Thought Catalog

15 Fun And Freaky Facts About Foreskins

Posted: 17 Nov 2015 07:00 PM PST

Flickr Karl Baron
Flickr Karl Baron


While you may have assumed that circumcised foreskins languish in a hospital dumpster before being eternally consigned to a landfill, the medical and cosmetics industries swoop down like buzzards on these discarded penile skin flaps and make money by using them to heal wrinkles and burns.

Newborn foreskins contain human growth factors that make them ideal for anti-wrinkle skin creams. Face creams that use baby foreskins include SkinMedica and HydraFacial. (source)

Baby foreskins are roughly the size of a postage stamp—yes, I guess someone actually took the time to measure one—but “can grow to the size of three basketball courts in less than a month” under the proper laboratory conditions. The skin is then used for grafts to aid in the healing of burn victims. (source)



What is known as the “foreskin” in males is called the “clitoral hood” in females. Both are designed to protect these pleasure centers from harm. If gender-neutral is your thang, both foreskins and clitoral hoods are known as prepuces.



An Egyptian bas-relief from 2400 B.C. depicts a flint-knife circumcision and is thought to be the earliest historical mention of foreskin removal. (source)



On average, 117 American boys die yearly from post-circumcision complications, most of them involving blood loss or infections. (source)



The average male foreskin contains 20,000 nerve endings. According to one study, the least sensitive part of the foreskin is more sensitive than the rest of the penis. During intercourse, the foreskin produces a “gliding action” that reduces friction and enhances lubrication. On the downside, having a foreskin feels so good that uncut men are more likely to develop premature ejaculation, a condition which will always be hilarious regardless of context. (source1) (source2)


Flickr velkr0
Flickr velkr0


According to an anti-circumcision group called Bloodstained Men, an “intactivist” is

Someone who believes that every child, regardless of their gender or parents’ beliefs, has the right to their intact genitals, as they’re born.

Other groups that see circumcision as a barbaric, unnecessary, and nonconsensual mutilation of infant genitals are Brothers United for Future Foreskins (BUFF) and National Organization of Restoring Men (NORM).

Flickr Bloodstained Men & Friends
Flickr Bloodstained Men & Friends



According to Dr. Brian Morris of the University of Sydney, uncircumcised men are fifty times more likely to develop penile cancer than men who’ve been “cut.” (source)

Intact foreskins contain what are known as Langerhans cells, which facilitate HIV transmission. As a result, uncircumcised men are 60% more likely to acquire HIV than men who’ve been snipped. (source)

Uncircumcised men can also develop a condition called phimosis in which the foreskin envelops the penis too tightly, which can lead to urine getting trapped in the foreskin and turning the entire shlong into a swollen pee balloon. (source)



Men who’ve been circumcised are nearly five times as likely to develop erectile dysfunction as those who’ve never undergone the tortures and torments of postpartum penile mutilation. They are also said to be 60% more likely to develop a psychological disorder known as alexithymia, which makes it difficult to express one’s emotions. (source)



On an episode of Seinfeld, Elaine admits to sleeping with an uncircumcised man. “It had no face, no personality,” she kvetches about his penis.

According to one woman, “I believe uncircumcised penises have a very off-putting odor!” Another says, “I’ve found that uncircumcised penises tend to have a stronger smell and more greasy/sweaty feel to them.” (source)



One US study found that 85% of women who’d had sex with both cut and uncut men preferred men with foreskins. One of the main reasons they offered is that foreskins aid in the production of that nasty excretory paste known as smegma, which acts as a natural lubricant. (source)

Other women find cut penises to be visually revolting: “I think circumcised penises look like mutilated, skinned mushrooms, and there’s that ugly scar on it,” gripes one foreskin-lovin’ lass. (source)



The 4-Skins were a quartet of London East Enders who played Oi! Music and were associated with the skinhead scene. I never met them, so I cannot confirm whether any of them retained their foreskins into adulthood.



John Harvey Kellogg loved corn flakes and hated teen masturbation. (Wikimedia Commons)
John Harvey Kellogg loved corn flakes and hated teen masturbation. (Wikimedia Commons)

John Harvey Kellogg—he of cereal fame—was intensely concerned about the fact that boys and girls all across America were furiously masturbating without his consent and approval. One of the methods he recommended for discouraging masturbation among uncircumcised boys was sewing their foreskins shut with a metal wire. (source)



Throughout much of the Christian era, rumors spread through Europe of a “Holy Foreskin” that had been clipped from Jesus at birth. The first reported Holy Foreskin sighting was in 800 A.D. when Emperor Charlemagne bequeathed the alleged divine prepuce to the Pope. According to an expert on Catholic relics, “Depending on what you read, there were eight, twelve, fourteen, or even 18 different holy foreskins in various European towns during the Middle Ages.” Perhaps they’d been multiplying like fishes and loaves. Embarrassed by the whole topic, in the year 1900 Pope Leo XIII ordered the immediate excommunication of any Catholic who even mentioned the Holy Foreskin. (source)



Foreskin restoration is all the rage among men who feel that they were cruelly, painfully, and unnecessarily mutilated as infants by a foreskin-phobic society. This can be accomplished surgically by using skin from the scrotum, which everyone can agree is an ugly human body part with an exceedingly ugly name. For those who prefer to take the natural route, a sometimes years-long process of stretching the skin both manually and with weights is known as “tugging.”



