Thought Catalog


22 Terrifying Stories Of Psycho Exes That Prove How Crazy Love Can Make Some People

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 10:31 AM PDT

kimasch3
kimasch3

1. "I had an ex-boyfriend who managed to carve a 3-foot heart-shaped hole into the plaster of my attic wall. It would have been funny and kind of sweet, if I hadn’t broken up with him the week before. I still don’t know how he got in the house."

beetlejuice

2. "Broke up with one that I had lived with in college, I get home and my German Shepherd’s whole ass is shaved bare, with a note on the counter that says, 'Glad you know what’s MOST important in your life.' Fuckin’ broad turned nuts after we ended, she was fine though while we were together."

beetlejuice

3. "My ex cheated on me with a prostitute, 3 days before our 2yr anniversary, on my spare mattress I had at his house, and filmed it. That’s how I found out. Asshole."

beetlejuice

4. "Ex-girlfriend tried to hit me with her car. Chased me down an alley in which a fence too high to jump was on one side and condos on the other. Proceeded to call me next day at work and tell me that I looked like a sexy cheetah running away from her car."

beetlejuice

5. "I had an ex who came at me with a carving knife once. He was a drunkard and wanted to kill me because I’d broken the glass in our back door window; I actually broke the glass with my shoulder, because he was chasing me with a razor blade at the time…his sick idea of a joke or pervy sex, I think? Another time I came home from my mum’s house, and same said boyfriend was jacking-up with my insulin, because he’d lost all his money on the horses. Silly me called an ambulance; I often wished I hadn’t over the years until I finally had the guts to leave him."

beetlejuice

6. "Two years after I ended things, she attempted to contact me again. I wasn’t having it. After a few failed attempts, she sent another message that said, 'You better find your God now because I’m going to fucking murder you.'"

beetlejuice

7. "He found out about my new boyfriend and showed up at my work and caused a huge scene calling me a whore and a cheater and then left….When I got home he was waiting for me in my room and pushed me into my door and choked me….I told him he better leave or I was either calling the cops or my brothers and he better hope it was the cops because my brothers would probably be worse (I should have called both, but didn’t). He then started to harass me, stalk me & somehow got my new number….He was dating a new girl and sent me a video of her giving him head. It was so disturbing….Then he got a tattoo of me and sent me a picture of it….He still has that tattoo too. He’s now married….I wonder what his wife thinks."

beetlejuice

8. "A couple of years ago it was coming to the end of the relationship and this girl was quite clingy and dependent on me which is one thing I hate I suppose I should have seen how unstable she was well when I broke up with her it broke her mind and started with all of the traditional stalker stuff until I was leaving the house for work in the morning to find a 'gift' she had left me it was an eviscerated dog well I was afraid at this point if she’s ballsy enough to cut up a dog on my doorstep she’s unstable enough to come after me I decided to get the police and courts involved she’s ok now after a few months of suicide watch therapy and a stint in prison for cutting open the dog and spreading it over my doorstep."

beetlejuice

9. "Among many other bizarre and nutty things, my crazy ex-husband tells our 5-yr-old autistic son that Jesus gave him his gun. I thought to myself that my son must have misunderstood something. So, the opportunity arose tonight to clear the air. My son brought it up in front of his Dad (because he gets stuck on subjects and repeats things over and over). I commented gently to my son, and in front of Dad, that Jesus does not give people guns. I went on to say that people buy guns if they choose to, but that Jesus has nothing to do with it….Dad flips out and threatens to take me to Court because he said that the Bible says that we have the right to bear arms. I’m guessing he doesn’t know the difference between the Bible and the Constitution and obviously doesn’t understand causes of action. Having to deal with his stupid ass every couple of days is just freaking Awesome!"

beetlejuice

10. "I broke up with my ex-girlfriend because I found out she was cheating on me. I broke up with her and she jumped on my face crying, scratched the **** out of my face, grabbed ahold of my leg crying and begged be not to break up with her, she treated me like **** though, always went out to the bars behind my back and whatnot, I treated her like a queen, she attacked me several times though."

beetlejuice

11. "I’d had enough; I started packing my things and called my friend’s dad to pick me up. When he got here my ex threw a recliner chair off the balcony and nearly missed his car. They started yelling at each other and then my ex went inside and started loading his gun. That's when they called the cops and when they came they were rough on him….Next thing I know I'm getting calls and texts all night saying he's going to kill himself….I think I have every reason to be scared because the only time my ex will actually do anything is at night when I'm home alone and he's at work."

beetlejuice

12. "Second ex-girlfriend was waiting for me in the living room about 4 days after we broke up. I forgot she had the second key to my apartment. She had a cup of wine in her hand and a fucking knife. I fucking ran for my life and called the police. They got there in time and arrested her. Pants were shat on."

beetlejuice

13. "My ex threated suicide all the time. I called 911 a few times to report it and they would show up at his house and he was totally fine and acted like he had no idea why I called. I finally wised up and moved 400 miles away to get rid of him. One night I got a call from a cop telling me I needed to leave him alone and give him space bc he was going through a hard time. I’m still not sure how not speaking to him and moving away wasn’t giving him space and leaving him alone. They ended up taking him to a psychiatric hospital that night and he stayed for a few weeks. Good times."

beetlejuice

14. "My high school 'girlfriend' told me she had cancer after our first date. She asked me not to tell anyone and that her parents got really upset if it was mentioned so to not talk about it with anyone. I dated her for six months. She turned herself anorexic to appear 'sickly.' Once I started making friends, no one understood why I was with her and I kept her secret. Well, I finally put two and two together after she told me she was going in for chemo on a Monday. She said she wasn’t going to be at school for at least a week. I caught her trying to hide from me before the first class and asked her how her chemo went. She said it went so well and that all her hair fell out but they sewed it all together and sewed the wig to her head. Yeah….She was a special one."

