Thought Catalog


I Can Never Say Your Name But I Will Always Wish I Could

Posted: 24 Jan 2016 08:00 PM PST

►►haley
►►haley

I woke up this morning with the overwhelming instinct to scream out your name.

But I swallowed it. I felt it slide down my esophagus but with both arms outstretched; as if it was trying to pull it’s way back up my throat and climb out of my mouth. I kept forcing it down until it was sitting next to my heart giving me chest pains, and anxiety, and reminding me of how you used to tell me I was all you’d ever want.

I woke up this morning with the insatiable need to see your face.

So I turned to a Macbook that sometimes decides to turn off, and a screen that you’ve never seen. I typed in your name with it’s improperly placed double letters, and the shortened version of what your mom calls you, and stared at a pair of hazel eyes I wish I could see one more time. I grazed my hand against the LCD version of your face, ignoring the little shocks that bit at my fingerprints when I lingered on your dimples.

And baby, I cried.

Not because of the mild electrocution or the inability to talk about you or the fact that I haven’t heard your voice since I pressed play on a YouTube video with you in it.

I cried because I do not know you anymore.

I cried because I want to shout your name from the rooftops and scream that you loved me, but doing so would be nothing but selfish. I want to hold your face one more time, put my tiny hands against your gangly fingers, hear you say something stupid about a stuffed animal just once more and then maybe, just maybe, I’ll know if we could still be in love.

But I chose this. So I can’t.

Instead, I’m resolved to being shocked from the screen and keyboard of a Craigslist computer while looking at photos where she smiles at you with such clarity.

Because she knew. She never doubted.

She was never embarrassed to say your name or to hold your hand in public. She was never unsure of where she stood because the answer was always, “Right next to him.”

She has been there. She’s seen you in times that I haven’t and she’s been by your side through things I’ve never even heard of. She knows a you, a man that I do not. It’s a you I have never known, never touched, never hurt, and never loved.

She gets to say your name.

She probably says it lazily, through the gap in her front teeth when she’s still half asleep and you’re awake before her. Or maybe she says it unaffectedly; like simply acknowledging that you’re the one texting her or the one picking up sandwiches on your way home. She gets to call you by name and say, “He’s mine,” and make you a declaration of love every single day.

But to me? You’re a name who will always be a dirty, deep, dark secret.

I will feel your name crawling up my throat, prying open my teeth, scratching at my tongue and saying, “I’m the one she broke!” I will feel it in the air when someone tells me to not wear shorts to the party because I’ll be cold, because I know that’s what you would do. I will feel it in the hot tears rolling down my cheeks when I see a girl in a white dress so excited to say yes, when those three letters were the ones I could not say at 21.

I will feel you and your name scraping at the backs of my arms, peeling at my freckles, ripping at my skin when someone wrong is on top of me. When it is someone who doesn’t love me, someone who does not challenge me, someone who does not know me or even want to.

And I’ll want to cry out, want to give in, want to scream out your name and say, “I will always be sorry!”

But I won’t.

Instead I’ll choke it down, and accept my punishment.

I won’t tell you that I still cry about you, and try to check on you, and hope that she loves you as much as I did. I won’t tell you that I want to but don’t try to say hello, try to be in your life, try to push myself into a world that you build without me.

I do not say your name; even though every fiber of my being wants do just that.

I don’t.

Because when I’m the one who broke your heart, I don’t deserve to ask for help. TC mark

23 Meaningful Relationship Goals That Have Zero To Do With Getting Engaged Or Married

Posted: 24 Jan 2016 07:00 PM PST

Twenty20, sveta_luu
Twenty20, sveta_luu

1. Figuring out how to say "I love you" without any words at all.

2. Learning how to speak with your eyes so fluently that words are rendered entirely unnecessary during most significant moments.

3. Realizing just how much you prefer sleeping together over sleeping alone, even if one of you is a total cover hog or a spastic mid-sleep kicker.

4. Getting a whiff of the "morning" version of your significant other and appreciating their stinky ripe smell because it’s just so wonderfully familiar.

5. Being able to go to the bathroom with the door wide open without feeling at all embarrassed.

6. Reaching the point where you know in your heart that you're not going to break up, even during the nastiest fights.

7. Recognizing that your passion for each other sometimes translates into fuming anger, and that that's okay.

8. Feeling nothing but love when your partner accidentally says or does something remarkably stupid.

9. Feeling incredibly defensive when an outsider says or does something borderline offensive towards your significant other.

10. Wanting to beat the shit out of anyone who dares to be a jerkface to the person you love, even if the guilty party is a close friend or family member.

11. Being open and honest enough about sex stuff that you can freely discuss your solo sex routines and all other intimate acts and desires.

12. Truly appreciating each other's shortcomings, whatever they may be, just as much as you value each other's most appealing qualities.

13. Realizing that you really do like staying in together just as much (or more, even) than going out at night.

14. Regularly conspiring to "Houdini" from parties, recognizing that you’d rather play Scrabble and get drunk together in the comfort of your home than interact with others.

15. Catching yourself saying something supremely cheesy (like, out-of-character corny) to your partner, and actually meaning it.

16. Establishing a bond so strong and trust so deep that it’s tough to make each other jealous. For instance, neither of you feels all that threatened when the other hangs out with a hot member of the opposite sex.

17. Reaching the carefree stage when it doesn’t matter how attractive you feel or don’t feel on any given day because your boyfriend or girlfriend chooses you daily and makes you feel special no matter what you look like.

18. Smiling upon noting that your boyfriend or girlfriend is your number one most contacted person via email, and consistently dominates your call history. Who else do you really need to communicate with anyway?

19. Realizing that you have so many sexy photos and videos of each other saved on your computers that breaking up isn't even an option anymore because you’re both armed with so much potential blackmail material.

20. Saying the exact same thing simultaneously because you're spending that much time together and your personalities have pretty much fused into one.

21. Ditching your friends and family without feeling at all guilty or experiencing a hint of FOMO because there's nothing you’d rather do than be with your person.

22. Discovering that you’re capable of disagreeing on important "issues" without wanting to rip each other’s heads off, literally or figuratively.