There’s an old joke about a rabbi who keeps all the foreskins from circumcisions he’s performed and makes them into a wallet. The rabbi’s friend remarks that it seems like he went through an awful lot of trouble just to make a wallet. “I know,” the rabbi replies, “but when you rub it, it turns into a suitcase.” TC mark

23 Signs You Have Absolutely Zero School Spirit

Posted: 17 Nov 2015 06:00 PM PST


1. You LOL at how seriously people take sporting events. Especially people who don't have any personal stake in them. Especially if you go to a Division III school where only a couple of teams actually win games. Especially when you seem to be among a select few who recognize yours is first and foremost an academic institution. Smh.

2. You have absolutely no clue what teams are "having a good season."

3. You wore all black to Homecoming.

4. …Partially because your school colors are particularly unflattering, and partially because you kinda want to make a statement about your critical lack of spirit.

5. Because NARPs—that is, Non-Athletic Regular People—have a reason to live, too.

6. …And you find it rly funny when the hardos get all up in arms about your lack of spirit.

7. Homecoming is literally the first and last sports event you go to all year.

8. (Due to the drinking opportunity.)

9. Seriously though. You're obviously down to drink in celebration of a major game, but you never know who you're playing, and you could not care less about the outcome.

10. For real. Your parents called you before the big game to check in and—GASP—dared to ask who you were playing. They were unsurprised by your failure to provide an answer.

11. Your “spirit apparel” is limited to that one free t-shirt you got during freshman orientation week.

12. The most spirited you've ever been was that one time you were hooking up with a hot soccer/football/lax senior.

13. …In fact, you may or may not have actually checked on *~the score~* a few times back then, but only to gauge how depressed your athlete boyfriend would be the following night, and from there you'd determine whether or not to prepare for getting it on.

12. You have a vague idea as to which sports are played during which semesters, but only because that has a lot to do with who'll be dominating the social scene for the next few months.

14. And you find it uniquely disturbing when the social scene is ruptured by spoiled game.

15. …Because you genuinely do not understand why people get so bent out of shape over a loss. Take a breather, y'all…there are no future pro careers on the line here.

16. …Which is why that time the yearly Halloween party (scheduled to take place at a house inhabited by football players) was cancelled in sad anticipation of an impending loss, you were genuinely so confused.

17. You love watching all the *~Varsity Athletes~* strut around the gym with a tangible air of superiority as you saunter to the beat of OITNB on the elliptical.

18. You were unclear as to what your school mascot was before your first Homecoming.

19. And on your last Homecoming, you chuckled at the unrestrained excitement of all the alumni who paraded campus screaming, "Next year, this will be you! YOU'LL SEE!"

20. (It won't. Cuz I'm pretty sure I will not return for this event. Cuz I was not lying when I said I genuinely do not care.)

21. For you, athletics consists of forceful booty popping.

22. You resent the fact that barely any classes are scheduled for after 4 p.m. It makes no sense that the school day is structured according to when a couple hundred varsity athletes have practice.

23. Your lack of school spirit does not run parallel to your lack of love for your school—a common misconception among people who bleed your school colors. You love your school fine, you just don't love sports. Sawwwy. TC mark

For My Mother’s Generation, Who Couldn’t Tell Their Friends How It Felt To Fold Their Body Into Another’s

Posted: 17 Nov 2015 05:15 PM PST

Amy Gee
Amy Gee

I. Tuesday Nights, Minneapolis

That night, he paints my black all red.
Sucks on my bones like they are sugar.
Gnaws on my neck, peels off my layers.
His belt hits the floor hard.
I taste the metal on his hands.

I ask him, "Which do you think is ruder?
When someone says you've met them before,
And you don't remember, is it worse to pretend and
gush all over them, or just say you don't know them, sorry."

I always pretend because I'm a chicken.
Afraid to offend, to bite where I shouldn't.
My hands are dirty, didn't you know?

II. Hens in the Henhouse

Women in the fitting room can be so predictable.
Always picking and choosing and rooting through racks for the
least flattering things they can find, then
bundling them up like so much kindling on the floor, inside out.

Did your mother teach you to keep house like that?

Or they prance and preen in front of mirrors, pursing their lips,
trying to erase
all the lumps and bumps under their clothes.
Bad underwear does that to you.

I hang them back up, reeking of someone else's

Now a girl is splitting the heavy red drapes and
she's wearing my dress, I sold it
when my boobs got too big. It fits her better
than it ever fit me

and I am jealous now,
thinking of the Instagram she'll post in it, my dress.

She pays the $100
resale price and leaves with my dress.
I wrapped it with extra care hoping she'll give it

the life I never did. Tied it all up in a bow with all my best intentions, sending it
away, smiling.

The feathers will bob and flirt from her shoulders over a
red cup of beer at some frat formal.
Rending her enchanting.

III. Coven, A Love Story

He can’t sleep because my phone
won’t shut up. It bleeps and buzzes,

Nora in her panties,

Megan working through the mechanics
of love from coast to coast,
plane to landing.

My mom's generation of girls couldn’t
communicate the way we do.
She couldn’t type out how dry her pussy was
or tell her friends how it felt to fold her body into another
in a car in the rain
unless they were gathered around the pinochle table.

