Because 20-Year-Olds are Fantastic Idiots.

Recently, I spent 20 collective hours in a car alone, driving very fast.  My heart has been hurt twice this year.  Not only will I be away from the two most important people in my life for the first time this Christmas, I’ll be away from my family and most of my chosen family.  I just finished reading Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things.

For all these reasons, I have been very much in my head lately.

The last chapter of the book, which is a compilation of letters sent into the “Dear Sugar” advice column Strayed wrote for The Rumpus, asks Sugar what advice she would give to a 20-year-old version of herself.  As a woman who lives her best to have no regrets, trying either to learn from experiences or apologize, the idea of advice for or against what I did 12 years ago was oddly appealing.  Maybe because I’ve had to do quite a bit of thinking about how I seem to fall for men who are kind of assholes, or maybe because it’s the end of a year, or maybe because I recently told someone I was living my third life now and he and I got into this amazing conversation about how we evolve, I felt compelled.

Writers, when you feel compelled, just write.


Advice for a 20-Year-Old Laura:

Stop trying to straighten your hair.  First, it never works and you end up, at best, with a kind of Nancy Drew flip at the bottom that isn’t your style, babe.  Second, you’re always bored when you’re doing that, and third, it’s fucking Alabama and hot enough already without some fucking radioactive metal stick millimeters from your scalp.

Stop blow-drying it, too.  Again:  boring and hot and stupid.

You’re not really fat, babe.  Only when you fuck around with food do you fuck around with your weight, so just eat what you really like and you’ll be fine.

Keep every cassette tape you buy.  Keep every record.

Yeah, that professor WAS totally hitting on you that time, and you probably should’ve stayed after class for office hours because that fucker was HOT.

If a pretty girl walks into the room, her beauty doesn’t lessen yours.  Her intelligence doesn’t mute yours.  Her confidence doesn’t dampen yours.  You’re the same person you were.

People will forget how short you are if you’re loud enough.

Men are going to tell you sometimes that you’re intimidating.  Those are the men that won’t want to date you, they’ll just want to try and fuck all the charm and awe out of that situation.  Don’t let them, if you can help it.  Look for someone who will see you on a Sunday morning with your cardigan buttoned wrong over a slip, your knee socks falling down as you laugh and make coffee in your messy kitchen, and will fall in love with you because of a moment like that.

It’s okay if you love to fish but you get too sad every time you kill a cricket to bait your hook and you make someone else do it.

Write down what your grandpa tells you.

If some dude gets weirded out because you didn’t want to shave your armpits or legs for a few weeks, then that’s not a dude you want to fuck anyway.

Yes, you like women too.  Stop wondering about it; it’s fine, you’re fine, that chick over there is fine.

When you pull up to a red light, don’t stop singing.

Be as thrifty as you like, but spend money on these things:  sheets.  Underwear.  Cheese.  Whiskey.  Other people.

Don’t trust a man who doesn’t have any woman friends.

Take that fucking fake ass engagement ring off your finger when you go to bars and just start telling dudes to get their dicks off your ass on the dance floor.

Always carry this on your person:  your keys, a condom, a knife, matches, and $5.

When a man watches you get ridiculously drunk on your 20th birthday and takes you to his house and helps you undress in the dark so he won’t unfairly see you naked and wakes up to get you water after you vomit in his bathroom and tells you, as you lie beside one another in the pale pale morning, that you’re beautiful, believe him.  He means it.

Whiskey in coffee is real, real good.

Tell your friends you love them whenever you think it, and stop worrying if that’s weird or not.

When Alison Wolfe invites you back to her hotel room at 3 AM after a show so you can talk about feminism in the South YOU FUCKING GO, ASSHOLE.

In reality, you don’t often have to do things you don’t want to do.  Your life is yours alone, and you choose how to spend it.  Don’t spend it with people you don’t love, don’t spend it wishing away your time, don’t spend it frivolously.  Spend it letting yourself be happy.

Always tip at least $3, even if you just order a cup of coffee.

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I Will Definitely Pee Right in This Alley.

When you’re in a couple and you’re me and the dude was the dude you don’t go out much.  Like at all.

When you’re single and you’re me and the world is beautiful YOU GO OUT A LOT.

People go to bars alone, did you know?  Like with a book?  At 7 PM?  And walk home alone? It’s cray cray.  I’ve been going to the matinee old movies with my friend Meg every Sunday, and we sneak in coffee and watch these old movies with our knees drawn up.  My ridiculous hound dog and roommate and I take meandering walks in the chilly mornings when we can.  Richmond is a city for shows, and honky tonk DJs, and brass bands that make you dance in the street, and parades with banjos and Halloween spooks and I’m seeing it all, babe, because I’m a fucking ramblin’ man.

But I have to talk about a serious side effect of all this shit.

It’s kind of embarrassing…but FUCK IT.

Drinking at all and walking around at all means you are just going to have to pee pee all night.

What the fuck are you going to do?  It’s just human fucking nature, and it’s a basic human right to be able to use the bathroom no matter where you are in this great country.  When I’m walking around and I see this joint, I get actually offended:

Do not fucking presume to tell me what to do with my body, sign.