23. Recognizing that the peaceful calm you experience in each other's company is insanely pleasant and definitely irreplaceable. TC mark

23 Underrated Things That We Should Always Make Time For In Life

Posted: 24 Jan 2016 06:30 PM PST

unsplash.com/Aral Tasher
unsplash.com/Aral Tasher

1. Life chats that drag on until the wee hours of the morning.

When we were children, teenagers, even young adults, there was nothing that could keep us away from those deep post-midnight conversations that covered everything from our latest love interests to the nature of the Universe. But the more we grew up, the stricter we got with ourselves and the less of a priority those rambling conversations became.

We've gotten so good at putting ourselves to bed at a decent hour as adults that we've probably missed out on fostering some genuinely incredible bonds – the kind that only happen when your mind is hazy and your guard is entirely down. The kind that we should always be willing to make time for.

2. Spending lazy days in bed with the people we love.

It can be difficult to justify an entire day of doing what society labels as 'nothing.' But it's also difficult to get through life without pause for relaxation and affection and love – in whatever form it's available to us. Maybe this means cuddling in bed with our partners, maybe it means lazing around with close friends, or maybe it just means spending a peaceful day in our own company. But it's a day that we all need from time to time. It's a day we are allowed to make time for.

3. Reading books that challenge our way of thinking.

It's easy to remain comfortable inside of our own limited worldview. What's challenging is welcoming in someone else's and giving it the genuine chance to expand our own. Deciding that we don't have the time to read means deciding that we don't have the time to allow ourselves to grow intellectually – and that's a dangerous decision to make.

4. Taking concrete care of our bodies and minds.

Self-care is often one of the first things we throw out the window when the going gets tough – which is ironic, because it's also the prime thing that keeps us going throughout those tough times.

It isn't always easy to force ourselves out of bed an hour early to get to the gym or to give ourselves time to properly unwind at the end of a long day. But it's these small, daily rituals that contribute astronomically to our overall sense of happiness, health and wellbeing. A strong, healthy body (and mind) will always accomplish more than a stressed, overworked one.

5. Going out with the people who matter to us.

There will always be a good reason to turn down socializing – we're tired, we're introverted, it has been a long week, we're broke. But at the end of the day, all we're really doing is facilitating our own disconnection. Making time to go out for dinner or drinks or even a long, leisurely walk with the people we care about most means investing in a long-term relationship – one that gives back whatever we put into it.

6. Visiting our aging family members.

Life gets busy. Time passes too quickly. And it becomes all too easy to put off those visits until it's too late. As frustrated as we may get with our great-aunt-so-and-so repeating the same story eighty-five times as though it's the first, we will someday want the same patience and compassion that we could show her extended to us. And we'll just hope we have someone who cares enough to make the time for us.

7. Supporting the people we love in times of crisis.

We don't get to pick when shit hits the fan in life. We only get to pick how we handle it, and hope that someone has our back in the process. Taking the time to support our loved ones when things are falling apart for them is perhaps one of the most important tasks we'll ever take on. There's never a right time for things to go wrong, but having someone there for us in the process makes all of the difference in the world.

8. Understanding the opinions that directly oppose our own.

It's never comfortable – or convenient – to entertain ways of thinking that directly contradict our own. But it's also the only way we ever truly learn or grow beyond ourselves. Taking the time to truly understand an argument that opposes your way of thought is a lot more difficult than storming off in a huff – but it's a lot more rewarding, too. And the worst it can do is give you a more well-rounded understanding of your own position.

9. Traveling to new places.

You don't have to quit your job and travel the world. You don't even have to take an exotic vacation that pushes the limits of your comfort zone. But every once in a while, getting out of your usual environment can be incredibly mentally refreshing. It reminds you that there's a whole world that exists outside of your 'bubble' – and it puts your problems into perspective.

10. Giving other people the explanations they deserve.

It is always easier to blow someone off – or to make and endless stream of excuses – than it is to let them know that they are not a priority to us. But we owe people those explanations, uncomfortable as they may be. We owe it to ourselves and to them to be honest, because otherwise we're just wasting everyone's time. And we all deserve better than that.

11. Going out on a limb for what we want.

Here's the thing about going out on limbs – they're sometimes fruitless. And it sucks when they are. But at the same time, we become better climbers every time we inch ourselves out there. We become a little more confident, a little more daring and a little more skilled at going after what we want. Which means that by the time something we really, really want comes along, we'll be ready to go after it with everything we've got. And that will always put us miles ahead of the pack.

12. Thanking the people who've supported us along the way.

No matter how independent we consider ourselves to be, none of us have ever achieved anything in a bubble. We need to make the time and effort to recognize those who've been there for us when we needed them most. After all, they made the time and effort for us.

13. Learning to deeply understand ourselves.

Until we truly understand what motivates, terrifies and infuriates us, we'll be a mystery even to ourselves. There is an immense power that comes along with knowing oneself, but we can only truly harness it once we're willing to look at ourselves in a wholly unglamorous light – and come out the other side humbled.

14. Staying connected to nature.

Our bodies were designed to thrive in nature. Deciding that we don't have time to spend outdoors means deciding that we don't have time to remain centered, balanced and clear-headed. Which makes it harder to get pretty much anything else in our lives done.

15. Maintaining order in our external environments.

We all have different definitions of what constitutes an orderly house or workspace but regardless of what those are, we owe it to ourselves to maintain a space that makes us feel at peace. That may mean doing a quick clean of our bedrooms every morning or even just keeping some greenery alive at the office – either way, it is important to recognize which kind of environment we need in order to thrive. And then to cultivate it for ourselves.

16. Meeting and investing in people who are radically different from ourselves.

It's natural to meet and form connections with like-minded people. But it also limits our worldview immensely. When we take the time to invest in relationships with people who are vastly unlike us, we are opening ourselves up to learning in an unconstrained fashion. We are choosing discomfort over ignorance and that will always be a more honorable choice.

17. Focusing on self-improvement.

We place so much pressure on ourselves to achieve the right things and meet the right people that we sometimes forget that we also have to be the right people ourselves. It's impossible to take care of anything in our external environment before we've taken care of own wellbeing – and doing so means constantly working toward a better version of ourselves.

