Friday, August 15th, 2014

Six Months, One Week, and Four Days With Zelda


I pulled out my first gray hair today at 9:32 a.m. It wasn’t the first gray hair I’ve had, just the first one I’ve pulled out. I didn’t pull it out with a sense of purpose; it just came out with the rest of its classmates. No one tells you—well, no one told me, until I’d already noticed—that after you have a baby, all that lustrous, glorious pregnancy hair sheds quickly, replaced by your former, less exciting and less beautiful hair.

I examined this gray hair momentarily. (Time is of the essence, I only have a moment.) I deemed it not much coarser than my regular hair, and looked up at myself in the mirror. There was the wrinkle in the middle of my forehead, just like my mother’s, which appeared when I was around twenty and only shows itself when I am thinking.

Am I thinking? Is this wrinkle deeper?

I looked at myself and realized that my hair was longer now than it’s been in at least twenty years. Twenty years ago I was seventeen. I’m thirty-six. No, thirty-seven. I forgot to get a haircut for a year.

I heard the baby stir. (My moment was up.) I left the bathroom, went into her room, and was greeted by her smiling face. It was 9:36 a.m. Right on schedule.

Two and a half hours later, she was sleeping again and I needed to scan my passport. My unused passport, issued last August, when I was two months pregnant. My hair was at least six or seven inches shorter, my face a little thinner. “Wow, I do not look happy in this photo,” I thought to myself. “Are there any photos where I look happy?” READ MORE


The Service Was Terrible and I Won't Be Coming Again: A Yelper Reviews Some Dicks

my finest workTim, 29, Los Angeles, CA (✮☆☆): This dick used to be great, like, three years ago. But it’s really taken a turn for the worse over the past yearnow the lines are huge, it takes forever to be served, and when you finally get your dick, it’s usually cold and too salty, but they won’t take it back and get you a new one because they’re “too busy.” I blame the neighborhood influx of hipstersugh, go back to Ohio, you guys! Anyway, I’m giving it three stars for all my memories of how good this dick used to be, but I guess it’s time for me to find a new regular Sunday morning dick. I hear there’s a pretty good new one over in Westwood.

Charlie, 23, New York, NY (✮☆☆☆☆): If I could give only half a star, I would. Super rushed, terrible ambiance, and weird music choices (seemed like Cam’ron’s “Oh Boy” was just playing on repeat the whole night). Will not be coming back.

Phil, 53, Baltimore, MD (✮☆): Super old school! If you’re tired of all the area’s new ultra-slick modern dicks, try this one out. This dick is a total throwback to a more refined era from America’s past, from the cool tumblers of scotch offered at the night’s beginning, to the absolute refusal to wear a condom. Grab a group of your best girlfriends, put on your Mad Men pencil skirts and check out this dick for a fun, retro night on the town! We even heard there’s a secret passage that leads to a small-batch bourbon distillery, but we couldn’t find it.

Bradley, 36, Ojai, CA (): This dick was so romantic, my fiancée and I are now talking about holding our engagement party here!



Mick Jenkins ft. The Mind, "Shipwrecked"

The first track on a languid but powerful mixtape from Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins. The whole thing is streaming here; the title track and "Healer" are two highlights among many. (Via Fader)


Please join us in saying hello and welcome to the new editor of The Hairpin, Haley Mlotek, who you may remember around these parts for advocating for Showgirls, the end of Vogue, and manifestos that demand the death of all men. Even though she is Canadian. Hi Haley!


Post-Text is the Most Text

Felix Salmon, April, on his surprising new job:

But the core of what I do at Fusion will be post-text. Text has had an amazing run, online, not least because it’s easy and cheap to produce. When it comes to digital storytelling, however, the possibilities — at least if you have the kind of resources that Fusion has — are much, much greater.

People batted around that "post-text" line for a while, made their jokes, and forgot. Now, today:

My first #post-text project for Fusion: Bad Paper, a game which should help people understand the world of debt collections in a fun, immersive way.

Bad Paper is a choose-your-own-adventure-style game, turning what would be rhetorical questions in a story's copy into actual questions with answers you can click or tap. It's smart! (Or maybe I'm just smug about my success at virtual ruthless debt collection.) And is was coordinated with a long and traditional Times magazine piece, which, after playing this game, I am very slightly more likely to read.