beetlejuice

 15. "I had an ex go nuts when we got stationed six hours apart. He would call all day and be pissed when I didn’t answer. (I was at work and no cell phones were allowed in the explosive area.) He would walk around the second floor of the barracks and spy on me, but text that he was still driving. I took leave to go visit my family, he surprised me by buying himself a ticket to come visit, uninvited, and after only 2 months of dating. But the worst thing he did TRIGGER he faked his own suicide, sent me pics of his bloody slit wrists and left a voicemail saying, “bye honey, I’ll miss you.” End trigger. Turns out it was fake blood."

beetlejuice

16. "I leave work and the car is TOTALED, the ****** drove into it with her truck and pinned it to the building I work at. Police were called, charges were being pressed because it was caught on our cameras. The day after our hearing she breaks into my home and attacks me with my own golf clubs all while blaming me for ruining her life with this other woman. More court ensued and she’s barely allowed in the same TOWN as me now."

beetlejuice

 17. "My ex had serious issues with depression and OCD that he self-medicated with alcohol and Valium. There’s a bunch but the straw that broke the camel’s back:

"I was out with friends one night. He decided that throwing beer bottles against the walls and walking on them was a good idea. Came back to the apartment the next morning and there was blood everywhere. I mean everywhere. It looked like someone had been slaughtered. I will never, ever forget the smell. I found him in the bedroom. It took me a while to wake him but as soon as I saw him stir and say something, I left. I got to work and some coworkers went to check on him and took him to the hospital. Later he asked me why I didn’t call an ambulance and what if he had died…. I told it was because I didn’t care if he lived or died. It was a hard awakening for me to know I had a feeling like a truly couldn’t care less about the life of another human being."

beetlejuice

18. "Sadly, the ex-gf who tried to stab me over eating the last can of beef ravioli wasn’t the first attempt on my life by a girlfriend. I also had a girlfriend in high school try to run me over because she thought I was cheating. She confronted me in her car because she heard a girl talk about how she wanted to get with me, which naturally meant I was cheating. I let her know I wasn’t and informed her she was acting a little crazy. Her response was to slap the sunglasses off my face (causing a 4-inch-long cut from my nose to my cheek) and telling me to get out of her car. Naturally I did. I start to walk off and hear the car engine revving, turn around, and see a nice muscle car aimed at me doing a good 30mph. Luckily there were concrete pillars (quite popular on Air Force bases) a few feet from me, and I was able to jump over one before she got to me. Naturally, the relationship ended there. Funny side story, I never cheated on her. Turns out she cheated on me twice."

beetlejuice

 19. "I came home from work one night at the dog food plant (gag, worst job ever.) And hear sobbing from the back room. I was use to his drunky-drunk crybaby episodes by then, and honestly not in the mood to be a good supporting gf and go comfort him, and baby him, and all that jazz. But I decided to do so anyways. After all maybe he would pass out sooner then, and I would get sleep before going to my 2nd job.

"I opened the backroom door, and there is ex spread eagle on the floor wearing my very 1990s prom/bridesmaid dress, with lipstick smeared down his chin, sobbing over pictures of MY high school prom, and year books, and pictures of MY cousin’s wedding, blubbering like a demented hairy fat Ken doll that “She just didn’t love you enough, you just don’t love me enough either!”

"Ripped open box of wine with the empty plastic inserts we’re laying around, a ice cream bucket full of wine, and nail polish, lip stick, magic markers were spilled, smeared and thrown all over. And the empty fish bowl I used to just toss change in was filled with what looked like piss.

"I really should have called 911 or something, but I was young and dumb. And not a good person. I just closed the door and went to my bff’s to sleep on her couch."

beetlejuice

20. "I hadn’t talked to my ex in a few months and thought I would never hear from her again, I was wrong. While I am in another city with my girlfriend I get a phone call….My ex DESTROYED my poor beamer, smashed in the back and side windows, threw multiple glass alcohol bottles at it and in it, threw rocks, etc… After we catch her and she confessed to the police crying her excuse was I made her hate herself…WTF?! I need to note she left me! Crazy bitch! She did break her nose on my car after slipping on the ice… Karma is swift! She has to do a few hundred hours community service, probation, sued her for the $4,200 of damage, and she HAS TO WRITE ME AN APOLOGY! Haha."

beetlejuice

21. "I had an abusive boyfriend in high school who literally body-slammed me on concrete once (among many other altercations). I broke up with him and had to get a restraining order. I moved out of town not long after. FF 13 years and he finds me on Facebook (I hadn’t seen or spoken to him at all in that 13 years) and proceeds to cyber stalk me and harass my boyfriend. Threatened to kill him and everything. Even said the typical “if I can’t have you nobody can” line. Huge red flag! We blocked him on all social media and a week later get a call from from old friend. He said that the ex stalker boyfriend was dead and that his mom was looking for me. Well, my interest was piqued, so I called her. Turns out he had committed suicide and left in his letter that all he ever wanted was to be with me and since I’m married he had no reason to live. His mom said he only dated one girl in that 13 years and her first name was the same as mine. Apparently he had never gotten over me and looking back every time he abused me it was right after I would attempt to break up with him. I know this sounds cold, but I’m glad he’s gone. He’s the type that would find where I live and hurt my kid or husband to hurt me."

beetlejuice

22. "My ex-girlfriend polished off a relationship of two and a half years by trying to rape me, twice, at knifepoint, after threatening suicide, also at knifepoint, then broke up with me over the phone the next day and, the day after that, showed up at the crummy, little dive we both worked at, with the fellow she’d been cheating on me with the past three weeks (her 3rd strike, infidelity-wise), insisting we all have breakfast together, like nothing happened." TC mark

13 Women Describe What Their Boyfriend’s Penis Tastes Like

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 10:26 AM PDT

damerogue
Twenty20, damerogue

1. Sausages

“It seems too good to be true, but there’s definitely a hint of crispy grilled sausage to my boyfriend’s penis. I’ve always been a whore for delicious breakfast foods, so I plant my face in his crotch every chance I get. He thinks I’m a goddess of a girlfriend, obviously.”

