Some Thoughts About Turning 25

1. When people hear I’m turning 25, they like to joke about how a quarter of my life is already over. I’m not sure why it’s supposed to be funny—you’re literally joking about my death, people—but worse than that, it’s not even accurate.

I’m not the kind of person who likes to pretend I’m going to live to be 100. I don’t even like to pretend I know what’s coming for me in the next decade. Life has always been sort of an in-the-moment thing for me—I take it as it comes and try not to get too ahead of myself. I think that’s partially because there’s no real use to worrying about hypotheticals, but also because, at the end of the day, the big picture scares me.

If I could step out of my life and see it for everything that it has been and will be, would I like it? If I examined this sliver that’s already happened and compared it to everything I’ve always wanted it to be, would I still be happy? How many more 25-year increments will I have to live before it finally feels like I’m exactly where I’m meant to be?

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If Rom Com Heroines Had Looked Like Me, Would I Have Grown Up Differently?

When I pulled up Dumplin’ on Netflix last weekend, I only meant for it to be background noise. I was tired and planned to fall asleep, but instead I found myself lying awake for the full hour and fifty minutes of the movie, tears streaming down my face by the time the end credits rolled onto the screen. This movie, which I had imagined was just another coming of age teen flick, had punched me right in the gut. But more than that, it had touched me deep in my soul.

For those of you who don’t know, the film stars Danielle Macdonald as overweight teen Willowdean “Dumplin’” Dickson, a lover of all things Dolly Parton and the daughter of a small town beauty queen. Despite not being “conventionally pretty” (a phrase I hate to reiterate), Willowdean decides to join her small town’s beauty pageant to make a point, both to her mother and to society et al. In the movie, she did just that — and outside the movie, she proved so much more.

Growing up, I always loved rom coms, but I couldn’t necessarily relate to them. I wasn’t as confident as Elle Woods or as popular as Cher Horowitz; I didn’t even have the take-off-your-glasses-and-turn-into-a-beauty-queen potential of Laney Boggs in She’s All That. And while rom com heroines may have varied in personality, more than often, they were all the same: white, straight, able-bodied and skinny. And not just skinny, but undeniably pretty.

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A Story About Processing Sexual Trauma In The Digital Age

It’s 3 a.m. and I get on Twitter because I can’t sleep. I scroll through hundreds of posts, nearly every single one about Bill Cosby or Brett Kavanaugh and the respective sexual assault cases against them. “Believe women!” some people seem to be screaming into the abyss of the Internet. “But why believe women?” others ask in response. I close the app but I’m still restless; an hour later, I reopen it and read the same posts over and over again.

“Maybe you should get off the Internet for a while,” my friend tells me when I talk to her about it. “You need to look out for your own mental health.”

I’ve never been too good at that, if I’m being completely honest. I still can’t seem to speak plainly about the things I’ve been through; instead, I talk in vague euphemisms. A lot of my friends do that, I’ve noticed. They don’t like the word “sexual assault.” Or “rape.” Or “molestation.” Or “violence.” Instead they use phrases like “the thing that happened” or “that one party” or, sometimes, “#MeToo.” Mostly they don’t talk about it at all.

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All Your Faves Are Being Accused Of Sexual Misconduct And Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Be Surprised

Another week, another onslaught of big name stars to add to the list of sexual predators. Ever since Harvey Weinstein was outed by the press as a serial sexual abuser in early October, there’s been a domino effect of men and women accusing people in positions of power of sexual misconduct: filmmaker James Toback, actor Kevin Spacey, actor Danny Masterson, to name a few. The list goes on, and this week there’s a whole new lineup of sex offenders.

So, where should I begin? Here’s the list of the most notable allegations this week:

Have I missed anyone? At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised — it’s amazingly difficult to keep up with what Woody Allen recently called a “witch hunt” against men. Not that we should listen to him, though — he was infamously accused of sexually abusing his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow when she was a child.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: nothing about these allegations should be particularly shocking. Should they make us angry? Sure. Should we find them disturbing? Definitely! But should we be surprised? I wouldn’t go that far.

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How I Learned To Cook Pasta Like A True Italian

My first taste of Italy was the best. I’d just moved into a small room in an apartment in Florence when my padrona — or landlady — requested I join her for dinner. The meal was simple — salad, fruit, pasta with some vegetables — but I remember biting into it and thinking it was the best thing I’d ever tasted. So this is what Italian food really tastes like, I thought. I had no idea.

I was lucky to have a padrona that treated me like family. She invited me for dinner nearly every night, and for over two months, every meal she made was unique — every pasta dish was made just a little differently, every meat cooked a unique way, and every bite was just as good as the last. Once she served nothing but cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto, a combination that made me wary. I was pleasantly surprised.

“It’s all about the ingredients,” my padrona told me in her thick Italian. “Quality food is good food.”

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Dumbass Ohio Governor Candidate Just Made A Dumbass Facebook Post About Sexual Assault

If you aren’t from Ohio, there’s a chance you haven’t heard about justice Bill O’Neill, a Democrat who was served on the Ohio Supreme Court for 10 years. He recently decided to run for governor in 2018, and as of earlier today, he made a very, erm, interesting public statement about all the recent sexual assault allegations against politicians. I’ll just let you read it for yourself.

O’Neill originally posted on Facebook:

Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males. As a candidate for Governor let me save my opponents some research time. In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females. It ranged from a gorgeous personal secretary to Senator Bob Taft (Senior) who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents barn in Gallipolis and ended with a drop dead gorgeous red head who was a senior advisor to Peter Lewis at Progressive Insurance in Cleveland.

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‘Spiritual Researchers’ Believe 85% Of Gay People Are Possessed By Ghosts In This Dumbass New Study

If you’ve ever found yourself in a heated family debate over the Thanksgiving dinner table about whether or not homosexuality is genetic or learned (totally not basing this off of personal experience…), you can finally feel at peace knowing that everyone was wrong all along. That’s right, idiots, homosexuality never had anything to do with your DNA or choice. It’s all about ghosts.

At least, that’s what “spiritual researchers” believe (whatever those are). According to the Spiritual Science Research Foundation, 85% of gay people aren’t really gay, they’re just possessed by ghosts.

The more you know, huh?

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