I tell them my secrets from wherever I am.
The gas pump, the kitchen floor, a curious boyfriend wondering what I’m saying.
Wanting access to all my bleeding, strong and sorry parts.
Not yet, I tell him. This part isn’t for

We file our nails into claws,
ready for it.

My mother's generation didn’t get to fuck around.
Marrying young, a life that began once she wore a diamond.

That diamond keeps increasing every year,
a tweak here or a tweak there,
as she prods me to tell her all my stories.
I can't bring myself to tell her no.
I’m a little blonde clam, resisting.
I’m her daughter.
I’m not her friend.

And even so.

We sharpen knives, slicing tomatoes and playing with hearts.
Sores both oozing and closed, or almost.
We spread it all out on toast and feed it to each other,
all of us hungry,
cheeping away on our phones,
making a life that feels like home,
a life that can hold our thirsty desire and anxious hope all at once,
a big, open house
with a foundation of little blue messages.

IV. For Alexandria Up in the Sky

Tally up every boy you’ve ever loved.
A notch up your arm in flicks of eyeliner,
Girls count too.

I won’t tell.

Spit out the words like they’re sour,
Think about that fake Marilyn Monroe quote
the one stupid girls cling to that goes,
“Remember everything you did was exactly what you wanted.”
They want to believe it so much
They even post it to their Instagram
and collect the hearts in validation.

But it’s not wrong.
If the source weren’t so erroneous, I’d
probably take it to down too.

Spit it out and then suck it all back in – that's my
prescription, one you don't have to fill.
Soak up the sorrow but sweep its shadow from your bed.
It’s still too warm to sleep with sadness’s thick and heavy blanket.

Sometimes a heartbreak is the
best diet secret.

They try to bash out the magic in
little girls like you.
They resent you for cobbling together your dreams in a
thrift store.
Elementary schools packing away the paintbrushes, pulling blinds over the Windows.

Sledgehammers, all of them.

You can’t make a man into a prince.
You can’t attach his perfect limbs.
Like children, they must be told to do it themselves.
Or they’ll never learn.

I don’t think they ever learn anyway.

Pack up your little bag and make a list.
It can be long. It can be a Post It.
And count out all of the ways
You’re already the man you wanted him to be.

Smile contentedly from the jump seat.

Because you’ve got the silver, the big and bright, right under your skin.

A world that needs
your singular little sparkle
is the best world of all. TC mark

This Is How You Show Your Jealousy, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Posted: 17 Nov 2015 05:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / dos_aves
Twenty20 / dos_aves

Almost all of us have experienced jealousy at varying degrees at one point or another. Jealousy is very complex and includes a variety of different emotions such as loss, abandonment, fear of rejection, humiliation, anguish and rage. Jealousy happens when someone perceives a threat to their relationship.

Although similar, jealousy isn’t the same as envy, which is more about wanting the things another person has like status or certain achievements. And our zodiac signs can surprisingly play a part in how we express our jealousy. As a way to understand ourselves and our partners, we can look to the zodiac as a guide to how this powerful emotion is conveyed.

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

No matter how much an Aries may appear to be confident and in charge, they often have an underlying insecurity. If you’re involved with an Aries, get ready for an emotional rollercoaster. The truth is that Aries kind of enjoy all the drama.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

A Taurus is stubborn and doesn’t like to show their emotions to people. Since they’re very rational, they don’t get jealous much. If they do get suspicious, they’ll follow their instincts, and if the end result is as they feared, they’re more likely to end things quietly than doing anything to cause a scene.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

Geminis know that being faithful is personally challenging, but that doesn’t stop them from expecting their partners to not cheat. They have no problem telling you that they’re jealous to make sure you spend a lot of time reassuring them. They’re usually pretty good at keeping their emotions in check, but every now and then they’ll have a jealous fit just because.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Cancers don’t experience jealousy very often because when they’re involved with someone, they’re completely in love and expect the same from their significant other. If they do get jealous, they’ll keep it inside until it turns into resentment. Once you’ve betrayed a Cancer, they’ll never forgive you.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

Whatever you do, don’t give more attention to anybody other than the Leo. Almost anything can set a Leo off into a jealous rage. They won’t hold back, because they don’t think they should have to.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

Virgos like to keep their emotions in check, but underneath it all they can be extremely jealous. Look into their eyes and you can see their true feelings. If they’re suspicious of you, they won’t confront you until they’ve thoroughly investigated the situation, and they may never trust you again.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

Libras want two things: to be liked and to avoid conflict. Unfortunately, they have a tendency to be insecure and can get jealous. Since they’ll do anything to avoid confrontation and possibly get someone angry with them, they’ll hide their jealousy until they’ve been able to talk themselves out of feeling it.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

Scorpio is the most jealous of all the signs. They’re jealous of the grocery clerk who commented on your wine purchase, and of your dance partner in fourth grade. Scorpios can be very controlled with their jealousy and are able to channel it into more productive areas.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

Sagittarius is rarely jealous, and even if they are they’d never admit to it. However, they have a huge problem with being cheated on and will not forgive or forget if they suspect you of being unfaithful. The best thing to do is immediately sit down with them, and reassure them there’s no indiscretion on your part so their twinge of jealousy doesn’t blow up.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

Capricorns get jealous all the time, but they won’t ever talk about it. The good thing is that their jealousy flare-ups don’t last long.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

Aquarians are unpredictable and don’t usually show their true emotions to anybody. They don’t get jealous, and if they did they’d just dump the person who caused them to be jealous and move on without explanation.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

Pisces are the least jealous of the signs, but still have their jealous moments. Pisces are empathetic and are very conscious of other people’s feelings. If they get jealous, their natural compassion guilts them right out of their jealous tirade. But they do demand faithfulness, loyalty, and attention, so make sure you give it to them. TC mark


The End Of Our Relationship Happened Long Before His Departure

Posted: 17 Nov 2015 04:00 PM PST

Molly Strohl

When is the best time to break up with someone? When do we know we’ve reached a point from where no come back is possible? What is the science of breakup?

