“So, what do you do for a living?”

Usually not quite a daunting question upon first meeting someone. But in my case, it was one that was dreaded in every new encounter, afraid of their response. In even worse situations, no response was given at all. It became very apparent to me that this was a topic, though I had come to view as completely normal, was a rather extreme one to the average civilian. Most women wouldn’t sweetly smile and answer that they used to be an internationally recognized adult performer.

I entered the adult industry in March of 2010, only a few months after my ambitious move to Los Angeles. The initial purpose of my escape from the frozen tundra of the midwest was purely to pursue my already active fashion modeling career. Minneapolis just wasn’t enough for me. Not enough glitz. Not enough glam. Not enough stardom. I wanted more. Immediately upon my arrival, I worked nearly every day, working with a level of photographers I never had in my career. The images were flawless. I felt beautiful, like I was blossoming, my tendrils reaching for a bigger and better life.

The unfortunate but harsh reality of the nouveau modeling world is that there truly isn’t much money involved for the majority of us. The idea of “exposure” is a selling point for most photographers to ensure they get their images without paying a dime. And myself, like many other naive young ladies who are fresh off the bus, accept this mentality in hopes that the paying gigs will eventually come though. More exposure, more chance of a paid gig, right? There will always be fresh new faces. There will always be a hunger for exposure that overshadows the necessity for payment. Needless to say, the little lump of money I had reserved for my move out West had been sucked up more quickly than the cheap alcohol out of my glass. I felt defeated. Sure, I attended a few great parties, made some new connections, and procured a slightly inflated ego, but I had nothing to show for it except a book of beautiful images. The thought of returning to my hometown was absolutely wrenching to even consider. How could I fail? I was too proud to admit that I “failed”, like so many back home were certain I would do.

So what next? I could only be a couch surfer for so long. I didn’t want to be the girl relying on everyone else for free handouts and an ultimate pity party. The thought of having to be reliant on others made me feel so helpless, and it’s likely one of the most dreaded emotions for me to endure.

So in likely the most vulnerable time of whatever condition my mentality was in, I contacted a friend that I knew was in “the Biz”.

I knew nothing about porn, and frankly, hardly even found myself watching it. The thought of even putting myself in front of a camera, naked, was absolutely absurd; I had no idea what I was doing, but I was intrigued at the thought of creating some sort of potential income. And from her description of her successes thus far, it sounded all too good to be true. The acquaintance of mine and myself originally met back in Minnesota. She had relocated to Los Angeles not too long before I had made the plunge into the chaotic world of entertainment. She had already been newly involved at the time of our introduction, and I remember being fascinated about the subject entirely. Embarrassed and still very much in a sheepish manner, I prodded her mind about the lifestyle of hers that she portrayed to be so glamorous. The picture painted in my mind was a glorious one, filled with expensive handbags, designer shoes, constant adoration, and a seemingly effortless amount of work involved.

But of course my interest was piqued. It dazzled and sparkled in my young eyes in such a way that it remained in the back of my mind, stuck. That life could be mine. The fascination only grew after my move to the West Coast.

After I found myself strapped for cash, dreading an almost inevitable return the place I swore I never would, the memory of my interaction with this starlet came to mind. It seemed like the obvious solution to what I perceived as an impossibly difficult situation. With only a brief thought of the damaging effects (which at the time, didn’t consist of hardly any), my eyes were even more longingly searching for a route to achieve this grandiosity. A decision as final as becoming an adult performer was not taken as seriously as it should have been. But at the age of 20, long-term consequences weren’t something that necessarily first popped into my mind. I wanted immediate results; immediate ease from the financial burden that was ruling the path my life would follow. I wanted to feel admired. Loved. I was in Los Angeles; I wanted it all.

Nervously, I scrambled through my phone contact list, hoping that I had at least gotten her number. I had to have it. Behold, there it was, with the title ‘porn star’ in her contact description. Upon so frantically searching for a way to contact her I was suddenly frozen with the realization that I had absolutely no clue what to say to her. Um, hey, I’m the ridiculously awkward girl from Minnesota who picked your brain about porn as if I’d never even seen sex before in my entire life… How do I become like you?

Yeah, real smooth.