How can I seriously be expected to not pee in this alley.  Gettin’ real, dudes, that shit happens when you’re taking a little soda walk around your gorgeous neighborhood, the one slowly declining in property value because you’re peeing behind all the trash cans.

Ok, ok, sure.  Go into a convenience store, whatever.  But what about when you’re actually a paying customer in some bar and you go back to the bathrooms and walk into this horseshit?

Why is this even legal.  Why do these places that sell cans of what should basically be labeled “Pee Pee Water” be allowed to have fewer than 18 bathrooms.  It’s ridiculous.  And I see you in line, girl in front of me, girl wearing that weird baggy shirt and teeny underwear shorts and maybe glitter on some part of you.  I see you, bitch, and let me tell you, I will straight up cut you RIGHT FUCKING NOW if you think you are going to post up in that stall with a drink, your phone, and some fucking lipstick while your ducklipping girlfriend takes selfies in the mirror, butthole.

And what makes this problem worse is this idea that women and men can’t both go into the same single stall bathroom.  So many places have just two bathrooms for all the drunk idiots careening around the dance floor, and half of us have to make all the pee pees NOW and the other half don’t even have to take off their pants to do that.  What’s with the line of demarcation, SPAIN?  I get it if you don’t want people fucking in the bathroom, but, um, PEOPLE FUCK IN THE BATHROOM SOMETIMES.   Making me do a little shimmy dance and promise strangers I’ll be so fast does not stop that in any way.

So now I go into whatever the fuck bathroom I want.

Reactions are mixed.  Mostly, though, when I come out of a single men’s room and some bro is waiting out there he’s like, damn girl that’s brave.

Um, bitch what?  How is that BRAVE.  If one of my students turned in a definition essay about bravery and it was all “a girl using the men’s room” I would turn back a grade looking like this:

It’s totally true. You would be if you thought that and I would tell you.

I can only imagine it’s brave because 1) people gonna think I’m a dude and I might get sad about that or 2) maybe I’ll be sexually assaulted because I’m in a dude space when I’m not supposed to be and all dudes are terrible, terrible monster mashes who have no concept of the basic human necessity of having to use any available bathroom right this cocksucking second.  OMG, these things make no sense.  Oh, oh, maybe it’s because guy bathrooms are so gross?  But did you hear me say that sometimes you have to just pull down your tights in an alley and look up to Jesus and think of England?

And can I give a shout to my T people in that whole LGBTQ thing who should be able to pee in the peace, love, and harmony of where the fuck ever there’s a bathroom?

Look, just start using all the single space bathrooms everywhere.  It’s like the easiest social change you could possibly effect, plus you can get back out to swinging your ass around the dance floor that much sooner.

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This is Seriously a Recipe for Some Kind of Cookies.

Having a bunch of good buds is like dating 18 people all at once and they never get jealous and they buy you more presents than 1 or 2 actual boyfriends.  I’ve been on more fucking dates the past couple of weeks than the past 88 years, and instead of being tired I’m literally running on the good vibes of all the supersweet people around me.  Movies?  Check.  Bars?  Hit.  Books?  Semi-completed.

Dude when people are good to you you gotta be good back and make them some fucking cookies.

I totally love cooking and pretty much detest eating.  Other people aren’t robots that can run on Soilent though, so they get real happy when you think about them for at least 45 minutes in a row, which is exactly how long it takes to turn a bunch of bullshit into cookies.

And racism? Too soon?


1.  Go to the grocery store and do not kill anyone.  Buy some eggs, butter that hopefully isn’t as fucking cold as it is in the produce department, baking soda, non-biscuit-making flour (what, I’m from Alabama), and some beer.  Get the good kind of beer and store brand everything else.

2.  When you get home get out two baking sheets and spray on some Baker’s Joy you have left over from last Christmas.  Get out the other baking stuff from then too actually, it might help, plus two bowls and a fork.

3.  Beer #1.

4.  Oven:  400 degrees.  375?  385.

5.  Ok now you have to smash a whole stick of butter into what appears to be a cup of sugar.  Use the fork or a couple of actual knives if your grocery store is in Antarctica like mine.  Make it really smooth and creamy like the core parts of Ben & Jerry’s.  Put some peanut butter in there too!  Yeah do that.

6.  Beer #2.

7.  Take a spoon and scoop out a good sized bit, then shove it into your half-eaten pint of Ben & Jerry’s for later.

8.  Crack two eggs into that goop and make it goopier.  This is like when people make a cake but put pudding into it first, right?  Goopy stuff = good baked shit.

9.  Beer #3.

10. Put in a teaspoon of baking soda, some salt, stir that up.  Don’t measure it because you watched Justin Wilson as a kid and can totally eyeball that shit.

11. Ok flour.  2 cups or so.  And look, if you didn’t actually go to the store to get any of this crap, you can totally use biscuit flour.  Or bread flour.  I did that the other day and nobody was like “why are these cookies tasting like wonder bread.”