The end of the relationship in which I struggled for seven years gave me a sense of numbness or maybe it was just relief. I was either becoming an insensitive monster or maybe my feelings were so worn out during the arguments we used to have. While he was packing his things I was lying on the couch reading the last chapter of 1001 Nights.

While he was still packing, I left the house and I went for a walk, I smoked an undefined number of cigarettes while walking the empty streets and saw the most amazing sunset. A mystical sunset I would call it, the whole sky was misty and gray, except for a line draped in gold at the end of the clouds. That line stands for tomorrow.

He came back to take some more things and I was sitting stoned on a chair in the hallway, still wearing his shirt. I tried to help him wrap his toothbrush in a plastic foil, but it just seemed too hard to do it in my stoned state. I burst out laughing. I thought about the incredible lightness of being. The joke.

But the end happened a long time before his departure. There comes a time in every relationship, when something collapses. It is called the crisis. Some couples manage to overcome it, some do not. That’s life.

Something collapsed inside of me the day when he grabbed my wrists and looked me in the eyes with hatred, uttering some very cruel words: it’s your fault, I am unhappy because of you. As the skin around my wrists was bruising, I started realizing my heart was bruised as well. I was subjected to emotional abuse. I was trapped.

There are people who would always try to change you, that would be never satisfied with the things you do for them, they will keep asking for more and more as if your kindness is an unlimited resource of energy that they think they have the right to be connected to forever. Realizing this means reaching the point of no return in a relationship. There should always be a balance between what we take and what we give when it comes to emotions.

Maybe I should have left myself when I understood this, but breaking up is never an easy thing to do. So I kept staying inside that relationship, striking a warrior pose. I thought I had to defend my dignity. It is so hard to break up because when we let go of a person, we actually let a part of ourselves go. Good or bad, it is a part of ourselves that walks out the door, never to come back again.

Breaking up is not just the moment of departure when we say this is my road and this is your road, they will never meet again, but a continuous process that lasts between the day we realize we are hurt and the day we can let go of that wound.

For me it was a long, painful struggle. I remember us both sitting next to each other on the living room sofa. It was one of the days when we remained silent, moving around the house as if the other one did not exist, but always bumping into each other when grabbing a dish or opening a door. I remember imagining that if I close my right eye while sitting next to him, I can make him disappear. So I told him: I have magic powers. And he said: you’re crazy. Thus, a silent afternoon transformed into a tempest. But I still cared for him. I liked the warm touch of him of his skin and the way he hugged me when we went to sleep, no matter how bad we fought during the day. Maybe we are afraid to speak the definitive words of breakup because we are afraid we will not be able to reach the same level of intimacy with someone else. We are afraid of our bare naked souls and secretly doubt if we are worth loving.

I believe we could not be together because we were too different, I had an artist temper and he granted more value to common sense. But I still do not know for sure if erotica works on the rules of similarity or difference. The life we were trying to build was standing on moving ground.

I remember me dancing on a table at the seaside, the smell of sea, the nightly freedom and the table a bit shaky because it was standing on sand. He was trying to remove sand from his shoes. We did not know back then that we were trying to raise a life on sand. I remember when we went on holiday together and he went to buy cheap champagne at 4 am in the morning from the train station in a small town in the mountains. I used to borrow his little phobias and sometimes even fight them. I killed many bugs in our tent during a summer in which we traveled around Europe. I remember the many barbecues we had under the nut tree in his garden before we moved in together, the many bottles of wine we drank in summer evenings and how young we were when we met. His blue pajamas and the office bag he used to wear when he was going to work, while me, like all the bohemians, just went back to sleep.

And then I remember falling asleep on the sofa and the sparkle of hatred I saw in his eyes that was probably in my eyes also. I used to fall asleep in his car with my sunglasses on, hoping he will not notice, hiding from him the hatred that could have sparkled in my eyes as well. Him accusing me of being too dramatic, my head in the clouds and me threatening to never forgive him. But I do remember his dreams and what linked us, a certain distance from the world, but a very different distance.

The science of breakup can be summarized in only a few words: the break up process ends when the resentment ends, when we can say I forgave you as I forgave myself. TC mark

How To Destroy Yourself In 7 Easy Steps

Posted: 17 Nov 2015 03:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / billyoliver
Twenty20 / billyoliver

If you are reading this, chances are you are a basket case or at least on the way to becoming one. Welcome to the club! Jokes aside, destruction is beautiful, isn't it? That's probably why poets and artists flirt with it all the time. And it's not too difficult to achieve either. A few packs of pessimism, a dash of despair and a sprinkle of self-loathing is all you need to trek down this scenic route to hell. Here, let me show you the way.

