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

Advertisement

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

elf on the shelf

“Cutie!!!” I brace myself. She is coming. She comes every day at lunchtime, diving on me like a jackal on a rabbit. I hear her battle cry and know that it’s only a matter of seconds until her arms close around me, lifting my defenseless body into the air and breathing her Lunchable breath into…More

the butterflies are still there

Ten years ago, I had a flawless first date. I have no qualms about bragging about this because none of my other firsts have been so storybook-perfect. My first kiss startled me so much that instead of kissing back, I hiccupped. My first relationship ended in a hotel room and not even in an exciting…More

squirrel!

I am a nervous Nellie. Always have been and since no matter how passionately I beg, my doctor refuses to write me a prescription for intravenous Xanax, always will be. I’ve outgrown a few of my fears: when I was a little girl (okay, until I was like, sixteen and driving myself), the bumpy span…More

the hitchhiker’s guide to the holidays

I come from a long line of nomads. My mother’s mother raised her family in Washington State, far from the Minnesota farmlands where she grew up and where their Finnish mafia of a family still lives. My father was raised a military brat, the son of a Coast Guard captain, and my own parents decamped…More

album rock

When I was thirteen, I brought along with me on a weeklong family vacation to Texas a single album: Avril Lavigne’s seminal Let Go, featuring cultural touchstones like “Sk8r Boi” and “Nobody’s Fool” (actual lyric: “I’m not the milk and Cheerios in your spoon”). For seven days, I listened to Let Go on repeat. Nobody…More

everyone’s a little bit basic

Pumpkin Spice Latte. Mimosa brunch. Sex and the City. Hear that? That’s the sound of 500 followers running for higher-brow ground. Can you blame them? No self-respecting intellectually competent young adult wants to be caught associating with someone who’s—dare I say it?—basic. There was a time, not so long ago, when a young woman in…More

gunner

I signed up for a French class a couple weeks ago. It’s the first time I’ve set foot in a classroom since I graduated from college some three and a half (!) years ago. It’s entirely for fun—not for work, not even for a grade—and yet every time I enter the classroom, I feel myself…More