Pop the question
There is a really wonderful profile on Rookie contrib Roxane Gay in the Guardian. Roxane’s book, Bad Feminist, was published yesterday. I’m only halfway through right now, but I can already tell it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I urge you all to pick up a copy, or request it from the library, or ask that your library carry it. And, of course, if you can’t get your hands on it just yet, there is always Roxane’s prolific Tumblr, which you should follow.
There was always hope and never loneliness. That’s how Lois Nelson could stay in a relationship so many others would find untenable. The way she saw it, she had no choice but to commit herself to Daniel Holland. She loved him, deeply, and there was nothing she could do about that.
They wore each other’s wedding rings, though they never made the marriage official. That was just one of many things they didn’t do in their 13 years together. They never went on a proper date, never sat next to each other in a movie theater or across from each other in a restaurant. They never cooked together, sorted their laundry together, or stood at the bathroom sink and brushed their teeth together. They never took a vacation, never even left Illinois. He never got to know her three children. She never got to feel him against her in the middle of the night.
She wanted these things, of course she did. But she realized early on that she was with Dan for the here and now. Because nobody was guaranteed a tomorrow, and because life was so much better with him in it—even if he was in her mind more often than he was at her side.
When he died last May, people who’d never met Dan—and hadn’t wanted to—sent cards and called often to check up on Lois. Grief isn’t something people judge. But as Lois knows all too well, love is.”
Love Under Lock and Key - the love story of Lois the prison guard and Dan the inmate serving an 85 year sentence
“ If you’re a twentysomething today, there’s a veritable list of things that you should perfect: your body, of course, but also your career, your relationship, your spiritual health, your children, your social media presence, your political aptitude, your knowledge of world affairs, your attentiveness to environmental issues, your dedication to feminist activism, your 401(k), the list goes on. The Sparks narrative offers a life — and a love story nested within it — that extracts its protagonist from those concerns and consolidates the demands of life into one, simple task: Open yourself to love, and love in return. ”
"Why Nicholas Sparks matters."
“ And so we’ll be watching next Monday as the newest Bachelorette — who has been through the exquisitely staged courtship routine and knows her lines — says she’s ready for love and knows The One is out there, offering up the trite pablum of Hallmark love. We will watch, mocking the spectacle, secretly trying to fill the ways we are hollow. We are not as cynical as we pretend to be. We continue to date and fall disastrously in love and marry and divorce and try again despite overwhelming evidence that it is a hell of a thing to stay with one person for the rest of your life. Few among us want to die alone, holding that hollow space inside us. The real shame of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” of the absurd theater of romantic comedies, of the sweeping passion of romance novels, is that they know where we are most tender, and they aim right for that place. ”
Roxane Gay on The Bachelor
(Source: The New York Times)
The Rumblr’s in-house astrologer, Madame Clairevoyant, presents her latest dispatch from the stars:
Aquarius: This week might feel frustrating at first, it might feel weird. It might feel like you can’t quite catch your balance, like nothing’s going quite the way you planned it. The world’s going to remind you, this week, that it can still amaze you. It’s going to remind you of how big it is. It’s going to remind of what a sweet strange thing it is to be alive. Try to be open to surprises, this week. Try to wake up early and watch, every day, as your world comes to life.
Today’s image was made specially for Madame Clairevoyant by Jen May.
“ But making high-pitched noises won’t solve your problem if your problem is a complete inability to cope with change. ”
“ Getting old is the second-biggest surprise of my life, but the first, by a mile, is our unceasing need for deep attachment and intimate love. We oldies yearn daily and hourly for conversation and a renewed domesticity, for company at the movies or while visiting a museum, for someone close by in the car when coming home at night. This is why we throng Match.com and OkCupid in such numbers—but not just for this, surely. Rowing in Eden (in Emily Dickinson’s words: “Rowing in Eden— / Ah—the sea”) isn’t reserved for the lithe and young, the dating or the hooked-up or the just lavishly married, or even for couples in the middle-aged mixed-doubles semifinals, thank God. No personal confession or revelation impends here, but these feelings in old folks are widely treated like a raunchy secret. The invisibility factor—you’ve had your turn—is back at it again. But I believe that everyone in the world wants to be with someone else tonight, together in the dark, with the sweet warmth of a hip or a foot or a bare expanse of shoulder within reach. Those of us who have lost that, whatever our age, never lose the longing: just look at our faces. If it returns, we seize upon it avidly, stunned and altered again. ”
Roger Angell in The New Yorker. I’m so glad they took this out from behind the paywall.