To the point where only the bare essentials of human interaction and vocation are bothered with. A hello in the elevator is the breadth of conversation we’re going to have for a few days. When we get home (assuming we didn’t call out sick), we slide into bed with the hope of staying there for a century.
Once the shock wears away — when we start crying in some creative hiding spots throughout the day — we fill our days with distractions. New projects at work, heading out with the guys every night, new book, new show, basically anything. After a week or so of this, we bluff ourselves into thinking, “I’m totally okay. This is going to be fine. I’m awesome.” This leads to…
3. Fucking anyone that smiles at us.
After a breakup our standards get really lax. That annoying girl at the bar who won’t shut up about her English major kinda sorta vaguely looks like Scarlett Johansson all of a sudden. We listen to her laud Bukowski and trample Plath, thinking only, “She has a really good point.. no, wait, that’s just her hand on my thigh.”
4. We creep on your social media.
It happens innocuously but, my god, does it spiral. We find ourselves on instagram, facebook, or twitter after days of careful avoidance. But hell, we’re feeling so good after English Major ScarJo and a dozen others that we get reckless. Since Facebook is the harbinger of all modern day angst (or something like that), a photo you posted yesterday is sitting at the top of our feed like a coiled snake. There’s a half-hearted downward scroll and then we dive right in. We catch up on what we’ve missed in the past few weeks of your life. We cross-reference your other sites and build a picture. It seems like you don’t miss us. (Instagram photos of you and your girlfriends looking great while out on the town with captions like, “Back to having fun with my girls!” don’t help.)
This is the breaking of the storm. With you (seemingly) happily single, we start to wonder what we’re worth. Did we make you happy at all? Were you so miserable? Don’t you miss what we had? On the night of this, we stay up late. Toss and turn. Stare at an empty “New Text” box, wondering what, if anything, to say to you. This part is tricky. Some men will text you at this point and some won’t. It depends on a lot of things. Either way, we always end up
6. Having regrettable sex.
At first the idea is that sex will make us feel better, distract us, and build a connection with someone new all at the same time! What instead happens is we remember all the fun relationship sex. The laughs, the experimenting, the comfort, the knowledge of each other’s bodies, and, most importantly, the love. Snap back to the present. “Who is this?” we think either immediately after or during this random hookup. We do this several more times with several more women to stave off the encroaching loneliness until we sink comfortably into
7. Something like a full blown depression.
We reminisce. Every woman we’d usually jump at suddenly seems dull or not enough. We search for you in everyone we meet and invariably come up short. We have those glitches where something funny or bizarre happens and we get excited to tell you before we remember. Sunny days seem dreary. We start watching really weird porn. Depending on the guy, we either eat too much or not at all. It’s a sad time and we want you back. “Hey, hope you’re having a great week,” we’ll text out of the blue. Things may have ended (poorly, even) but it’s impossible for us to pretend, at this point, that we aren’t still in love with you. We wonder if maybe we can work it out. We nod vehemently when Drake says, “Know we was goin’ through some shit, name a couple that isn’t.” And cry like baby back bitches when “Marvin’s Room” comes on. (Drake is every heartbroken man’s best friend — or should be.)
Eventually, though, there’s a redirection that happens. We come to terms, and instead of missing you, we just miss the intimacy. Instead of missing the exact intimacy that we shared, we begin to open ourselves up to different connections, different people. If we stopped having sex, we’ll start again. If we never stopped, we’ll slow down. Laughs will come with less bitterness. We’ll see a photo of you with some guy and actually keep scrolling this time. It’s all very gradual and everyone has different timing. Most importantly, though, we can start going back to our favorite restaurants again, thank god.
I was in the heat of my sophomore slump, at the beach for the weekend with friends I felt could not possibly love someone as flawed and unsure as I was, when I got the call. My 15-year-old sister had been sent home from boarding school with a severe eating disorder. It was out of the blue, a complete surprise to me, who was used to knowing everything about her, and my first emotion was not worry but loneliness. I felt double the loneliness, hers piled on top of mine, a loneliness I thought would drown me if I didn’t move. So I went to the beach and I walked for hours while my racing, tortured mind came up with this poem:
Today there’s something scary about the beach
That used to be pretty but now just looks bleached
So many people, everyone but you
So are you alone somewhere? I wish that I knew
Because all I’ve ever wanted is for you to be
Completely and painfully honest with me
I wish that you knew that I could never be
Disappointed in you, just be honest with me
And happy, just happy, like we used to be
But now I don’t know, was it all an illusion?
Did we get tricked by a world of confusion?
And pain, and loneliness, how can we get out?
Or is this just what growing up is about?