18. Laughing – hard and genuinely.

The more seriously we take our lives, the more difficult it becomes to get pretty much anything done. Laughter is seen as a luxury but we should consider it a necessity – it clears the mind, minimizes pain and puts our struggles into perspective. Show me something that can't be made light of and I'll show you something that'll be damn hard to survive.

19. Reflecting on the past and what it's taught us.

One of the most fascinating tendencies we possess as humans is our ability to encounter, endure and rise above the most challenging of situations… and then promptly forget all about them.

When we don't stop to reflect on the past and integrate the lessons we've learned from it, we only hold ourselves back from moving forward with clarity. As painful as it can be to process what's gone wrong, doing so allows us the opportunity to reflect on what we've done right. And those are lessons that we definitely want to internalize.

20. Focusing on the future and where we want to go with it.

It's easy to get so caught up in the daily grind that we forget about the big picture altogether – and that's exactly how we end up at our most lost.

No matter how chaotic our lives become, we should always be taking the time to stop and re-evaluate which direction we're headed in. It's no use driving full-speed ahead if we're not headed somewhere worth going.

21. Catching up with the people who once mattered to us.

It's impossible to stay consistently close with everyone who's ever been a big part of our lives, but that doesn't mean we can't prioritize the odd Skype call or coffee date. The people who stood by us during our formative years will forever be a part of who we are – and neglecting to keep in touch with them means neglecting to keep in touch with an integral part of ourselves.

22. Engaging whichever passion makes us feel alive.

There will always be a good reason to neglect your art form of choice – bills need paying and chores need doing and life always seems to move too fast to allow for indulgence. But the problem with neglecting what we care about is that our lives slowly lose their meaning in the process.

We simply have to give ourselves permission to engage in whichever activities make us feel most alive in life. They're the fuel that keeps us going – and we can't run on empty forever.

23. Occasionally giving in to what we know truly matters the most.

We're good at staying focused in life. We're good at showing up to work, adhering to our responsibilities, biting our tongues when we need to and denying ourselves short-term indulgences for the sake of long-term gain. But every once in a while, we need to know when to say 'screw it' and break our own carefully-crafted rules.

When it comes down to it, we always know what's most important to us in life. We always know what's worth going after, what's worth making a fool of ourselves over and what's worth truly going out on that limb for. And those are the things that we always need to make the time to go for – no matter how crazy or impractical they seem. Because those are the very things that make life worth living.TC mark

30 Questions You Wish You Could Ask The Jerk Who Ghosted You

Posted: 24 Jan 2016 06:00 PM PST

Twenty20 alesha_macarosha
Twenty20 alesha_macarosha

1. Why did you bother talking to me in the first place?

2. What am I supposed to do if we run into each other?

3. How many women did you ghost before me?

4. At what point exactly did you decide that I deserved to be ignored altogether?

5. How would you like it if I ghosted you?

6. Was it something I said, or something I did?

7. Why did you change your mind?

8. Do you still think about me? Ever? At least a little?

9. Will you ghost the next girl too?

10. Have you been ghosted before? Is this like a ghosting pay it forward thing?

11. Did you do this to look *cool* in front of your friends?

12. What would your mom think?

13. How would you feel if your sister was ghosted?

14. If we ever start talking again, would you have the guts to ghost me again? Is double ghosting your trademark or something?

15. Why is it so hard for you to just text back?

16. Should I expect an apology at some point down the line, once you realize what an asshole you’ve been?

17. Do you ghost your own issues too?

18. Are you at all concerned about your reputation?

19. Why is honest communication so terrifying to you?

20. Why are you still following me and liking my stuff on social media?

21. Do you realize you're making a normal person seem crazy?

22. Do you regret it? Like, at all? Even a smidge?

23. What goes through your head when you are ghosting someone?

24. When will you realize that there is nothing sexy about it?

25. Do you realize that ghosting only makes you a coward?

26. Do you ghost your bosses and colleagues too?

27. Do you feel at all guilty?

28. Aren't you concerned about your Karma?

29. How many ghosts will it take for you to settle down?

30. When exactly do plan to grow up? TC mark

Read This If You Are Feeling Overlooked And Under-Appreciated

Posted: 24 Jan 2016 05:30 PM PST

lauren rushing
lauren rushing

Chances are when you feel like you are being overlooked, you haven’t done the necessary work of looking over and looking after your own needs. You haven’t taken personal inventory and conducted a cost benefit analysis of what you feel you have to gain by wearing your crown versus what you feel you have to lose by claiming your rightful throne. There is obviously something keeping you from taking center stage be it your own fears of failure/success or even your own personal insecurities and beliefs about what it means to own the spotlight and actually stand up and be counted.

Some think that if they assert their needs and begin to take center stage, others will be threatened by them and not want to associate with them. They fear that they will alienate others from them and somehow be hated by the torch wielding villagers of our cast away society. They feel that if they were to articulate their wings and fly the miraculous flight of exhibition, they will consequently draw negative attention to themselves and be a swinging fly strip for the criticism, jealousy and hatred of others.

Others feel that to own their own presence, to actually assert the juggernaut of their identity would be too much work and would require a level of consistency they are just not sure they are ready for. Others know they will be expected to produce, to deliver, to answer the call of their ascension and are plagued with a searing ambivalence about doing so. They struggle with so much agonizing doubt that they opt to live in the shadows of all they could be instead of actualizing everything that they already are.

What these people fail to realize is that greatness demands courage.

Legends will be tested. Your talents if not used in the service of your purpose, will torment you and manifest themselves in destructive ways. You can either create from suffering or suffer creatively YOUR CHOICE but either way, your life demands that you honor your light. In order to do that, you need to sit with yourself and listen beyond the locked persona that lives within. Your patience needs to be the key that frees the beasts gnawing at your release daily.

For so long my inner persona whispered to me a series of fears that interfered with me taking center stage. The destructive voices inside of me screamed audibly saying “They’re gonna find out”, “I don’t want them to know” In a low and ominous tone, these voices tried to usurp my throne. Unbeknownst to me, my inner child was unconsciously playing hide and seek with my greatness for fear that it would be taken away or criticized or not appreciated and so it hid. My greatness hid underneath a parade of inauthentic representatives, it hid.