— Jessica, 23

beetlejuice

2. Medicine and rain

“During the first three months of dating, whenever I went down on my boyfriend I would get a flashback to the summer when I was thirteen and I got really sick and had to take this weird medicine because he tasted like a slightly watered down version of it. If I hadn't figured out that it was the soap he was using and replaced it immediately, we probably wouldn’t be together anymore. Now he tastes like rain and it’s amazing.”

— Maddie, 20

beetlejuice

3. Gerbils

“Every time I lick my boyfriend's balls, I think of the three gerbils I owned as a kid until they escaped one night. My man tastes just like my pets’ cage smelled and you might think that would turn me off but it totally doesn't. I must be in love, right?”

— Sandra, 21

beetlejuice

4. A juicy plum

“My boyfriend doesn't eat fruit, but his penis tastes distinctly like a ripened plum. When he comes, it’s like I’m swallowing a sample shot of a protein shake with just a bit of fruit flavoring. I’ve tongued a lot of cocks in my day, so I know firsthand that it could be a lot worse. I should really hold onto this one, huh.”

— Emma, 23

beetlejuice

5. Armpits

“I once licked my best friend’s armpit on a dare in middle school and that's what my current boyfriend's penis tastes like. As you can imagine, I'm not the biggest fan of giving him head. Not sure how long our relationship will last if I don’t find a way to stop myself from dry heaving after every time I mouth his dick. Maybe there’s some kind of genital deodorant out there…”

— Kayley, 21

beetlejuice

6. The gym

“I’m in a relationship with a star athlete at school and his balls are always a little sweaty, even right after he showers. If I sniff my hand after I've been rubbing his junk, it smells exactly like it tastes: part gym and part locker room with a dash of damp, sweaty towel. Hot.”

— Natasha, 20

beetlejuice

7. Grass clippings

You know that smell that lingers in the air on a hot summer day after the lawn gets moved? That's what penis tastes like to me. I’ve only had one serious boyfriend so my experience is limited, but I can honestly say I like sucking dick as much as I like a tall glass of lemonade, or a strawberry popsicle.

— Cate, 25

beetlejuice

8. Feet

“My boyfriend is a clean person. He actually showers twice a day, which is more than I can say for myself. But his package tastes like dirty feet. Still deciding how to tackle this one. For the first time in my life, I understand why people ghost.”

— Mary, 34

beetlejuice

9. A barn

“I live in a major West Coast city but I grew up on a farm and my boyfriend's penis tastes exactly like a barn. It’s kind of nice because oral reminds me so much of home. There’s no place like penis, I guess you could say!”

— Pamela, 28

beetlejuice

10. My favorite spicy chicken salad

“I'm obsessed with this spicy Thai chicken salad they make at the deli down the street and sometimes I have to wonder if I fell for my boyfriend purely because his penis tastes exactly like it. I mean, yum. The only downside is that I have to remind myself not to bite while I’m down there.”

— Tatiana, 26

beetlejuice

11. Cologne

“I have this theory that my boyfriend spritzes his junk with cologne before we meet up because his penis tastes faintly of Polo Sport. A kind gesture, if you think about it, but I’d much rather deal with a non-perfumed cock. Once we hit the six month mark I'm going to have to say something ’cause this shit can’t go on.”

— Leandra, 27

beetlejuice

12. My grandparents’ attic

“There's a very specific musty smell to my boyfriend’s groin area that evokes my grandparents' attic without fail. I told him this the other day and we both decided never to talk about it again. I can either get past it, or break up with him. Torn.”

— Fabian, 24

beetlejuice

13. My elbow crease

“Sometimes I take a whiff of my elbow crease on the sly midday because it smells exactly like my boyfriend tastes. Weird, but true. If I’m quick enough and no one’s looking, I’ll lick myself there too.”

— Rory, 25 TC mark

#TeamZeroFucks: 9 Women Explain Why They Don’t Care About Men’s Opinions

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 10:28 AM PDT

thompsonlxs_
thompsonlxs_

1. “I went to an all-girls school for seven years, and it just never crossed my mind to consider men’s opinions to be more important than my own. The environment was super competitive and I was always encouraged to voice my own thoughts –– and that just carried into every aspect of my life now. I’ve never for a second contemplated asking for a man’s opinion before making a decision. Unless, maybe the one exception would be, if my decision also directly impacted him –– but it wouldn’t have anything to do with me valuing his input more because of his gender.” — Jessie, 24

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2. “No vagina? No need to hear your opinion about mine.” — Lisa, 22

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3. “I find that I’m most happy when I choose to live my life in the pursuit of my own interests, and not someone else’s, especially a man. I’m not going to pretend as though I’ve never done something solely for the purpose of seeking a man’s approval, but when I have, even if I temporarily win them over and gain the approval I was seeking, I feel a deep discontent. The happiest I feel is when I do something because I want to do it. For example, I think high waisted jeans are fantastic; they suck in my stomach and they make my ass look great, so when I read in a magazine that men find high waisted jeans unattractive or weird, I’m going to wear them regardless. High waisted jeans make me happy, and that’s what matters. That’s a lame metaphor for choosing my own happiness over a man’s, but it gets the point across all the same. I’m going to do me, and if a man approves, awesome, if not, oh well.” — Megan, 23