‘Cause you’re over there and I’m over here
And I know in my heart that we have the same fears
People say the world’s small but it feels way too big
For two people who just need each other to live
And there’s deadlines and judgments and it all just keeps moving
So if we slow down how will we know what we’re doing?
And if we stop now is there no coming back?
But that’s if we could even get off the track
And if we did stop would it even be fair
To expect those who love us to be there, to care?
But we wouldn’t need them, we wouldn’t, I swear
If both of us stopped, if we stripped out lives bare
It all sounds so easy so why’s it so rare?
Because people would look at us with downcast eyes
And they’d say those poor girls how they’ve ruined their lives
But we wouldn’t hear them ‘cause we’d be alone
And unlike those people who only press “Go”
Those who climb mountains, who reach all their goals
They conquer the world but do they have a home?
If only it wasn’t so hard to let go
But it is, and that’s why I’m here and you’re there
With way more between us that miles and thin air
But when we’re apart we both don’t have enough
And I know this is more than a hand of bad luck
So I want you to know that although I can’t stop
Though I’m a coward on my way to the top
Under all this I’m as lonely as you
And I think that things could change, if only you knew
So you’d think it would be easy, after that, to call my sister and tell her these things, but it wasn’t. In fact, I didn’t tell her until a week later, standing beside her hospital bed after she’d gotten much worse. I didn’t tell her because there is a lot of risk in being honest, especially, I think, with those we love the most – What if he gets angry and shuts me out? What if she stares back at me blankly? What if I have it all wrong? But what I’ve learned from this is that it’s worth it. It’s worth it because in the best-case scenario, two fearful people do not equal double the fear, two people in pain will not suffer double the pain, and two lonely people will no longer be crushed by double the loneliness. Instead, while it may not go away, the fear, the pain, and the loneliness will suddenly seem smaller. It will go from seeming to transcend the ends of the earth to something you can hold in the palms of your hands, together. Love conquers fear, pain, and loneliness any day, all we have to do is be vulnerable with those we love. And we have to do it now.
It’s the best time of year to indulge in a scary movie fest on your couch, but sometimes it’s frustrating to pick a title since horror movies can be hit or miss. We asked around for people to share solid movies that were truly terrifying, so everyone can have a good scare this year. Enjoy!
A lot of people don’t think to go back this far for quality horror movies, but Suspiria is one of the scariest movies I have ever seen in my life. It will stick with you for days after you watch it. – Chris, 31
In this, one of the first slasher movies, Pleasant Valley, AR is a fictional town that was supposedly obliterated during the Civil War. 100 years later to the day, Pleasant Valley and all its former Confederate inhabitants are magically resurrected. Some lookouts spot six “Yankees” passing by on a local highway and divert them into town to help celebrate the “centennial.” One by one, in the most brutal and bloody fashion, the “Yankees” are slaughtered. John Waters said that the best thing about this film—and everything else directed by slasher-film pioneer Herschell Gordon Lewis—is that it’s completely “indefensible.” – Miles, 29
I saw this one the other day and really liked it a lot. It’s a found footage movie about these really aggressive and violent bigfoot encounters. It may not sound creepy, but it was pretty great. – Erin, 24
This was filmed on such a low budget, all the dialogue is dubbed in with a supremely creepy echo effect. Starkly beautiful desert photography frames the legend of The Chooper, a sword-swinging lunatic ghost who haunts an abandoned hut in Death Valley. Do not, under any circumstances, watch this while high on PCP. – James, 33
5. The Moth Diaries
If you’re someone that likes the darkness or scary movies but you don’t like gore or being too scared to sleep afterwards, I recommend The Moth Diaries. I stumbled on it in Netflix a few weeks ago and I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it before. It was super engrossing and really, really well done. -Amy, 25
6. The Pact
Holy crap. I was expecting a normal ghost movie, but this one took a really creepy twist. The sequel just came out as well, so you can finish the first one and immediately jump into the next chapter of the story. – Mark, 27
7. The Town That Dreaded Sundown
I loved the original and this one is just as scary. Plus it’s based on the true story of a series of murders in Texarkana, so that makes it even more scary. – Jamie, 28
8. You’re Next
If you just want a fun movie to curl up with your boyfriend with, get You’re Next. It’s super scary and fun but not too gross. It’s the perfect amount of scary. – Lara, 23
9. Would You Rather
Imagine a dinner party that turned into Saw. That’s all you need to know about Would You Rather. – Brendan, 27
10. House of the Devil