It did not want the world to know that I liked men, that I had low self-esteem, that I had insecurities because as a man, all those things were not looked upon favorably. But those things were indeed apart of my identity that I tended to overlook constantly. Ironically by overlooking myself, I somehow emitted an energy that enabled others to overlook me as well. In fact, such a vibratory frequency attracted only those beings who were negligent of my needs, my boundaries and by extension, my royalty.

In addition to silently cosigning my invisibility, I realized that I was also externally driven by the counterfeit validation systems of other people's opinions. I wanted so badly to harmonize with others in a world that was dangerously off key.

I cared too much about what they would think and not enough about what mattered to me.

My principles, my values, my beliefs took a backseat to the prospect of having company when everyone’s company is ultimately borrowed anyway. Your own company, now that’s yours to keep. And I realized that it's not so bad being alone especially in a world that’s here today and gone the next.

After extensive and continuing inventory, I am now ready to claim my rightful place in the world. My creativity has found voice in many different forms of expression from poetry, to art, to cooking to dance, I find meaning in movement and command attention by extension of my newfound confidence.

Do the destructive voices still visit from time to time in the back of my mind? Yes they do. The only difference now is I have the tools to challenge and extinguish them. So if you are being overlooked, intentionally whispering your life away, hoping to escape the criticism associated with living, STOP IT NOW! Know that you can run but you can't hide because the external criticism you think you are getting away from by shrinking and playing small is the same internal criticism that will ultimately eat away at you as you cannot cheat your life.

Your life knows your abilities and knows what you are capable of and will torment you until you begin to use the gifts that were given to you. So begin to assess what's stopping you from living your magnificence. Give thanks for your triumphant life and know that you are worth honoring your inner shine by living out your light brilliantly, exuberantly, unapologetically in the here and the now. TC mark

9 Stupid Things I Believed Before I Got Out And Traveled The World

Posted: 24 Jan 2016 05:00 PM PST

Lulu Lovering
Lulu Lovering

1. That possessions matter.

Travel hasn't taught me to hoard possessions, to hang on to them, to worry about them, to collect them or to store them. Instead, travel has taught me to let go of stuff; it has forced me to live simply, frugally and to get over the stress of things being lost or damaged.

2. That the world is full of bad people.

Travel hasn't taught me that the world is full of bad people, that negativity is a given outcome or that most people have malicious intentions. Instead, time and time again, travel has actually taught me that the world is full of beautiful, helpful and generous people, willing to share their home, journey or meal. Living as a budget traveller, hitching and couchsurfing frequently, this point has repeatedly been brought home to me and almost always my experiences have led to an affirmation that most people in this world are indeed good people.

3. That I didn’t have anything to be wildly thankful for.

Travel hasn't taught me to take for granted what I have, be that physical capabilities, personal talents, material possessions or the blessing of good fortune. Instead travel has always taught me to be incredibly thankful for what I do have and to use these gifts, be they material or ethereal, to the best of my ability.

4. To stay in the comfort zone.

Travel hasn't taught me to stay in the comfort zone, to shy away from risk or to take the easy option. Instead, more often than not, travel has taught me to put myself our there, to take a chance on an opportunity, to test out my fears or resistances. And almost always doing this, has led to some benefit, joy or new discovery; almost as if the universe rewards those who try, who take risks and who trust. Travel has pushed me to do this and taught me the benefits of moving beyond the safe zone.

5. That normal exists.

Travel hasn't taught me that there is such a thing as "normal", nor that there is one mould we should all conform to. Opening my mind, forcing me to encounter and experience different realities and ways of living, travel has instead taught me that there isn't any set way to view the world or be in the world – there isn't a fixed trajectory or rhythm we can all dance along to.

6. That friendships take time.

Travel hasn't taught me that friendships take time, and the relationships can only be established over a period of months or years. Instead travel has repeatedly showed me that friendships can actually be formed in minutes, that chance encounters on buses, in hostels or at markets can lead to lifelong friendships. I've only known some of the most wonderful people I've met on my travels a few weeks and yet, years later, I am still in contact with them. When you find someone you connect with, that you share an understanding of the world with, time and distance are no obstacles.

7. That you need money to have fun.

As a strict budget traveller, travel certainly hasn't taught me that you need money in order to have a good time. Instead, many of the most beautiful places I've been to and many of the most fantastic things I've seen, have been those that cost very little or nothing at all. Very often having to make do with little or nothing can prompt some great opportunities for invention, creation and discovery; the fact that it's been cheap in the process helps make the wonderful results even sweeter!

8. To ignore intuition.

Travel hasn't taught me to ignore my intuition, to not pay attention to that gut feeling, to disregard what the voice in the back of my mind is muttering. Intuition can show itself in all sorts of ways – be it a feeling in your heart, a sense of "just knowing", or a deep instinct that, despite all the odds, something is right – but whatever it is, travel has taught me to trust it. When you don't know anything or anyone where you are, when you are in strange and foreign lands, intuition is often the only thing us travellers have to go on, and listening to it has proved one of my greatest assets.

9. That it matters where you’re from.

Travel hasn't taught me that it matters where you're from or where you've been or what you've been through. What travel has taught me is that it matters most where you are going. TC mark

15 Things You No Longer Have To Apologize For

Posted: 24 Jan 2016 04:30 PM PST

Twenty20 pratavetra_
Twenty20 pratavetra_

1.

Don't apologize for being real in a world where being real only gets you so far.

2.

Don't apologize for cutting toxic people out of your life no matter how long you have known them, how close you were or even if you are related.

3.

Don't apologize for ignoring their text message after going months without hearing from them.

4.

Don't apologize for posting that quote or song or article that may offend some people, post them and tell those people to get over themselves.

5.

Don't apologize for being a little bit more guarded.

6.

Don't apologize for deciding not to love someone who did you wrong anymore.

7.

Don't apologize for neglecting people who only need you when it's convenient for them.

8.

Don't apologize for the painful things you said, because if they can say it, why can't you?

9.

