Look, maybe an analogy will help? Okay. What if every time you said a word that started with an L, I kicked you in the shins? You’d probably start flinching a lot, or just avoiding words that start with L. Right? And you shouldn’t have to do that! It’s not your responsibility! AND YET. The solution is not “you should stop flinching so much.” It’s “I should stop fucking kicking you.” Any attempt to solve your flinching problem without acknowledging that I KEEP KICKING YOU is just … not going to get very far. — The great Lindsay King-Miller succinctly sums up why that Pantene ‘Not Sorry’ commercial is actually kinda bullshit.
Since moving to New York I haven’t talked to my friends at home as much as I’d like, because the amount I’d like to be talking to them is everyday, and, well, now that’s impossible. It’s weird how you adapt, even against your will — I don’t WANT us to need each other any less, but we do. At least on a daily basis, at least for now. You learn to siphon the daily, text-able concerns toward people physically closer to you, and save the bigger updates and themes for your weekly (or whatever) catch-ups. Another factor is that my friends at home are perfect and wonderful human beings who don’t have any flaws, except that they are bad at email and don’t Gchat.
There have been a few times, since moving, when I’ve remembered that calling them unscheduled is an option, which implies that I’ve temporarily forgotten it, which alarms me. When I was younger, especially, I’d get mad at my friends for “forgetting” about me when they transferred or moved home or started grad school with new people, and didn’t call me as often as I wanted. They were always the ones to move and change and meet new people while I stayed, but now the one to do all that is me. (Well, to move, anyway. I neither approve of nor welcome change; it is only ever forced upon me.) It’s been an adjustment in self-management. So now I get it, several years too late to be sympathetic. We were all right, I think: we all CAN get by talking to our best friends less often, and there are probably periods in life when that just has to be how it is, but I still think it’s bad and short-sighted to let it happen for very long, if you love each other. Not doing it just builds it up into this big ordeal, and it isn’t.
Lately I’ve read a few things and heard a bunch of people talk about how much they hate talking on the phone. It’s kind of a ~millennial joke~, I think, and maybe a little bit of a writer one, like, AHH, THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN TALKING ON A PHONE WITH YOUR VOICE, and don’t even get me STARTED on VOICEMAIL. But I love talking on the phone, especially while walking somewhere or lying on my bed, for hours, like a teen. On the phone you can hear each other laugh, and emphasize what needs emphasizing, and know when something’s being danced around. You can also interrupt each other, which, honestly, is sometimes necessary. That is how it works in real life, is you and your friends interrupt each other constantly. You, after so many years of talking, are the only ones who know how to get each other to the point.
Anyway, I love the phone, even if I sometimes forget how much, even if I don’t need it. Today I called C after going just a little too long, and she picked up after two rings, and I was like, oh right, thank god, it’s you.
The perceptions don’t make the man here; this isn’t “Terry Richardson Has a Cold.” If a girl says “he told me to have sex with him, but I didn’t want to,” her unwillingness is not up for discussion; you can’t retroactively celebrity-testimony her into feeling comfortable and empowered and pressure-free. People saying Richardson isn’t a creep doesn’t prove that he isn’t a creep. It just proves that there will always be people willing to make excuses for men who exploit and prey upon women, by insisting that women’s emotions must be fake or overblown—by showing the “other side” of their experience, the one where they’re wrong about what they think they wanted. — This piece by Jess Zimmerman on Terry Richardson (and rape culture at large) is very, very good.
This was fun, and the art (by Chris Ritter) is gooooorgeous.
Something that is very funny to me is that, because the blurb on my book’s front cover says something like, “You’ll probably want Katie to be your best friend,” a couple of the people who’ve reviewed my book negatively have taken it upon themselves to clarify, like, “I do NOT want to be Katie’s best friend.” As a sentence from a stranger this makes me laugh so, so much, even though I (sort of) get the context. I’m like, OK!!! Fine!!!!!! I already have one anyway!