For me, House of the Devil is one of the greatest horror films I have seen in recent memory. It builds slowly like a classic horror movie and the end is so terrifying and unexpected, I’ll literally never babysit again. -Katie, 22
I recently stumbled upon the movie on Netflix Crowsnest. Holy shit! It was so weird and unexpected and scary. I won’t give anything away but in the movie there is a <em>very</em> scary RV. I went camping a week later and since it’s October basically no one was there. Except this one fuckin RV. Scared the hell out of me. -Chris, 26
12. The Houses That October Built
It’s about haunted houses that turn out to be real. That’s literally my worst fear and the reason that I won’t go to haunted houses. The ending is a bit vague, but it’s definitely worth checking out. – Mary, 28
13. When a Stranger Calls (1979)
Carol Kane stars as a babysitter who receives increasingly harassing and threatening phone calls, only to finally be informed by the police that the calls are coming from inside her house. That’s really all you need to know. -Matty, 30
14. The Honeymoon Killers (1969)
Filmed on a low budget in gritty black and white, this hidden gem is based on the true story of serial killers Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez, who murdered up to 20 women in the late 1940s by luring them through lonely hearts ads. Martha and Ray meet via mail and team up to fleece sad and desperate women of their life’s savings before robbing them of their lives. Brutally grim, it is also one of the most twisted love stories of all time. – Jason, 32
15. The Quiet Ones
The Quiet Ones completely terrified me this year. I couldn’t sleep for almost a week. Anyone who loves horror movies should see it. Liz, 28
16. Hard Candy
It’s not your typical horror movie, but that doesn’t make it any less intense. Plus Ellen Page gives one of the greatest performances of her career. Danielle, 28
17. Huse..Hush, Sweet Charlotte
A friend of mine rented “Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte” from Blockbuster when I was a teenager, and I don’t think I ever fully recovered from watching it. Creepy and nightmarish beyond belief. All I’ll tell you is that the real murderers are trying to hush Charlotte up because she didn’t do it. – Jeremy, 28
18. Mother’s Day
It doesn’t look very scary, but this is one of the most intense and terrifying home invasion movies I have ever seen. If you can’t do ghosts or demons, this is a great horror movie. – Jared, 25
19. Kiss the Girls
This isn’t a “horror” movie but to me the scariest movie ever will always be Kiss The Girls. It’s about a search for a very disturbing serial killer and I always imagine that’s what it’s like to be kidnapped! As a woman it’s always what I think about when it’s late at night and I’m alone walking down the street. -Rachel, 23
I do not recommend seeing that if you are an engaged couple planning on having a wedding soon. I almost didn’t want to go on mine. Gilly, 27
21. The Innkeepers
The most suspenseful movie I’ve seen in my life is The Innkeepers. I was hidden behind my hands but still on the edge of my seat. It’s so well done, it’s a great movie to indulge in when you have time to really pay attention. -Marissa, 25
22. Noroi: The Curse
It’s part mockumentary and part found footage, but this is one of the most underrated and terrifying Japanese horror movies you probably haven’t seen. – Craig, 28
I don’t want to give too much away on the plot of the movie, but I will never go near another scarecrow for the rest of my life after watching it. – Hank, 27
24. Trick r Treat
If you are a fan of horror in any way, you need to watch Trick r Treat. It’s the best Halloween movie I’ve seen since, well, Halloween. – Ronnie, 23
25. Shutter (2004)
The American remake was so bad, I almost never watched the original. I’m glad I did because it is horrifying. It should be at the top of your list. – Candice, 28
26. Eden Lake
I haven’t seen this movie in years and the ending still messes with me. It’s great, but you’ll be bothered by it for a while. For horror fans, that’s a good thing. – Ben, 25
“Irreversible” is a French movie where all the events unfold backwards to the beginning. It has a scene at a gay club where a guy is beaten to death with a fire extinguisher that you’ll swear was real. I wish I had never seen this movie, and I’m considering electroshock therapy to erase the memory. – Johnny, 27
Cliff Barlow’s second book, Darkness Prevails, is not for the faint of heart. You’ve been warned.
Sometimes I can’t. Sometimes I can’t even. And, on occasion I’m literally dying because I cannot even! Call it being a twenty-something girl that doesn’t have a clue what’s going on half the time or maybe it’s because things in this world just make me need to STOP and figure out just why?! Ahemm… Miley Cyrus, Johnny Jam Boogie, Uggs with shorts! There’s a lot of can’t a white girl can’t, and here’s why we can’t even.
1. New Shoes
I challenge any girl to come forward that has worn a brand new pair of heels out and actually enjoyed it. Kudos to you! As long as my outfit gets photographed at the beginning of the night we’re good to go. I can guarantee you, I’ll be walking to the car at the end of the night heels in hand. No shame in my game. New shoes… I just can’t even.