One interesting thing about "post-text" is that it's full of text. So now we know: It's "post" as in "post-rock," not "post-apocalypse."


Budapest, August 13, 2014

★★ The comings and goings of the sun among the clouds made the difference between oppressive and pleasant humidity. A thrumming pump truck cleared out a portable toilet on a narrow lane, and the smell traveled down the lane in advance of it, on otherwise undetectable air currents. The blue in the sky made the turquoise sky of a mural look garish and implausible against it. Out on the broader street, a full white haze filled the view ahead. Up a lane again, in the courtyard of a bistro, there was full shade. A young man, absorbed in his mobile phone over his beer, allowed his cigarette ash to grow unattended. No sooner had the smoke crept out to fill the space, though, than a breeze through the hallway dispersed it. By the end of a slow plate of duck and beans, the streets outside had cooled as well. The contrast between the shadowed roadway and the bright roadway of sky above was too much for the cameraphone to balance out. A coffee shop was about to close, but had iced coffee still. "Would you like that over ice cream?" Why not. The afternoon grayed over, but a flattering late light came back through. A gibbous moon, through a loose veil of clouds, looked down on the way to the gelato-and-liquor stand.


"Sketch" Is a Lie

The SketchFactor app, which is intended to provide users with warnings as to the location of "sketchy" neighborhoods, was launched last Friday to near-universal howls of protest. The most common complaint was one of racism. Among dozens: "White duo behind app to avoid 'sketchy' neighborhoods is shocked to hear it's racist," said The Raw Story; "Smiling Young White People Make App for Avoiding Black Neighborhoods," wrote Sam Biddle in Valleywag.

SketchFactor works like this: users can tag locations with their impressions of "sketchiness" determined according to the "Sketch Point Legend." In addition to crime, you can report a "Bizarre Discovery" or a "Strange Encounter." Visitors consulting a map will see all the reports aggregated into little geotags expressive of varying degrees of worry—the highest score, of 5, is expressed by a distressed-looking little red dude who is clearly about to burst into tears.

Founder Allison McGuire told Crain's New York, not entirely credibly, "We are trying to empower users to report incidents of racism against them and define their own experience of the streets."

"I live in New York now," the doomed entrepreneur—a Los Angeles native who now lives in the West Village—added "with a laugh." "So almost nothing's sketchy to me anymore."



The Cover Job

Peter Mendelsund is associate art director of Alfred A. Knopf Books, which makes him perhaps the preeminent expert among those who judge books by their covers. He’s designed covers for everything from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to classics by Dostoevsky, Nabokov, Joyce, and De Beauvoir. Last week, he published two books: What We See When We Read, an incisive exploration of the phenomenology of reading, and Cover, a monograph of his best work, which includes his thoughts on designing and several short essays from authors.

I talked to Peter the other day about his work as a cover designer, which began eleven years ago, after a past life as a classical pianist.

So, you were a classical pianist for many, many years, and you mention in Cover that that you still self-identify as such. Is the pleasure you get out of designing at all different than the one you get playing?

Oh yeah, it’s different in kind and degree. The joy I get out of playing piano—there are very, very few things in life that match that particular form of communion. Of course, it’s also hard work, but when it’s going well it’s just one of the great feelings a person can have. If one is playing great music, if you’re playing Bach or Beethoven, and you’re playing it in a way where things are working properly, then your self dissolves, and it’s absolutely a transcendent experience. And nothing, nothing, in design matches that.

It’s not like I’m sitting in front of my InDesign documents swooning. I wish I did. Designing evokes a much narrower range of emotions; that range is somewhere between cool, which is one response, and oh, that’s pretty.

You say in Cover that with book design “clever” and “pretty” are the main benchmarks of quality—that design doesn’t need to deal in profundity. Is that really true, though? Looking at some of your covers, I find profundity. Is that incidental, or do you aim for that?

Well, what you’re trying to do is make something that structurally maps the text. So if there is some unintentional profundity, it has to do with the way the author has written the book and the way the reader has read the book. You’re gonna bring your own experience and feelings to bear on it. I don’t think there’s ever been a moment where I’ve said or felt, “this cover is really profound.” It’s really profundity by association—if it’s a great text, Dostoevsky or whatever, then you connect the experience of reading with the paratext.



