Archive for the 'relationships' Category


I read this piece about time. It was by a girl who has cancer.

She writes about her new relationship with time, since her diagnoses, and as she waits for the bone marrow transplant that will either begin her life again or begin the process of her death.

There is a lot of attention reserved for children with cancer, and adults with cancer have documented their experiences extensively, but there isn’t too much about twenty-somethings with cancer; people who are already at a crossroads in their lives, and are now faced with a much larger one. People who are supposed to make something of themselves, and find a job and keep a job, and find a career, and date until they know what they want in a partner, and go to dive bars deep in Brooklyn, and try to piece together who they are and what they want from life. People who get cancer at much lower rates. People who are supposed to have so much time. 

I have a shaky relationship with time. We’ve never really sat down and talked, I guess, but I get the feeling we wouldn’t get along. I’m too pushy and vulnerable, and time—time is relentless.

When I was a kid, I climbed everything that would take me high up, even when the branches got thin and bendy. I wanted to see the distance. I thought I had forever. When I got married, suddenly, everything felt shorter, and more dangerous. My own mortality was brought into sharper focus by this sickeningly strong love for another person made out of fragile skin and just the right amount of blood, and millions of cells that were all trying to do the right thing. His cells were not all doing the right thing. Some of them were broken. And he carried his life around in a little black kit, with a vial of clear liquid that needed to be constantly injected, otherwise the balance tipped, and he would plummet.


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Kate on April 9th 2012 in body, life, relationships, work

Bear’s favorite outfit

Earlier, I had worn this very sexy outfit.

A short, electric blue dress with leggings and high heeled boots. Big gold hoops. Oh, how I love big gold hoops. I will never have refined taste. But sexy—I can sometimes do that.

We were out. I crossed my legs and looked flirty.

We got back, the rest of the Sunday was supposed to be lazy, because of the rain. But then Bear wanted to go to Prospect Park and see the blossoming trees. We’d missed them last year, and he was determined.

“But it’s cold…” I said.

“Put on some warm clothes,” he said.

I put on these ancient bellbottoms that I inherited from a friend who realized that they were never going to be fashionable again. They didn’t used to fit. They were so big on me. Now all of my other jeans pinch meanly, in tender places. So I pulled the big, flopping bellbottoms on. And the brown sneakers I try never to wear. And an expressionless long-sleeved shirt.


“Oh, wow,” said Bear, coming into the bedroom. “You look so hot. What a great outfit.”

I looked at him for a long moment. “Are you serious?”

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Kate on April 4th 2012 in beauty, body, relationships

the chunky/gorgeous woman on the subway

She was gorgeous. A regal profile, dusky skin, round thighs that narrowed into long, graceful legs in black leggings. She was curvy, but she wasn’t the classic hourglass shape. She was something unique. Something captivating. I liked her tight, brave outfit. I liked her confident face and her perfect posture. There was something queenly and dramatic and comfortable about her.

We were on the subway. I elbowed Bear. “That woman is really beautiful.” I had to tell someone!

He glanced around. “Which one?”

“In the leather jacket!” Obviously.

Then I saw that her friend, slender and with hair molded into big, stiff curls, was wearing the same jacket. She was also beautiful. I hadn’t noticed her before.

“Her?” Bear nodded towards the friend.

“Leggings,” I said.

He looked thoughtful for a second. Then he whispered, “Kinda chunky.”

“Excuse me?” I knew I hadn’t misheard, but I hoped for a frantic moment that we could pretend I had misheard and he could say, “Kinda spunky…. and awesome.”


The world ended.

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Kate on March 20th 2012 in beauty, body, relationships, weight

an ode to beards

This is a post from Fraylie.  Remember her? She has occasionally written about the time right after college, for ETDC. She worked as a waitressconsidered grad school,  tried to get an office job, and went shopping for an appropriate outfit for interviews. When she did get an office job, she didn’t have time to write me awesome posts anymore, but just the other day, she sent me this one, about dating. Yay! Welcome back, Fraylie! 

I’m fairly new to New York City. I began my job in the West Village nine months ago, moved to Brooklyn six months ago, and began a semi-regular latte routine at a SoHo coffee shop about one month ago. When my friend introduced us, I shook hands with the barista and said pleasure to meet you. Then he smiled and replied the pleasure is all mine. It took five words for me to become hooked like a school girl. After many failed attempts on OKCupid, the novelty of meeting a kind human being in real life was overwhelming. I started to buy painfully expensive lattes twice a week, always making sure to tip, and blushing profusely during the few times I received the drink for free.