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4. “It’s tempting to care about what a man may or may not think about the way you dress, act, dance, or speak, but ultimately it’s a total waste of time. You have to focus on what you think and what you want—and the process of figuring that out shouldn’t be clouded by anyone else’s opinion, male or female. Other people’s opinions will distract you from figuring yourself out, so tune the noise out stat!” — Sara, 28

beetlejuice

5. “I’m pretty vocal about my thoughts and opinions when it comes to equality, and I feel that even with being a Black woman, it’s super important that I validate myself before I do so to others. Especially when it comes to men. And why not? I’m smart, I’m capable. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of men that are intimidated by that – but I’d rather be respected than unanimously liked for being complacent. To be frank, the idea of men’s opinions overriding that on a whim is insulting, and seriously pisses me off.” — Cameron, 22

beetlejuice

6. “My parents always encouraged me to learn things. They took me to every museum they could think of before I could even walk. But when I hit puberty I lost a lot of my intellectual curiosity. I remember my dad complaining that I used to have interests. He asked if I was trying to act dumb to get men. I don’t think it was that cut and dried, but I do think my interests changed a lot due to society’s tacit expectations.

I think men actually do want smart women. But we shouldn’t be smart for men. We should be smart because being outwardly focused is going to serve us so much better in the long run than reading about makeup and feelings and shit.” — Gwen, 28

beetlejuice

7. “Honestly, I am what some would call the modern “guys girl” – I hate that term – and let me tell you, I don’t know where the stereotype of girls having more feelings and being weaker than guys came from. Men are forever in their feelings and it is the most annoying thing to deal with so I have no clue why any woman in the world would consider some dude’s opinions more important than her own.” — Meg, 26

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8. “If I waited for a man’s approval before I made any decision or did anything, I would never get anywhere in life. I know a ton of men who are incredible, supportive, and of the mindset that we are totally equal. But I also know some who, although they don’t necessarily say it, act as if we’re on two separate levels. So I’m not just gonna sit around and wait for them to give me approval. Instead, I’m going to do whatever I want, and make them see that underestimating me was a. big. mistake.” — Lori, 24

beetlejuice

9. “I don’t know why men always feel the need to offer their opinion. They literally think everything you say and do is for them, so they should tell you when they don’t like it. But no one lives for other people. Our actions are always about ourselves and what we want. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not.” — Chelsea, 30 TC mark

10 Things Mulder Would Mistake For X-Files In 2015

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 06:08 AM PDT

Flickr / Televisione Streaming
Flickr / Televisione Streaming

Thirteen years after Mulder and Scully bid farewell to The X-Files, Fox announced that the Internet's favorite supernatural crime-fighting duo would return for a six episode mini reboot. The revival, set in 2016, hopes to explore the pair's post-FBI lives through a collection of mythology-heavy and standalone episodes. It's been over a decade since Mulder and Scully signed off and in that time, the world has become a dramatically different place, filled with new technologies, corrupt politicians, and inexplicably popular celebrity families. How would Mulder react to these changes? What sort of things might Mulder mistake for an X-File in 2015? Well, to start…

1. Siri

An iOS application developed by an electronics company that uses sophisticated technology to assist users in completing everyday tasks? Or a woman's spirit trapped within the mechanism by Apple, who is using human souls to create the most effective device on the market? Or perhaps a hyper-intelligent robot programmed to monitor iPhone users and gauge their knowledge of top-secret government initiatives? Mulder is open-minded about a lot of things, but I can't imagine that a handheld gadget that we talk to and carry around in our pockets is one of them.

2. Drones

Mulder would have a field day with these puppies. Whether they're military drones created for the purpose of spying on other countries or commercial drones used to deliver king-sized candy bars in 30 minutes or less, Fox would definitely take an interest in these flying, spidery machines, probably after accidentally mistaking one for a UFO.

3. Amazon's "Recommended for You" feature

Mulder: How does Amazon know I like sunflower seeds, Scully?

Scully: If I had to guess, I'd say that they use some sort of algorithm to determine a user's interests based off of their purchase history and browsing patterns.

Mulder: But look here, it's recommending Morley cigarettes. That's the same brand that the Smoking Man uses! Why would that show up on my "recommended items" if I've only searched for those cigarettes one time?

Scully: Mulder, you're not suggesting that the FBI is monitoring your Amazon history? That would be a waste of government resources, and for what? To figure out what your favorite snack is?

I could go all day.

4. Criss Angel

There is a fine line between "magic" and "supernatural abilities." At least, in Fox Mulder's mind. The controversial magician and television personality is known for expertly tricking the public and pulling off seemingly impossible stunts. While some of Angel's tricks may be easy to debunk, others would likely leave Mulder scrambling for a plausible explanation.

5. Photoshopped pictures on the Internet

Say what you want about Fox Mulder, but he is a pretty smart guy. He graduated at the top of his class at Oxford and was one of the best agents at the Academy before he joined the X-Files and became Spooky Mulder. However, his determination to uncover the truth can cloud his perception, as Scully would be quick to point out. This would make him the perfect victim for all of those Photoshop or YouTube pranks on the Internet. He's been duped by doctored photos before (Season 1, Episode 17 for example), so I see nothing stopping some graphic design major from pulling the wool over his eyes with some fake Loch Ness monster photo or spaceship snapshot.

6. The cat video phenomena

To most people, the world's obsession with cat videos seems only natural. Cute cats plus user-friendly video platform equals a claw-some Internet trend. To Mulder, though, it may seem like a clever form of brainwashing. I'd bet money that he has at least one folder on his computer dedicated to kitten videos that he believes are layered with subliminal messages. "Cats are great! Humans aren't. KILL 'EM ALL."

7. Extra nipples

No matter how many times Scully will tell Mulder that extra nipples are medical anomalies, he will insist that they are, in fact, alien tracking devices surgically inserted into babies by government doctors. "So you're telling me that some humans are just randomly born with a build-up of extra skin cells that serve no greater purpose than to embarrass them on beach trips and at pool parties? I think you're missing the bigger picture, Scully."

