FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: No, But Seriously, I Just Missed You Is All, Tell Me Everything

feature image by rory midhani

Y’all! You ALL! You great, big, beautiful dolls! I am so happy that your luminous face is looking upon ye olde Friday Open Thread this week, wherein I beg you to give me a glimpse into your life in hopes that you’ll share photos of your pet – because if you show me yours, I get to show you mine. We have a Friday Open Thread every week, mostly because I’ve aged 10 years in the span of two and I like to give myself a reason to stay in. Last week, the one and only B (who is hilarious) hosted this very virtual meetup all by herself, and she made me damn proud. This week, I’m back to get it crack-a-lackin’.

And so, without further ado, LET US BEGIN.


In the past two weeks, I stayed up all night printing materials for this year’s National Young Feminist Leadership Conference (and then grabbed drinks with some A-Campers in the hotel lobby once I was done staffing it, of course), bid farewell to my one and only Geneva, and watched over five entire seasons of Frasier. Once these important tasks were complete, I realized I finally had time on my hands – a lot of time – and decided to spend it wisely, so I’m happy to report that I’ve got two self-help books in my Amazon queue, I finally bought a pair of boots and so far they have no holes in them, Eli is back to being my primary life partner, I don’t think – knock on wood – that any of my online accounts have been compromised as of right now, and every single article of clothing I own has been washed, dried, and hung on my clothing rack. I also became kind of a big deal at work, but then I couldn’t finish my celebratory bottle of champagne alone, so it was a kind of hollow victory. (Side note: did anyone else know that champagne could come with a twist-off cap, and that even those rare 8-dollar gems which do can explode all over your bed, laptop, and dog in seconds once you let some air out? You do now.)


All this to say, of course, that I’m back, bitches. I’m all yours. I’ll never leave again until the next time another Autostraddle writer heads up this weekly fiesta of friend-making flowery folks. That could be as soon as next week, but don’t think that far ahead. Live in the now. Take a deep breath and be present with me.

Now that I’m back, though, I need you to catch me up. How goes your first dates? How go your exams? How goes your quest for a sentence in this paragraph that isn’t beginning a question with “how?” Are your puppies, kittens, and capybaras doing okay? Did you realize Easter is on 4/20 this year? Is there someone more interesting than Jesus that you wish had once risen from the dead and dramatically climbed out of a cave? Are you into chili fries? I hope my hair is okay – is it too long? You can tell me if it’s too long. Oh my gosh, you totally think it’s too long. WELL IF YOU DON’T THINK IT’S TOO LONG THEN SAY SOMETHING, JEEZ.

That doesn’t even cover the full gamut of how deeply interested I am in your life, though, so let’s get down to business. I want you – yes, YOU! – to scroll a liiiiittle further down to where you see the “Post A Comment” button (it’s a really cute button! Cee spent a lot of time making these pretty buttons, you know!), click it, and write a bunch of words about yourself or your pet or the really cute barista you give good tips to at Starbucks who still doesn’t remember your regular, or your regular, or the weather, or how adorable you and your girlfriend are, or you and your partner of any gender or categorical identity, or you and your partner who does not ascribe to any labels, binaries, or spectrums at all. I am so god damn interested in your lives, y’all.

As usual, I will be here all night to comfort you, laugh with you, and post adorable photos of my dog whenever you post a picture of a beast who is not human and preferably is tinier than most adults.

There’s not a second to waste. It’s Friday, and you gotta get down on Friday. So let’s do this.

3, 2, 1 – GO!

How To Post a Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo! This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL,” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code:

<img src=”http://imageurlgoeshere”>

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur.

*How To Post a Video In The Comments, Too:

1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.



    basically, the future’s so bright, i’m super glad my new sunglasses arrived recently. :)

  2. Asked the person I’m seeing to start using they/them pronouns in reference to me and start calling me their friend-friend instead of girlfriend. And that conversation went so well and I feel so relieved and at ease and reassured. And then the waited came by and called us ‘ladies’ repeatedly BUT WHATEVER I’M STILL PUMPED AND HAPPY YOU CAN’T RUIN THIS.

    • Yay! I use she/her pronouns but I’ve been gearing up to the ‘hey so I may not be as cisgender as I probably seem’ convo with the person I’m seeing and your story makes me happy!

  3. Beautiful weather in New Jersey! Spring is finally here. I’ve been walking a few miles a day at the park. Planning my move out to Chicago in July for grad school. Nervous!

    • oh man, EXCITING. i’ve spent a lot of time in chicago lately (see: long distance relationship), it’s a really cool city. love all the balconies on all the apartments. :)

  4. I just hosted a vegan dinner party for non-vegans and they loved the food. But now I am super conflicted because my senior citizen cat who never catches anything just caught a mouse and brought it inside to show off, and she was so happy and proud of herself I couldn’t help but be happy for her. I feel the silent scorn of vegans everywhere and don’t know whether to congratulate myself for my successful outreach dinner party or admonish myself for allowing my cat to fulfill her natural instincts.

    • No way, man! Your cat has to do cat-things that make her cat-self happy! I’m happy for her! You’ve got 1 vegan’s support right meow!

      • This is true. She’s an anxious wee over-groomer, it was really nice to see her so gleeful. Even if it did involve her flinging a dead mouse high into the air to pounce on it again.

    • As a cat-owning vegetarian, I say that your vegan friends shouldn’t be scornful. Cats cannot live without meat, so we either have to feed it to them, allow them to catch it for themselves, or let them starve. None of these options involve being able to save all of the cute animals.

      My cat brought me a bird for my birthday once. Left it right beside my bed so I could see it when I woke up. Thaaaaaaanks, kitty. Thaaaaaanks.

      • Awwww a birthday present – that’s so sweet! In a mixed-up, obligate carnivorous kind of way.

    • My poor mum had the proud cat with its kill on the doorstep situation this morning, thankfully only a mouse today and not a rabbit. It happens, it’s natural. It’s sad but part of life. When I was a kid and had cats I rescued as many of the animals/birds they used to bring in as I could. It’s all you can do.