No, I’m not talking about the quiet game. This here is in reference to any date, sleepover, or rendezvous that was followed with silence. Even if it was the worse date in the entire world, at least acknowledge that it happened. “Hey, hope you had fun.” “Hi, good seeing you last night.” Heck, I’d even take “Hey, it was nice casually eating dinner at the same table in very noncommittal way last night.” Silence, however, literally not okay.
I’m not in college anymore. It’s like orange juice after brushing your teeth. Death. Sometimes I feel like my own reflection is judging me the next day. Come Monday morning, following a Sunday Funday, following a Saturday during football season. Like for real, I’m literally dying.
4. Pinterest Projects
It’s like a fairy godmother named Martha Stewart threw up all over my apartment. It’s all glitter, burlap, wine bottles, and Nutella stuffed cookie dough all over the counter and floor. I swear I followed the directions, but no it does not look like that photo. Pinterest projects from hell… I can’t even.
You don’t hear from them for 6 months. Then all of a sudden you’re out talking to this beautiful, 6 foot something guy with the cutest southern accent that told you you’re gorgeous, and on cue your phone starts ringing. You look down, and of course it’s him. Is this a joke? I just cant!
6. Barbie at the Gym
I’m on all red faced, sweat stained, asthma induced breathing about to get thrown off the treadmill while this Barbie is prancing next to me flipping through Cosmo with her hair down and a full face of make up on. Is this real life? Take your painted on spandex to the elliptical and let me die alone. I literally cannot!
Holey jeans, Birkenstocks, Jean jackets, overalls… (okay maybe I can on that one). It’s like my pre-teen closet had more style then the one I have now. I just can’t keep up. If gouaches ever make it back though… I not only cannot, I just wont.
I’m a Texas girl. I like big hair, sweet tea, and summertime. But, what I just can’t… this weather. I prefer only to sweat when I’m working out. I’d also like to experience more than just two seasons – summer and not summer. I want fall. I want boots. I want scarves. I want pumpkin spice everything. This weather though… I can’t.
And there you have it, the reasons why girls just simply can’t. It’s not like we have an inability to can, there are just circumstances in which we cannot. And then there are those times that you literally just cannot take us literally. We’re pretty simple, right?
What it usually means: “He worked his way to the top.” What it means to women: “She must have slept her way to the top.”
What it usually means: An experience ANYBODY who has ever been through unrequited love at the hands of a friend understands. What it means to women: Being accused of not liking “nice guys” and thus being shallow, slutty, and deserving only of assholes.
What it usually means: A joining or covenant between two people. What it means to women: The one thing you MUST absolutely do if you don’t want to be judged negatively for the rest of your life.
What it usually means: The thing that happens at the end of sex. What it means to women: The thing you have to take care of by yourself.
What it usually means: working hard but also getting to fit in a round of golf and watching all three football games on Sundays. What it means to women: working hard but also getting to pick up after your husband and leave work to pick your kids up from school when they’re sick.
What it usually means: A trashy woman with low self-esteem. What it means to women: A woman who enjoys sex.
What it usually means: A person that you are in a romantic relationship with (if you like dudes, of course). What it means to women: The one person the world will tell you that you are incomplete without.
What it usually means: A loser at love who’s nice only because he can’t get laid. What it means to women: A nice guy.
What it usually means: Refers to qualities that are usually associated with masculinity or that men are expected to always portray. What it means to women: You are either acting in a way that is not permitted for your gender or meant as an insult to your appearance.
What it usually means: An item of jewelry you wear after you get married. What it means to women: A fake item of jewelry you have to buy so that you can show it to guys at the bar and get them to leave you alone without them calling you a bitch.
What it usually means: Wearing jeans to work because everyone takes you seriously based on your intelligence and ability. What it means to women: Still dressing up for work because you need to be good at your job AND nice to look at.
What it usually means: A bitch. What it means to women: A boss bitch who gets things done.
What it usually means: A simple activity you do to get from one place to another. What it means to women: An activity that never fails to be scary, annoying, and disheartening.
What it usually means: A friendly or serious attitude you have while playing a game or working towards the same goal as another. What it means to women: Something people will lord over you for wanting too much, or not being feminine enough. No matter how friendly your competition is, it will be viewed as catty.
What it usually means: Someone who lets their emotions get the better of them, someone who is unreasonable. What it means to women: A woman who lets their emotions get the better of them, a woman who is unreasonable. Male emotions like “anger” are excluded.
What it usually means: A fragile overreaction to a mundane event. What it means to women: Anytime you tell a guy something he doesn’t want to hear.
What it usually means: A pain in the form of cramping you might experience that reminds you you’re a potentially fertile woman. What it means to women: The thing people will accuse you of “suffering from” every time you disagree with them.
What it usually means: Fucking. What it means to women: Talking.
What it usually means: Things men did. What it means to women: Things men did to women.