8. Autotune

Autotune may be used to correct Nicki Minaj's pitch problems but it could also be used to disguise the voice of a government agent who is threatening to shut down the X-Files. Not to mention, it sounds eerily similar to the unidentified "alien" transmissions that the FBI has worked so hard to cover up. Who's to say that autotune isn't a sinister government tool that uses alien technology to infiltrate our culture?

9. Northern Lights

You see streaks of light in the sky caused by the collision of gaseous particles in the atmosphere. Mulder sees luminous spaceship discharge. Of course, the Northern Lights have been around for awhile, but I can see Mulder vocalizing his doubts about this phenomena well into 2015.

10. Pink Slime

The X-Files owes its popularity to unexplained goo. At least, in part. Many of its episodes are centered around unidentified blobs or substances, so it's only fitting that Mulder would see reports of "pink slime" (AKA the "textured beef" that they serve in public schools) and automatically assume paranormal involvement. Honestly, I wouldn't disagree with him there. TC mark

This Is The Most Underrated Lesson You Should Learn In Your Twenties

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 04:24 PM PDT

Twenty20
Twenty20

This year will probably be known among my group of friends as The Year of The Wedding. From late April to this past weekend in September, it seemed like every other weekend, I was celebrating somebody’s nuptials.

In the past and admittedly every so often, I have cringed at the relentless showcase of #shesaidyes and “He proposed!!!!” clouding up my social media. Aside from being more private than not in the context of romantic relationships, I find some things about the wedding industrial complex worthy of at the very least, fair criticism, if not entire condemnation.

In the rare instance I have chosen to voice my criticisms, it has been met with, “You’ll change your mind when it happens to you.” But I doubt it. If and when I am going to the altar – as someone who cherishes commitment, marriage, and holy matrimony, together and separately, I am going into it with some of my particular political (and cultural) beliefs and positions on issues. If I change my mind, I hope it is because I have also changed my positions.

We all pick and choose the things that we find worthy, and the things that make us roll our eyes.

But here’s the thing: I like weddings. Not only because I love a good party, but two people gathering folks they deem worthy of witnessing their love, and bringing them together to commemorate said love, is well, worth celebrating. And yes, this is true, even in the time of hashtagged love.

Of course we’re not just in a time of hashtagged love, but hashtagged friendships and hashtagged accomplishments, and really, a hashtagged life. We all pick and choose the things that we find worthy, and the things that make us roll our eyes. Most of these things, I think, have a tendency to reveal a little about who we are and what we want. If we’re honest, they also reveal our insecurities and fears from time to time. And honestly, that’s okay too.

But I realized a few weeks ago when I was dancing with a just married friend on her ceremonial dance floor how happy I was for her – and not just for her, but for all my friends who had been promising to make lifetime commitments in The Year of The Wedding. And as that thought crossed my mind, my friend was shouting something to me about how she had followed my public writing and academic work, and she was proud of me too.

True to form, I watered it down in the self-deprecating way I often do (and should probably stop doing), by telling her that promising some dude I would love him forever seemed way more daunting than research and writing. She insisted that anyone can get married but doing work that can leave your mark behind even in the smallest way possible, is meaningful. We agreed that both things are meaningful – that both things are worth celebrating.

We don't need to do what others are doing to appreciate the sacrifice they are making.

We both know that weddings are just the start of marriage – a splendid but demanding journey. Just like we both know that doing any work in which you want to make a difference and leave your mark, will also be challenging and potentially remarkable. One isn’t necessarily greater than the other; both are just different. Both, however, require sacrifice. Maybe that’s why we (ought to) celebrate both.

We don’t need to do what others are doing to appreciate the sacrifice they are making. We just need to understand that their accomplishments, their desires, the things that make them happy do not need to reflect us. In fact, oftentimes, they probably have little to do with us.

Yes, we have culture and community and we all create and participate in each other’s wants and desires, and lack thereof. But the older I get, the more I realize how vital it is to participate in your own life as much as possible – to follow your own path, and to choose the things that make you feel more like, you. But not only that, to have it in you to be authentically happy for those who make different choices than you.

But being on your own path doesn't it mean you can't cheer others on who are on a different path.

It is, I think, the most underrated lesson one can learn in their twenties. It also seems like the kind of lesson you’ll be learning throughout your lifetime. The lesson, however, allows you to recognize that whether someone chooses to study what they love at the highest level, or give up a lucrative career for a period of time to travel or for family, or move to a new city to pursue their dreams, or say, “I do” and share for all to see – or the vice versa of any of these and more, you need not compare your life to theirs.

Because you are on your own path. But being on your own path doesn’t mean you can’t cheer others on who are on a different path. Above all, this lesson gives you the freedom to be the best you while letting others be the best them too. And when the time comes, you celebrate each other because being the best when your best and my best are different, ceases to be the imaginary zero-sum game we all think we’re playing where the winner takes all. The game does not exist.

When you and I want different things and we can acknowledge we want different things, I can be at your finish lines and you can be at mine with an embrace and a smile saying, “I am happy for you.” TC mark

Do You Think ‘Mochi’ Is A Good Name For A Fat Pug?

Posted: 13 Sep 2015 09:13 PM PDT

Flickr / stu_spivack
Flickr / stu_spivack

I tried to do some writing at a café today with my fiancée — she had to write some paper for her Native American studies class, so we figured it was a nice idea. On our way there, she started complaining about how heavy her tote bag was. In her bag were her books and her laptop. (A Macbook Pro adds about 4.5 pounds to your bag.) It seems like a small amount, but to carry, say eight or nine pounds of material on one shoulder for a distance of up to 1.5 miles takes a toll on your shoulders. Hell, I feel my muscles burn when I carry my laundry bag across the street!