1. Love obsessively and compulsively. That person who cheats, abuses, puts you down and can never love you back? Cling onto them like there's no tomorrow, because you were made for great, epic-quality love and not some mundane practical shit that everyone keeps talking about. It is your mission in life to give, give and give some more until every ounce of emotional lifeblood is sucked out of you. But who needs that thing anyway – you are destiny's child, and you can always regenerate those lost pieces of your soul, like an effin' lizard. Loving for you is a NEED – being loved, not so much. Self-love, self-respect and similar funk can go bite dust. Also, those people totally deserve to see you go down because of them. Power kicks, anyone?

2. Tell yourself you are no good. Because you really aren't. I mean, just look at yourself in the mirror. You have made a mess of your life and you are a wreck. You have failed in relationships, in your career and you are a colossal disappointment, even to yourself. You have sallow skin and bags under your eyes. What on earth makes you think that tomorrow will be any better? You will never get out of your sucky behavioral patterns because they have come to define you. And why should you let go of them – those loyal things can always be trusted to get you back in the doldrums in case, by some freaky stroke of fate, things start looking up. You don't deserve love. Or success. Or even ice-cream because you are so fuckin' fat.

3. Get addicted to something. Anything. Drugs, alcohol, antidepressants. Because nothing gives your mood an instant face-lift like a healthy dose of happy pills. Whaddya mean "learn to deal with emotions in a healthy way"? Isn't that jazz for the Art of Living brand of morons? Moreover, why bother with anything else when you can pharmaceutically eliminate the root cause of all your misery – YOU! Those meds will neutralize all your thoughts, feelings, fears, anxieties, passions, creativity, rage, insecurities and you will settle into a comfortable numbness. You sure can do without that perpetual chaos in your head, no? Trust me, Zombie life is the good life.

4. Push those people away. Yes, all of them. Even the ones that love you to the moon and back, and are hurting to see you this way. Build a nice, strong wall around you and cocoon yourself in a dark shell because nothing's worse than a warm hug or words of assurance when you're broken and lost. Now tell yourself you are strong and you're going to be ok because you don't need stupid things like love and care from fellow humans. And what do they know about your exotic little misery? It's not like they've been in your soup, or any soup for that matter. You are the High Command of Misery and no body can take that away from you. Who do they think they are anyway – pathetic mortals trying to save you and all that? You don't owe them a thing! The only hand you need to hold is the cold, clammy hand of depression because that's the one that's going to see you off to your grave.

5. Nurture suicidal thoughts. Can you feel a weed of a suicidal thought germinate in some dark, damp corner of your mind? Wait, don't let it go yet. Catch hold of it and nurture it till it takes over like a weed in the already unkempt garden of your mind. And don't limit yourself to the clich̩, done-to-death (pun intended) methods like hanging, poisoning and wrist slashing Рget innovative. How about injecting yourself with some HIV+ve blood stolen from a pathology lab for slow, painful death or a plain shot of air if you'd like it quick? If you have to shoot yourself in the head, make sure you buy yourself the fanciest gun you can afford, preferably a jewel studded one with your initials engraved on it. If you are talented enough, you will be able to kill yourself in many different ways. Social suicide, professional suicide, domestic suicide are just some ideas to trigger your imagination. Oops, did I just say "trigger"?

6. Make melancholy your mistress. Woo her. Romance her. Make sweet, tender love to her so she never leaves you even for a second. And should happiness lurk anywhere around you like a temptation from the devil, always remind yourself how it is a fleeting illusion and how pain is a constant. Find your comfort in darkness because light is blinding – not to mention temporary.

7. Pick at those scabs. Every wound – physical, mental and emotional – has a way of healing itself but not if you diligently sit every night and scratch away the half-formed scabs. Do that everyday to keep them bleeding and festering because heaven forbid, if they heal into scars and eventually fade away, you'll be damned into the land of peace and happiness. Just the thought of that makes you want to throw up, doesn't it? TC mark

14 Men And Women Describe The Moments They Consider Relationship Miracles

Posted: 17 Nov 2015 02:00 PM PST

via twenty20/NickBulanovv
via twenty20/NickBulanovv

1. “I think our whole relationship is kind of a miracle. My boyfriend and I met three times before we finally realized we were attracted to each other and each of those three times we were annoyed with one another and the last time we actually argued at a party. So, the fact that we finally bumped into each other again and were both in just the right mood is pretty amazing.”

—Cecily, 26


2. “My wife volunteered to get allergy shots so that I can have the dog I never got to have as a kid and then she gave me a puppy even though she’s massively allergic.”

—Marcus, 29


3. “My wife is a literal miracle to me. When we first met I was struggling with a lot of depression and believed no one would ever love me because of it. Well, it turns out that being loved and accepted for who you are can go a long way towards alleviating depression. I still have my bad days but overall I’m happy and we’re happy. Given how I’d felt before we met I’m not sure if I’d be alive today without her.”

—Jay, 30


4. “After a long and painful search including nearly breaking my finger Tinder swiping, I’ve finally found someone whose love for Nutella with bananas exceeds my own. It’s the little things that are the most miraculous…and delicious.”

