up in the air

“You got Big Green?” my dad used to ask me every time I’d come home for a stretch—first those monthlong winter breaks in college, later a week’s vacation from the office. I’d nod yes, sheepishly, well aware that I didn’t need to bring a suitcase large enough to stash a body in for a weeklong…More

the empress’s new clothes

A red tank top emblazoned with the word DANCE in rainbow glitter. Baby-blue track pants from the Limited Too that snap up the side. Pastel yellow sneakers for skateboarders, doodled all over with ballpoint-pen stars and hearts and Avril Lavigne lyrics. Beige corduroy bellbottoms. A tiered skirt that falls to mid-calf and soars when you…More

the summer of my discontent

Throughout the northern hemisphere, the school buses are gassing up. Twentysomethings are putting away their cutoff shorts and Indian headdresses until next year’s Coachella. Bartenders are replacing their summer shandies with pumpkin beer and the Gap is stocking their shelves with another season’s worth of infinity scarves that will last all of four months until…More

fievel goes east

“I’m getting cockles,” I say. My dad looks at me like I just said I was ordering the insect protein. To his credit, he doesn’t recommend that maybe I ought to stick with the same buttered pasta I’ve been eating since I started in on solid foods fifteen years earlier. “Nice!” he says. I’m sixteen…More

interpreter of melodies

Over the past several months, I’ve caught myself—multiple times—on the verge of tweeting song lyrics like I’m a seventeen-year-old writing on MySpace. I think it’s probably because the last time I had my heart broken like I did a year or so ago, I was seventeen, and it was easier to wear your heart on…More

rules of engagement

“Well, he said you’re cute, but kind of… weird,” she tells me, sheepish. “Like, he said he looks over in class sometimes and you’re, like… giggling to yourself?” I’m offended, briefly, before I think about myself in Developmental Psychology. It’s more about babies than I had really bargained for, and either I’m bored and my…More

american idiot

“D’ya want [incomprehensible noise]?” “Um, I’m sorry, what?” “D’ya want [incomprehensible noise]?” “I’m–um–sorry, one more time?” “D’ya want [incomprehensible noise]?” “I… no. No, thanks.”   I am in London, in a cafe on Charlotte Street, where I learn in short order that drip coffee is an American thing, and there is something else that I could…More

a field guide to functional insanity

Do you suffer from crippling self-doubt with little to no basis in reality? Does “no basis in reality” describe most of what your brain explores on a given day? Have you ever stopped to contemplate your purpose in life only to realize that when you think about it too much, you don’t have one, and neither…More

rumplestiltscass

My parents almost named me Georgia. I’m convinced that if I had grown up a Georgia instead of a Dana, I would have been infinitely more glamorous. Instead being Dana, five foot two with a Buddha belly, wearing leggings and pink Converse high-tops and one of those T-shirt that might lead well-mannered straphangers to give…More

there and back again

When I think of anorexia, I think of Karen Carpenter. Like every normal teenage girl who came of age in the 1970’s, I idolize Karen Carpenter (I, unfortunately, grew up in the 2000s, which makes the “normal” qualifier irrelevant). But only insofar as I would give my right arm to feather my hair and belt…More