12. Stir in some chocolate chips and whatever the fuck else you want.  Pretzels, marshmallows, pumpkin out of a can, cinnamon, applesauce, a fucking actual pudding mix although who has those lying around anymore, whatever.  Baking is a science, science is about chaos, and you’re just the motherfucking genius smart enough to harness it.

13. Eat a little bit of that batter with Beer #4.

14. The oven is probably super hot by now, so you might want to shove your baking pans in the fridge for a minute because they’re ripping hot because you left them on the stovetop, right.

15. Make the batter into cookie shapes that are kind of the same size.  Wet your hands for real, yo, a little bit so that shit doesn’t stick to your fingers and you have to eat it off (or don’t.)

16. Cook them for one episode of New Girl.

yr welcome friend

Congratulations, Julia Child!  You just made the Best Cookies of your Life and your best buds will be so pleased and all these are so good and let’s be each other’s emergency contacts and you still have two beers left maybe!

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Why is Everything a Reminder about how I’m Going to Die Alone

Goddammit, I’m back.

I apparently only write here when I’m single, and oh my god am I single.  Single digits, table for one, book at the bar don’t talk to me SINGLE.  Not alone – partner free, thankyouverymuch.

It’s been a month.  That month has been gross.

Even though it was a necessary end, a very deliberate if spontaneous amputation, FUCK ME if it hasn’t been difficult.  It’s like when you wake up at 4 AM and you’re so cozy in your pillow fort bed and it’s raining, like in a way you like, and the leaves are rustling and you were having a really sweet dream about tacos and kittens and flying (if you haven’t had that dream, you should), and everything is perfect but then you realize you have pee.  Pee NOW.  RIGHT NOW.  GO RIGHT NOW but you don’t, because if you get up things will start to suck a big dick.  You revel in your pillow fort, you are the goddamn QUEEN OF THE PILLOWS, but eventually you throw back those covers and put your feet on the freezing ass floor because you have to, and you’re all the better for it, but suddenly the rain seems frigid and the wind sounds lonely and things suck.

I know I just compared this relationship to having to go to the bathroom but that is just how the end was.  I mean, sometimes metaphors just write themselves.

The thing about any break up is the specificity of the event.  There are so many stupid articles about what happens to us when THAT happens to us, and they’re all shit (including this one).  What happens to us is so tailored to us as individuals that all the rules and suggestions and sentiments go out the window and we have to just pull up our boot straps some days, cry some days, decide to paint a fucking fence some days, drive until we damn decide to turn around some days.

I might have Googled “recipes to make when you’re heartbroken.”  It might have taken me down a weird hole of being heartbroken and alone.  I might have gotten disgusted with how generic everything is ever.  Seriously, I felt like I was being shoved into a rom-com.  I’m upset, I’m fine, things are beautiful, things suck.  It’s not a clear path at all, not a funny mix of “I hate” and “Give me chocolate.”

That’s great, girl, because I’M throwing up in my mouth a little bit.

These are my stages of fucking grief, Internet.

  1. I am dead.  Art is dead.  Poetry is dead.  I am dead.
  2. Just kidding, I AM RAD.  That weird high you get when you stay up for 30 hours?  I had that for a while and it was cool if unexpected.
  3. My pussy is NOT dead.  Not having sex is weird in a stupid way.  I should call the UN because I am suddenly without a basic human right.
  4. Just kidding, my pussy is dead because I’m making that trope about masturbating and crying A FUCKING REALITY.
  5. I am not to be trusted with my phone.  You can TEXT PEOPLE WITH THAT SHIT, TAKE IT FROM ME AND BURN IT IN THE PITS OF MORDOR.
  6. Everyone hug me.  Self-explanatory.
  7. Nobody touch me.  Also self-explanatory.
  8. I watch Netflix all night and knit and wear cardigans and make food I don’t eat which is flavored with tears.
  9. Whiskey.  So, um, back to normal?

At least summer is over so I can brood on my porch like a grumpy old man and turn my attention to every fucking thing that happens in my alley while also marveling at how leaves get to have the most beautiful death every year.

Go home, possum, YOU’RE drunk, and I won’t say it again, slacker.


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I Don’t Even Know What I’m Doing.

It’s been like a year since I wrote anything here, I know.  I usually hate blogs that break and then come back like oh, I was busy, I know, this and this and this and this but the truth is, broads, I was totally fucking busy.

First I had three jobs.

Then I got a boyfriend.

Then I got a full-time teaching job.

Then I taught 6 classes at once.

But most importantly I got a boyfriend and I was like hold the fucking phone, he probably doesn’t want me to be writing about his dick and sex and stuff like I kind of was when I was single.  And, um, also, there’s this thing about him that’s, like, sort of embarrassing.  Like the past me would come up on this balcony where I’m smoking and writing and drinking a Modelo and smack the shit out these cheeks.

He’s a writer.  Remember when I said I would never ever ever date a writer?

Yeah I’m totally dating one.