To my surprise, her response was actually quite endearing. She happened to be with her agent at that very moment, asked me to send her some photographs of myself, and moments later said that he wanted to meet me in person. My heart just about fell out of my butt – the whole interaction occurred in no more than 3 minutes, and I was already prepping to bolt out the door to head to the infamous Porn Valley, unaware that her agent happened to be one of the most reputable in the world.

I had no idea of what to expect. I didn’t imagine there’d be some sort of “audition” or anything to that extent. The idea was just too preposterous to be real.

Expecting some lavish Hollywood estate, my GPS brought me to a fairly unassuming apartment complex in the middle of suburbia. I was anxious. I could feel the hammering of my heart slamming against my chest. My palms were embarrassingly sweating, though I could likely blame it on the notorious valley heat. What was I even supposed to say to the guy? The journey from the car to his apartment door took entirely longer than it should have, but as I stood awkwardly at his door I knew I couldn’t stall any longer. I knocked, quietly, and then immediately panicked, worrying I hadn’t knocked hard enough. What if he did hear me and I knocked again and he thought I was an impatient brat? I waited. Longer. And longer still. My hand slowly crept up to knock again, and just as my knuckles nearly made contact with the door, it swung open, revealing something I’m not sure anyone could have expected.

What stood before me, well, I should say below me, was a rather stout man. And to be brutally frank, he was rather reminiscent of a troll. He gruffly invited me inside and sort of hobbled to what I perceived to be the living room, littered with dozens of copies of adult magazines and boxes stacked full of various XXX movies. I cleared myself a spot on the sofa and looked at him anxiously, still absolutely unsure of what to expect. And then the bombardment of blunt questions ensued.

“So, what’s your name? Andy said you wanted in the biz.”

“Uh.. Melissa.”

“You’ll need a stage name. You live in LA?”

I nodded.

“You gotta car?”

“No. Well, kinda… my friend let’s me borrow theirs-“

“That’s fine. Okay. Get naked.”

A million scenarios ran through my mind in the instant after I registered what he had just said. The one that rang loudest was that please, for the love of all that is pure and holy, please God don’t make me have sex with this man. And I’m not even religious in the least. At all.

I slowly undressed, wishing I had worn something with a few less buttons so my fingers wouldn’t keep clumsily struggling with each one. I draped my clothing over the side of the sofa and stood there, somewhat trying to shield myself but also only giving it a halfhearted attempt as I knew there was no point. He asked me to turn around. Slightly bend over. Every request was in a gruff, monotone voice. Seemingly, he was not even phased that a woman was naked in front of him, her ass in the air. I was showing myself like a show dog to a man I had only met ten minutes prior.

“Good. No scars. No bad tattoos. You’re a little skinny but I guess it’s fine unless you’re a fuckin’ druggie. I don’t have time for that bullshit. You can put your clothes back on.” I reassured him of my lack of drug use as I hastily clothed myself, feeling all the more comfortable without being so completely exposed. The feeling of comfort was only temporary as even more questions began to follow.

“Do you do boys? Girls? Anal? BDSM? What about gang bangs? Interracial?”

I wrung my hands in my lap completely taken aback by his bluntness. I hadn’t even thought of these questions myself, even in my own perceived perversion. I couldn’t even look him in the eyes because of shyness, and I wasn’t sure if it was my own embarrassment, or my embarrassment for a man who was seemingly so unaffected with requesting a young female undressing herself, and what preference she had on what body parts entered her body. But even then, in my complete lack of understanding, I knew that his behavior likely would be mirrored by many others that I would surely meet in the near future. The immense detachment from sexuality blew my mind, even though the intent of the industry was to emote that very thing.

“So, we gotta get ya tested. It’s about a hundred bucks. You got that?”

I shook my head.

“Well then I guess I can cover it this time, we’ll just take it outta your first check. I’m gonna call a few people and maybe we can have you go on a couple go-see’s today. Lemme make some calls.”

He waddled back to what I assumed was his bedroom and shut the door, and I remained in silence, unsure of what to do with myself. My palms were still sweaty. Damn it. I felt stupid because I wasn’t being very talkative and didn’t really know much about the industry. I wanted more to offer to prove myself to this man that I just met. But for what reason? Why the need to impress some random person that I had only known to be a porn agent? The even brief notion of my worry of having “class” and “etiquette” completely blows my mind in hindsight. For fuck’s sake, I had just stripped myself nude and bent over in front of the man. The thought of myself having any sort of dignity at the point was long gone in almost a laughable obviousness. It was pathetic. But what was more pathetic was the fact that I felt like I truly didn’t care.

