The Importance of Romancing Yourself

A hand with a fresh strawberry on its palm

I’ve never been wild about the idea of romance. When I was young, I always had a crush on the Disney villain, felt nothing for Prince William, and thought that Romeo and Juliet were so unstable that had they not killed themselves over a relationship that lasted a whopping four  days, they had little chance of overcoming inevitable “baby mama drama,” “just can’t even’s, and “who is she, huh huh”s.

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I have been with my husband since I was 19. I am in love with him. He comes home from work, we have a drink, cook a meal, make love, go for a stroll. It’s smooth sailing. On Valentines Day there are gifts, trips to New Orleans, bubble baths. “I love you’s are exchanged dozens of times a day along with a slew of adorable pet names that would turn the strongest of stomachs. My favorite is “dragon baby” or maybe “little cat wolf.” Sickening.

While I do appreciate and expect a certain level of romancing and spontaneity out of my husband, I think that it is not only necessary but preferable that the main provider of romance and intrigue in my life be me.

As a society, we have started to come around to this idea. We call it “self-care.” And while I am a wild about it, there is this maternal, almost wound-licking tone to it that makes me questions its lasting effectiveness.

Self-romancing is a lifestyle. It’s not something you pull out when you’ve gone overboard with your commitments, become too entrenched with family drama, or realized your children may just eat you alive if you let them.

Continue reading “The Importance of Romancing Yourself”

A Very Stabby Birthday

Shiny birthday balloons in the number 30

I don’t remember much about my dad. I know that all the stories my mom tells me about their time together end with “…and then your dad stabbed him so we had to get the hell out of there.”

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My most vivid memory of my dad was his knife coming through the roof of the van we lived in. I can still hear my mom screaming, “Run for your life!” while I tried to super-speed activate my stubby toddler legs. It turned out my great escape wasn’t necessary; they reconciled and went on to have more children. It’s the rom-com you never knew would scare you.

They did eventually part ways. My dad got out of the van to take a leak one hot summer night and my mom just sped away. She traded the van for a trailer, the alcoholic schizophrenic for a heroin addict, and we never heard from my dad again.

Until this month. A few days before my 30th birthday.

Continue reading “A Very Stabby Birthday”

Fuck the Gym

Woman putting weights on a barbell

There is a vicious rumor going around that it’s the new year. Fake news strikes again. Sad.

Oh wait… Shit… It is the new year.

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Well, I guess that explains the recent tsunami of articles about “How to Go to the Gym,” “How to Keep Going to the Gym,” “How to Get to the Gym,” “How to Stay at the Gym Once You Get There,” “How to Not Just Buy a T-Shirt From the Gym That Says, ‘Namasté Fit’ and Then Never Return,” etc.

Yes, people descend on the gym on new years like people descend on the grocery store at news of an approaching storm.

Sure, you don’t like spam or tofu flavored popcorn or the bench press but this is an emergency, goddamnit! You will pay the $9 for the blood sausage, the $90 a month for the gym membership, and you will just wait for the storm of expectation to pass.

Oh, fuck the gym. Fuck the gym so hard. (Note: my traffic soars any time I use the word “fuck” in the title of a post. “Fuck High Heels” is my most popular performing post by like a million disappointed perverts.)

My big new year’s truth bomb is pretty obvious, yet one of those things that is so easily forgotten:

exercise and the gym are not mutually exclusive.

Continue reading “Fuck the Gym”

You. Sick. Bitch.

Woman lying face down on bed

Write what you know.
-Mark Twain

This week I have been sick, sick, sick, sick. I mean real sick, like binge-watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians sick.

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I so rarely get sick that I didn’t realize how fucking bad I was at it. But in true DGGYST form, over the course of one week I’ve managed to grab sick by the balls… and sneeze all over them.

I want to give you some great tips on how to survive the cold and flu season that you haven’t already heard:

Continue reading “You. Sick. Bitch.”

Dehumanizing Your Future Self

Woman in a hoodie

I thought growing old would take longer.
-Old guy’s shirt at the grocery store

As many of you know, I teach ballroom dancing. I spend a lot of my day with people in their 50s-80s, recently retired, looking to fill their work-free days or reconnect with their spouses.

I love spending time with the older demographic. They come in for their lessons, doze off to sleep, wake up, knit a scarf, make a stew, find a quarter behind my ear…and off they go.

No, actually. That doesn’t happen at all.