37 Is Objectively the Funniest Number

simpsons-mathIn his classic book A Theory of Justice, philosopher John Rawls argues for liberalism as a political ideology with a thought experiment. The subject is in the “original position” where “…no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status; nor does he know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence and strength, and the like.” In other words, you could be anyone in this hypothetical society. Now: what political ideology would be the best?

I would argue that when using this “veil of ignorance” to render obsolete all particulars about the joke or certain context—for example, sometimes it’s funnier to use a really high number, like “it’s like 95,000,000 degrees out here” or a low number like “literally only 2 people have ever eaten Taco Bell without shitting their pants in the parking lot”—37 is the funniest number. READ MORE


iLoveMakonnen ft. Drake, "Club Goin Up on a Tuesday"

This is an unusual song, constitutionally. Atlanta upstart iLoveMakonnen (Makonnen Sheran) released a video for his track, "Club Goin Up On A Tuesday," last month, and it was a hit. Not huge, but it got noticed. Quite noticed! So Drake shows up to guest on a remix of the same track. He doesn't bigfoot, though: he sings with deference to Sheran's style, almost in Sheran's style, higher and smoother than we've really heard him before.


Worst Man: I'm the Friend You Didn't Invite to Your Wedding

5167193848_a998b631a9_zMy friend Stephen planned his wedding very carefully. He picked Howe Caverns, in upstate New York, for the ceremony because it was a favorite weird-but-cool destination of himself and his then-finance. He roped in a mutual friend of ours to perform the ceremony; he timed the whole thing to coincide with the annual Perseids meteor shower. I wasn’t invited.

Stephen told me later that only the immediate families were there. He didn’t want to deal with having a big event, he said—“fretting over orders of centerpieces or picking hydrangeas versus birds of paradise”—or the logistics of wrangling friends to leave the city. “Plus, we knew we’d be having a nice big party here in the city,” he said with a nervous laugh. “You weren’t invited to that, either.”

In fact, none of my adult friends have ever invited me to their weddings. Not Stephen or Tom and Kim or Mary and James or Annabel and Nick or anyone else. When I bring this up, people laugh, and they almost always say, “No! Really?” READ MORE


Ferguson, Missouri, According to Drudge

"Today Matt Drudge can influence the news like Walter Cronkite did," Mark Halperin said in a 2006 interview promoting his new book, cowritten with John Harris, who had not yet founded Politico. "If Drudge says something, it may not lead everybody instantly in the same direction, but it gets people thinking about what Matt Drudge wants them to think about." A late entry in the literature of the Drudge mythology, but a representative one: Drudge drives the news! All hail Drudge, the rascal.

Eight years later, his site looks and feels the same. The same people read it: The establishment crew maybe a little less; the paranoiacs maybe a little more. He has settled into a groove, now that Barack Hussein Obama is president, and it finally feels like we're starting to get to know the real Matt. Here is his coverage of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, according to the site snapshots at

9th, 1813

August 9th, Saturday: Drudge is on autopilot. Floating somewhere between these two links, which remained untouched about two days, are the words "race war."

11th, 0600

August 11th, Monday, early morning: The situation has escalated. "LOOTING" makes its first appearance; so, too, does the Drudge favorite, Literally Burning America. READ MORE



Have you seen that Pantene commercial that’s been making the social media rounds? The one that asks why women are always apologizing?

I’m the first half of that commercial. I am an apologizer. You know: one of those insecure, irritating, thoroughly un-empowered women who can’t stop saying “I’m sorry” even when they haven’t done anything wrong. “I’m sorry, can I get past you?” “I’m sorry, I ordered this with no mayo.” “I’m sorry to bother you, but our meeting was supposed to start half an hour ago.”

It’s the worst type of un-feminist stereotype: the woman who feels ashamed of existing, ashamed of taking up space, ashamed of asking for what she wants or needs. I apologize even when I absolutely don’t feel that I’m in the wrong. I apologize when I’m furious. In fact, the more strongly I feel like someone should be apologizing to me, the faster “sorry” falls from my lips.

Are you cringing? I am. And my first instinct, of course, is to apologize, and say: I haven’t always been like this.

I can’t identify exactly when the switch happened, but when I was younger I was brash as fuck. I said what I thought and I usually said it loudly. It would be fair to say that I was obnoxious. I didn’t make excuses for feeling the way I felt or wanting the things I wanted. I was emotional. I demanded attention. I was smart and precocious and confrontational. I was a difficult person to like, and I knew it, and it sucked. I have never had the ability to not care what people thought of me, the way some loud opinionated people seem to do. I always hated the sense of people’s exasperation, of them shutting me out because I was too high-intensity, too needy, too loud, too goddamn sensitive.