I asked her if she needed help carrying her bag. She said no. A little ways down the street, she said, “This bag is so heavy, I hate carrying this.” I assumed she wanted me to carry the bag, so I asked her again, but instead, she became upset with me. “No, I don’t want you carrying my bag,” she said.

A man standing in front of a barbershop greeted us hello.

The first café we tried was called Hungry Ghost. It was next to a Subway on Flatbush Avenue. No go. The tables were too small. We walked by Café Regular du Nord. Nope, just counterspace. We made it to Gorilla Coffee on the corner of Park Place. Finally! Places to sit. Once we sat down, though, we noticed there were no outlets to charge our computers. I figured, What the hell, we’re not going to sit around for two hours and write, so I ordered two large Americanos. (I believe this is why I’m still up at this hour.) But guess what! The internet didn’t work. Can you believe that nonsense? Was this some kind of joke being pulled on us? Three cafés and all basically struck out. We could’ve saved ourselves the trouble and stayed home, right? Ah, but thank goodness for Mobile Hotspots, because they came in handy this time.

I read a little bit more about Ray Dalio — apparently his fund lost a bunch of money. He says that there’s no safe place to put your money anymore. But what about the Fed? What about the rates? Tell us what you think is going to happen!

By the way, that MBA article I wrote, I don’t have an MBA. I’m probably never going to get an MBA. I don’t care if you have an MBA. That’s just the fact of it. I’m sorry if you haven’t found a job yet. Need some advice? Hook up with someone on LinkedIn. Try Meetup.com or Angel List. If you’re in New York City, subscribe to Gary’s Guide. Check out ER Accelerator, or even Founders At Fail. I don’t know, just meet as many people as you can. Tell you what, I’ll buy you frozen yogurt — which reminds me: we decided to get some frozen yogurt, so we walked up 5th Avenue in Park Slope.

Red Mango. Have you ever heard of such beautiful words come together? The marriage of two delicious words. Red and Mango. Self-serve. That’s another wonderful word. Another wonderful and beautiful combination of words: Rainbow cookies and mochi. Ah, but at this particular location, the rainbow cookies were cut up. Cut up! Who does this to rainbow cookies? Who cuts them up into bite-sized pieces? Tragic.

Walking home, I told Devon, when we adopt a dog, whenever that is, I’d like to name it Mochi, especially if it was a fat pug. She said that was cute. Mochi the fat fucking pug.

At the gym this morning, I wondered if I could email Ray Dalio and pick his brain about the work culture he was able to create. The idea that openness leads to creativity. This reminded me a lot of Larry Page, co-founder of Google. He advocated for an open work culture. Not just an open office, I think that came later, but I mean open criticisms and telling co-workers what you really think about their ideas. Did you know that? Google employees were encouraged to criticize your ideas. Strip it down, drill holes into it, and you’d have to take it all in. Leave your egos by the door, this is strictly a meeting about how valuable your ideas and creations are. Look at the two now. Ray Dalio is worth $15 billion. Larry Page is worth $29.2 billion. I mean, I’m not going to say their philosophies about aggressively critiquing and confronting their co-workers was the reason they became so successful, but in some weird way, it must’ve helped, right? Right? TC mark

An Open Letter To My Son

Posted: 13 Sep 2015 10:54 AM PDT

You.

Sometimes I wonder about you.

I wonder, for instance, where you came from. I understand the dry facts, of course, the complex mechanics of ovulation and ejaculation. I understand how cells divide, and then divide again, their numbers growing exponentially as seconds tick by. I know a thing or two about gametes and zygotes and embryos.

What I don't understand is how all of that made you.

The facts of your existence seem like they would be better explained by alchemy rather than biology. We made you out of nothing, or rather, we made you out of two randomly-selected bits of genetic code that we unintentionally sent slamming into each other deep in the darkest recesses of my body. And out of those tangled strands of DNA grew you, incredible, beautiful you, with your father's blue eyes and my heart-shaped mouth.

It feels more like magic than science, really.

I don't know that I believe in souls, but I do know that I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that there is now an entirely new, unique human being on this planet who has never been here before.

And I wonder how I managed to carry you for eight months inside of me without somehow fucking it up. I mean, this is me we're talking about here – the person who is totally incompetent when it comes to the most mundane, run-of-the-mill tasks. I can't swim or drive a car or even whistle properly, for God's sake, but somehow I made an entire kid from scratch? How does that even work?

I've spent two years watching you unfold from a scrunched up, red-faced, newborn cipher into something that's starting to bear a remarkable resemblance to a human being. You walk, you talk, you have feelings. You have preferences, even, very specific likes and dislikes that seem totally arbitrary to me. You have a sense of humour. You make jokes, on purpose, just to make me laugh.

You tell me that you love me and I wonder what you think that word means. At thirty, I'm still getting a handle on all of the possible interpretations of love, all of the implications and connotations that it might bring with it. I've learned to use the word cautiously, sparingly, oh-so-carefully, because those four innocent letters can be so incredibly loaded with meaning. But you, what do you know about meaning? You don't know anything, or at least certainly not enough to overthink things the way I do; you just love me.

And oh God I love you so much. So fucking much.

And I wonder, how on earth do I protect you? How do I keep you safe?

Like some poor, naïve fairytale mother, I'm trying to help you navigate your way through a forest that's by turns enchanted and haunted. The path is familiar, as if I walked it once years ago, but different, too; overgrown and seemingly impassable in some parts, and unexpectedly clear in others. And as we pick our way through the undergrowth, as we do our best not to trip on twisted roots and sharp stones, I try to remember the lessons I've learned from all folktales I used to know.