—Charice, 23


5. “My husband and I were legally separated for several months when I went to LA for a week on business. When I logged onto Facebook, I noticed that he happened to be in LA as well, which is weird because he hates the West Coast. As it happens, we were also staying at the same hotel. I obviously had to reach out to him. We met for dinner and everything seemed to gel. He moved back in a week later.”

—Molly, 29


6. “That moment when you realize the person you love is also actually who you believe they are. I say this because I was deployed overseas in the mid-2000s and a lot of my brothers were having terrible relationship problems with wives cheating or wanting divorces. It scared the shit out of me that what I believed about my wife might not be real. But my wife made sure to always reassure me because she knew that stuff was going on with other people. When I got home it actually felt like coming home instead of arriving worried about what I might find.

Reassurance and faithfulness are absolute miracles in a relationship.”

—Alvin, 32


7. “I come from a very Atheist family and my husband’s is very Catholic. They get along like they’re one another’s family. It’s so perfect that I can only assume there actually is a god.”

—Susan, 25


8. “I know people without kids hate hearing about other people’s kids but every doctor my wife went to told her she wouldn’t be able to have children because of a couple different medical conditions. Our daughter turns two next week.”

—Mark, 28


9. “Back in 2009 I lost my job and suddenly my wife was the sole earner in our house. It took me nearly eight months to find another job that paid about half of what my old one had and I was thankful to get it. Never during that entire eight months did my wife ever complain to me that I wasn’t working. She never blamed me for losing me job. She never implied that I wasn’t trying hard enough. She had absolute faith in me and when I get that job she literally said ‘this is just the start for you.’ She was right. I’m making more now than I was in 2009 and things are good. I have no idea how I got so lucky to have met this story book woman.”

—Brad, 30


10. “I often wake up with my boyfriend holding my hand in his sleep. Like, holy crap, how is it even possible that this man exists?”

—Jamie, 22


11. “I finally met the man who’d rather sit and talk about whatever than stare at Netflix in silence. In 2015 that qualifies as a miracle.”

—Maggie, 25


12. “Weird story but definitely a miracle. Two years ago my wife tickled me in the car which is usually a bad idea. I swerved, which is usually dangerous except in this case I literally swerved around a deer we would have hit at 65 mph and which would have killed us both.

Tickle away, baby.”

—John, 27


13. “My husband has a sixth sense about when I’ve had a terrible day and nearly without fail he’ll always just go ahead and volunteer to do everything around the house including making some dinner that he knows I’ll love. So, when I get home my day changes completely. It’s impossible to stay in a bad mood when someone you love so much is willing to make sure you’re happy.”

—Nicki, 29


14. “I met my husband in Alcoholics Anonymous and we’ve both been sober five years. He’s the absolute love of my life and has made everything I put myself through because of my addiction worth it if only just to meet him. It’s one of the few things in my life that I actually feel was part of a larger plan.”

—Erica, 27 TC mark

Read This If You’re Wondering Why Everyone Else’s Life Looks Easier Than Yours

Posted: 17 Nov 2015 01:00 PM PST


If you’ve suffered from the curse of comparing yourself to your peers to the point of near sickness, then this article is for you. If you know that the dictionary defines inadequacy as feeling "insufficient for a purpose," then read on, though I could never define your purpose for you. Purpose is as individual as it is integral.

But read this anyway.

Read this if you’ve found yourself seized by apathy. Read this if you’ve fallen into the habit of forgetting to feed your own needs and to nourish your own soul. Read this if you’ve ever felt alone in a crowded room, if you’ve felt the pang of loneliness even with your partner next to bed in you at night. Read this if you look around you and feel resentment bubbling in the pit of your stomach at the thought of all the pretty, happy people. Read this if you’d rather swap bodies with someone, anyone.

Read this if you’d rather not be on your own.

But my life is not clear. Neither is yours. We drive, it seems, with a steady layer of ash on our windshields. It’s a wonder our respective licenses haven’t been taken away. We’ve swerved to avoid a porcupine, or a pothole. A tree. The deer in the road. The people and the places which have governed our names and, by extension, how we view ourselves.

Tell yourself: There are people who appreciate me, even love me, even when I feel I am at my lowest.

We graduate: To clear skies and open streets. Or so it would seem. But the battle rages on in your brain, unnoticed by your friends, your family, your neighbors, your colleagues, your peers—the very same people you’ve silently rallied against, the very same folks who’ve carved out the nexus of your every self-condemning thought. You punish yourself for feeling this way. But you punish yourself when, on one of your good days, you find yourself possessed by a motivation long since foreign, and look back on all the time you "could have" done this and "should have" done that, think of Jenny from high school or Matt from Psych 101 and their nearly identical paths from college to internships to the career of their dreams, and think to yourself, "Nothing I do is enough," and in an instant, you feel insufficient for a purpose.

I write this for you, whoever you may be.

I write this on a crisp November day. This is the time of year when the cold blooms and wedges itself into the marrow of your bones.

This is the hardest time of year in which to face your self doubt because the holidays (not to mention the gatherings so quintessential to them) are right around the corner. These gatherings will be marked by faces you’ve missed (and probably some that you haven’t) and the pressure to demonstrate an ingrained sense of poise is tantamount to the unease you feel when your ruthless self-criticism leaves you with everything but poise, let alone grace. You look around, all the while stuffing yourself with turkey and mashed potatoes and all the trimmings of the annual holiday meal and resent the prodding, invasive questions—"How’s work?" "How’s that book coming along?" "Did you know I’m going to be studying abroad this spring?" "Hi, we haven’t really met before, but what is it that you do?"—all the while thinking how sad it is that you could know someone your whole life but see so little of them that every year that you see them for X number of hours during the holiday gathering is an exercise in how to make another great first impression. And it pains you.