Don't apologize for trusting all the wrong people, because they taught you that some people may seem to want all the best for you, but when you get it, they want to take it away.

10.

Don't apologize for celebrating even if there is nothing to celebrate, because fun should not be tied to certain occasions, people, achievements or materials.

11.

Don't apologize for not keeping things to yourself anymore, get it off your chest so you can breathe again.

12.

Don't apologize for calling someone out, it is your right to set boundaries in every relationship.

13.

Don't apologize for putting yourself first, because let's face it-someone had to.

14.

Don't apologize for being an adult who is still learning what matters, who matters, and which direction to go.

15.

Don't apologize for simply becoming who you are meant to be.  TC mark

17 Struggles Of Being The Girl Who Just Can’t Be Sexy

Posted: 24 Jan 2016 04:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / hiccausland
Twenty20 / hiccausland

People tell me all the time that I’m cute. Even when I’m doing nothing to warrant such a comment — like using my step stool to reach something on the top shelf of my kitchen cabinet, or sitting on a bench where my feet don’t reach the floor.

I have a heart-shaped face that people describe as “doll-like” and I’m pretty short, which are features that up my cute factor, I guess. Even though I’m a grown ass woman, I still have the occasional friend or even stranger grab my (face) cheeks and squeeze them.

The downside of being cute? You’re never described as “hot.” In fact, when you’re trying to come off as sexy, even your best efforts are usually met with an “Awww.”

Being cute but not hot comes with its own set of unique challenges. Here are 17 of the ones that I face on the regular.

1. That sexy outfit you borrowed from your hot friend doesn’t do the same for you. Those threads that look smokin’ hot on your bestie make you look like you just tried to play dress up in your mom’s closet.

2. Forget taking a sexy selfie, either. Saying “prune” and even giving your best Tyra Banks “smize” still only earn you comments like “Adorbs!”

3. The emojis used to represent you are also cute. No one in your group chat ever responds to your texts with the fire emoji or even the flamenco dancer. It’s always the bunny rabbit emoji, or the one with the two dancing girls dressed as bunnies. I mean, at least they’re showing some skin.

4. Trying on clothes with your friends is an “Awww” fest.
 That skirt is so cute. That string bikini is so cute. That low cut halter top dress is so cute. On you, of course it is.

5. Even your lady parts are cute. “Give me those cute little boobs” is a real thing that a guy I dated once said to me. I haven’t yet recovered.

6. People casually tell you that they want to eat you. As in, “You’re so cute I could just eat you up!” I’ll bet no one ever says that to any of the Victoria’s Secret angels.

7. Even your misfortunes are “Awww”-worthy. The story you’re telling your friends about how a truck drove by you really fast on a rainy day and got you wet with puddle water is, apparently, really cute. In fact, can you say the word “puddle” again? You’re so cute when you say puddle.

8. It’s impossible to gauge a guy’s interest in you. Because even when you send a friend to investigate the matter, all you get back is, “She’s cute.” But lots of things are cute.

9. You get put on the backburner by your first dates.
 As in, “Oh, that girl Danielle I went on a date with is cute.” But then you’re left hanging while that guy explores “hotter” options. Rude.

10. You can’t eat sexy things.
 Well, you can, but when you’re a cute girl eating a banana in public, you’re just a cute girl eating a banana. When you’re a hot girl chowing down on that same phallic fruit, you’re inciting boners.

11. Kids want to play with you. One time a little girl told me that I look like her doll. Then she wanted to play with me the entire time we were stuck on line together at the grocery store. Prior to this, I had been making eyes at the guy on line in front of me. Being cute got me cockblocked by a toddler.

12. Even the drunk version of you is cute.
 When sexy people get drunk, they become more fun and alluring. When cute people get drunk, slurring their words and swaying with the music makes them even cuter.

13. Hungover you is also cute. After a night of heavy drinking, I used to make myself toast at my last boyfriend’s apartment. He’d find me making secret toast at 6 AM while trying not to vomit, and he’d tell me how adorable he thought that was. Hot hungover people have that “just laid” look and raspy sexy morning voice going for them. Me? I’ve got my super-cute secret toast habit.


14. You always get asked for directions.
 Hot people never get asked for directions because they’re unapproachable. Cute people are forever being stopped to give directions, even when we insist we’re not from here. Apparently we look friendly.

15. Dropping things is different. Ever see a hot woman accidentally drop something? Some chivalrous guy always rushes in to help. One time a guy saw me drop my ice cream cone and said, “Awww, that’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen happen.” Then he kept walking.

16. You get passed over.
 It sucks, but it happens. If you’re out with a lot of hot women, nine times out of ten you’re going to be passed over in favor of the hottie standing next to you at the bar. But hey, hotness fades; cute is forever.

17. You struggle to own your cuteness. If everyone says it, then it must be true, right? But even though all the evidence points to the fact that you’re adorable, you’re not really sure what to do with that. Hot people know exactly how to use their looks to their advantage. But aside from garnering a lot of “Awwws” whenever you do things, you’re not sure how to use your cute for the greater good. Is this what it feels like to be a puppy?

There are far worse fates than being cute but not hot, but there’s no denying that sometimes it can be a challenge. Keep your head up, adorable people — even when you’re asked for directions for the umpteenth time. TC mark

This post originally appeared at YourTango.

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The Kiss Of The ‘Black Widow’: 17 Women Who Murdered Their Husbands (And Others) For Cash

Posted: 24 Jan 2016 04:00 PM PST

Evelyn Dick. (YouTube)
Evelyn Dick. (YouTube)

The female black widow spider devours the male after copulating. In other words, she finds him, fucks him, and then eats him.

Women who are known as “Black Widow killers” devour their mate’s assets after killing him. She finds him, fucks him, kills him, and then treats herself to his bank account and insurance payouts.

According to the Internet Journal of Criminology:

Black Widow killers murder those close to them, usually those who they have some form of romantic association with, such as a husband or lover, however, they also prey on their own relatives….[They] murder for the purpose of financial gain, through using romance to initiate the process.

The following 17 cases involve women who killed their lovers in order to inherit their wealth.

