, black ice, and basic white girls)? Or is it the desire to not have your multitude of nosy aunts not breath down your neck during the holiday season (I wouldn’t know; all my family knows I’m gay so no one asks me any questions)?

“I could see how it could be a thing,” said Grace Pearson (a general beautiful person but also so nice; so unclear). “I could see how in Boston, where the weather gets so dreary, that it could be a thing.”

Pearson (but why is she so nice?? Pretty people don’t have to be nice) said that it’s not a phenomenon that she’s particularly observed, but one that she fully believes in (i.e. Santa Claus).

When I looked to the source (Urban Dictionary), I found a definitive definition (and a lot of misogyny—come on, you guys). The “top definition” defines “cuffing season” as thus:

“During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”

The word seems to be, at least according to a Vogue article (Vogue, you guys), derived from “handcuffing” and holds the implication that whether or not either party wants to, social norms and a primal urge seem to have locked them in love-rigors until spring’s thaw.

However, when I talked to one Olivia Wiles (AMAZING skin, great voice—like scrubbed velvet on a chilled winter morn), she knew exactly what cuffing season was. When I asked her to “give me all the t,” she did not let me—and enterprising young journalists everywhere—down.

“I don’t know if it’s an active decision, like “oops it’s fall gotta get cozy”. But I think there is something evolutionary in us that when the leaves change and it gets colder we crave a companion,” she said.

The autumnal activities also provide a strong incentive for coupling up. “Fall is also just such a coupley season: apple-picking, pumpkin-carving, holidays,” continued Wiles.

“I think it is definitely more primal.”

Andrew Cavaluzzi, a boy I went to high school with who still won’t admit that we’re dating (it’s, like, stop playing hard to get, babe!!!), was as truthful about his thoughts on cuffing season as untruthful he is about the state of our relationship.

“I think it is definitely more primal,” said Cavaluzzi. “There was always this innate fear in humans that we might not make it through winter.” Cavaluzzi also made the interesting and important point of body-affirmation. “Winter leads to less confidence in oneself, leaving people slightly more glum and therefore [they] look for external approval, i.e. relationships.”

As the weather gets chillier, “the relationship statuses are poppin’ on Facebook and flames are igniting,” said Wiles.

Callie Ahlgrim, a young woman whose love for me is as deep as her dimples (great dimples, you guyz) feels that cuffing season is less Nature v. Nurture, and more “You’re afraid you’re gonna die alone.”

“It’s the same kind of idea where people get lonely around Valentine’s Day. You’re alone every other day of the year as well, you’re just freaking out over a made up phenomenon,” said Ahlgrim after I begged her to comment. I also begged her to tell me if I was pretty; she did not respond.

However, studies (I’m assuming) show that as the year shifts from winter to spring, relationships end as people get hotter/tanner. And in the cold drawn breath of the ultimate winter—death—we’re all going to be alone. HAPPY THURSDAY.

Ahlgrim offered some sage advice (and some sage, amiright) to cope with the impending doom of death via singledom. “I think that the lonelier you get and the more you feel like you need someone to be romantically involved in your life, the more you actually just need to focus on yourself and your own shit.” Beautiful words from someone who refuses to acknowledge my external beauty.

Do you like my new Thanksgiving-themed banner?!

Love & Romance, Rambles


(written after eating Panda Express and talking about RuPaul’s Drag Race with Thea, a tru g0ddess)

Mindy Kaling once said that she classifies rom-coms in the genre of science fiction, and I agree. The premises are so thin, the coincidences are so transparent, and the characters are…Matthew McConaughey.

But there’s something about the rom-com that appeals to me, and since its Gila monster fangs into my heart. Rom-coms shape, for better or for worse, how we interpret romance. We think it should be hard, with twists and turns, and at the end, we believe that everything will work out in the end. And that’s not bad, and I don’t want to stop believing that. Because the alternative to the rom-com world—likely Nihilism—sucks ass.

Rom-coms allow us to take the shitty and spin them into gold. The boy that didn’t call back, who was kind of a douche—instead of taking them as them, you take them as the steady montage of Boys That Weren’t, before the Boy That Was. Unconventional romances take the tune of a No Strings Attached.

Side bar: remember when everyone was very into the “friends with benefits” movement? That’s very much the grandfather, or slutty uncle, to our “hookup culture.”

And the boy that drags our hearts through the mud like a kite—made on last week’s episode of The Amazing Race—becomes not just another guy, but the One. We make all these excuses and parse all these moments for hidden meanings; we peel apart words like artichokes, searching layers for the core.

Sometimes things aren’t artichokes. Sometimes they are, but sometimes they aren’t. and that really sucks. But I don’t know if I can shift my frame of mind to believe that. For better or worse, I’m a sucker for a Mindy Kaling, Nora Ephron moment, a swell of non-diegetic music when their name pops up on your screen. There’s something painfully beautiful when fantasies crumble, a la Her, but life is hard enough. I have depression and anxiety—I feel like I’ve filled my cup full of all that kind of hardship. I’ll keep believing in rom-coms and even when the poison incapacitates me, I’ll welcome that fat, slobby Gila monster into my bed.