You are reading this because you want to know you are not alone. I am here to tell you, to implore you to not cast aside something with the potential to lift you from the stench of the rot you’ve accustomed yourself with. I do not ask much of you. I am patient and I am kind. Although it may sound like I’m tooting my own horn, I let it ring to spite certain scorn that I’ve accustomed myself with.

I want you to spite it.

Ask yourself: What am I good at?

I want you to fight it.

Tell yourself: There are people who appreciate me, even love me, even when I feel I am at my lowest.

And if there aren’t any, if there truly aren’t any, if you’ve been so unfortunate, then I want you to know that I see you and that I am sorry.

But you are not alone.

You have this article.

Tell yourself: I am worthy. I owe everyone, particularly myself, most of all myself, the best of myself, not the most functional version of myself.

Because you aren’t merely comparing yourself to other people in the hopes of molding yourself to their narrative of success. You are also comparing yourself to the version of yourself which has attained all that you chastise yourself for not having, whether it’s money, a nicer home, a better career and connections or simply the company of more dependable family and friends. You do this, all the while forgetting that this version of yourself has succeeded despite every unrealistic expectation you’ve thrown its way. It is simultaneously who you want to be and who you can’t be. And you do this, all the while ignorant of the complicated system of privileges and happenstance which has contributed to each individual’s narrative. You do this, all the while losing sight of yourself in the process.

But as creatures of habit, we must carry on. We have self awareness. That awareness increases the possibility of happiness on an exponential level. And to exercise that awareness is a habit in itself.

Do something every day. Do something that you like. Do something that you love. Do something that reminds you that you are more than your job, your vocation, or lack of one. Do this no matter your station in life. Do this to absorb the past, the hours badly spent. Do this to remember that you have value.

Read this knowing it will not make you feel sufficient.

Read this knowing these words are not a pill you can take, or a regimen to undergo to remove yourself from the nagging of that little voice in your head. Read this and know you need to reflect.

But read this and know that it’s a start. Read this and know that that’s better than nothing. TC mark

Growing Up Black In America: My Nappy Roots

Posted: 17 Nov 2015 12:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / samiah.mccarthy
Twenty20 / samiah.mccarthy

Growing up in an African American family, I was trained on how to conduct myself in certain situations. I was taught at an early age to be polite, always use "proper English," and to never, ever put my hands in my pockets. These unspoken rules were not uncommon in my family, so I never questioned them. I practiced those rules religiously, not really knowing why. It was just how things were done.

Everywhere I went, I could hear my mother's voice chastising me if I didn't follow those rules exactly. At the convenience store across the street in my two-story home in north Minneapolis, me and my cousin Jay would spend countless hours in the candy aisle, clutching the quarters we had saved up throughout the week. Our hands smelled of old metal; the ridges of the coins making unsightly marks on our palms. Jay and his family didn't have much, so these trips were always special. His clothes were worn, holes running up his pant legs, and his shoes that never managed to stay tied were two sizes too small. Even though he was a little older than me, he still didn't know how to tie his shoes.

One day while visiting the store, I offered to tie Jay's shoelaces. He politely declined my offer, and we made our way into our little convenience store. The building was old, with paint peeling on the sides of the walls that had faded from a crispy white to an eggshell over time. Roughly 10 minutes after arriving at the store, I heard a shout and the sound of metal hitting hardwood floor. Jay had tripped on his untied shoelaces, taking down several candy stands with him. I tried to help him pick up the candy; the colorful wrappers surrounding my cousin on the floor as he yelped in pain. It was too late. The store manager and her police officer husband came rushing around the corner; sharks who smelled blood. Before I had a chance to explain what happened, my cousin was in handcuffs. He was only 10 years old. I gathered up our quarters, and silently showed them to the officer, the shock of seeing my cousin in handcuffs rendering me mute.

Sometimes it is difficult to know exactly what to say. My mother's rules had taught me one thing, but at times, my heart said something else. At the age of 16, I received my first job at a JCPenney. While working there, I have experienced customers of all kinds. Some are nice, some are sweet, and some are just plain nasty. However, there are also customers who aren't so easy to decipher at first glance. I had experienced this kind of customer during my first week on the job. She was about 60 years of age, with short gray curls that fell just above her shoulder blades. Her cheeks were round and full, and had a slight pink tone from her blush. She stood just a few inches shorter than me. The image of a typical, sweet, grandmother. She hobbled up to me, cane in one hand and purse in the other. She looked at me.

"You know, you are very well behaved for a black girl," she said.

I wasn't quite sure what to say. I could hear my mother's voice telling me to be polite. All I could muster was a half hearted smile and a "Thanks."

In truth, I was disgusted and confused. What did she mean? "Well behaved for a black girl?" How was a "black girl" expected to behave? These types of comments were not rare, and soon I found myself not wanting to be black. I was "pretty for a black girl," "smart for a black girl," and had so many other attributes that were apparently very rare among African American women. With skin just a little darker than the common Minnetonka dweller, and hair that grew up and out instead of down, it was clear that I was different.

