I’ve been doing a lot of visual research for my book and today found two pics from my 20s that really freak me out. I wrote last week about my struggles with anorexia nervosa, but the photographic evidence was still tough to see. Back then I thought I looked so fly but in the one at left I am covered with a pelt of fur and at right I am literally concave. Please note: There’s nothing inherently wrong with body hair but it’s disturbing that the thick dark hair covering my limbs and abdomen fell out when I started eating regularly.
I may be flattering myself but I think in my zaftig 40s I actually look younger. Certainly it’s unclear if I’d be heading round the bend to 50 had I not found a way through my anorexia. At 25, I had auto-immune issues, joint problems, a jaundiced complexion, digestive disease, and frequently fractured bones. Yet no doctor connected these problems to the fact that I was severely underweight. It is a betrayal of the social contract to ever comment on another’s weight, yet I received so much approbation for walking around obviously ill that I was drafted as a model. (Not a humblebrag, modeling is fecked.) To be fair, it may have been hard to tell I was eating-disordered since I have my mother’s strong and sizable bones. Still. My head loomed like–well, my head loomed like fucking Barbie.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Nathan, my father’s father. I often do when pretty weather makes me regret my solitude.
Nathan was a survivor and he never let you forget it. He also didn’t like to think of himself that way.
He was born in Poland to a determined woman with a schnorrer of a husband. That Yiddish word isn’t in the kind of rotation that other ones are–schmuck, for one. But it should be because schnorrers are everywhere. They’re hustlers who aren’t very good at hustling, people (men mostly) who drain your resources without profiting from them. They’re what my grandmother Basha, my grandfather’s wife, called losahs without their mezuzahs.
She was a pissah, that one. Mean and judgmental and super clever.
Anyway when my grandfather was alive we didn’t exactly get on because he was funny about women, especially big blondes. When his mother arrived in America with him and his little sister, his father already had found himself a better-off wife and here was my great-grandmother not speaking English and not having anywhere to live or money in her pocket. But with two small children in tow she wasn’t about to fall on her face, not while she was still young and had some spring in her step. So she started going by Mary Banks and turning tricks and well–
My grandfather didn’t really understand shall-we-say normal sexual boundaries.
Any sexual boundaries. Continue Reading →
I always tell my Ruby Intuition clients that the best you can hope for is a version 2.0 of what’s erotically imprinted on you. Because I’ve seen those relationships borne out of someone stubbornly trying Not to Date Mom or Dad and, boy o boy, the no-sex vibe is stronger than Prince’s pheromones are even now.
Which is to say: strong.
As usual, my shrink has useful advice in this department. She says, “The minute you get that Child feeling, get out.” What she means is that when I start to get that desperate, pay-attention-to-me! feeling around a paramour, I should cut it off because once again I have fallen for a charismatic narcissist who would rather drown me in their black hole than make our dynamics about anything other than their ego. Continue Reading →