I have no excuse, either, except to say that I swear to grilled cheezus I didn’t know until I was way invested.  Which was also a surprise, because I was doing pretty well on the not-dating-go-away thing for a minute.  I feel very feminist when I say I had a couple of one-night stands after first moving here, and I quickly realized I do not like that game.  Then I tried the friends-are-the-best kind of sex, and that was okay, but too complicated like right away, which is the stone cold OPPOSITE of what it’s supposed to be.

I spent January alone.

It was pretty cool.

The only thing I really missed about dating someone was Sundays.  Sundays are the best best best when you’re in love with someone.  Coffee, NPR, a crossword, brunch, Bloody Marys, pajama talk, going back to bed and fucking/talking/napping all afternoon…you just can’t do that alone.  Well, one can, but I would look around with the French press in my hand and messy hair in my face and wonder if I could put the calm and beauty of those moments into words for anyone else.  I got lonely on those days.

So I got back on OKCupid.  I’ve had luck there – I met a woman and had one of the most tender relationships of my life, and I met one of my best friends from there.  I talked to a few people, had one fantastic first date that ended in a not super great second date, then I met the current boy.

He’s so clean cut.  He’s younger than me.  He goes to bars I disliked.  He’s younger than me.  DID I SAY HE IS YOUNGER THAN ME.  I know, I know, but I was like GO HOME KID, YR DRUNK for at least a month.  Everything about him was wrong, WRONG, but I stayed at his house the first night we met and I barely ever went home.

I fell in love with him very quickly.

I know he said he was a writer shortly after we met, but I just willfully repressed that information forgot.  But as we grew closer, I couldn’t help but remember, because all the stuff that I knew would happen happened.  He can be moody.  Sensitive.  Competitive.  Fatalistic.  Really giddy and really sad, all in 10 minutes.

All the stuff I didn’t want.  All the stuff that must suck about dating me, too.

There are some upsides, though.  Shit I didn’t foresee.  Like how talkative he is, how he wants to know all the things about all the things.  How sweet he is.  How he tells me all the things he loves about me in this clear, beautiful detail.  How creative and progressive and analytical he is.

I haven’t written in a while, partly because I have been settling into my first real job and that was a huge challenge, but also because I wasn’t sure how to write about him.  You can’t use that careless abandon when writing if you really care about how someone will receive it.  But another really awesome thing about dating a writer is he understands how badly I want to write like this, and so when I asked if he’d mind if I went back to it, he gave me this look that was like FUCKING DUH and said okay.

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I Think I’m the Husband.

The other night, when it was an unholy -70 degrees in Richmond and everyone wanted to die, I was lying in bed with my roommate Cath.  Our stupid lovely apartment won’t get over 56 degrees when it’s really cold out, so to make sure neither of us descends into a warm kind of twilight death we sleep together sometimes.  I was tired, so while Extreme Couponing played on her computer I rolled over to listen and think and let myself fall asleep

“I need a bigger bowl for making biscuits,” I murmured.  “The one we have isn’t big enough for me to make a double batch.”

“Did you just ask me for a biscuit bowl for Valentine’s Day?!” she exploded.  “Don’t tell me what presents to get you!”

We laughed.  Because we’re, like, married.  Except it’s really awesome this time (HAHA divorce joke!).

After we moved here and experienced this whole “we’re so broke, but don’t have jobs, so let’s fuck around all day and act like fools” thing for a while, we got pretty ridiculous.  There’s this whole fake accent, fake home country thing I cannot even begin to explain, but it led to us referring to one another, and her sister/my NY roommate Alicia, as “wife,” which was funny, but lately we’ve noticed it’s gone to a new level.

I wish that’s how you did it, because pushing people in the face is FUNNY.


We are MIND MELDING.  And other people are noticing.

Cath has been an active partner in my whole “listen to all the metal and see if I like it” endeavor, and so the other night we ended up at a psychobilly horror punk show with a couple of our dude friends.  We’ve been making up metal songs for everything.  Washing dishes?  That’s now WASH THAT FUCKING DISH, GIRL, MAKE IT FUCKING CLEEEEEAAAANNNNN while kicking the under-sink cabinets.


I want to breed an all-metal cat race.

So we’re at this show, and I was laughing and screaming and so was she, and I was air-humping the guy in front of me because he didn’t know and it was funny, and there came this moment when someone did something stupid and I looked at her and she looked at me and we had this whole conversation with our eyes, and our dude friends were like “y’all are weird.”

But that’s the awesome thing that happens, sometimes, if you’re extremely lucky like me.  I get to live with this AMAZING FRIEND and have all the fun and know she’s totally in my corner.  Really LIVING with a roommate is pretty cool – I mean, it’s way nicer to take care of one another than it is to separate all your food and be all weird about bathroom turns and awkwardly say good night at 7 PM even though you’re both just going to watch Netflix in bed and eat pretzels and it’d be more fun to do that together – but arguably the best part of this is how willing she is to be a stupid asshole with me.

