Category Archives: Life

Meeting Someone For The Second Time Is The Most Awkward

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When you meet someone for the first time, you have everything in the world to talk about. Your relationship, whether professional, personal, or romantic, is essentially a blank state. You get a chance to fill that slate with all sorts of wondrous conversations.

And yeah, you rarely have to worry about hugging (assuming you’re an awkward hugger, like me). Handshakes are perfectly acceptable on the first meeting.

But when you meet someone for the second time?

Now, there are expectations (not the least of which is whether or not the other person has upgraded you to hugging level). Here’s a partial list of all the things that can take a turn for the disastrous when you meet someone for the second time:

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If You Don’t Know Me, Don’t Call Attention To My Race

Image by Chris Buecheler

Guy: Soooo… what kind of Asian are you?

Girl (visibly scowling): Uhhh… the American kind?

Obviously, this was not the way to try to start a conversation with a strange woman, let alone hit on her. Let’s face it, this guy’s biggest mistake was… well, everything. But the interesting thing is, she actually tolerated him until he asked about her ethnicity.

So why was that her cue to check out? She put up with everything else (barely) up to that point. Why did this particular question send her darting away?

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The Problem Of Modern Medicine

Image by Alex Prolmos

Doctors and modern medicine are the cornerbacks in the game of life. Their job is to play defense, to prevent you from getting sick. And in true cornerback form, when they do their job, you’ll only wonder if you even needed them in the first place. But the one in 100 times that something does goes wrong, boy, will you cry foul.

And that’s why disease prevention is such a tough sell for people. The problem of modern medicine is that people only take notice when it fails us. There’s even a psychological term associated with this state of thinking: negativity bias.

So what can we do about this?

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When Is It Okay To Wear Leggings As Pants?

Proof that the 80s are making a comeback in Paris

The researchers concluded that this is how women show aggression towards other women they see as sexual threats. While men “compete” for women via direct aggression against each other (you know, shot taking, arm wrestling, breaking beer bottles over each other skulls, and any other type of contest that purports to broadcast the length of our penis), women “compete” for men in more indirect ways — by insulting and ostracizing them.

Whether or not you agree with the conclusions of the researchers, this “mean girl” behavior clearly exists. The internet abounds with women hating on other women’s outfits. And worse, it’s considered snarky and witty.

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The Gifts That Make Teaching Worthwhile

Image by Joanne Johnson

Last night, I was given a gift. It was my second of the week — and one that the teachers of young children rarely receive.

I had been surprised to hear from the parents of a child I worked with 30 years ago. At that time, I was a resource teacher for the state of Arizona, specializing in children with developmental delays, ages zero to five. Their son had been one of my students. In fact, he had been one of my favorite students.

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How I Added A Side Of Spicy To My Life As A Working Mother

working mom - large

When did all my skirts gain an extra 10 cm of length? Why was my underwear drawer filled with things in cotton? Why did the bookshelves hold only kids’ books, law books, and my husband’s books, while all my favourite volumes of poetry were shoved to the back row? And my computer files? Three categories — Kids, Household, and Work.

From where I stood, thrill-seeking now looked like a disease. Itchy, embarrassing and contagious. Still, I would have been fine — if it were not for Will.

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I Traveled The World, Trying To Find My Home

Kassel

They say, “Home is where the heart is.” But what if your heart is in more than one place?

They also say, “Home is where you hang your hat.” But what if you prefer to hang your hat in the same place every day?

These two old sayings seem to be at odds with one another. The former offers comfort by implying that wherever your heart longs to be is home, while the latter aims for embracing life, saying home is wherever you currently are. I have found both of these to be no comfort, and in fact, total crap.

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Spoiled By Early Success

Graduate by Andree Lüdtke

That early success gave me a boost of confidence, but in some ways, it spoiled me for later life. I felt devastated when my college graduation wasn’t a repeat of the adulation heaped on me four years earlier. I cried that even though I was graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, I hadn’t been singled out for any individual awards. Being just one of many names on a list — even a fairly short list of the most elite students at my small, but well-regarded college — wasn’t good enough. It felt like a letdown, like I wasn’t personally valued by the school and its leaders.

I was angry — at myself for falling short in some way, for the fact that my best hadn’t been good enough, and at the school for not giving me the send-off I felt I deserved. I somehow convinced myself I had a right to feel betrayed, because I had taken out loans to attend a small private school in order to feel special and get individual attention, and the school wasn’t holding up its side of that unspoken bargain.

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Life Is Too Good Not To Breathe

Editor’s note: Peter Loggins is a legend within the swing dance community. He’s also an old friend and a source of inspiration. Aside from dancing, Peter used to be a competitive runner, skateboarder, and snowboarder, and is one hell of a tattoo artist. He is, in short, one of the baddest badasses you’ll ever meet. The confession below, which he

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I’m Still Learning How To Say No

Warning: The following article contains possible triggers for victims of sexual assault. I’ve never been good at confrontation. When I’m alone, I argue like a pro. When there’s nobody to cut me off, I put everybody in their place. When I’m lying in bed, thinking about what I wish I’d said, I make flawless points that win every argument. I’m

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Dear Politics: Please Pick Your Battles

Years ago, whenever my mom deemed it necessary to declare war on someone I or my sister was dating, she would execute a pretty ambitious—though usually ineffective—battle plan. Her strategy? To “prove” the person wasn’t right for us by systematically pointing out every last imperfection this person might have. If character assassination is what you do when you want to

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