I don’t know when I started apologizing, but I know that it started as penance for crying so much. For a long time I expected that crying constantly, almost daily, was something I would grow out of, but when I hit 21 and it showed no signs of slowing down the humiliation grew more intense. Somehow that led to me saying “sorry” whenever I felt the familiar prickle, like an incipient sunburn on the back of my eyes. “Sorry,” I’d say, trying to smile through the tears. “It’s not a big deal, I’m just a crier. Sorry. Sorry for overreacting.”

The tragic thing about apologizing is that it works. READ MORE


Software Efficient

The consequences of human workers becoming just another piece in the long chain of an algorithm optimized for efficiency above all else

In Brooklyn, Sandianna Irvine often works “on call” hours at Ashley Stewart, a plus-size clothing store, rushing to make arrangements for her 5-year-old daughter if the store needs her. Before Martha Cadenas was promoted to manager at a Walmart in Apple Valley, Minn., she had to work any time the store needed; her mother “ended up having to move in with me,” she said, because of the unpredictable hours. Maria Trisler is often dismissed early from her shifts at a McDonald’s in Peoria, Ill., when the computers say sales are slow. The same sometimes happens to Ms. Navarro at Starbucks.


Budapest, August 12, 2014

weather review sky 081214★★★★★ Breeze lifted the stars of the EU and Lithuania's triple stripe on the face of some building, but failed to quite unfurl the folded and misaligned parts of the horse and knight of the Lithuanian presidential banner. A green apple lay on the sidewalk, fallen from an overladen tree. Water plashed quietly in a fountain set with an obelisk, beside the basilica. The office windows were tall and wide open, letting the fresh air blow through, past drooping tree branches. Bells tolled, wheels rattled on the paving stones. The ferris wheel out on the square by the hotel played an English language audio guid to the previous city in which it had been installed. The gondola cleared the rooftops–all the same low-medium height–and discovered the hills beyond. The Danube was green. By the third turn, the interior was getting stuffy. Back down in the park, a violinist played Beatles songs indifferently. The sun shone on the dark gray stone of a building and the blond stone of the same building, where half the facade had been scrubbed clean. Late in the day, an expanse of gray-and-white scales over blue moved slowly northeast along the sky. Behind it came different tones of gray, with occasional spots of bright gold flashing through. In the night, outside a ruin bar, a wide-chested bouncer ate an ice cream treat on a stick.


A Battlefield Where Speed Is Everything

They can accelerate faster than a Ferrari, strike with 10 times the g-force of a space shuttle, and outmaneuver a fighter jet. Whether the battlefield is the dark underworld of the forest, the bizarre netherworld between the river and the ocean, or the scorching hot Namib Desert, Smithsonian Channel's second season of Speed Kills follows the world's fastest predators as they use their incredible speeds for lethal means.

Check out the video above for a glimpse of how Speed Kills uses high-speed cameras that capture every movement in high definition, at 1,000 frames-per-second, so you won't miss one graphic detail of this fast-paced and often violent world. For more freakish assassins that can strike in the blink of an eye, watch the season premiere of Speed Kills on Wednesday, August 20 at 8PM ET/PT on the Smithsonian Channel.


Some Things I Will Miss About Brooklyn

On my first day in Brooklyn, twenty-one years ago, I took the subway from my neighborhood, Brooklyn Heights, to its terminus at the tip of Coney Island. I walked the ten miles back, slowly weaving my way through a loose confederation of neighborhoods, held together by subways and buses. Statistically, since then, Brooklyn has changed for the better: It is safer. It is cleaner. But its bumps and edges, the defining features of those neighborhoods, have been smoothed and polished away into an increasingly continuous, glossy surface known as “Brooklyn.” Now I’m leaving.

Pigeon Keepers of Bushwick and East NY

(Pigeons over Bushwick)

On most afternoons, flocks of pigeons swarm above Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick. They’re owned by pigeon keepers, who breed and tend to them on nearby rooftops. The practice, part sport, part art, was first brought over by Italians in the early 1900s. At one point, well over a thousand men in Brooklyn kept pigeons. About a hundred such keepers are left—mostly Dominican and Puerto Rican men, primarily in Bushwick and East New York. You find them on whichever roofs they can use. A few are lucky enough to own their building, or are supers in buildings with roof access. Most, however, find abandoned buildings with unclaimed roofs and turn them into pigeon homes.