By the end of the day, my urine and blood samples were en route to some lab in the valley and I waited anxiously in the comfort of my bed. Not that I was anxious at the results of my test, but having being tested made the whole situation all the more real. I was just intrigued at the idea of possibly dabbling in the industry, but it seemed in less than 24 hours I was already on my way to be a full fledged porn star. TC mark

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Words of life.
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The Ashlee Simpson Show
The Ashlee Simpson Show


Your bed is unmade, your best clothes are dirty, you haven’t written a word of that paper, and you feel like you haven’t talked to your parents in days. Everything feels out of place. Where are your keys? You feel like you never know, and you’re constantly apologizing to people for it whenever you can’t do something fast enough, even if it’s something as trivial as hastily searching for your debit card at the register: “sorry, I’m such a mess.” No. You are not a mess. You are a human. Stop apologizing for being fallible. It’s okay not to have every single thing in its place as long as your heart is in the right one.


You want to improve: move up the ranks at your job, make more than .75 and hour, finally pick a major, exercise more, spend more time reading for pleasure, damn, you just want to be better. You don’t know why, but you never feel like you’ve mastered anything you practice, even if you do it every day. This isn’t a sign of weakness, it is a sign of self-awareness. It’s like hearing the TV in the other room and feeling like you can almost see it play out in front of you– you know what’s going on, but you can’t get the picture exactly right. You don’t need to have the perfect picture yet. If you know what you want to do, keep doing it. If you don’t, let yourself find out.


You know when you are doing something wrong. Do less of that and you will be fine. Don’t overthink the consequences of every move. You will misstep and it will help you memorize the right steps later. Keep moving.


Did you really gain 15 lbs your freshman year? Probably more like 5 or 10, and honestly? Who cares if you gained 15 lbs if you finished your first year of formal learning and an institution of higher education? The same goes for the sophomore slump: it is real, but it is not as bad as you think it will be. Your second year is more difficult because the word is harder and the rewards greater, but on a much less frequent timetable. That is adulthood, and you are beginning to understand how it feels.


Freshman year friends will fall away. Exes will become people you don’t even get drunk texts from, they will just disappear. What is it that you lay in bed at night thinking about, blaming yourself for, wondering when the hell you’ll know better than to do again? Let it go. You’ve learned your lesson.


If you feel like you really messed up and hurt someone else, then you probably did. It is (almost) never too late to be humble and apologize, or to do the thing that you’ve been neglecting to do. Having said that, you are too old to keep apologizing as a self-rewarding mechanism. Are you the only person who will benefit from this apology? If so, just learn and let go. Forgive yourself and maybe, someday, they will too.


I used to find myself getting annoyed with my own comments, infuriated by how aware I was of my own whining even though I couldn’t stop. It was addicting. You have to break the pattern of letting complaints be your release. What’s the difference? Complaints are negative comments about things you had all the power to change or ignore. Venting is talking about the frustrations of things you are uncertain about, or things that you can’t stop thinking about that you have no power over whatsoever. It’s okay to complain sometimes, but it is important to know that there is a difference.


There are days where you will not accomplish anything but being alive, and it will be hard to even feel like that is an accomplishment, let alone a good thing at all. You will want to sleep forever. It will rain and your favorite shoes will be ruined and you will be hungry and the only food place on the way home from work will be closed, and you will feel so stupid for crying in your car, but you will do it anyway. You aren’t stupid. Your life isn’t boring. You are remarkable even though some of your days will be completely unremarkable. The content of your day is not a reflection of the content of your character.


The best sex ever. The worst boyfriend ever. The worst class ever. It feels like the value of everything dwells in its potential for hyperbole. Don’t like extremes control your feelings. You’ll come to see the best things as the most simple, indescribable feelings, like the moment when you can’t stop talking to someone even though you’re both exhausted, or the way unclasping your own bra after a long day feels. They are not the best or the worst, they transcend extremes. Some things are just good or decent or alright, and none of them need to be ranked.


Don’t let anyone make you feel miserable because they feel miserable. There is a fine line between being there for someone and being someone’s emotional punching bag. Draw boundaries and keep them. It doesn’t make you cold, it makes you responsible for your own happiness.