Case in point – a couple of nights ago we’re walking home from Strange Matter after seeing an indie show with our friend Andrew.  In that ten or twelve blocks, we scraped paint off this dude’s car with a razor blade and convinced three other people to do it too, drew a hot dog with muscle arms on his forearm, put a traffic cone from someone’s house in the middle of the street, harassed people on a porch, closed someone’s front door for them (who leaves a door hanging open at 2 AM?!), ordered a pizza and laughed at the guy on the phone, and something else I can’t remember.

We weren’t drunk.  We’re just kind of stupid IN THE BEST FUCKING WAY EVER.

I’ve recently started to try to date again, and after meeting a very nice guy the other day and talking for a few hours over the most caffeinated coffee I’ve ever had, Cath picked me up because I was freezing my balls off.  My wife is so understanding when I go out on these dates.

“What’d you talk about?” she asked, weaving through the cobblestone streets back to our house.

“I talked a lot about you,” I said, laughing.  “Dude was kind of quiet and I was talking a lot and my life has a lot to do with you right now, so…you know.  That’s how that went.”

Wives 2000

We agreed I probably bored/scared that guy off, but that’s ok, since my wife is always there to watch Blaxploitation in bed and make super hard fun of me when I wake up and ask if this thing was a dream or a memory.

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At Least I Know How to Treat a Lady.

Dudes, I don’t know if it’s because I’m 30, or because I’ve been having sex for like EVER by this point, or because I’ve been single for about a year now, or some combination of all that, but jerking off has become this entirely different kind of shit than it’s ever been for me before.  Married Laura (and I’m including all the years I spent dating the ex-mister because we were living together and very together all the time TOGETHER) would jerk off just because I was bored, or needed to go to sleep, or the mister wasn’t there, or whatever.  It just wasn’t much of a thing.  I didn’t even do it EVER until I was like 19 or something.

True story:  Teenaged me was kind of a prude compared to current me.  Politically, always liberal.  Socially, same story.  Sexually?  Took me a while.  Sex was cool and all, but for whatever reason it took me a long time – years – to really figure out what I liked and to be comfortable doing it and saying it and making someone else very loudly aware of it.  And I just didn’t jerk off.  I didn’t see much of a point; I mean, I was getting laid, and jerking off is what people who aren’t getting laid do, right, so…there you go.  I went to college, though, and made this super awesome friend who was all WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, GO FUCK YOURSELF RIGHT NOW DUH, and that bitch was right.  It’s simple math:

You want to get off.

You’re alone.

You have to figure out what makes you get off.


Yeah, I don’t know. I like this guy.

After that I was like yay, I know what I like, NOW YOU DO IT TO ME DUDE.  Fun, sure, but jacking off still took a backseat to sex with another person.  It was bed time, bored time, shower time, blah blah blah time.

Well, not anymore!  Being single comes with SO MANY BENEFITS, but also a few caveats:

  1.  Sex is not guaranteed.

Wait, wait.  That’s not right.  GOOD SEX isn’t guaranteed.  I’ve had plenty of sex since I’ve been single, and right now I’m not pretending I’m all high and dry and lonely and crying in my potato chips every night, but not all the sex has been good.

Shit, wait, I’m wrong again.  GOOD SEX WHENEVER I WANT IT isn’t guaranteed.  There we go, that’s more accurate.  There’s a dude I sleep with sometimes these days and that is making me happy for many reasons, but we’re not dating and he’s busy and I currently hold 2 jobs, 3 freelance gigs, and 3 writing gigs, so I’m a little busy too.  Goddamn being a grown-up.

Oh, side note!!  I miss really amazing morning sex.  What’s better than waking up all lazy, when you’ve got nothing to do that day and the sun is coming through the windows and you’re all tucked into someone else and you guys have that kind of sex that starts all sleepy and morning-breathy but gets all loud and fun and your hair looks ridiculous after and then you go stare into each other’s eyes over hash browns and fried eggs?

Not much, bitches.  That sounds like the best morning ALWAYS.


But that’s also a dating thing, because it’s a morning breath, sexbedhead, smeary last-night mascara thing that lasts like all day.

Right, right, back to the caveats:

  1. Good sex whenever I want it isn’t guaranteed.

Um.  That might be the only caveat I care about right now.  I’ve got an emergency contact, people would find me right away if I died eating pasta in bed with knee socks on and 30 Rock streaming, I’ve got plenty of friends who like to go out and do fun stuff with me…shit wait, thought of one more.

OMG seriously, caveats:

  1. Good sex whenever I want it isn’t guaranteed.
  2. No one is going to go get me a pint of Ben & Jerry’s at 1 AM when I’m up working and want to stop writing and watch Extreme Couponing in bed.

My goddamn point with all this is the way I jerk off has completely 180’d since I’ve been single.  Maybe everyone already does this and I just didn’t know it, but what was once a quick little something to get me through the day or help me fall asleep has become a motherfucking Broadway production.  I should sell popcorn or do a TED Talk because it’s getting AWESOME AND AWESOMER.  First of all, I like to get busy in the morning, after I wake up but before I have to get up.  Second, in the absence of a person who’s totally enamored with me and only lives to tell me how much they fucking love every inch of me (who, if they actually existed, I’d never date because that would be creepy and boring), I’ve been gradually building up this kind of self-foreplay that’s all about THE NICEST STUFF EVER.