For example, I won't make the mistake that Sleeping Beauty's parents did when sending out invitations to her christening. Unlike them, I'll be sure to invite the dark fairy godmothers as well as the good ones, because I know that they'll come anyway, slipping in through back doors and lurking in corners where you least expect them. I'll let them give you their murky gifts in broad daylight, so that I can look them in the eye while they do so. Then I'll smile and thank them, recognizing that I have to let life give you the bad as well as the good.

And when I send you out into the world alone, as I know that I will someday have to, I'll give you something more substantial than bread crumbs with which to find your way back home.

And I won't make you go to your grandmother's house alone until I can be sure that you can tell the difference between an old woman and a wolf in a nightgown.

I look at you and wonder what will happen once I'm not there to navigate this forest path with you. I wonder what trolls and goblins and clever tricksters you'll have to face. Will your monsters look anything like mine?

I wonder what else I've passed on to you, along with the shape of my eyes, my love of books, and my brilliantly trenchant wit. What ticking little genetic time bombs lie dormant inside of you? My anxiety? My depression? The weird nail on my right big toe that turns black and falls off every winter?

If and when these things surface, what will I do?

Will I even be able to help you?

And how will I teach you about a world in which you, a white, middle class boy, will have more privilege than most?

And how do I teach you that it's your job, among other things, to give a hand up to those less privileged than you, when everything else around you will seem to be telling you to grab whatever you can and run with it?

And how do I teach you that you're allowed to cry, that you're allowed to feel afraid or weak or inadequate?

How I do I help you decode all of the toxic messages that the world will try to shove down your throat?

What I want for you most of all is a place of safety. I want our home to be a place where you feel safe making mistakes, a place where you have a healthy respect for but never a fear of consequences. I want you to feel safe being yourself, whoever that is. And above all, when you're out there, alone and afraid, I want you to know that you always have a safe place to come back to.

I will always love you, no matter what. TC mark

The Phrase ‘Life Goes On’ Is Garbage

Posted: 13 Sep 2015 02:54 AM PDT

The main problem with life is that it goes on. And on. And on.

People say that like it's supposed to comfort you. Like, if you don't get the job you wanted or your dog dies or the guy you're so smitten with just out of the blue stops calling, your mom or your friend or your boss will inevitably say, oh, well, life goes on. As if i's supposed to make you feel better, somehow, knowing that not only do you have to deal with this stupid bleeding heartache, but even while you gingerly nurse that hurt you still have to keep making your stumbling way through this magnificent/godawful old world.

Life goes on even after you've poisoned every good thing that's ever come your way. Life goes on after you've single-handedly destroyed every relationship that was important to you, as if you were on some kind of mission to prove just how unloveable a person can be. Life goes on after you've fucked around so much at work, knowing all the while that you're fucking around and hating yourself for it, that you face the very real risk of being fired. Life goes on, and you're left standing amid all the sad wreckage of your little self. Life goes on even on the days when you can't get out of bed. Life goes on especially on those days.

Life goes on after the good stuff, too. Like that walk home from the bar with your lover, when both of you were tipsy enough to find everything perfect and funny, even the things that were neither perfect nor funny. It was summer then, a real big city summer where daytime heat smashes you hard against the pavement, but that night was a sort of reprieve. The baking stillness of the day was gone, and there was a delicious breeze coming from somewhere, maybe the lake. The leaves on the trees were broad and green and made a soft shushing sound above you. The streetlights hazy, and the world smelled like fresh cut grass. You knew that when you got home you would fuck and eat junk food and watch cartoons and then fall asleep in a tangled pile like a pair of puppies.

It was the kind of moment that you feel nostalgic for even as you're living through it – you catch yourself mid-laugh and realize how happy you are, and then you instantly feel the sharp pang of longing for the thing you're still in the middle of experiencing.

But life goes on.

You don't get to hit pause or take a break from living. Even if you stay perfectly still and will everything around you to do the same, life still steamrollers over you. There's no chance to sit back and appraise the situation, no time to collect your wits or figure out what you're going to do next. You have to stay on your toes, you have to keep running, or else life will crush you. But even once you're crushed, life goes on.

I have such a deep ambivalence about living. Things are either painfully, frantically wonderful or else they're bitterly terrible. I love this world, but I love it with a suffocating zeal that can't possibly be maintained. I rarely ever seem to hit that balance of peaceful contentedness that other people seem to manage – I'm always running headlong into something, trying to create some feeling that would otherwise be lacking. And if I do somehow manage to hit that point of effortless happiness, I always manage to sabotage myself. I'm like Shiva, the destroyer of worlds, except that I'm Anne, the destroyer of boring, petty human lives.

Which isn't easy.

I mean, you really have to work hard to be this consistently vicious and miserable all of the time.

It's not that I want to be unhappy, it's just that my brain is an expert at leading me on these circuitous little journeys that always start out so promisingly but end with me stabbing myself in the back. I'm an ouroboros of anguish, both the giver and receiver of all my own pain. I'm hell-bent on being the wrecking ball that smashes through the wall of my own house. I'm all-the-other-semi-accurate-and-very-dramatic metaphors you can think of.

And, I mean, we could delve into all the reasons why I act this way, but frankly the story is long and unoriginal. Suffice to say that shit happened, some of it was my own fault, and now I'm here. The rest I'll save for my therapist.

Because life goes on and I'll have another therapy session this Wednesday and then I'll come home and crash into my bed and try to sleep but probably I won't be able to.

And then I'll get up and putter around the house and maybe wash the dishes or start dinner since life, of course, goes on.

I wish that I could wrap this post up on a hopeful note, maybe with a line of trite wisdom that you might find on a greeting card or in a particularly terrible self-help book. I want to be able to tell you that everything's going to be fine, that sure, life goes on, but it's all in what we make of it and we have to take the good with the bad and there are other fish in the sea. I wish I could tell you that I wasn't sitting here in a seething fury of fear and self-hatred, but that wouldn't be true. I wish I could tell you that I wasn't a self-indulgent, oversharing little brat, but. Well. Here we are.