No one can make you cry. No one can use you. You can cry and be justified, you can feel used and be justified, but you are not a tool that people can readily control. Embrace your emotions and own them. As a wise woman once wrote, “you cross the line from having needs into being needy the moment you start believing your needs are someone else’s responsibility.”


Pushing yourself to excel is one thing, but forcing yourself to make drastic changes is another. Don’t force your own personal growth. Know that you will change as you make mistakes, learn, and have the chance to act again. You will be different someday, you don’t need to stunt that shift by overanalyzing what you need to change right now.


Being skeptical of authority– your parents, professors, and the systems that you’ve abided by ever since you were born– doesn’t make you a subversively cool intellectual. It just means you’re becoming aware of new information on old institutions. That is a good thing. Do not abuse this new open-mindedness by trying to win arguments or undermine everyone around you. Keep questioning things. You might never find the answers, but you can always find new ones.


People will let you down. People will break your heart. You will be rejected. Sometimes, your experience will not be enough to qualify you to do a thing that you want to do more than anything else in the world. You will be let down, but you can get back up knowing that you are always one turn away from getting the thing you know you want.


We project our expectations for affection onto the objects of our own affection. It’s natural. There will be perfectly lovely individuals who just cannot give you what you want. It neither a flaw in their character nor a problem with your brain. It’s just a mismatch. Sometimes it will be so uniquely painful and all-encompassing that you will wonder if any of it is worth the suffering at all. It is. Keep going.


Your friends, family, employers, significant others, hell, even the person teaching your yoga class: these are all people that you are working with on something that isn’t a given. They don’t need to show up and neither do you. Your job is to keep showing up and keep listening. That is the most basic component of how you keep your relationships alive. Don’t overcomplicate it.


As much as I would’ve loved to be a completely independent cold bitch with no emotions at age 19, I wasn’t. The worst part? I thought I was. When I would let my emotions through the chain-link fence of my personality (that I saw as a brick wall), they would ooze all over another person and form a little cocoon of “you are so perfect please never leave me ever.” I made other people feel like they were the source of everything I needed, and that is neither cute nor healthy. Know that you really do need other people sometimes, but you will never be so simple that you only need just one person.


Set goals. Write things down on paper. Fuck up and fix it, or fuck up and know how not to fuck up next time. You are not going through a ‘phase,’ you are just you, and you are always growing into being you.


You have the power to do what you want to do. Smile. Or cry it out… and then go fuckin’ get it. TC mark

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There are many quotes about who the future belongs to. The many quotes tend to involve people who are daring and outspoken – people who walk into a room with an air of confidence about them that causes heads to turn. But I’ve never been a person, a girl, and now a woman, who causes heads to turn. I slip in and out quietly in places, and I often go unnoticed. I never imagined in my younger years that I would still be so forgettable to the people I cross paths with. Alas, here I am. Forgettable. Forgettable and with a broken heart from too many of life’s pains.

But I do not think I am alone. One of the greatest things about being so invisible in the world around you and rarely making a sound, is that you get to watch people, you get to see who they really are. Many people are walking around with great pain, great sorrow in their hearts often caused by the hands of others – others they trusted too much, too quickly. Others they expected to look after the imperfect heart they gave away. Still others whose heart is broken because they’ve never even given it away at all – that is heartbreak too.

The sadness of heartbreak is like no other. It consumes your entire being – your thoughts, your words, your actions; it consumes everything. And sometimes I wonder if we truly learn to overcome heartbreak, if we ever pick up the pieces; or we simply learn to go on with holes in our heart and broken pieces all around us. The brokenness becomes something we often hide, and we tell ourselves it’s the bravest of us who learn to hide it well. Some of us, however, have little choice other than wearing our brokenness as our armor because it is all that we have for protection.

And maybe that is why no one wants to look at us in a crowd – no one wants to look at something broken. Because they may see something terrifying, like their true reflection; the mirror they often avoid. The past often feels like a dream until it feels like a nightmare where we remember the battles we have won and lost; the battles that still haunt us. I know that I am often haunted by mine. And sometimes, maybe far too often, I let them steal my presence. The pain is not an addiction, it’s just that it never seems to go away. And every time I think it has, my heart gets broken some more from those wishful thoughts.