Girl, I love that outfit you’re wearing.  (Why, thank you, ma’am.)

That lipstick, girl, and that little scarf are so nice! You have the best taste.  (Compliments will get me everywhere.)

Those stockings are make your knees look so pretty – oh, you’re wearing garters?  You let that dress ride a little high for me, didn’t you?  (A lady never tells.)

I love the way you talk about composition theory and teaching.  (That’s sexy to everyone everywhere.)

The way you laugh obscenely loud and keep joking about hot dogs is so damn sexy. (Bitch, I know it.)

Mmmmm, your giant cardigan buttoned all wrong gets me so hot. (Oh, this old thing?)

At this point I make up some long ass story about how and who and where and shit gets kind of ELABORATE.  Lately, for example, the scene has been revolving around this dude and it may or may not also include some drums or a motorcycle in an alley or both.  The part, though, that makes it so awesome is that little beginning mess; instead of jumping right in I take a little time to feel hot, drag it out a little, maybe think about some amazing sex I’ve had in the past, but mostly just give myself a little “I like what you’re working with girl” before bringing someone else into the mental picture.  Plus, I mean, it makes me feel good about myself.  Afterwards, when I’m staring up at the ceiling and panting a little and smiling, I’m like SHIT YEAH I DO HAVE GOOD TASTE AND MY CARDIGAN IS THE BEST.

It has to be the best way to start your day.  Fuck a balanced breakfast, fuck sleeping in, fuck all that shit.  Moral of this story:  jerking off builds your self-esteem.  Or it’s better with more positive talk.  Or I have too much time on my hands.  Or whatever, just go try it and be like “Laura sure knows what she’s talking about when she talks about jerking off for half an hour in the morning.”

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2013 Things I Learned in 2013. By “2013 Things” I mean “11 Things.”

I love end-of-the-year lists, seriously.  People are all reflective and trying to come up with shit they want to fix or do in the next year, and I can dig on that positive spirit.  Usually I don’t give a shit about closing out a year – I mean, I don’t plan my life out year by year so I look more to the end or beginning of PROJECTS more than years – but 2013 was THE SHITTIEST YEAR OF MY FUCKING LIFE.  Brief and incomplete synopsis, leaving off the worst because I don’t want to talk about it:  I had acute pancreatitis and almost died, my brother got shot and almost died, my grandmother and dad died, I left my husband, got really really broke, was hospitalized THREE DAMN TIMES, and was forced into making the hardest decision of my life in moving to Richmond.  Um.  HEAVY.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about 2014 because I hate 2013 so fucking much.  And because I’m, like, trying to be a positive person I’m going to share some shit I learned this year that has nothing to do with all the crappy crap.

I want to, like, do good and stuff.

I don’t care about food like I thought I did.  Married Laura was ALL ABOUT THE FOODZ.  I was that bitch who would buy a chicken, roast it, carve it up all crazy and eat it for three meals, make bone broth out of the carcass, then make soup from the broth.  I made my own bread once a week.  I made granola.  Baby food.  Kumbucha.  Yogurt.  Cheese.  Kefir.  Dried fruit strips.  EVERYTHING.

Single Laura will eat saltines and a beer for dinner and not give a shit.


I will read all the fanciest books and watch only the stupidest TV.  The classics are my JAM, y’all.  I don’t really read genre fiction, but give me a book on feminist theory in the Romantic period and I’ll be all GET IT, SON.  Turns out, though, I don’t go in for really intellectual films or shows.  This is what I’m watching:  Adventure Time, Cow and Chicken, Bob’s Burgers.  Did you notice those are all cartoons.

Some times I class it up and watch TV shows with real actual people in them.  For instance, a couple of nights ago Cath, our friend Dan, and I climbed in bed and spent about 5 hours watching My Strange Addiction and Extreme Hoarders and talked A LOT about matching up people from those shows.  Like, the woman who’s addicted to puppets should totally date the guy who’s married to a sex doll, and the Furry girl should date the guy who’s super into taxidermy.

I’m getting old.  I turned 30 this year.  I found three white hairs.  My hands look like a 70-year-old’s for some reason, and my feet are all kinds of Hobbity after not having a car for three months and walking everywhere.  And I unequivocally do not give one single fuck.

I totally figured out female anatomy.  Alicia, when I lived with her in New York, started writing down all the weird ass names I was saying when referring to my body.  Here’s her very scientific, helpful diagram.  There will be a quiz.

Typical female.

A liberal arts degree is really handy when you’re poor.  Now, you COULD argue that shit MAKES you poor, and you wouldn’t be all that wrong.  But seriously, it’s coming in handy because you have to be fucking CREATIVE when you’re broke like I am.  Case in point:  for Christmas this year my friends and I came up with Hobo Christmas, wherein you find shit in the city to give as gifts.  Only rules are that you can’t rob a store and you can’t take something from someone who’s diligently trying to keep it.  Otherwise, all’s fair.  CREATIVITY RULES.