      • OMG a rabbit?! I can’t imagine having to deal with dead or dying animal that big. It was bad enough when my last cat brought home a dead pidgeon..

        • Yeah she is a big cat, and living in the country there is plenty of wildlife about for her to hunt. Today it was a bird. Tis the season apparently.

  5. I’m in the library half-assedly working on an essay about ancient Roman architecture, but on the bright side, London was sunny and spring-y today! Also I bought an amazing pair of hiking boots which 1) I can wear for everyday use as well 2) cost £14.99 because they were from the kid’s section and on sale :D For your perusal:

  6. The weather has been so amazing all week and today I don’t have any classes so I can enjoy it for even longer! I’ve had a really great week and what hasn’t been great I’m choosing not to even acknowledge cause it is not worth my time.

  7. Over here, I’ve been working (i.e.translating a novel) while practicing the second voice I made up for Frozen’s Let it go that my 13yo daughter and I are going to sing tomorrow in our singing classes (working freelance from home allows you to do that), getting ready to see my house taken over by my kids and their friends tonight, and whining a little bit to make sure I’m in full gear when my girlfriend gets home so that she understands how much I need pampering, because menstrual cramps. So I kind of like today, but I reckon tomorrow will be even better…

  8. Ya’ll. I have never commented in an Open Thread before but. YOU NEED TO SEE THIS:

    Mallory Ortberg of The Toast is One of Us and Brittney Griner is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy/have someone to swoon over.

    Because of this I went down a delightful rabbit hole of looking at and wanting a dog and are there any rescue pups near me and oh god there ARE but I really don’t have enough time to devote to a dog.

    anyway. dogs. brittney griner. friday. yes good.

    • BRITTNEY GRINER, I ADORE HER. one of my friends has been working very hard to get me into basketball, and she rightly knew what I would be weak to, and started with Griner. long story short, we have regular plans to go see wnba games when the season starts up.

    • “Emancipated abandon. What else does she do with emancipated abandon, one wonders. One wonders and one shivers.”

      Oh. Oh my.

    • Please also note Mallory’s exposition on Katharine Hepburn today, which includes the following line: “Look me in the eye and tell me that smoldering, lanky, lithe hunk of butch sat on her hands for thirty years waiting for Spencer Tracy to get it up. Go ahead. Tell me. I’ll wait.”

      Woman should be making millions writing lady-smut, is all I’m saying.

  9. I had a tough week cause flashbacks and SI, but my therapy group is really awesome and makes me feel super loved and I listened to fifteen episodes of Welcome to Night Vale and the man who cussed me out on the bus last week hasn’t bothered me since and I finished a really good book and found my fingerless gloves and have been reading analysis of Orphan Black and see/experience people doing really kind loving things and have whipped cream so really I’m doing jim dandy :)

    And and I wrote an eight page personal essay doohickey thing last week because I was so excited and terrified about life and then I shared it and people’s lovely reactions to it made me feel like I have something worth saying which inherently makes me feel like I’m worth something so yayyy

    And my friend posted this on my wall asking if I wanted to go diving with her right after I did a not so great thing:

  10. It is Friday and I am VERY excited for the weekend because I have ZERO plans and will be sleeping until Monday. I have recently been introduced to a bunch of really cool Autostraddlers via. helping a bestie move in with her fancy Lady : ) I’m SUPER excited about my new friends group. Yesterday Meatball was really rude and hissed at me when I tried to bring him inside, necessitating that I kidnap him in a pillowcase. Hopefully this Image shows up, and you can all evaluate the rascal for yourselves.

  11. feeling optimistic since my LOOOOONG search for a quality non-profit job FINALLY seems to be getting somewhere. Keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well. Other than that, I am looking forward to swimming and reaching for the stars!

  12. I’m working from home today because my boss is away at Coachella having some fun. My cats are sleeping and I wish I could join them.

    • i want to be your cats, your boss, and you today. so, you win! how do you motivate yourself to work from home? i’m bad at it. real bad.

      • Yay! :D

        Haha. I’m bad at it too! It’s sooo difficult, let me assure you. It really depends on my workload. If it’s a project I’m excited about, time just flies. But when it’s like today where I’m mostly just working on web related stuff with no clear deadline……It’s easy to be distracted by EVERY LITTLE THING.

        Like the ice cream I just ate while watching this:

  13. I’m going sailing today! (pics later) but it will probs be kinda awkward since I’m going with this girl I drunkenly made out with one time, her current fuck buddy, some random guy whose relationship with her I’m not entirely sure about, and her 2 yr old daughter. Yikes. Buuuuut there’ll be beer so I’m pretty optimistic. Happy Friday everyone!!

  14. You guys! I was only queer teenager in my school/that I know in real life for three years but I found one! I found another queer teenager in my school and I have a friend and I’m not alone!

    I am very happy and we shall prance gaily into the sunset.

  15. In the past two weeks I moved to the Netherlands and started a new job. It’s been very chaotic, and at the moment I’m enjoying the afternoon by watching the across the canal front door neighbours trying to grill hamburgers.
    Unfortunately my tablet decided to not boot so I can’t take a picture :(

      • Not friday anymore but oh well….

        Managed to take a crappy photo with my laptop!

        I must say I love the paddle boat swan thing that’s happening on the canal. I’m still waiting to get a picture when a real swan passes by.

    • I am totally Jealous. I am moving back to Utrecht in the fall. Are you loving it? Have you gotten through all the complicated forms they make you fill out?

      • Utrecht is so freaking cool! I think it’s my favourite Dutch city.

        And fortunately I have almost no forms to fill out as I’m from the EU :)

  16. Okay, I almost never do this, but I’m super pumped because I’m pretty sure just kicked ass on an interview for a job that I really want! And the weather is beautiful!

    Some things that I am contemplating: ice cream, outdoor happy hour before work, going for a run, re-watching all of Orphan Black before it comes back next week (too ambitious? maybe.), basically avoiding continuing to work from home for the rest of the day. Happy Friday!

