What You're Doing When You Call My Brother "Retarded"

I have never been a violent person, at least not instinctively. Whenever I was teased as a child—I struggled to read for much of elementary school and wore a lot of white jeans, so I was teased a lot—I’d opt for silence or a quick joke, usually at my own expense. I’d level my aggressor with my apparent disinterest or…

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I'm Getting Married, And I Don't Know What My Name Will Be

Shortly after I got engaged a coworker told me a story about a friend of his. Or maybe it was a friend of a friend, or a cousin, or an allegory. Point is, there was this lady and she was marrying a man with the same last name as hers. While it’s somewhat common and even encouraged in other cultures, the story was a…

An Excellent Argument for Cutting Toxic Parents Out of Your Wedding

It is a truth universally acknowledged that choosing who to invite to your wedding is about as pleasant as having your teeth drilled into dust by a sadistic dentist with a dull and rusty bit. But while deciding whether the cousins you haven’t seen for 15 years should get a save-the-date is difficult, it’s even more…

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Spring Break Forever: A Week of Drinking With Cruise Ship Performers

The ship rocked in the waves as I stared down at my glass of wine. I knew I had a choice to make. We had been at sea for just a few hours, and it was already clear that I only had two real options for survival. I could spend the week blackout drunk by the pool — relying solely on margaritas for sustenance — or I could…