Hardware stores have a lot of weirdly-named shit.  For three months this summer I worked at a small hardware store, the kind that has a little bit of everything crammed into like 600 sq. ft. of space, and there is some funky stuff in there.  Steel nipples and bastard files – these are real things that I sold to grizzled old (mostly) dudes.  Half my fucking job there was not laughing.

Solo road trips are THE SHIT.  At some point this year I realized I’d never been on a road trip that was just me, for me, so I fucking did it.  Twice.  And it was awesome.  AWESOME.  I drove down to Richmond two times and stayed for about like 7 or 8 days total by myself.  That’s about 36 hours of highway driving with just me, a can of Coke, and hours of dancey/singing music and it was SO MUCH FUCKING FUN.  I love taking road trips with friends, but holy moly was it eye-opening to be alone for that long and in a new place.

Best new hobby:  fake band names.  All year I’ve been thinking up fake band names and putting them on my Facebook page, and it’s been pretty fun (for me, anyway).  Some favorites:  Hash Brown Riot, Spacklefuck, Spit Booze, Baconslap, Lady Bloodsqueeze, and Harvey Buttbone.

A lot of dudes that have beards should not have beards.  There’s an art to it, people.  Some ladies have faces that can wear bangs; some don’t.  Some dudes have cool beards; some don’t.  Just because there’s a lot of dudes in bands who have beards doesn’t mean all y’all should have beards.  Look in the mirror and figure it out.

If every dude looked like this guy we wouldn’t have this problem.

If I wasn’t a writer and an English instructor I’d totally be a truck driver.  First, solo road trips are cool, right?  Second, I drove this big moving truck through Boston rush hour traffic to Utica, NY to Richmond, VA and then all over the city and by the end of those 6 days I was like I LOVE DRIVING A BIG TRUCK.  Back-up plan:  CHECK.

The best haircut I’ve ever gotten was in my kitchen.  Seriously, remember how I was talking about being poor?  Yeah that means I don’t spend $80 on a haircut anymore, and I don’t fucking have to either.  This is what I look like right now, writing this post (and listening to Shirley Ellis, if you were wondering):

I like this hot mess.

My roommate Cath cuts my hair in our kitchen, and I cut my bangs in the bathroom.  I know other people do this kind of thing all the time, but a haircut was one of those things on my “Shit I’m Willing to Spend Money On” list, right there with cheese and sheets and pretty underwear.  NOT ANYMORE.

In the spirit of the new year, and just as a side effect of writing this post, I came up with some resolutions too.  Which I never do.  But I did this time.  Because 2014 is going to be FUCKING MATHEMATICAL.

  • Do one really cool piece of graffiti.
  • Reread On the Road and finish it this time and see if I still think it sucks.
  • Take apart a small motor and put it back together.
  • Listen to a lot of metal and see if I like it.
  • Write a rap and make a video and put it on YouTube.
  • Get a stranger to play a game with me in public.
  • Continue ignoring Pinterest.
  • Write a story about vampires vs. werewolves and set it in space.
  • Play more harmonica.
  • Get a moped or small motorcycle and doodle all around town.

Here’s to 2014, you lovely people!

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I Need a Dog and maybe a Cooler Vibrator.

I am fucking DONE with dating.  I’ve been saying how sucky I am at dating all year, and it’s been proven to be so insanely MEGA TRUE, but that’s not why I’m stopping.  Truth is, I’m tired.  TIRED.  The whole thing is so exhausting!  All the planning, thinking, guessing, trying…and for what?  An awkward hug?  Maybe a super hot make-out one time and then never hearing from them again?  Or just a creepy silent ninja dance to get out of their apartment before they wake up and start needing something from you?  I’ve been trying this shit out for 10 months and even with the relative calm that was my lovely summer ladyfriend it’s just getting stupid.

HOW DO YOU PEOPLE DO THIS FOR YEARS?!?!!  Seriously, I want to give you a trophy.  Or a hug.  Or maybe just a pizza and an electric blanket and a copy of Duck Soup and a pillow fort (or maybe I’m just projecting, because I TOTALLY want all of that in my bed right now).

And Richmond.  RICHMOND.  YOU ARE KILLING ME.  The combination of me being new here and this being such a drinking town is going to be the actual for real death of me.  It usually goes like this:

I’m out at a bar or a show. Someone strikes up a conversation.  YAY for talking to strangers!  They ask where I’m from (yes, still have an accent even in this Southern town), and I say Alabama via New York.  Then, and this just SLAYS me, they tell me how incestuous this place is, how small the town and everyone’s dated everyone, and THEN they ask if they can buy me a drink.  So, after just saying how they’ve basically fucked through all the fuckable women here and warned me about it, they hit on me.


Now I’m sure these people are super nice and awesome and great, but it’s just starting to wear a little thin, even though it’s only been a month.  And even that nonwithstanding, it’s just getting to be too much.  Case in point:  literally a week ago I got hit on twice in the same night using THE SAME LINE, once from a 60-year-old (YES FUCKING SIXTY YEARS OF HUMAN AGE) and a 26-year-old who were both like “I remember you from the other night, lady I don’t know.”