There’s a trickiness about the area South of Houston. As it seems, the space presents itself as a gated enclave for models cat walking between shoots. Light shines on their cheekbones as though higher powers hold a perpetual mirrored clamshell before their faces. Women purse their lips on Crosby Street just so. Their hair is coiffed in the perfect ballet bun. They wear fur and black leather. And there’s always a few of them curling their long arms down the wooden counter in the coffee shop.

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Kate on February 16th 2012 in beauty, guest post, relationships

lingerie shopping with Bear

I should have known it was a bad idea. What was I even thinking?

It all started when Bear needed a new suit rightthissecond. He only had one, and it had already been patched twice, and now there was another hole, in the same place. He needed it by, like, the next day, for a big meeting he suddenly remembered he had, and there was no time to get it fixed.

We went to Men’s Wearhouse near Union Square and got two for the price of one. It was very exciting. One was pale gray, and we both felt like it was really extra cool and a little daring. The other was dark gray, and it looked stately and solemn. I was unhelpful, because all suits look the same to me, and I think they all look good on Bear, and so I concentrate too hard, trying to figure out the differences, and then I focus on the wrong things and start to question my judgment.


“It’s too boxy. Except boxy is a flattering look on you. But I think the line of the bottom part is too straight. It looks severe. But I guess suits are severe, so that might be intentional. Wait, try the other one– that was less severe….OK, that’s not boxy enough.”

Bear seemed to trust his instincts, and, for a guy for whom normal jeans were a huge upgrade from the strange cargo pants he used to have, he has a surprisingly discerning eye for formal clothing. As far as I can tell. The whole thing took maybe twenty minutes.

And then, after we were very pleased with ourselves for getting two nice suits for the price of one, I thought it would be fun to stop in at Victoria’s Secret, just a couple blocks away. Valentine’s Day was coming up…My bras were all ancient and bedraggled. It might be fun. Did I already say that? You know that’s a bad sign.


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Kate on February 14th 2012 in body, marriage, new york, relationships

educated women marrying down

OK, thank god. I was starting to think that no one wants to marry educated women.

No, that’s not true. I didn’t really think that. But sometimes I felt like the rest of the world did. I read all this stuff about how women with multiple degrees who earn more money than their partners also end up doing all of the housework, and raising the kids basically on their own. The articles about stay-at-home men often depict them as tragic characters with fragile egos who are uncomfortable with their partners’ successes and also would like more allowance with which to buy video games, please.

The new 60% of college graduates– women– are going to be forced to “marry down,” IF they marry at all (and we all know what happens when people don’t get married…A TERRIBLE LIFE!).

Marrying down is a thing now. I get the feeling we’re all supposed to be really scared.

(marrying down…what does it even mean? and i always think couples where the guy is shorter look awesome.  source)

But I just read this piece by Stephanie Coontz in the NYTimes. And it gave me hope. Or at least, it gave me some perspective backed up by some studies that sound just about as legitimate as the other studies that back up the pieces that take my hope away.

Allow me to summarize: Educated women are going to be OK.

Actually, some research shows that they have more caring, involved partners and better sex lives.  They get and give more oral sex, apparently. And they do it while cooking organic, grass-fed dinners with their culinarily inclined partners.

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Kate on February 13th 2012 in feminism, marriage, relationships

in bed with chronic illness

Bear woke up at 2 am. “It’s burning hot in here,” he said. “I have to turn on the air conditioner.” The giant floor unit wheezed to life as he fiddled with it.

“I have to open a window,” he said.

I was barely awake. “Just not too much,” I mumbled. “Minute…” I didn’t want the cat to jump out the window. Do cats even do that?

Bear was lumbering around, sleep-haired and bleary-eyed. “I need cold water,” he said. “I need really cold water.”

“OK, honey, OK,” I said, pulling myself out of bed. “There’s water on the counter.”

“I need it to be COLD.” He sounded desperate.

“There’s ice in the freezer…”

He was already opening a bottle of fizzy water, and I knew it would spray everywhere, because the last one had. “Wai–” I said. It exploded. He jumped back, making a furious sound.

Great. Here it comes.

“Why can NOTHING go right?” he cried. “Why is everything terrible?”

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Kate on February 8th 2012 in being sad, family, marriage, relationships