30 is the New 50: “Old Age” is Killing My Dating Life

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The following is an excerpt from my piece featured on TIME:

“You know,” he says. “It’s tough for people our age.”

It’s 1 a.m. on a Monday, and I am currently on the phone having an argument with a guy I’d been on only four dates with, three of them good. One of them—the last—was less good, given he had gone MIA for the better part of three weeks and I had a sneaking suspicion he had a girlfriend.

We hadn’t slept together, but the kisses had been the type of kisses you walk away from with shaky knees and blind hope. There was something there, and we both knew it, which is why we were attempting to hash things out over the phone at some ungodly hour. Because at our age, we’re adults, and things matter more. The mistakes leave marks.

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What Vincent Gallo Taught Me About Life

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“Amber. Amber. AMBER. Doesn’t this guy look like Luke? HEY, DUDE. YEAH, YOU. YOU REMIND ME OF OUR FRIEND LUKE. LIKE SAME FACE. EVERYTHING.”

I am twenty years old, still using the fake ID that my high school boyfriend’s best friend stole from the apartment building his dad owned and he worked in, a girl with an upturned pug nose and a short haircut who looks nothing like me, who looks nothing like my cousins or my cousins’ cousins or anyone remotely within my German/Dutch/Aussie/Brit gene pool. Bouncers laugh at me. Bartenders still serve me. I think this is the very definition of a fake ID. Amber, older and wiser and using an ID that’s actually her own, is snickering into a whisky soda. “Yeah, he totally looks like Luke.”

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It Happened to Me: I Got LASIK and It Failed

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The following is an excerpt from a piece featured on xoJane.com:

It seemed to have happened all of a sudden, as though I woke up one morning and overnight my vision had taken a turn for the worse. I stood on the subway platform, staring across the tracks at the familiar mosaic sign denoting my local stop, each green and white tile blurring into one another, a fuzzy approximation of what had once been so reliably crisp. I kept rubbing my eyes, blinking hard, all in the hopes of denying what was actually happening, which was that my very expensive, incredibly cherished LASIK was failing. 

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AN OPEN LETTER TO PENN BAGLEY, BADGLEY, BADDLEY. WHATEVER.

 

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The following is an excerpt from a piece originally featured on The Style Con:

Dear Penn,

Can I call you Penn? Is that your real name? If I sound incredulous over its authenticity it comes only from the purest place of jealousy-induced doubt. You see, I was born in the ‘80s and Jennifer (that’s me, BTW, hi!) was quite popular. My parents, inspired by the masses, forwent the opportunity to name me something clever, like Mackenzie or Autumn or Jo, I don’t know,Penn. As a result, I have always hated the utterly generic nature of my name. But Penn… Penn sets someone up for greatness, so much so that I refuse to believe it’s real.

But I digress. I’m not here to talk about your stage name. (PS: Holy shit. Okay, I’ll admit I was wrong and hastily judgmental. I just looked up your bio on Wikipedia and your real name is Penn Dayton Badgley. I envy you, Penn, and your parents’ wonderfully WASPy taste. I, Jennifer Lee Bahn—yes, not “Leigh” like the more delicate girls, but “Lee” like Confederate army generals—am but your humble servant in lesser nomenclature.) No, Penn Dayton Badgley, I’m here to talk about your band, MOTHER, which sucks.

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Ask a Lady: Sugar, Spice and Dudes That Are Nice

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The following is from a piece originally featured on Harry’s Five O’Clock Magazine:

So what exactly makes a “nice guy?” To be clear, I’m not talking about spineless doormats; I’m referring to respectful, amiable gentlemen with interesting lives and unique opinions. These are the guys you want at your dinner parties, the guys you want to introduce to your parents, the guys who take showers and clip their fingernails. Well, that seems like a decent portion of the population (I think), so maybe it’s best to define what nice guys are not. Nice guys are not the bad boys—which is to say they’re not the aloof, mysterious, skulking body in the corner looking to bag another babe out of sheer boredom. And bag he will. The bad boys always do. Meanwhile, the nice guy’s still standing there, holding a beer, talking to some buds, being, well, nice. 

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Brooke Candy’s “Opulence” Video Makes Me Excruciatingly Uncomfortable

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The following is an excerpt originally seen on The Style Con:

It’s a scene from any Guy Ritchie film. Gritty, sour, filthy and remote.  The sounds are turned up to exacerbate the violence: heels slamming against the tile floor, the sound of hard leather smacking against flesh, roars of effort on the part of Brooke Candy and the moans of agony from the man she’s beating the living shit out of. All fifteen pounds of the singer eventually manages to throw her offender to the ground, breaking his neck between a pair of stiletto heels. And then, while using dialogue about two notches about a ‘90s porn, she begins to fleece him, tearing money out of his pockets, counting it, and then stuffing it into his mouth. It is not the most violent thing I have ever seen—not even coming close to anything out of the original Oldboy—but the reaction it elicits is decidedly stomach turning. Though I’ll watch this video nearly 20 times to figure out how I feel about it, I’ll skip the first minute, unable to even listen to it play out from the other side of the room.

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Interactive Play Sheds Light on My Life’s Failures

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The following is an excerpt from a piece originally seen on The Style Con:

Times Square blinks menacingly in the distance, that deathly conflagration of badly dressed tourists and burning neon. I’m waiting outside of a recently reopened theater at dusk, standing between a group of women with Chanel bags and floor-length chiffon gowns and a confused family of four, the dad having just procured a piece of wretched-looking Sbarro pizza, bloodied sauce on an albino crust. “Best I ever had!” he exclaims stupidly, breaking up the girls’ anxious conversation about the evening’s future entertainment (“It’s just like Sleep No More, I think, only, I dunno…”) But who am I to judge? I’m the one waiting outside of a boarded-up building, about to see an interactive play by myself.

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From Nada to Prada: Natalie Westling

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The following is an excerpt from a piece originally seen on The Style Con:

I can’t figure out what it is about 17-year-old model Natalie Westling. Maybe it’s the ratio of eyes to lips—how those giant, baby-girl doll orbs threaten to swallow you whole, how her pert, tight-lipped pout offers you nothing. The character. The neighborhood skater turned high fashion model vibes. That’s probably what it is. That, and, you know, that flaming red hair always gets me. I think I inherited my dad’s affinity for gingers.

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Felling the Wood: Tinder Sucks

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The following is an excerpt from a piece originally seen on Lady Clever:

‘Here’s a story: Girl walks into a bar. Girl sees her friends. Girl walks straight towards her friends because, man, these people are awesome! Girl orders a drink, talks to her friends, gets drunk with her friends. Girl lets the world disappear around her because she is so focused on having a great time. Girl leaves the bar, having not done one scan of the place looking for someone to, I don’t know, even make out with. Girl is single forever because she never took the time to look around the room. Ever.

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A Boy. A Beard. A Blurb: Alexander Graham Bell

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The following is an excerpt from a piece originally seen on Harry’s Five O’Clock Mag:

Ever feel like the billion streams of communication currently at your disposal—Twitter, Tumblr, BBM, Facebook DM, iMessage, GChat, iChat, WhatsApp—are prematurely salt-and-peppering your steeze? Blame Alexander Graham Bell, who blew minds when he created the first practical telephone in 1876. While these days we take for granted the fact we can be virtually anywhere at any time, teleporting yourself into meetings in Beijing while you sit on your sofas wearing PJs, Bell’s telephone was the first time you could talk to someone who was, like, not in the same room as you. A proper wizard, this man. 

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