(Young Pigeon Keeper, Bushwick)

The keepers’ stories are almost always the same: Everyone starts young; everyone comes from a rough neighborhood; the birds keep them out of trouble. “I would be dead now if not for my birds. Dead,” Whitey, a pigeon keeper, told me. “So many of my friends are. Birds, they kept me on the roof and out of trouble.”

Kevin, a childhood friend of Mike Tyson’s, started keeping pigeons at eight, while growing up in East New York. “I have had a few problems. Growing up here it’s hard not to, but that’s all behind me now,” he said. “God is now shining his light on me. For the last fiteen years I have stayed away from everything. Now I spend my evenings on the roof with my birds. The pigeons don’t talk back to you and my wife always knows where I am. I can put everything behind me when I am up on the roof.”

Slice was a drug dealer when, at seventeen, he killed another dealer and spent twenty years in jail. Now he is “locked down by my wife and birds. Both of them keep me out of trouble,” he said. “When I am up here on the roof, I am in another world. I can leave all the past behind. All that below us, that’s gone.” READ MORE


The American Battlefield

There are many pieces about the murder of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer. This one, by Greg Howard at Deadspin, is one of the most wrenching:

Give a man access to drones, tanks, and body armor, and he'll reasonably think that his job isn't simply to maintain peace, but to eradicate danger. Instead of protecting and serving, police are searching and destroying.

If officers are soldiers, it follows that the neighborhoods they patrol are battlefields. And if they're working battlefields, it follows that the population is the enemy. And because of correlations, rooted in historical injustice, between crime and income and income and race, the enemy population will consist largely of people of color, and especially of black men.


A Room in an Elderly Stranger's House, and Other Places I've Lived

orren st nwAugust 2010-December 2010, May 2011-December 2011
Orren Street NW, Washington, D.C., $700-$735/mo.

Besides me, David Sedaris is the only American I know of who spent a big part of his early 20s rooming with an elderly stranger. He describes this time, during which he took up residence in a Chapel Hill boarding house out of some vague, misplaced nostalgia for an erstwhile age, in his 2007 essay "This Old House." But the four months I spent with C.C. were a little different. This was no humble matriarch whose living quarters provided a rustic escape from modern-day campus life. No, C.C. was instead a 60-something globetrotter in the international medical relief field who wrote papers on health care in Central Africa, and who owned a newly renovated Wardman-style rowhouse in the gentrifying Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast D.C. And I, a college senior/unpaid intern/occasional waiter, lived in her basement.

Before C.C. moved into her real estate investment house, I shared it with a revolving cast of fellow students and subletters in their mid-20s. (The rent fluctuated depending on who got which room.) We had a decent setup, with two floors plus a finished basement. The two upper bedrooms had carpet floors, lots of space, and a tendency to get hot in the humid mid-Atlantic summer. I lived in the second-floor front bedroom for a while. This was during a dark summer break when I interned at a local newspaper and waited tables at a since-closed diner (I had the overnight shift on Fridays and Saturdays, earning $2.77 an hour plus measly tips from dazed revelers who trickled up from the H Street nightlife corridor) and spent most of my free time taking cold showers or stripping to my boxers and lying motionless on the bed. I preferred the basement, which was nice and cool and crawling with large bugs of all kinds.

Soon before my final semester began, everyone in the house found new arrangements. Everyone, that is, except me. I tried my hardest, but it was rough going. I had long gotten over college and focused most of my energies on the internship and a feverish job hunt. My then-girlfriend and I had agreed to take a break while she studied abroad, and I made no effort to meet someone new—or, really, maintain any kind of relationship with anyone. My college friendships, tenuous to begin with, fell away. I slipped into a nightly routine of buying a six-pack of Yuengling or Rolling Rock pounders, drinking it by myself, and watching Netflix for hours; or else moseying over to the H Street bars, flirting unsuccessfully with the wait staff, and falling asleep before 10 p.m. C.C. wanted to move into her house, offering me the basement room for $700 per month. Not seeing any other option for riding out the semester, I took it. We didn’t run into each other very often, which is for the best, because otherwise this superhuman Washington-type would have noticed the 21-year-old in her home going through what, in hindsight, he recognizes as mild depression.