  17. Here in Minnesota we’re celebrating the signing of the Safe and Supportive Schools Act after months of dedicated lobbying by Out Front Minnesota (and others of course). It’s an anti-bullying bill that’s been in the works for some time and had Bachmann and the likes to contend with… so it was an uphill battle and we’re thrilled.

    Other than that, my girl and I went to see Once in Minneapolis on Saturday and that was lovely. It was her first show and she really enjoyed it so yaaaaaay. Super happy.

  18. I am trying desperately to have some kind of motivation at work. My car broke down yesterday and my mechanic gave me the news that it was caput, so my day consists of the following tasks: New (to me, bc I am BA-ROKE) car search, get my taxes done tonight, start packing because I’m moving in a month, and try not to freak out. Good news is that it is going to be the most gorgeous of weekends ever in Delaware this weekend, and my GF and I are going browsing at IKEA tomorrow and getting delicious Swedish meatballs for lunch, because she’s the best in the world.

  19. I’m getting prepared for another day of retail work by eating frozen carbonara meals. On the bright side, my person and I got to have a lot of fun a few days ago with an arm binder, a Whitehead gag, and a creamsicle.

  20. In the class I had this morning we were all split into 2-3 people groups. The white girl I was paired with (who I already don’t like) says to me “Oh cool I don’t have a problem hanging out with black people.” to which I replied with the only thing I felt at the moment” You will today.”

    How is that a thing you even say to a person? She’s incredibly racist and every kind of phobic you can think of, which is why I already do not like her, but how does that sentence even get approved by your mouth? Jesus be a brick wall before I leap on her.

    • i think i was just unseated from my throne of The Worst by that girl. i’m really sorry that happened to you, and i love you <3

  21. In no particular order…

    15 days left in the semester (counting exams)
    10 in class days left
    22 days until I can see my girlfriend
    …61 days til the FIFA World Cup starts


    • LDR solidarity, my friend. the soccer thing i don’t know as much about. oh my god i really hope it’s soccer.

      • How far is your LDR? (unintentional rhyming)*cue cheezy elevator music* I am 1200 miles from my lady until I move to Massachusetts in May!

        also, yes it is soccer! You officially know more about FIFA than my partner, friends or family members. #slowclap

  22. I’ve been on a break with my lady friend for two weeks and I feel guilty because I’ve actually been enjoying the space/think this could be a lasting change.

    Also, bra week gave me a boob identity crisis. I have now been measured at three different stores and measured myself and I *think* I know my bra size kind of. On a related note, just spent way too much money on Amazon buying new bras.

    This week at work was kind of lackluster so I’m looking forward to recovering over the weekend, playing video games, and starting fresh next Monday.

    • you will never know your bra size. i think secretly we need to create a bra which morphs because honestly, each time i go it’s different. i could use some new bras, too, but self-help books come first. #priorities

  23. I’m having a lot of fun annoying my friends by mushily skyping my new girlfriend (!!!) and pigging out on really unhealthy pizza like there’s no tomorrow. In other news, I miss my fake blonde hair.

  24. Tomorrow I fly to Chicago to interview for a job I really super duper want. So if all of you lovely people who are reading this could send positive prayers/wishes/vibes my way I would greatly appreciate it. Also here is a picture of my little queer family with our adorable dog to hopefully grab your attention so you will read this post and send said prayers/wishes/vibes.


      i send you and your queer family all the good vibes. here’s me and mine:

    • Job interview went well! (I think.) And I now have a super duper hand cramp from hand writing 5 (five!) thank you notes. (I reeeally want this job.) Also, could someone explain to me why psych jobs always seem to involve scary panel interviews?

  25. Also, this week I went for a bra fitting (turns out I’m a 30DD/32D, not a 36C) and finally own some properly supportive bras! On the other hand, I just found out today that I didn’t get into a choral programme I really wanted to get into. BUT because I won’t be going for that, I can go for Study Abroad next year! Clearly this week has been a mixed bag.

  26. It’s beautiful weather outside right now. Wishing it was last week and I was driving to Dinah with my amazing friends. I have recently been telling friends and family I have queer friends, and slowly build up to I prefer gender neutral pro-nouns, then eventually to I have feelings of dysphoria and I am trans woman.


      also, goooood luck! go be you and shine in the universe like a star! you deserve it. <3

      • Well let’s just say Saturday morning after a night of early parting at the white party, I woke up to my cute handy butch friend say, “why am I naked?” good times.

        This couple I think mistook me for a trans man, and ask to see why underneath my bikini top. Thanks to Miss Janet Mock, I went I’m Al I prefer they, them, and their & I’m a trans woman. I got a kiss from both of them. Eeep

  27. Today is wonderful. It’s the start of spring break, the sun is shining, and I’m waiting for my girl outside her class, ready for a bike ride. Happy spring my fellow northern hemisphere straddlers!

    • HAPPY SPRING!!!! it’s like the days last forever and everything is infinite again and i’m so happy.

  28. I woke up this morning to my brain shouting, “Laverne and Shirley were lesbians!” Then promptly fell back asleep.

  29. I’m Skyping again with my family, and my girlfriend is joining us for the first time so she gets to meet my brother, his wife, and their baby (the most adorable baby in the world) for the first time. I’m excited :D

    (I know this is a photo thread, but my brother has not given me permission to disseminate photos of his offspring, so I will let you imagine the cutest Japaneses-Ukrainian baby and then say I’m the aunt).

      • no but actually congratulations, happy warm fuzzies, and hope to see a photo sooooon! and <3 forever.

      • Le sigh. My parents ended up getting caught up at a party, and my brother+family slept through our Skype date. Next time! *shakes fist*

  30. Been working in this paper for grad school for several days and it’s due at midnight. Still playing around with my variables and stats, several pages of analysis still to go. And I have several more papers to finish this week, and grading to do…

    Grr. On a good note, though, summer is approaching quickly!!!!!! Just a few more days/weeks.