But I did end up having two interesting conversations that night so that wasn’t a total wash, truthfully.

And, again, it’s like I already have a history here even though ONE MONTH ONLY.  In the same stupid crappy week I had a text fight with Mean Ex, in which he called me a stupid bitch, I called him an immature asshole, and we both told the other to fuck off.  FUN.  This all happened as I was coming to the realization that The Boy I Liked was blowing me off, either because he’s busy (wrong) or there’s something about me he’s just not digging super hard (bingo).  Either way, the verdict’s the same:  that’s too bad.

Or maybe it’s kind of fortunate, because I really seriously am just WORE SLAP OUT.  I mean, that is a lot of shit for just a few weeks, right?  I was lying in bed with my pillow boyfriend Steve (who never lets a bitch down) and I just thought, you know, all this energy and time I spend thinking about this crap could be parlayed into something better, or at least something more productive.  I could take up running, volunteer with kids or animals or old people, write a novel, stop smoking.  I mean, I probably will just end up pacing on my porch more often, chain smoking and reading Bukowski (I’m in a mood, people), but I’m just saying I COULD be doing those other things.  I do swear I’ll try to stop making stink eyes at couples holding hands and kissing on street corners, though.  Maybe.

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New Girl’s Guide to Dealing with Hobos

Call me insensitive, but one of the things I’ve noticed most about Richmond is how often people will hit you up for…something.  Money, or cigarettes, or just that verbal noise of being all HEY BABY YEAH BABY YES YOU.  I’ve been here about three weeks and two hobos (I’m using this to mean anyone who’s harassing me in this way) ((also I like calling people hobos)) have asked me to marry them.

They don’t seem to care about my long explanations of why I’ll never get married again and how it’s an institution and we’d have to find a good place for that shopping buggy in my house and what a mess THAT would be.

So when you want to just go about your business without talking much to people, this is what you do:

1.  Never ever ever EVER smoke in public.

Because bitches will be hitting you up CONSTANTLY for cigarettes.  Like, more often than money.  No one seems to believe me when I say I’m at least as poor as they are right now (not kidding), but I don’t blame them.  I still look pretty goddamn FIERCE, wearing all my clothes from when I had money and shit.


PS – Take all the cigarette butts you want.  I know that sounds mean, but people ASK ME FOR THAT SHIT so, um, take them.  Just don’t steal my porch chairs.  Or sleep there.

2.  Eye contact is frowned upon.  Mostly that equals Cath frowning at me.

We were downtown waiting for the bus and this dude walked by wearing double jeans, which was one pair pulled up like normal around his waist and another pair worn slacker-style down under his butt.  So of course I said “DOUBLE JEANS!” and he turned around and Cath started muttering at me under her breath because YES he asked us for a cigarette and YES HE DID tell us we were “so so pretty girl” and YES I WAS WRONG TO SAY ANYTHING.  Sometimes it’s fun talking to people.  Sometimes your roommate gives you lectures about how you’re going to straight up DIE IN THE CITY if you don’t start acting like YOU LIVE IN A CITY NOW FOOL.

3.  If you’re pretty sure that dude shambling toward you at 3 AM is a zombie, pull out your knife.

So, two stories.  Number one:  I got a knife.  I went into Pleasant’s Hardware and asked a woman to help me pick out a knife, a scary-looking cheap one so when I pull that shit out people are like LOOK AT THIS CRAZY ASSHOLE.  She calls me Switchblade Annie when I see her now.

Number two:  The other night I had another one of those “I want to feel fucked up because my dad died” nights which basically consisted of me getting drunk enough to feel sad and walking home really late.  I came up on this dude who was in some alley, like really slowly shuffling along, and I got IRRATIONALLY TERRIFIED AND CONVINCED HE WAS A ZOMBIE.  So you can be damn sure I pulled out that fucking knife and powerwalked home, both completely aware that NO ZOMBIE but also completely sure that YES ZOMBIE.

Run away from those crazy eyes!


4.  Make a Scarebo.

We haven’t done this – YET – but as it gets colder we’re worried about people sleeping on our porch OR IN OUR FOYER BECAUSE THE ACTUAL FRONT DOOR DOESN’T LOCK.  That shit has already happened, babies.  I KNOW.  So we thought maybe we should make a decoy hobo and lay its ass on our porch at night so it looks like there’s no room at the inn.  I don’t know.

5.  Stop looking so goddamn nice all the time.

I’m kidding.  I can’t do that.  I have this kind of face that gets asked for directions all the time, or, you know, marriage/smokes/food/money/EVERYTHING UNDER THE FUCKING SUN but I don’t think that’s gonna change for me.  Cath does a crazy good “go away” face, but she lived in Boston for three years.  She got in a ton of practice.

This is obviously going to be a work in progress, as I get more used to being here and walking around and getting harassed.  I do have to say that these people, being fairly Southern, are at least polite when they ask me for my shit.

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