Another thing about the basement: Its bedroom was situated next to the boiler, which in the winter would thunder on with a tremendous boom every 20 minutes or so. This would interrupt the dramatic flow of my Twin Peaks and Breaking Bad marathons, which I guess I prioritized over sleep.

My relationship with C.C. didn’t end so well. Upon finishing the term, I moved out in a hurry with only my mother’s midsize SUV for transportation. I still feel bad about leaving all that broken furniture in the backyard. READ MORE


Ask Polly: I Think My New Boyfriend Might Be a Horrible Control Freak

8356666849_b6b571d2e9_zDear Polly,

I started dating a guy a few weeks ago, and yes I know, a few weeks is NOTHING, but, even in that short time some things have come up and I'm having a really hard time separating what is just me being sabotage-y and too fucking sharp, chopping shit up into julienne cuts, and what might be legitimate signs that this is not a good match, which I am overlooking because I am too busy chop chop chopping.

About four years ago, I was in a pretty terrible relationship. He was bipolar, and later on, I found out he lied about pretty much everything: He had a long-term girlfriend, and when he told me that he spent three months in a psych ward where I couldn't see him, it turns out he was actually living with her. It makes sense now. I pretty much never saw his house (he said he was living with his parents) or most of his world. It was always him in my world. The relationship eventually became abusive, to the point that I was scared for a very long time, stopped sleeping, and finally, swallowed a bottle of pills in front of him in a desperate and stupid attempt to make everything stop.

I moved far, far away, started fresh and created a great life, but it's left me with a terrible, panicky feeling that all men are hiding something harmful. I can feel myself bracing for the rug to inevitably be pulled out from underneath me.

Since then, I've had a few relationships, none of which have really triggered any of this. Until now. With my last significant relationship, we hit things off right away. He lived a ferry ride away, so he'd often come over and stay for a several days, and we'd go off on little trips and adventures. Spending that kind of time with someone felt really good; it felt really secure, and it made me so happy to fall asleep and wake up beside someone I thought the world of.

This new guy, he wants to take things slow. We've seen each other quite a bit, and now that it's been a couple weeks I want to sleep beside this guy. I am not talking about sex. I just mean having him spend the night or me stay with him. I can feel him get weird and flinchy about it, and it really fucks me up. That, and a few little things he does, have started triggering bad memories from my ex, and I am having a really hard time reconciling them. I tried explaining my past and why I am suddenly acting overly analytical and self-sabotaging even though I don't want to, and now I feel as though I wish I had never told him anything. When I told him that my ex used to force me up against a wall and hold my head while he punched the wall inches from my face, his response was that his ex punched him in the face and broke his nose, but that he's not projecting that onto me because I'm not her. I get what he's saying, but it also made me feel diminished and like some sort of fucked up trauma pissing contest was taking place. He used a similar response another time when I told him something heavy after he had asked about it—he said I blindsided him by saying stuff like that—and both times, I walked away feeling really shitty.

Polly, normally I am pretty level headed and decisive and confident in my decisions and know what I want and what I'm about. When I'm with this guy and something comes up, I feel so fucking confused and unsettled and like I should have never said anything. I'm so scared of being mind-fucked again. This guy is really smart, and really good at arguing his points, and it makes my head hurt because I don't know if I'm just messing it all up because I'm terrified, or if this guy maybe has some serious controlling tendencies because he won't stay over because he says he'll only fall asleep if we have sex, but does not want to have sex yet. He also made me feel like I should be more appreciative that he's let me come over to his house, because even his parents have only been there two or three times in ten years. Am I just spinning in my own insecurities?


Dear Self-saboteuse,

This guy you're dating is bad news. He's a control freak and kind of a dick to boot. The fact that he responds to your very personal, vulnerable stories not by listening and empathizing, but by one-upping you with his own traumas and then touting his relative maturity and healthy boundaries AND THEN referring to such sharing as "blindsiding"? These are more than just red flags. They're warning signals, the way someone walking up to you and setting your hair on fire is a warning signal.

This is a guy who experiences vulnerable, expressive sharing as an assault. He's four weeks into this thing, and he's already making it crystal clear he doesn't want your feelings to come into play. He wants you to feel ashamed of sharing that stuff, so you won't be tempted to share it again. READ MORE