  31. Can i be EXTREMELY immature & say YES i noticed Easter is on 4/20 this year & that i wish someone would get me high for the first time ever in my life????? I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW but i never acted like “whatever” when society sanctioned it & now i’m like “oh hell”

    And i really REALLY want to hang out with people :((((((( I made a fb status about it, bc how else are you supposed to like, let people know you wanna do stuff with whomever? I wanna do stuff, like go out & all, but also do more low-key stuff? Like just hanging out, talking, making stuff. And it’s so nice out; i’ve been inside all day because i hooped enough yesterday that my muscles hurt (i am a big baby) & i’ve just been lazy all day, but i have my window open again finally!! And i dunno it’s like that super-spring-y air makes me want to be with people right now; i wanna be around awesome wonderful people & i wanna give lots of hugs really baaaadly.

    And i know Things are Happening tonight, but i have no money on me to attempt the buses or get into said events. :c SOMEONE COME HANG OUT WITH ME i hear i give good hugs

    (god i can’t wait till A-camp maybe i will have hugging then? or is that creepy oh god aaaaaaaa)

    Also i took selfies Wednesday after work because it was nice out & i actually ate & i got a giant caramel iced coffee for the 1st time ever & the little cardboard sleeve was pink & it made my sparkly nails look really pretty & it was windy & eeee

    Carmen, i hope you & all involved survived the Killer Attack Champagne????????

    • clarification: when i say “when society sanctioned it” i mean the concept that you have a limited, specific time in your life during which society may (may) be more lenient with regards to, uh, screwing around. as in, when one is a teenager. as in, i never acted out when i feel that i had the chance, & now i feel like i’ve missed something & am frustrated with myself.

      if that makes more sense


      “just realized that TMNT may be named after renaissance artists, but the personalities are switched. though idk anything about irl Donatello, Turtles Donatello is super into making things, which was irl Leonardo’s thing as an inventor. and Mikey is the laid-back fun-loving guy while Raph is ‘cool but rude’, but in reality Michelangelo was well-known for being difficult & hard to get along with & be around & Raphael was a ladies’ man & very social & everyone wanted to be around him. like what”

      like when i realized this i went downstaris & told my family & they were like “uh. okay?” & i was like “nO YOU DONT’ UNDERSTAND????????????????”

      also i need hugs could i please have a hug?

      • HUGS 4 U

        i survived the champagne incident but eli rolled around in some droplets so maybe that tells me something about his needs.

        ALSO — i’d get you high for the first time ever if i could, and we’d eat and go, “heh, heh, he is risen.” we are all risen. #weareallmadeofeaster.

        • YAY HUGS!!! i am a hug-deprived person -hughughughug-

          i can;t stop giggling at all of this. omg. did Eli smell champagney after?

          sdfghjklkjhgfdghjklkjgtfrgjk if only!!! hehehehehehehehehehe

    • Dude the 4/20 on Easter thing. People gonna be like ‘ok time for the adults to do some egg hunting’

  32. I have major job application fatigue. There’s a town/city I really, *really* want to move to & I’ve been sending CVs and application forms and everything for what feels like forever but as yet nothing and it’s super frustrating. I just want somebody to give me a chance/the opportunity to get the hell out of (this lgbtqi+ desert/an unhappy domestic situation/a rut/take your pick tbh). I emailed a recruitment agency about a month ago and they said they could help but since their initial email, nothing, and I’ve sent a couple of emails since in the hopes it might have nudged them into further response but nope, and now I feel really awkward and don’t know if I should keep trying or give up on them & just continue trying to find work on my own, because I’m super shy and pretty terrible at being assertive/demanding people’s attention and *flails* I just want a job that pays me enough to live in my dream town so I can maybe start healing/living siiiiigh.

    On the upside, I made chocolate pie.

    • hey. I know what you mean about getting job application fatigue.
      My um skill is in writing (besides my profession). I can write a convincing covering letter. If you can secure their attention by possibly…

      Convincing yourself that you can do what they want you to do your covering letter will have that greater gravity of conviction, it will say, I can do it.

      How to do this: if this is your first time at “Loudly blowing your own horn” then, maybe practice in the depths of your safe space and just experiment with what you could say, because, nauseating as it is, it is a job interview, and there are pretty formula things that they will ask you which it is best you are prepared for.

      Someone once gave me some good inspiring non specific advice about believing in myself. Something like,
      “Fake it until you make it” –
      the point of which is to believe that you can bring to the employer most of what they require, and that the employer will train in the rest. This honestly, has been my story from day one. If you need a copy of a covering letter format I am more than willing to send it to you privately.
      You can do it, it is better to overestimate yourself by say 10% (nothing too fraudulent or crazy) and then make up the difference by recruiting folk to help you along, than it is to undersell yourself.

  33. I’m looking forward to an action packed evening filled with Netflix and unhealthy foods and sleep. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly youthful appearance, I’m a bonafide granny. I would usually follow that with something cynical about single life, but I may just make it FB official that I’m basically dating myself. ALL THE PIZZA AND ALL THE WINE IN MY MOUTH AND ALL OF THE TV SHOWS IN MY EYEBALLS.

    Phone’s dead so I can’t share a photo of the kee-kat slumbering by my leg, but I will provide for you the best photo I have ever taken of my dog, Max. He’s a little pisser, but I can’t get over that face.

  34. So I have spent 4 days decorating my house after getting tattooed for 4 hours on Monday. Right now I am just delighted to have 2 days doing nothing, (except some minor DIY …shelves… and lift and shift), and hanging out with my missus… and not scratching my arm. 2 more weeks of holiday hooray.
    Eh up to anyone rocking power tools or paint brushes this weekend.

      • Some more work on my sleeve, it’s geometrics, dotwork, mandalas and Japanese waves. All very chill :) I have another 4 hours to go on it…so close to being done. But I only have super sore bits to go.

  35. Its friday and I am dealing with an aching heart! If anyone knows the cure for this please feel free to let me know. :(

    • I always like to dance out my feelings (and or cry/dance to my feelings), but if that doesn’t help do something you tend to love to do and know we are here for you. Sending good thoughts your way

    • Do you have a pet nearby who you can hug?? If not, find one. even a neighbours pet. I don’t have a pet and I will stop for animals in the street to pat and chat with them.
      At home, I cry, let the feelings out, listen to music which speaks for me, write about it, and then maybe talk it over. Release of grief and acknowledging grief is the only thing, with support, that heals. Hugs (((())))

    • You can get through it!