The Metzgers grab at each others asses and play Candy Crush in the waiting room. The Sanchezes bring me in beers they brew at home and share photos on their iPhone of the trips they took to China or Mexico. The Watsons…well yeah, I mean, Mrs Watson does in fact bring in her knitting, but she has been knitting since she was like fifteen. And yeah, her chicken and dumplings are really good. And Mr. Watson has found almost four dollars in quarters behind my ears. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the Watsons as an example. My point is…

They are all totally unique individuals and when I talk to them about their pasts I find something truly astonishing:

They aren’t anything like us, they are exactly like themselves.

Continue reading “Dehumanizing Your Future Self”

Oh Crap, It’s About to Be Winter

Cranberries on a frozen branch

There is that first day of fall where you feel like the world is a magical place, full of wonder and change. A bit later comes that fall day when shit starts to get real and you realize you have fifty years of fucking winter stretching out before you.

On that day, which for most of us is between November 1st – 5th, you need to take your supplies of feel-good fall energy and use them to rescue your future self.

Seasonal depression is the bane of my existence. It will be the middle of July and I will be like, “You Fools! Put down your volleyballs and summer shandies! Winter Is Coming!”

I’ve been training for this all year, so consider me your honorary Ph.D in S.A.D. and how to dodge it

Continue reading “Oh Crap, It’s About to Be Winter”

The Damn, Girl Diet

Girl holding a half-eaten donut

Ah, dieting. The most futile endeavor of our times. Diets completely work while we are on them, and then suddenly stop when we go off them. It’s a mystery worthy of Scooby-Doo.

It takes a level of deranged self-importance to think that one could make a meaningful contribution to the endless amount of lifestyle tips, healthy eating hacks, or diet tricks at this point of insufferable saturation. Luckily, I have that level of deranged self-importance, and am going to blow your mind. Then run for president.

So without further ado, I present the Damn, Girl Diet:

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The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

Tiny Buddha statue on a mossy rock

It’s becoming pretty obvious that our ridiculous full voicemail, texting, Netflix-watching, desk job, blue light, to-do-list-filled lives are screwing with us. We’re all anxious and depressed and overwhelmed and floaty-feeling because the last time we weren’t plugged into some kind of device, Bill Clinton was in office.

So, of course, the ones with all the obnoxious wisdom have spoken. It’s time to forest bathe, do yoga, and most importantly: meditate.

You know, sit in a quiet place, focus on your breath, practice mindfulness…pull your fingernails out one by one and try to boil yourself to death in a half inch of water. ‘Cause really, what’s the difference?

I hate meditating. God, it’s hard for me. My mind is a tireless athlete whose running inner monologue is essentially:

“Hustle, hustle, hustle, don’t end up like your mother, hustle hustle hustle, ooh, that’s a good idea, write that down, hustle hustle hustle.”

My “distracted ambition” (patent pending) is kindling for panic attacks.

So I visit the Pinterest boards filled with perky chicks wearing tank tops that say “Namastay Grateful.” I try so hard to read these posts, which are all soothing and helpful, and I can almost make it through one before the heat of irritation bubbles up into my soul and I go, “Ahhhhhhhh, I can’t even read about meditating, let alone meditate.”

So what do you do when you feel disconnected? Like you are a passenger in your own life? When you feel anxious? When you get that feeling that time is either going at a crawl or speeding by like lightning…or both?

Unfortunately, you fucking meditate.

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Here’s a guide for my lovelies who want to want to mediate: Continue reading “The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation”

DG Fall Essentials

Girl with a scarf holding a cup of coffee.

Things have been getting a little heavy around here at Damn, Girl. From declaring war on happiness to shitting on Lifetime movies, it may be time to take a walk on the lighter side.

This week I couldn’t decide between writing about “Why Your Grandma is Kind Of a Slut” or “The Surprising Health Benefits of Puppy Blood,” so I opted for a third option. A classic: Damn, Girl Fall Essentials.

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Today, Be Anything but Happy

A pineapple on the beach

Sometimes I read stuff like this article called “Why Pursuing Happiness is the Greatest Goal” and wonder why traditional advice doesn’t seem to apply to me.

I just absently blink at 90 percent of the “awesome truths” that “change people’s lives.” When I try to apply them to my own life, I end up totally dissatisfied, living in a yurt with a mouthful of chia seeds dribbling down my face, yelling positive affirmations into the mirror.

I’m pretty sure if there is anything that makes humans miserable, it’s chasing happiness.

Knowing that it’s The Goal of almost everyone I know is so tragic I can’t. Hardly. Even.

Before you get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with happiness…It’s just not a goal. And exalting one emotion doesn’t sit well with me

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Continue reading “Today, Be Anything but Happy”