The most that I can do is offer all of this up to you. Maybe you'll see some of yourself reflected here. Maybe a sentence or two will strike you as being quite true, in a way that you were never able to articulate before. Or maybe this will help you be more compassionate or some junk like that.

You, the people reading this, are the only thing that make these garbage essays about my garbage feelings worthwhile. Because you always seem to glean some kind of meaning from them, even when all I can see is a morass of bad prose. You're the way that I manage to justify bleeding this way all over the internet. You somehow make that bleeding important.

Against all odds, you give me hope. TC mark

12 Things Strong, Badass Women Do When They’re Confronted With A Challenge

Posted: 14 Sep 2015 09:00 AM PDT

We all know (and envy) that one woman who refuses to let life push her around. In the case of ABC's new show Quantico, that woman is Alex Parrish – an FBI trainee who isn't afraid of a challenge. In celebration of Quantico's premiere, we're doing an ongoing series on Thought Catalog – "The New Rules of Badass Women," beginning with a list of 12 things women like Alex do differently when they're confronted with a challenge. Needless to say, backing down isn't one of them.


1. They don't worry about who they're impressing–they're too busy getting things done. At the end of the day, they're the ones who have to live with their choices, so they make choices they can stand behind. And they're more interested in proving themselves right than proving others wrong.

Quantico's Alex Parrish knows that true strength means being ready to take on any challenge, no matter who might be watching.
Quantico's Alex Parrish knows that true strength means being ready to take on any challenge, no matter who might be watching.

2. They anticipate problems and rise to meet them with enthusiasm…because they know that nothing worth having comes easy. In the words of Alfred Montapert, they "expect problems and eat them for breakfast."

3. They separate the real problems from the petty drama. You won't find a badass woman hiding behind a corner because she ran into someone she went on one awkward date with. True bosses live by the rule that if it's not a serious issue, it's not an issue at all.

4. They acknowledge their weaknesses in order to work around them. They know that nobody's perfect, but that the only thing more powerful than a seemingly perfect person is a person who has nothing to hide.

5. They tell it like it is, wasting no time on passive aggression or wishy-washy suggestions. If they have an opinion about something, you'll know.

6. They aren't afraid to work for what they want, even when that work is unappealing, unglamorous, or just plain dull. In the effort to get the job done, they will roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty.

The FBI trainees in Quantico – like Nimah Amin – are constantly pushing themselves to be better.
The FBI trainees in Quantico – like Nimah Amin – are constantly pushing themselves to be better.

7. They take care of themselves first and foremost. Knowing that they can't go full-speed on an empty fuel tank, they pay attention to their own energy levels and don't feel guilty about taking time to recharge.

8. They fail intelligently. Rather than moping over what has gone wrong, they analyze what led them to the failure in the first place and focus on not repeating the same mistakes in the future.

9. They aren't afraid to ask for help when they need it. It's always the women who are the most confident in their own abilities who are the least ashamed of asking for help. They know that nobody succeeds in a vacuum, and that in order to achieve the best results, they may need some help. It's no big deal – after all, they'd jump at the chance to help out a friend in need.

10. They make room for emotion. The strongest women don't deny their emotional depth – they acknowledge and appreciate it. They know that no challenge presents itself without some emotional upset and they don't beat themselves up over those emotions. They simply deal with them as they come, all while keeping one eye on the task at hand.

11. Instead of hoping for good fortune, they make their own luck. They know that if they sit around and wait for the perfect situation to fall into their laps, they'll be waiting the rest of their lives. They go after success rather than letting it come to them and as a result, they collect it in abundance.

12. They rise to the occasion. Strong women know that there's a world of difference between the sentence, "I can't do that," and the sentence, "I can't do that yet." When they're up against a task they don't feel completely prepared for, they don't let that deter them from taking it on. They're confident in their ability to rise to the challenge at hand – and it's that same confidence that consistently allows them to meet it. TC mark

This post is brought to you by ABC's Quantico. Watch the series premiere Sunday, September 27 at 10|9c – only on ABC.

We Went Through Donald Trump’s Instagram And Pulled 21 Of His Most ‘Profound’ Quotes

Posted: 12 Sep 2015 01:55 PM PDT

1. "Love? Forget love, it's time to get tough."

2. "Never be a know-it-all. It's impossible to know everything it's just no fun."

3. "Paying attention is a cost effective way of protecting yourself."

4. "Don't put blinders on or limit yourself; reach out, seek, and explore."

5. "I've been telling everybody for a long time China's taking our jobs, they're taking our money. Be careful they'll bring us down. You have to know what you're doing. We have nobody that has a clue.”

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6. "One of the most important things that we've been talking about is protecting our veterans. We must protect and cherish and take care of our veterans.”

7. "So yesterday I announced I'm running for President. We're going to make America great again. Lots of fun. Make America great again.”

8. "Never allow your attitude to be a liability. Be positive and strong."

9. "Control the tempo and you can usually control the game."

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10. "Great leaders determine the teams they assemble."

11. "Ask yourself: What can I provide that does not yet exist?"

12. "Success is good. Success with significance is even better."

13. "Leverage: don't make deals without it."

14. "Entrepreneurs: whatever happens, you're responsible. If it doesn't happen, you're responsible."

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15. "If you really want to succeed, you'll have to go for it every day. The big time isn't for slackers. Keep your stamina and remain curious."

16. "Cover your bases. Know everything you can about what you're doing."

17. "Vision remains vision until you focus. Do the work, and bring it down to earth where it will do some good."

18. "Set the bar high — do the best possibly can."

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19. "Don't tread water. Get out there and go for it."

20. "Negotiation is an art. Treat it like one."

21. "Problems are a mind exercise. Enjoy the challenge." TC mark

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