      In order to stop slipping into crushing self-pity I try to do something for a person I care about. Even if it’s just sending a nice message to a friend, it helps me see outside of my own issues. I hope that helps you.

  36. I’m hosting a party at my apartment tomorrow, the first one ever that I’ll be hosting since moving. So I am cleaning ALL THE THINGS.

    Also I feel like this is relevant to AS probably: I started using a menstrual cup this week and I think my life has completely changed???

    • please tell me about your experiences with the menstrual cup, im considering making the change..

      • Everyone told me that there’s a learning curve, that it takes some time to get used to, I probably wouldn’t do it right the first cycle, expect leaking, etc. etc. but I’m 3 days in and haven’t had any issues except for the initial insertion. I folded it like a C, like they tell you in the booklet, and was like ‘NOPE NOT GONNA FIT’ but I found a post about different ways to fold the cup, and using another method I got it in perfectly.

        Honestly, besides the environmental/financial benefits, the biggest thing I like about it is that I can leave it in for 12 hours. I am really lazy and have probably been at risk of TSS too many times just because I didn’t feel like taking my tampon out.

        • i so feel the laziness point. like, i think the fact that i do not have tss makes me a walking miracle. hmmmmmmm maybe next month..

        • I love my cup for so many reasons, so I am very happy for you! I hope your party goes wonderfully!

  37. Once again preparing myself for a three hour night class but that’s okay, because I also bought NEW SHOES.

    Kind of a big deal considering how I frequently run my wardrobe into the ground.

    I also feel pretty victorious by simply being conscious. I definitely had a few too many last night with some radical librarian folk.

    • Those shoes are so dreamy! I love the color pallette and the textures…and is that a peak of brown behind the ankle?! Okay, I’m stopping. Also, hanging with radical librarian folk sounds, well, pretty rad.

      Here’s to a speedy night class! ^.^

      • Thank you! They’re Vans and yes that is a slip of brown leather-ish material on the heel. I normally don’t go for tri-tone wear but I dug the combo. And yeah I’m fond of rad librarians. We are all about books, booze, and public service.

  38. I am wondering about whether someone I see often is a dyke.
    She knows that I’m lesbian. I don’t know if she is. It is not the kind of environment or relationship to broach the question.
    She did comment on this man running across the grounds the other day admiringly.
    But for all that, she is one of those *capable, intelligent, women*, who, might be tempted.
    Sometimes I think the torment of fantasy is better than the reality that she is straight.

    I am working on her, believe me.

  39. today was a bit of a mixed bag. i had a dream last night in which the girl i have a crush on gave me her number by slipping a tiny piece of paper under the strap of the camisole i was wearing and it weirded me out all throughout my poli sci final, but now im eating a dragon bowl and drinking wine in celebration of never having to hear my poli sci prof speak ever again!

    • i had a dream the other day that someone found the boots geneva bought me and then i woke up and realized that i had actually destroyed them so much that someone inevitably must have thought they were trash after the conference, which still makes me sad and mad at the same time. I HAVE THE RIGHT TO WEAR TORN UP BOOTS YOU KNOW.

      congrats on the final!

      • dreams are so weird. like i dont usually ascribe any real meaning to them other than that i usually dream about something im obsessing/stressing about, so maybe that applies to yours too? idk.
        and thanks! my prof was like the worst kind of youngish new prof who was like this super privileged white guy that said things like “i have a lot of problems with the feminists”, and ive been in this class since september so i am VERY glad to be done with it

  40. Work has replaced the (already insanely repetitive) music playlist with exactly 6 different advertisements on an endless loop. They’re trying to break us. Somebody call the UN.

  41. I had to write a rough draft of a paper and I put it off waaaay too long so I had to write it really fast and really badly. Katie and Spencer hung out being adorable moral support. And also the cutest book ends ever.

    I have a second date tomorrow. Eep. I’m pretty excited. She does science and is really cute.

  42. Yay it’s friday! Yay spring break! Nay I have to do a power point presentation, i want to turn it in before saturday cause my advisor has been asking for it all week but i haven’t even started, oh well. Also I’m really excited cause i’m going on a week long road trip with some friends on Monday, so yay! hopefully everything will go well on the road trip.

    • is this a fear and loathing road trip or is it like the time geneva and i got lost for ten hours instead

      • hmm well it’s a we’re all grad students and we’re all sort of broke but we manage to plan a budget limited road trip in which there won’t be any motel/hotel’s to sleep on involved and more of camping in any place we can and none of us has done that before or knows the places we’re going to kind of road trip so maybe it’s a mix between a fear and loathing road trip and we might get lost for 10 hours road trip

        P.S. i fell asleep right after i posted the message that’s why i didn’t answer sooner

  43. Bad things:
    -I need to improve the awesome people:shitheads ratio in my life. How do you meet new people in a small-ish city when you’re shy, you don’t party, and you’re bad at sports? I think Meetup really only works in decent-sized places. Urgh. Maybe I should try to find someplace to volunteer.
    -My lab’s most valuable research specimen died unexpectedly this week.
    -I will spend all weekend studying/revising a paper/struggling with bioinformatics.

    Good things:
    -A bunch of other research specimens are doing unexpectedly well! And I get some of the credit for that!
    -On May 16th, I’m leaving my city for the road, A-Camp, and a bunch of camping. I’m not coming back until June 27th. I haven’t taken a vacation in forever and I am so incredibly ready to be out of here. Pretty much counting the days now.
    -Thanks to my tax refund, I can afford to have my car thoroughly checked out and repaired before I take it on the road.
    -I have discovered Battlestar Galactica and it is pretty awesome. I’m not letting myself read Riese’s post until I’m done the series.

    • I have the same dilemma trying to meet new people. I’ve lived in my small town all my life and have outgrown many former friends/current shitheads. I feel your pain. I’ve grown tired of going to the same bar every week, so I opt for books and netflix. Good luck on your quest. And on your trip as well. I’m planning on making a getaway mid-june; I’ve had cabin fever for way too long. Cheers to prospective adventures!