Yet I still get up every morning however hard the night was, I still get up because I am here. I am here. And I can hope and I can believe, even with a heart that has become so fragile, with so many pieces chipped away from it, and with so much loss and disappointment. It gives me the courage to say that I think I can still love, maybe even greatly, maybe even in a way that will eventually break my heart some more. But I can still love. And for me that is enough to whisper quietly to myself and to those who forget me easily: The future belongs to the brokenhearted. TC mark

Featured image – Shutterstock

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Rasdak Rodríguez
Rasdak Rodríguez

I don’t know if I love you anymore. They say if you have to ask yourself whether you love someone or not, then you don’t. But, I don’t believe that. I believe the heart lies. I believe feelings lie. I believe we think and feel things based off our beliefs and sometimes our beliefs are soured by the world. Sometimes our beliefs have turned against us. Sometimes we’re living on autopilot without even knowing it, no matter how self-aware or steadfastly devoted to self-growth we are. Sometimes we can have a feeling based off a sour belief for years and then, one day, feel different.

I’m afraid of regretting losing you. What if I lose you and then I realize I always wanted you? How would I live within the ghost of our love if I know I’m the one who killed it? You love me so surely and so certainly and so completely and I want to love you in the same reverence you love me. I want to bury myself inside my psychosis and find the errant belief which keeps me from loving you completely. I want to know why I chase pain. I want to know why I love people who don’t want me and I discard those who do. I want to know why I’m such a fuck-up and I want to stop being a fuck-up, but I also don’t want to stop because who am I if I’m not an emotional fuck-up?

Here’s the thing I know about me: I’m a survivor. If you leave me or if I force you out, I will be okay. I’m not worried about my okayness. I will shift my thinking and I will acclimate to a life without you there. I will do it. It will not be easy, but I will do it. I will burrow myself in the comfort call of that loneliness, that barrenness I felt before I met you. I will remember how to live without someone to cling to at 3am.

My worry isn’t whether or not I will be okay without you. My worry is simply: what if you are gone and I realize I was wrong about us? What if I date other people and try to find your laugh in their laugh or your face in their face or the way you wrap me in your arms in the way they wrap me in their arms? What if I lose you or leave you and then I look for you again my entire life? What if I go in search of something different, but all I end up wanting is you? What if I search for a greater love only to realize you were the greater love?

How could I live with that? TC mark

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stands out as itself
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“Open-mindedness,” I would argue, is a term that has become synonymous with people who identify as politically liberal. Contrary to some of the feedback I sometimes receive from the audience on this site, and indeed some of the spaces and environments I find myself in, I am not politically liberal. Some might even argue that some of my views are on the conservative side of things. However, I have never obliged others in explicitly terming my political views perhaps other than in giving contradictory terms such as “radically moderate” or in claiming to be a “freethinker,” or something of that sort. Still, I enjoy politics or at least political theory – it was my second major in college. But I do not enjoy the state of politics and in particular, political dialogue or rather a lack thereof, in this country.

I am always up for a debate – ask anyone who knows me. But I have learned over time that debate is an art and a science, and not one that many people have particularly learned well. Ad hominem attacks, exception-to-the-rule arguments, refusing to truly listen to what the other person is saying, and most importantly these days I think, the policing of other people’s viewpoints with the reasoning that the person or people in debate who disagree with you, are not “open minded.” And it’s not just in debate this occurs but in general conversation in which a person may express their like or dislike for something; particular tastes and viewpoints are perceived as open-minded while other viewpoints are not.

And what often grants these particular “open-minded” tastes of which mostly includes things that are is in vogue, is that there are numerous and often powerful people in positions to support and side with a thought, an idea, anything. Now I do not support the notion that all views simply because they are somebody’s views, are of equal value in conversation. Not because of any elitist positions I may take due to education or class, which are admittedly always present. But rather because some have experience or particular forms of knowledge from the many ways in which knowledge is obtained, that is objectively greater than others. For example, being in conversation with an astrophysicist, it may be best for me to listen to his views on the physical world and how quantum mechanics laws shape it, than to challenge his knowledge based on the idea that “I have basic knowledge too.” Granted everything is worth challenging. But like Mark Twain, I often think it’s best to know the accepted facts before attempting to challenge them.