1. YOU CUT OFF HIS HEAD…HOW COULD YOU, MRS. DICK?

Evelyn Dick is known as the “Canadian Black Widow” and the “Torso Killer.” Considered beautiful and sexually insatiable, she allegedly never worked a day in her life yet covered herself in lush furs and glittering jewels.

She was arrested on suspicion of murder after children found her husband’s hacked-up, headless torso near where they’d been playing. They’d been married for less than five months. She was convicted of his murder in 1946 but was soon acquitted on a technicality. In 1947 she was tried and convicted of murdering her infant son after his mummified body was found encased in cement in a suitcase found in her attic. The fact that she murdered her son casts reasonable suspicion on Evelyn for her husband’s brutal dismemberment. She served only 11 years in a Canadian prison before being released and forever disappearing from the public eye.

Her case was so infamous in Canada that it led to a popular schoolyard song:

You cut off his legs…
You cut off his arms…
You cut off his head…
How could you, Mrs Dick?
How could you, Mrs Dick?

2. SHE COOKED HIM AND TRIED FEEDING HIM TO HIS KIDS

Katherine Knight. (YouTube)
Katherine Knight. (YouTube)

Katherine Knight has been called “Australia’s most notorious psychopath,” and from all accounts she was quite the nasty piece of work. A trained butcher prone to violent mood swings where she’d “snap like a biscuit,” she raged at her male lovers and her children with knives, irons, axes, and saucepans as she smashed teeth, cracked heads, and sliced flesh. She even slit the throat of one man’s eight-week-old puppy in an eruption of bloody vengeance. Her violent spurts were so frequent and extreme, she earned a reputation as “the town psycho.”

In October 2001 she stabbed her male lover John Price 37 times, puncturing several vital organs and leaving his house looking like the slaughterhouses where she toiled. She completely removed his skin and hanged it from a hook in the house’s entrance. She chopped him to pieces, fed some of his flesh to his dog, and boiled part of Price’s dead flesh in a stew along with potatoes and vegetables. She then set a dinner table for Price’s children featuring their father’s meat as the main course. She also individually scribbled out sadistic notes to each child and left them at their placemats. She was arrested before the children ever got to see—much less eat—this gruesome meal, however. Knight became the first woman in Australian history to be sentenced to life without parole.

3. THE QUEEN OF COCAINE

Griselda Blanco. (Orange County Sheriff's Department)
Griselda Blanco. (Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

A Colombian-born member of the Medellin drug cartel, Griselda Blanco was perhaps Miami’s most influential drug gangster in the 1970s and 80s, earning such sobriquets as “La Madrina,” “The Black Widow,” “Cocaine Godmother,” and “Queen of Narco-Trafficking.” At one point in the 1980s her business was bringing in an estimated $80 million every month.

Blanco allegedly shot someone for the first time when she was only 11 years old. According to Colombian media, she personally ordered the deaths of anywhere between 40 and 250 people.

When learning that her first husband had been taking more than his fair share of the financial cut, she ambushed him in a parking lot with a pistol she’d hid in her ostrich-skin boots, blowing away him and shooting a half-dozen of his bodyguards. The lady was hardcore.

The law finally caught up with her in 1985 and she spent 20 years in prison, only to return to her Colombian homeland. In 2012 at age 69, she was gunned down by a pair of drive-by motorcyclists, which is ironic since she helped pioneer that mode of assassination.

4. BRITAIN’S FIRST SERIAL KILLER?

Mary Ann Cotton. ( (Wikimedia Commons)
Mary Ann Cotton. ( (Wikimedia Commons)

Starting in 1852—a full 36 years before Jack the Ripper rained holy terror on London—Mary Ann Cotton started poisoning people with arsenic in order to collect their belongings and cash out their insurance policies. Her alleged death toll included three husbands, her mom, a boyfriend, up to eight of her own children, and seven stepchildren. She was eventually convicted of one stepson’s murder and was hanged to death. As with Evelyn Dick, her saga helped inspire a children’s rhyme:

Mary Ann Cotton, she’s dead and forgotten,
Lying in bed with her bones all rotten.
Sing, sing, what can I sing?
Mary Ann Cotton, tied up with string.

5. HER KIDS HELPED BURY THE BODIES

Betty Lou Beets. (Texas Department of Corrections)
Betty Lou Beets. (Texas Department of Corrections)

The daughter of poor tobacco farmers, Betty Lou Beets led a hard, brutal life. She lost her hearing at age three after getting the measles. She was also allegedly raped by relatives and attempted suicide at age 16.

An alcoholic who drank to chase away her loneliness, she married multiple times, running over one husband with a car but failing to kill him. She shot and killed her fifth husband, Doyle Wayne Barker, in 1981. She murdered her sixth husband, Jimmy Don Beets, in 1983. She killed Barker so she could gain ownership of his trailer home in Gun Barrel City, TX. She killed Beets for his insurance money and pension benefits. She buried both men in her own backyard.

Betty Lou’s son and daughter were complicit in the murder coverups and testified against their mother at trial. Her response was to blame them for the murders. This strategy didn’t work, and she was put to death by lethal injection in 2000.

6. THE ‘PSYCHIC’ WHO MAGICALLY PREDICTED HER HUSBANDS’ DEATHS

According to legend, Polish immigrant Tillie Klimek posed as a “psychic” who predicted the deaths not only of three husbands for insurance money, but of several neighborhood dogs, a neighbor woman who was suspicious about her husbands’ deaths, and three children who belonged to a family with whom she’d been quarreling. Whether or not the ‘psychic’ angle is true, she allegedly taunted her third husband by telling him, “It won’t be long now,” “You’ll be dying soon,” and telling neighbors that he only had “two inches to live.” When arrested for the latter husband’s death, she told the arresting officer, “The next one I want to cook a dinner for is you.”

7. SHE WORE A SPIDER IN HER BRIDAL HEADDRESS

Blonde and curvy, Linda Calvey was quite the hot pocket when she was younger. She fell in with British gangsters and raked in an estimated one million British pounds helping them pull off armed robberies. She was convicted of murder for shooting a former lover in the head after ordering him to kneel. A police officer who’d dealt with Calvey remarked that "every man she has ever been involved with is either in prison or dead.” After being released from prison and suspected of killing at least two former male lovers—earning her infamy as a “Black Widow”—she married a third man in 2009. Sadistically playing on her reputation, Calvey had the audacity to wear a fake spider in her bridal headdress for this marriage to a man fifteen years her senior. Of course he died five years later.