  44. I declared April Sigourney Weaver month for no other reason than because I love her. Last week, the viewing was Ghostbusters… Tonight I flip flopped on a decision all day before becoming overwhelmed by my Netflix/Amazon watch list.

    Currently eating a bowl of cereal at 1am because night cereal is the best kind.

    Also planning on engaging in some The L Word drinking games tomorrow, so I’m praying for my Sunday self.

  45. I guess that my main news of the evening is that I got an Autostraddle account, after lurking forever.
    As you may or may not notice, I am actually using it right now to type up this comment. If you are not watching me type this over my shoulder, then I suppose I should say that I just used it right then to type up this comment.

    Yeah, it’s one of those Autostraddle lurking nights. Just did some core exercises and am probably gonna hit the climbing gym now, second night in a row. Never climbed two days successively before, I feel that I’m going to regret this.

    Highlight of this weekend will be my Scouts Canada Youth Council meeting on Sunday, which I may soon be the chair of. I better do this right, I stopped seeing my fellow commissioner/make-out partner after I realized that I might be her boss soon. I did the right thing, but I’m still a little nervous.

    • Climbing climbing climbing!
      (Subjective) pro tip: two days in a row works, three not so much.
      If you stretch tonight you’ll be fine tomorrow. :)

  46. I’m struggling with how to tell my Mom I want to get a binder and my crush is currently in the hospital. ugh. Not a good week. Hope everyone is good though!

  47. I’m in the midst of rehearsals for my musical. Lots of rewrites, lots of feelings, very little sleep.

  48. At the end of last year I posted a comment about how bad my depression was getting. Fast forward to now — I’ve made great progress in therapy (currently procrastinating from doing my homework though, oops) and I’m on medication. I’m (and I fear actually typing this in case it all crashes again) happy. I’m finally happy. For the first time in 14 years I don’t feel like my life is being ruled by this terrible darkness.

    So on that note, I’m celebrating by drinking gingerbread tea and doing my therapy homework, then watching some Elementary. (While my partner goes off to a beer class called Alementary. Ahahahaha puns!)

    • aaaaaa yay, i’m so glad for you :)))))) like seriously. i feel like you’re so brave for doing therapy (i’m scared to) & i’m really really glad that you feel happy. ♥

    • This is genuinely a wonderful thing to read right now. I’m currently battling depression, just started medication today, and am on the hunt for a therapist. Your post gives me a bit of optimism that I’ll make some much needed progress. Congrats on your contentment.

      • I’m sorry to hear that. :( I really hope things progress well for you and you find a good therapist. *hugs* if they’re needed/wanted.

    • Ahh your comment gives me hope, all the congratulations!!! I am so pleased for you that you are in a better mental space & I hope things continue to get better. :)

    • That’s excellent. This is something I’ve been struggling with for most of my life, so it’s encouraging to read too. Plus I’m also drinking gingerbread tea.

  49. my housemate and I are changing all of our passwords because HEARTBLEED.

    it is a party. we aren’t even playing music.

  50. Tomorrow I leave for a six-day course to learn about all things equal opportunity for the Army National Guard. I am super excited to be a resource to people who may be experiencing discrimination on the job and to educate members of my unit about how to be positive about diversity in the workplace. It’s an incredible opportunity.

  51. All I can smell is cat poop right now. It’s like my house is one big litter box! Oh wait… Can a girl get some Fabreeze all up in here??

  52. i just ordered a whole pizza which i am going to eat by myself and later god willing i am going to a weird fetish party in hollywood. get out here, carmen, i need you.

  53. Just came back from Roller Derby practice and I have cute bruises all over my body, including my palms (didn’t even know that was possible?)

    Besides, I’m spending way too much time thinking about whether to message or not that cute girl I’ve been stalking on okcupid. Sigh.

    • message her! getting messages almost always feels nice. especially when it’s someone saying “hi you are cute”. (:

    • I’m having a reflective moment, thinking about how my gender identity may have been influenced by the last ten years of taking hormonal birth control. I started taking it to regulate my periods as a teen, then more explicitly for contraception in a serious relationship that ended last year with me coming out. It’s been less than two month off, and I’m noticing changes…
      It’s like puberty all over again, but this time I’m being intentional about it. Google has been no help at all, but I’m curious if anyone else has had this experience.

      • I have no helpful knowledge/experience related to this, but one of the reasons I would be reluctant to try hormonal birth control is worrying that it will screw around with my sexual fluidity and cause me stress. So I can relate to wishing there was more info out there about queer people and birth control. (Both for people wanting to regulate their cycle and those in need of contraception.)

        • Yeah. Weighing the pros and cons has involved a fair bit of reading between the lines of available literature.

  54. I am having a pretty epic weekend. Last night I spoke words at Andrea Gibson and then she spoke words back at me, and then I petted Squash for several minutes and I think my heart grew 8 sizes. In a few hours I will be loudly informing a friend that he is boring and has no neck. Tomorrow my bestie is finally coming to visit me and it’s going to be ALMOST 80 DEGREES. Then I will be seeing one of my childhood heroes, Red Green, on his comedy tour (cause if the women don’t find me handsome they should at least find me handy, amirite?)

  55. Curled up in from nature’s monthly punch in the uterus, and wondering why hormones can’t have the decency to act a little more rationally.

    Shut up body, why do you want to eat an entire pint of coffee ice cream for dinner when we just bought all those vegetables that are clearly better for us? And why the hell are you still so hung up on the drug-addicted, entitled trust-fund-baby ex with anger management issues, but can barely muster a ‘meh’ when presented with prettier, smarter, self-made, and emotionally stable ladies that are much less likely to stab you with an STD needle in your sleep because she thinks someone smiled at you too long? Ugh.

  56. I have been sick with strep for a week, so my Friday night will involve me watching a bunch of female skateboarding videos and then probably looking at shoes on the internet. And possibly starting a new blog, because I haven’t had legit contact with the outside world since Monday. And tea.