The police officer in the convenience store didn't think I was that different. He didn't know that I was a young writer with dreams of being a published author. He didn't know that I got straight A's in school. He didn't know that I was a quiet, intelligent girl who spent hundreds of Saturdays organizing books at libraries. He thought I was like everyone else, which in his words were, "little thieving nigger children". I had hoped he would realize that this was an honest mistake, that we were paying customers. Little did I know that he would then accuse us of stealing both the candy and our little change. Next thing I knew, I was in handcuffs, too.

Long after those handcuffs were removed, I still felt somewhat chained. In April of 2014, I decided to cut off all of my hair. I wasn't quite sure where to go for the cut, so I checked out a few different salons. I soon found a Great Clips in my neighborhood. I had heard great things about them, and the prices fit my budget perfectly. After walking for about fifteen minutes, I arrived at Great Clips. I opened the door; the little twinkle of a bell signaling that a customer has arrived was light and pleasant. I was met by pairs of eyes, some blue, some brown, all wary. The stylists stared for a second, unmoving, and cast glances at one another. You go. No, you go, I imagined them saying in their heads. After ten seconds of awkward silence, a young lady stepped forward.

"May I help you," she said, her voice quivering.

"Yeah, I was looking to get a haircut."

"Oh," she whispered. "Well…"

"Are you busy? I can come back later — "

"Well, it's just that," she cut me off. She glanced back at her coworkers who were pretending to be busy. Each of the following words came out slow and careful. "We don't do… that kind of hair here."

I didn't understand. "What kind?"

"The ethnic kind," she said, saying ethnic as if it was a dirty word.

Once again, I was placed in an uncomfortable situation, and speechless. I was shocked at her words. The ethnic kind, I echoed in my head. I wanted to scream, wanted to cause a scene and draw attention to the degrading selectivity. I then remembered that doing so would violate rule number two: stay level headed, no matter what. I walked out of Great Clips and silently walked home, the siren of a police car blaring in the background.

While in the back of a police car at the ages of nine and ten, I replayed the situation in the store over and over in my head. If only Jay had let me tie his shoes, I thought. After arriving at the juvenile detention center in Minneapolis, we were scolded by the police officer. One of the doors at the center swung open. A bigger, older guy walked out. His uniform was slightly darker than the one the other officer was wearing, and had a bigger, shinier badge that read: Sgt Johnson in fancy letters. The head honcho, I thought. I explained to the older gentleman what happened, fresh tears replacing the dry stains on my cheeks. For 15 minutes, Sgt Johnson scolded the officer who arrested us, sounding like a mother who was very disappointed in her child. Sgt Johnson apologized, and offered me and Jay some candy. We declined. We were then taken home by a different police officer. Luckily, it was not put on a record, and my parents were not home. They never found out about what happened.

Thinking about those events in the past made me realize that I am different. But instead of being ashamed of my differences, I should be celebrating them. I should be proud of my curly hair, and others should be proud to be who they are. I used those experiences as material for my poetry, an outlet I discovered while reading pieces from Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes. Stumbling upon "I, Too" by Langston Hughes and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou in a 5th grade English class was a defining moment. Growing up African American, I often felt like that caged bird Angelou wrote about. That was when I realized that I wanted to be a writer. I want to communicate my ideas through the written word. I want to evoke emotion, and give a voice to those who are silenced. I have done some of that already, having been published through several outlets, and I'm publishing a book of my poetry highlighting some of my experiences. I want to realize my dream of bridging gaps between cultures and educating our youth. I want to build a world where one is not "pretty for a black girl", but rather "a pretty girl". Continuing my education and reaching my goals won't just aid in educating myself, but rather, educating an entire community. TC mark

14 Signs Your Love Life Is Basically An Adele Song

Posted: 17 Nov 2015 10:59 AM PST


1. It always bums everybody out.

2. And you can never experience the sadness of it just once. Some sick part of you needs to go back to it over and over and over.

3. Your relationships are usually around four minutes long and often include a large number of depressing metaphors.

4. Sometimes all it takes is one murmur of “Hello” to make you burst into tears

5. “I heard that you settled down. That you found a girl. And you’re married now.” -You to every single one of your Facebook friends.

6. NEVER MIND I’LL FIND SOMEONE LIKE YOU *obsessively swipes through Tinder*

7. “Hello from the other side” is a phrase you frequently use at the McDonald’s drive-through.

8. “But when I call you never seem to be home” is an eloquent way to sum up the ghosting you deal with on a regular basis.

9. “Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead." -Your body after taking multiple shots of tequila last night to combat a recent breakup.

10. “Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing pavements?” A question you ask yourself on a regular basis when people give you shitty advice like exercising makes you feel better after heartbreak.

11. “We could’ve had it all” is you to your slice of late-night pizza, whenever you drop it on the ground on the way home from the bar.

12.  “Hello? Can you hear me? It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry.” -You to your cat, who’s not interested in cuddling right now or ever.

13. “I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded that for me, it isn’t over” is what you would have drunkenly written in your Snapchat story last night if you had had enough room. Fortunately for everyone involved, you did not.

14. You’re convinced your experience of it is really unique, until you realize everybody else feels the exact same way. TC mark