8. THE MURDER MYSTERY WEEKEND KILLING

For months, Maryland surgical technician Kimberly Hricko had complained to coworkers that she wanted her husband dead. She reportedly offered a coworker $50,000 to do the job and boasted that an insurance payout of anywhere from $200,000 to $400,000 awaited her the moment her husband was buried.

To help repair their failing marriage, her husband—unaware that Kimberly had already started fucking around with a younger man—invited her to a Valentine’s weekend in 1998 at a nearby hotel that featured a Mafia-themed murder mystery play involving the audience where the groom dies from drinking poisoned champagne. Early the next morning, the charred corpse of Hricko’s husband was found dead in their burned-down motel room. Detectives concluded she’d killed him with a muscle paralyzer and then set the room ablaze. She was found guilty of arson and murder and is serving life plus 30 years.

9. SHE WANTED TO ‘FEED HIM TO THE HOGS’ AND ‘LAUGH ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK’

Karra Trichele Allen (Llano County Sheriff's Department)
Karra Trichele Allen. (Llano County Sheriff’s Department)

During a long, lazy afternoon of drinking in July 2013, Karra Trichele Allen of Llano, TX texted to her friends that she wanted to kill her husband Brian, “feed him to the dogs,” and “laugh all the way to the bank.” She also texted Brian that she hoped he’d die in a car crash before he got home. She shot him when he got home, and when she was on the phone with 911, the idiot told her dying husband that he was a piece of shit and would “die knowing that.” This of course startled the 911 dispatcher. Allen was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

10. KILLED HER HUSBAND WITH ANTIFREEZE, TRIED FRAMING HER DAUGHTER

Stacey Castor. (Onondaga County Sheriff's Department)
Stacey Castor. (Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department)

Stacey Castor of upstate New York intentionally force-fed her husband David a lethal dose of antifreeze via a turkey baster one day in 2005. It was the second husband she’d fatally poisoned with antifreeze, and she buried David in a cemetery plot right next to her first husband. She told the police she thought David had committed suicide. Two years later she contacted her daughter Ashley, suggesting they should drink together to mourn David’s passing. She crushed some pills into her daughter’s drink, whereupon Ashley fell into a coma for 17 hours. Castor then busied herself writing a “murder confession” wherein Ashley confessed to the crime. Police saw through the ruse, though, and Castor was convicted of murdering David and attempting to murder Ashley. David’s son, whom Stacey had cheated out of the will, called her a “monster and a threat to society.” A judge called her “a ceiling in terms of evil.”

11. ‘KILLER GRANNIES’ WHO PREYED UPON HOMELESS MEN

Helen Golay (left) and Olga Rutterschmidt. (LAPD)
Helen Golay (left) and Olga Rutterschmidt. (LAPD)

Helen Golay and Olga Rutterschmidt are the only two women on here who killed men who weren’t their lovers, yet still their rancid and calculated attacks on LA’s homeless men were dubbed the “Black Widow Murders.” Their modus operandi was to befriend elderly homeless men with offers of help, have them sign multiple insurance policies, kill them in hit-and-run accidents, and then collect on the policies. They allegedly reaped over $2 million in insurance payouts before they were caught and convicted in 2008 of two murder counts.

12. GREAT AT BEING A WIDOW

From 1994 until 2013, Japanese woman Chisako Kakehi lost seven husbands and collected around $8 million worth of insurance payouts as a result. Her seventh marriage only lasted a month before her unfortunate suitor croaked. Police found traces of cyanide in more than one of her husbands’ corpses as well as in a trash bag at her home. To this day Kakehi insists she’s innocent, claiming instead that she’s been “doomed by fate” to accidentally lose seven husbands in a row.

13. CONSPIRED WITH HER FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOY TOY TO KILL HER HUSBAND

Pamela Smart. (Derry Police Department)
Pamela Smart. (Derry Police Department)

At her trial for being an accomplice to first-degree murder, heavy metal aficionada Pamela Smart was described as “an evil woman bent on murder” by the prosecutor. At age 22, seeking $140,000 from her husband’s life-insurance policy, Pam convinced her 15-year-old boy lover, Billy Flynn, to kill her husband in 1990. Along with three teenage accomplices, Flynn got the job done on May 1, 1990. Pam insisted that it was Billy’s idea to kill Greggory Smart, but the jury wasn’t convinced. Smart is serving a life sentence, while Flynn was paroled last year.

14. THE ‘JEWISH LIZZIE BORDEN’

Rita Gluzman was a Jewish expatriate of the Soviet Union who resettled in the USA with her Ukrainian-born husband, prominent cancer researcher Yakov Gluzman. But after Yakov filed for divorce citing Rita’s abusiveness and lavish spending, she began plotting her revenge. She contacted her cousin Vladimir Zelenin and explained she wanted to murder Yakov in order to inherit his company, ECI Technologies. They both ambushed Yakov, with Rita bludgeoning him about the head with a pair of axes and Vladimir finally dismembering his corpse. Vladimir was caught by police while dumping garbage bags containing Yakov’s body into the Passaic River. Since she used an axe to murder her husband, the New York tabloids began referring to her as the “Jewish Lizzie Borden.” A letter from Yakov Gluzman’s parents regarding her sentencing read, in part:

For 25 years she gradually demolished him emotionally and in the 26th year she dismembered him physically.

15. POISONED EXCEDRIN CAPSULES

Stella Nickell. (YouTube)
Stella Nickell. (YouTube)

When her husband Bruce came home from work one day in June 1986 complaining of a headache, thrill-seeking bored housewife Stella Nickell fed him four Extra-Strength Excedrin capsules she’d laced with cyanide. She had taken out a huge insurance policy on Bruce and had even forged his signature on the documents. She allegedly even once told her daughter that they’d have fun spending his insurance money were Bruce to suddenly drop dead. To cover her tracks and make it appear that Bruce was the victim of product tampering à la the Chicago Tylenol murders, she placed bottles of tainted capsules in nearby grocery stores. A local bank manager, Susan Snow, died from ingesting one of the capsules. Detectives traced the capsules back to Stella when it was revealed they also contained traces of an algaecide she used in her fish tank. Stella Nickell was convicted of product tampering and sentenced to 90 years in prison.