  57. Hey friends! It’s Friday! I work all weekend :( got called in early today which is no good because I didn’t get to sleep until almost 7 in the a.m but whatevs. Last night I went to a workshop in Halifax on oral sex. It was pretty much just hetero couples snogging and giggling the whole time. Fml. Just happy to be back in Hali though.

  58. After enjoying some much-needed platonic cuddles I am reading the mysteriously unassigned chapter on lesbianism in my American history book.

      • Shhhh, don’t question it! I’m pretending that I live in a world queer women’s places in history classes and books aren’t surprising.

  59. Well this morning I had therapy which went really well and then bought my ticket to camp, finally! It was nice enough to not wear socks outside which is changing my life. And spent the rest of the day in bed on my computer until I went for a run with my sister.

  60. I finally registered after almost three years of being here! I’m so excited to start commenting and participating in the Autostraddle community, so I figured what better induction ceremony than Open Thread Friday?

    Riese replied to my first comment ever! So I’m on cloud nine, basking in the glow of victory, feeling like anything is possible!

    I have a new-ish queer friend on Twitter, and we keep on finding more and more things we have in common. We like the same colors. We both love musicals. Our favorite movie is The Princess Diaries. We’re both obsessed with reading, and we’ve had a freaky awesome coincidence of choosing to read the same book at the same time (first This Star Won’t Go Out, then Chely Wright’s memoir).

    I’m excited to be getting some new books from the library this weekend, including The Book Thief and Carol Leifer’s first memoir. And… I’m finally reading Divergent! (No spoilers, please.)

    Carmen, I Love the Lucy gif! (See what I did there?) She was one of my favorite comedians as a child, and her show is still one of the best comedy shows ever.

    • <3 i saw what you did, appreciated it, and allowed it to fill me with great warmth. WELCOME!


        Oh my gosh, I'm talking to Carmen from Autostraddle! Is this what it feels like to have a celebrity encounter?


        I'm actually talking to Carmen from Autostraddle! I'm chatting with a famous writer! You're making my dreams come true tonight, Carmen!

        • famous is totally an overstatement, but i’ll take it because i’m a leo and i love you. I’M SO GLAD YOU CAME TO THIS PARTY, LAUREN.

        • ME TOO! THIS PARTY IS TOTALLY AWESOME, CARMEN! Now I need a party playlist so we can really Get This Party Started! (See?)

          Well, I love your writing, and I love the writers whose work I love reading. So I would totally want to meet you in real life, and when I did I would definitely feel a bit starstruck.

          I love you too. <3 <3 <3

  61. I spent my entire week in a cloud of general anxiety, realizing that I’m one of those people who it’s really difficult to tolerate a lot of the time, and drawing smiley faces with far too much effort on the eyes so they look creepy.

  62. I’m having a reflective moment, thinking about how my gender identity may have been influenced by the last ten years of taking hormonal birth control. I started taking it to regulate my periods as a teen, then more explicitly for contraception in a serious relationship that ended last year with me coming out. It’s been less than two month off, and I’m noticing changes…
    It’s like puberty all over again, but this time I’m being intentional about it. Google has been no help at all, but I’m curious if anyone else has had this experience.
    Otherwise, I’m heading into exams with a lot of unrelated stuff running through my head. I should probably be studying, but Autostraddle is some of the better self-care out there :)
    Happy Friday everyone!

    • My experience is a little unique because I have super wonky hormones naturally. But every time I’ve started or gone off hormones I feel really, really good for a few weeks. When I start again I feel calmer. When I go off them I feel stronger and more energetic. It usually levels out eventually though.
      That said, I was on the pill for an extended time from 16-20, then was on and off until about 24, then went off completely. I’ve gotten a lot more gender fluid. But I can’t say how much of that is attributable to the pill and how much is just being more comfortable in my own skin and more in touch with my thoughts and feelings. I don’t know if that helps, but I can say you aren’t the only one who has wondered about it.

  63. work today was busy. I decided to reward myself with some Irish corned beef that dad baked. I was like OMG THIS SHIT IS SOOOO GOOD and realized that it was because we didn’t have lunch all day. I think bits of bread went into my mouth a couple of times during the day. I just read the article for fancy fun femmes and my wife made my wallet beg for mercy. I realized JUST NOW that it was also pay day which meant my best friend in the entire WORLD (except you guys) BILL is going to pay me a visit on Monday. SO. I think I’ll just deal with all these feelings while having some of this.

  64. In appreciation of your fabulousness, Carmen, I am going to share with you a picture of my cat.

    I named him after the famous St. Louis Cardinals baseball player Ozzie Smith, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the same day that I got my cat. And to think I wanted a girl cat so I could name her Rowena, after the lady character I had a crush on as a child from the Ivanhoe episode on Wishbone. (I can’t believe I didn’t figure out I was bi sooner!) #coolstorysis

    Here is Ozzie. He is Mummy’s boo-boo.

    • SOOOOOO CUTE. thank you!! and omg someone just called me fabulous – you – which means i am queening out.

      here’s a complimentary photo of THIS GUY

  65. I’m on the final stretch of the school year. Everything under the sun is due in not very long and I haven’t been to bed before 2 am in about a month. This valedictorian business is hard as f*ck. However I’m cranking out art like a powerhouse and having a lot of success in carving an iPod docking station for my friend. It’s super exciting for me to talk about: I’m carving her dog, staining it, and mounting it on a lacquered slab with an embedded quote under a piece of optical calcite. The cable runs underneath it in a groove and the iPod clicks in like a dream. I found solace from school pressure and family pressure and being generally broke: pounding the crap out of basswood with sharp gouges. SPOT ON. Also I’m sucking up my general desire not to be broke and sending myself to Portland this summer four art stuff and general mental freedom.

  66. I just found out I got funding for the summer research project I want to do and I managed to acquire ingredients for kiwi-berry sorbet entirely from my school’s dining hall and I get to volunteer at the LA Festival of Books tomorrow, so I’m doing pretty well at the moment!