Because why not? It’s better than nihilism; it’s better than cynicism. The world is built for cynics, and who wants to follow that crowd? I might be dumb and hopeful and completely wrong, but all that buildup before the fall is excruciately beautiful and inspirational and worth it. I don’t mind falling and breaking and sad. I can deal with that. I’ve been dealing with that. But to put up with the inevitable fall for the taste of rushing wind and the excitement before the strike of teeth and flash of pain…that seems like a good trade for the flush of excitement when he likes your Instagram, or when she looks your way. In a sickening way, it’s all worth it. Even when it’s not.

Give me a Troop Beverly Hills over a Ten. Give me Guardians of the Galaxy. Give me improbable love that I can ingest and carry with me even when I’m feeling like smacking books out of people’s hands. Give me unlikely, unrealistic, sci-fi-worthy romance that’s so saccharine it’s painful. I’ll deal. I’ll take it all. I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I can handle it.

Love & Romance


Has the art of dating been lost? Have we evolved past dating with the inundation of social media hookup apps? First, second and third base have WiFi signals. Everything is digital and nothing hurts.

I was talking to my coworker Amanda and we were dishing about bad dates. Awkward encounters, awkward kisses, awkward last moments. For both of us, we have experiences with going on dates with people who we had texted previously. Hers was Tinder; mine was Grindr.


For me, he was goofily cute over text. Shy, clever, flirtatious. In person, he was a fumbling robot. He made bad jokes and couldn’t meet my eye. Not in an endearing, “He finds me too beautiful to look at” way. It was more like a “I’d rather be anywhere but here” way. All of the quirks I had enjoyed over text I realized were carefully edited versions of a truly awkward person.

For her—from what I remember. Frankly I’m not the best at listening—it was flint and steel and no spark. He fell flat.

We’ve grown accustomed to dating online. We’ve become used to existing online, and the days of “Hey darling, wanna go steady?” have morphed into Netflix and Chill and no strings attached and casual hangouts that have as much romantic confusion as Michael Jackson’s Neverland. Too far? That’s how serious I am.

I’m bad at romance. I’m uncomfortably aware of how I’m trying to be suave and sexy and effortless. I make a much better friend than date, and I’m kind of a shitty friend sometimes. I’m unable to see real romance staring me in the face, and the romance that I do attempt is fodder for blogs where I do that thing where I laugh so that I don’t cry.

Me @ myself

Me @ myself

But I like the idea of old-fashioned, gin & tonic romance. Straight-up. Simple. A little brisk and a little jolting but undeniable. I asked someone out on a date once. I mean, I’ve done it multiple times. But I actually said the word “date.”

“Would you want to go to dinner sometime?” I asked.

“Yeah!” He said, and I knew that this could be a casual friend dinner. I could escape with my dignity and my class.

“As—as a date,” I added, and I saw his eyes shift kaleidoscopically as the dinner took on a different color and texture. And instantly it had lines and numbers and a set of crayons to choose from to shade in the suddenly defined shape.

And I liked it. I liked the un-ambiguity. The Date. Not a hangout. Not a casual friend thing. A date. Four letters. Solid. Romantic. Unmoving.

We ended up at an upscale casual restaurant and wore variations on the same outfit and we argued about Miley Cyrus and he never returned my text for another date. But even though that didn’t end up—well, let’s get real, it was a flop—it was a date. A finite one, but a date nonetheless.


“Would you like to go out?” I asked another boy. He looked at me with a measured gaze. We had been around this carousel before.

“In what way?”

“In a romantic context,” I answered. He said no, it wasn’t me it was him. But I knew that he wanted me to finally say it. To define it in a way that I hadn’t had the courage to before. To name it.


I think we’re all scared shitless of rejection so we don’t define it. Plausible deniability. If it’s not a date, then it can’t end badly. Hangouts don’t end badly. They just end. But dates—there’s a definite ending. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure book where if you skip to page 110, you get a second date, and if you skip to page 135, you get a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and spend two hours overanalyzing that joke you accidentally made about the Hindenburg.

So we hide behind vagueness and romantic smoke-and-mirrors. Dodge. Deflect. Retreat. Live to fight another battle. Ask out another person to an ambiguous, amorphous “thing” that they’ll wonder what it is and you’ll wonder what it is.

But the problem with vagueness is that it leads to vagaries—sudden, unexpected changes (look it up). You didn’t set parameters, so you don’t have expectations. You don’t know how you want this to end. So you don’t invest. You retreat. You live to text another day.

But in the end, you’ve actually lost. You’ve lost the tingling electricity that goes with making a complete ass out of yourself by walking up to that cutie. You’ve lost the impetus. You’ve lost that chance at human connections and fallibilities. You’ve given all that up for safety and security and Facebook-stalking.


And I’m saying “you” but we all know I mean “we.” I mean “I.” They said setting boundaries is good for raising children, and for raising dogs. And hell, kids and puppies seem happy enough. Who are we to judge? Set some boundaries. Define. Flip to the page in the dictionary and point to it and say, “Yes, that’s what I want us to be. Friday night. Dinner.”

I’m bad at coloring. But I think I’d like to have those lines to know when I’m shading outside of them.