16. THE DEVIL’S ROOMING HOUSE

Amy Archer-Gilligan. ( (Wikimedia Commons)
Amy Archer-Gilligan.  (Wikimedia Commons)

As the proprietress of a Connecticut nursing home, Amy Archer-Gilligan aroused suspicion when literally dozens of her boarders wound up dead shortly after naming her in their wills. Between 1911 and 1916, a staggering 48 of her residents died in this manner—this includes five of her husbands, all of whom were found dead of arsenic poisoning. She’d taken out “sizeable insurance policies” on all five husbands before murdering them. Amy’s story became the inspiration for the play and movie Arsenic and Old Lace.

17. FRESH SANDWICHES FOR THE NEW HUSBAND’S FUNERAL

British serial killer Mary Elizabeth Wilson was known as the “Merry Widow of Windy Nook” and saw four husbands die in rapid succession in the mid-1950s. She inherited their money with every funeral she attended. She was sentenced to death in 1958 for murdering two of these husbands with beetle poison in 1956 and 1957. At her fourth wedding reception she reportedly “joked” that her husbands were dropping off so quickly, she would be able to use the fresh sandwiches from the prior husband’s funeral for the next one’s funeral. TC mark

Why Young Men Should Experiment With Cougars

Posted: 24 Jan 2016 03:30 PM PST

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image –The Graduate

For all their youthful vigor, beauty, and perfectly angled selfies that show off their best assets, most young chicks are a real pain in the ass to deal with. Most of them think that the average young guy is incapable of fulfilling them and haven't been humbled by reality enough to know what characteristics to truly look for in a man. Also, they'll elevate a minor problem into full-blown drama and then yap about how they've been through a lot (of dick). Regardless, many boys and men will compete for their attention because nothing screams Alpha Male like having a hot 21-year-old with an hourglass figure hanging off your arm. Instead of directly going toe-to-toe with other dudes who have airtight game or higher social value than you in such a fiercely competitive atmosphere, why not change the field you operate in and become a cougar-slayer?

For those of you slow on the uptake, cougars are older, mature women usually 40+ who still look pretty damn good because they've taken care of themselves throughout the years. They are not to be confused with spinsters and fat-acceptance twats whose bitterness and sloth has left them with a body that only devouring hundreds of gallons of ice cream while watching romantic comedies compounded over many years can produce.

I learned about the unique prowess of these wonderful creatures by pure luck. When I was in the Army, my unit was constructing a bunch of new barracks and ran out of the room to house all the single soldiers. So they decided to give a bunch of us single dudes who had been there for a while an extra allowance for housing so we could get our own places off-post. The apartment I got for myself was near a bar that catered to a more mature clientele because they often hosted cover bands that played classic rock.

As I began to frequent that bar, something occurred that rarely happened to me: Good-looking women with amazing fake breasts and wild 80s-style glam-rock hair began to flirt with me. At the time, my MO was to hit up the bars, hit on chicks who were in my age range, and get promptly rejected. This would lead to me drinking alcohol in frustration and making another sloppy attempt at convincing a chick to let met touch her lady parts, which led to more severe rejections. Frustration drinking would morph into rage drinking, which would have me falling toward a downward spiral of angst and loneliness that ended with me jerking off to nude pictures of my ex-girlfriend.

Good-looking women with amazing fake breasts and wild 80s-style glam-rock hair began to flirt with me.

A new world opened for me. Instead of constantly having my ego destroyed by 6s or 7s who wanted nothing to do with my goofy Mexican self, I was exchanging witty banter, dancing, making out, and more with cougars who were 8s and 9s in their prime and still looked like total foxes. They loved that I was an eager, muscular, clean-cut Latin 22-year-old with an outgoing personality and quirky smile. I loved their feminine physique, no-bullshit attitude, and ability to hold real conversations. It was the beginning of an infatuation that has maintained my interest until this day.

Why should young men experiment with dating cougars? Because they have an insane amount of knowledge to bequeath upon you to expedite the process of growing into a real man. A lot of these women have been hardened by the real world. They have been married, divorced, have full-fledged careers, and may have a few kids to boot. They don't have time for the petty games that late-teen and early-twenty-something chicks love to play on the male psyche. When they decide to spend time with you, they mean business. They're able to stimulate you physically and mentally.

Through your interactions with them, you'll learn about the mistakes both men and women tend to make as they grow older—from having children before they were truly ready to allowing the romance in the relationship to wane. You'll be exposed to their lifestyle and see how life can look like for you if you make the right or wrong moves. You'll learn to interact more intelligently and have deeper conversations with the opposite sex. You'll have a ton of hands-on experience on pleasing your woman in the sack because most cougars are more than willing to coach you into being a good lover.

They have an insane amount of knowledge to bequeath upon you to expedite the process of growing into a real man.

You shouldn't exclusively date cougars, but add them to your repertoire of women you consider dating material. Depending on how successful she is, you'll be able to catch a taste of the high-class life. You know all those pretty young chicks going to all sorts of fancy, exclusive parties and places on social media? Most of them didn't pay the bill for that. They got there by dating older men who have already established themselves. It’s tough to compete with that as a young man who is barely starting off in the world.

Don't think just because you're with an older woman that you can be a lazy sack of shit. If you're a broke, sloppy mouth-breather with poor personal hygiene and the inability to hold a conversation, these bitches will shut you down quickly. You're the young stud—play the part. Have enough money to take her out for drinks, be in good shape, dress nice, and have something of value to say. They are still women, after all. You must spark their interest and gain their trust. If you're able to do those things, you'll have more than you fill of cougar love, as opposed to trying to scrounge for a bit of attention from a mediocre chick with an overinflated self-worth because she has 2,000 Instagram followers who bombard her with likes every time she posts a cleavage shot. TC mark