And I do challenge what people have to say and I absolutely prefer to be in (respectful) conversation with people who know how to argue, and who hold different views from me. I firmly believe that it is the best way to learn because you do not learn as much when you only converse with people who already believe in the same things you do. But I think the art of conversation and the relationships we build during them become poorer when we feel the need to agree with people, lest we be told that we are not “open-minded.” Open-mindedness has become a slippery slope ideology that is used to above all, police argument.

That said, I do not entertain every argument as a matter of sanity, and a belief that there are objectively bad arguments and objectively poor morals. And at the sight of these, I have learned to leave people to their own devices; some people are best left to their own devices. But I am also quite frustrated at the speed at which people will call an argument that they disagree with, one that is not of the “open-minded” stance. And I have found that it is often politically liberal people who are fond of calling their politically conservative counterparts this term. As a bystander to both camps, I still find it frustrating.

Ultimately, I think open-mindedness means that if I choose to engage in argument with you, I am thoroughly open to what you have to say. But it does not mean at any point in conversation I, or anyone else, has to adopt your views or be convinced by you. And those who are fond of labeling people as not open-minded simply because they have different views, need to take a hard look in the mirror and re-think the term. If one doesn’t care for being open-minded, then this argument and conversation is pointless anyway. But if one does care, the start of being able to authentically claim that label is having the courage and prudence to recognize that being open-minded doesn’t mean the people you choose to be in spaces with, have to agree with you. It’s a tough stance to take and a tough way to live, I think. But anything that is worthwhile, always is. TC mark

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When it comes to Halloween two things become abundantly clear — you now have an excuse to buy and eat a whole bag of Reese Peanut Butter Cups, and it’s that time of year again where guys get an opportunity to don fake blood and crazy, goofy outfits while us girls have a pick of sexy nurse or sexy school girl costumes. Of course, there are always a select few creative females who make cute and culturally relevant costumes that make the rest of us look like unoriginal skanks, but (and I’ll speak for just myself here), “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Because really, who has time to go to Michaels, and Joan’s Fabric Store and (inevitably) Spencer’s in the mall to build your own DIY costume; all so you can get asked a million times, “What are you?” while the rest of your friends scurry around in lingerie? Hard pass for me on that one.

So starts the dilemma of deciding whether or not you’ll go as something scary or sexy. About a week out from Halloween you grab your closet gal pals and head to some previously abandoned warehouse to try on a bunch of overpriced dresses with garter belts and cheap accessories. Because we’re a fat shaming society, female Halloween costumes come in size small, medium, or large — and that’s it. Your inner brain will try to tell you that this is stupid and you are too old for Halloween because you will see pictures of your 16 year old cousins and friends of your younger siblings dressed as if they’re shooting a Maxim cover instead of going out for Halloween. You’ll also run into the problem of having already been every cliche sexy Halloween costume there is already. Those facts, coupled with that you’d would much rather be spending you Saturday in your sweatpants, makes you want to leave the store immediately.

You decide to pick a few things that are sexy but also appropriate enough that if anyone from work saw you in it they wouldn’t wonder why you were dressed for a Playboy party. The dressing rooms are just sheets hanging from metal bars but you manage to squeeze yourself into, what seems to be a 10,000 piece costume before pulling back and taking it all in. It looks ok. You can foresee several “likes” in your future when you post a picture of yourself (much drunker than this I might add) in said costume. You are only moderately irritated to hear the college girls next to you talk about how they need to go to Zumba everyday this week to fit into their costumes even though their about a size 0. They are going as a group costume of sexy M&M’s. Gross.

For a minute you debate going as a decapitated zombie like the little boy running around as you wait in line to buy your sexy scientist outfit (hey- it’s still feminist). You realize that as much as we blame male society for creating this sexualized idea of Trick-or-Treating that it’s kind nice to have a holiday where you get to express your sultry side. You’re tempted to say empowering before you realize you need to stop at Target for a new push-up bra and immediately recant your sentiment. In front of you is a little girl with a simple princess costume like you had when you were young and you smile at her and ask her what type of Princess she’s going to be. “Queen Elsa.” She says with a “duh” expression on her face.

You somehow manage to get out of the store spending more than you thought. You try on your costume again only to see a small hole in it – figures. You end up spending the day before Halloween at Ross throwing together a sexy cowgirls outfit before calling it a night and swearing you’ll do better next year. If there is a next year. Fuck Halloween. TC mark

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