I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, Kiss me harder, and You’re a good person, and, You brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible.
Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.
Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.
But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.
And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.
We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.
We never know when the bus is coming."
I’ll never punish my daughter for saying no.
The first time it comes out of her mouth, I’ll smile gleefully. As she repeats “No! No! No!” I’ll laugh, overjoyed. At a young age, she’ll have mastered a wonderful skill. A skill I’m still trying to learn. I know I’ll have to teach her that she has to eat her vegetables, and she has to take a nap. But “No” is not wrong. It is not disobedience.
1. She will know her feelings are valid.
2. She will know that when I no longer guide her, she still has a right to refuse.
The first time a boy pulls her hair after she says no, and the teacher tells her “boys will be boys,” we will go to her together, and explain that my daughter’s body is not a public amenity. That boy isn’t teasing her because he likes her, he is harassing her because it is allowed. I will not reinforce that opinion. If my son can understand that “no means no” so can everyone else’s.
3. She owes no one her silence, her time, or her cooperation.
The first time she tells a teacher, “No, that is wrong,” and proceeds to correct his public school, biased rhetoric, I’ll revel in the fact that she knows her history; that she knows our history. The first time she tells me “No” with the purpose and authority that each adult is entitled, I will stop. I will apologize. I will listen.
4. She is entitled to her feelings and her space. I, even a a parent, have no right to violate them.
5. No one has a right to violate them.
The first time my mother questions why I won’t make her kiss my great aunt at Christmas, I’ll explain that her space isn’t mine to control. That she gains nothing but self doubt when she is forced into unwanted affection. I’ll explain that “no” is a complete sentence. When the rest of my family questions why she is not made to wear a dress to our reunion dinner. I will explain that her expression is her own. It provides no growth to force her into unnecessary and unwanted situation.
6. She is entitled to her expression.
When my daughter leaves my home, and learns that the world is not as open, caring, and supportive as her mother, she will be prepared. She will know that she can return if she wishes, that the real world can wait. She will not want to. She will not need to. I will have prepared her, as much as I can, for a world that will try to push her down at every turn.
7. She is her own person. She is complete as she is.
I will never punish my daughter for saying no. I want “No” to be a familiar friend. I never want her to feel that she cannot say it. She will know how to call on “No” whenever it is needed, or wanted."
1. Date a boy who makes you happy, but marry him only if he makes you laugh deep-belly rumbles that hurt your ribs as they expand outwards. Date him when he sees that you’re hurting and he gives you a moment to feel that pain like a handprint spreading across your consciousness, marry him only if he can make you smile even while you’re gross sobbing. The world is not a kind place. You will feel a lot of pain. Make sure you are with someone who makes it all bearable. Humor is an excellent gauge of intelligence. Life gets boring. Find someone who makes the banal interesting.
2. Make sure he has scars on the back of his hands, it’s a good sign he has experience either fighting or making things - creation is an act of selflessness and bruised knuckles are a good sign he knows how to defend himself. You’ve got too much soul to be handled by someone who has never been passionate. If he’s never thrown a punch, let him at least have tasted the insanity of bringing an idea into existence. Rough palms are better than soft ones, they have been salted by this earth and made into leather. Callouses are evidence he has lived, that he has broken skin and been in pain over and over and over again and still came back to the source of it. People rub against each other. Don’t marry him if he can’t handle even a little blister.
3. Before you say yes, get him angry. See him scared, see him wanting,see him sick. Stress changes a person. Find out if he drinks and if he does, get him drunk - you’ll learn more about his sober thoughts. Discover his addictions. See if he puts you in front of them. You can’t change people, baby girl. If they are made one way, it doesn’t just wear off. If you hate how he acts when he’s out of it now, you’re going to hate it much worse eight years down the road. You might love him to bits but it doesn’t change that some people just don’t fit.
4. Trust your instincts. If he ever makes you feel unsafe, don’t make excuses, just get up and leave. That’s all there is to it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. If he puts money before you, he’ll keep pushing you to the bottom of the pile until you become his last priority. It’s one thing if he can’t afford what you want, it’s another if he has the cash but won’t spring for a box of chicken mcnuggets. Money and love are arch enemies. 62% of divorces occur due to economic strain. Make sure keeping you is more important than his 401k.
6. How a man treats animals is a good indicator of how he treats children. If you see him raise a hand to a dog, pack your things into a little black bag. Animals at their worst are only half as annoying as a toddler on their best behaviour. Your kids will be beautiful, but they will also misbehave. Same goes for waiters and hotel maids - if he’s rude to those who are working for minimum wage, it says a lot about how he sees himself. Patience is rare and so important. If he’s not forgiving to a dog, he’s not good for your kids.
7. If he isn’t in awe of you, he doesn’t deserve you. You are my little girl and you were born perfect. If he can’t see that, it’s his loss. There is someone who thinks your flaws power his heart. Be strong. If he asks you to change, be like like rock of your birthstone, do not waver. You are wondrous just the way that you are."