  67. -make depressed tumblr post because feeling shitty
    -receive anon hate
    -punch anon in the face with words, but still
    -have two online friends get pissed at the anon, but still
    -now i feel shitty but i feel like i can’t even express how i feel because i’m paranoid (who was the anon? will more hate happen?) & like that anon probably expressed the feelings of most people who know me, anyway

    while two of your friends make plans to meet up on your facebook status that you made asking if anyone wanted to hang out with you

    happy saturday.


      The anon is a closed-minded, small-hearted jerk who must be very rude & tacky if they spend their time sending anon hate.

      Caitlin, from what I have seen on Autostraddle you are a kind, warm, witty person. It is okay to have feelings and it is okay not to feel okay and it is okay to vocally acknowledge that not feeling okay. Depression is pretty much the worst & so even if it’s hard to feel this yourself right now: I believe in your worth as a human and in your right to express yourself!

      Also we live on different continents but if we didn’t I would definitely want to hang out with you (I hope that doesn’t sound creepy :/), I know that makes pretty much zero difference but still.

      But to summarise my sympathies on a shitty experience/day and I am sending you lots of happy thoughts & hoping that the remainder of your weekend is a lot brighter & more fun. <333

      • and im glad someone would hang out w me, bc no one else has said anythignto me & those 2 ppl went out w a bunch of other ppl & had a ~wonderful day~ w everyone

        & this after i basically tried to be like ‘i want in” & nobody ever got in touch w me at all & yeah

        look if youre going to make plans but not include someone, don’t do it on their status where -they’re- asking if ppl want to be w -them-

        & i slept the entire day bc i feel so horrible & shitty & bad & i just. cant handle any of it

  68. Here’s a poem that applies to literally every romantic interest in my life right now:
    I lend you an ear when you want it
    I give you a shoulder when you need it
    You can have the rest of my body too
    Why can’t I have yours?

  69. Things are going great! I’m finally learning French after “thinking about it” for about a decade, planning a trip to NY in July, and looking into getting a certificate in translation. And spring cleaning, kind of. Weekend is looking good, meetups and reading in the sun.
    I’m also going to bed before midnight right now, win!

    • Should you need help with your french, I could help, on the grounds that… well, I am French – although I haven’t lived there in almost 20 years. I spent a few lovely years in London (UK, not CA) and have been living in Montreal for about 15 years now. So if you need coaching in french french or quebec french, please ask, I’ll be very glad to help. :-)

      Also, I’m a translator, english to french (actually, I’m a linguist, but it seems like there are no jobs for us weirdos, unless we twist our knowledge a bit and try to make it more practical…) :-D And I also just started going to bed only a few hours after sunset (whereas I used to often wait for dawn), so that’s 3 things we have in common today. Kind of freaky. C’est malade.

      • A lot in common! Pretty amazing I’d say. Thanks for the offer of help with French, I’ll take you up on it once I feel confident enough to actually talk to people about it, haha.

        That going to bed a few hours after sunset plan of yours sounds great! I’ll keep working on my bed times, although I think 11pm is a more reasonable, sustainable goal for me.

  70. I finally have a girlfriend! we had a date in the park yesterday and just sat/talked/laughed with each other for hours until past the point where it got dark and freezing cold because neither of us wanted to leave and it was so great

    and work is going well

    and my dogs look like this

    …life is good.

  71. This week I finished te first season of Looking and seasons 2,3 until ep4.06 of Portlandia and I have a crush on Carrie Brownstein ’cause she’s perfect and I watched Dallas Buyers Club last night and it was beautiful and sad and I wanted to cry and give a hug to the characters.

    I’ve decided to learn again how to play guitar like I used to 12 years ago. It’s really hard but I’m hoping I’ll be alright.

    Also, I worked from home yesterday afternoon ’cause we’ve had problems with internet at work for two weeks which is annoying. But I ended up not really working ’cause I feel like I hate my job a lot of the times and am not good at it which makes me want to curl up in bed and watch Portlandia forever.

    But I’m going to Lovebox festival in July and I am really looking forward to it!

  72. I spent the week hoping and hoping for a bra week post that would be relevant to my life/interests but nothing :(

    I understand that posts about binding and lingerie are important, but I wish there was more on things that are not at those extremes? Like, do t-shirt bras that just keep things in place exist anymore? I was in tears the other day trying to find a bra; everything is demi-this and padded-that. I just want a thing that covers my breasts (like, actually covers, not now-with-10%-more-cleavage) and doesn’t offer them up to the world, how do I go about doing that? (I usually just go with fruit of the loom tank style sports bras but for that one occasion every three years that I need a real bra I’m completely lost.)

    I also discovered Faith Erin Hicks’ comics which made my week considerably more bearable.

    • there are more bra week posts coming! if it is any comfort to you, i couldn’t volunteer to write one because your experiences are similar to my own in that i always end up in a foul mood trying to buy them. you are not alone!

  73. I’m running in my first half-marathon tomorrow. It’s the first road race ever for me, and I’m so nervous. There are so many people here and they’re all much more intense about running than I am. I feel like they’re probably going to yell at me for being such a noob and not knowing proper race etiquette even though I’ve been reading up on it for the past three months.

    • It’s been some time since I did road races (I did them a lot as a teen), but my experience was that most people are polite and welcoming of newbies. :)

      You’ll do great!

    • Ooh, good luck! My experience is also that people are nice to newbies. You’re gonna do great! :)

  74. This may be late but… I think I will be forgiven when I tell you that it is because I was on a date with a super critter! We ate mac-n-cheese and watched Grey’s. ‘Nuff said….Maybe, that’s my dream date? yes. Life is good :)

    Enjoy the sunshine you lovely ladies!

  75. It’s late, but I went to a play, got a super squish (crush on someone you don’t know anything about) on one of the chorus girls, watched the girl who stood me up and the girl who she cockblocked me with pilot the same puppet when they resent each other. I wish I could say it was the most awkward thing I’ve been through, but amazingly, it’s not…

  76. Had an OB/GYN appointment today with my partner and I got the go-ahead/yeah-you-can-effectively-carry-a-baby!!!! Next stop, insemination!!!! We never thought this day would happen and I’m just so overjoyed I could explode!!!!!

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