Friday Open Thread: Truth Or Dare?

Getting to know people as an adult is hard. There’s so much bet hedging and fear of saying the wrong thing along with a heavy dose of guardedness against vulnerability. When I was a kid, heck, really until the last couple years, I had no problem telling anybody anything. I was an open book, and although that’s its own sort of defense mechanism, I miss being able to leap into conversations and go deep. I was thinking about truth or dare, a childhood exercise in emotional bravery masquerading as a sleepover game. I always chose truth and hoped people would ask me really messy, weird questions.

This was the first photo of humans that popped up when I searched “truth or dare” on Shutterstock and it reminded me that the only time I picked dare instead of truth was when I wanted someone to dare me to kiss a girl. It’s fine.

I’ve had a very depressive year, and the first thing that goes when I’m low is my instinctive ability to connect with people. It never feels quite worth the anxiety, you know? But I’ve been trying harder lately — reaching out to friends I’ve lost touch with, writing online, and engaging in small talk out in the great wide world. It’s pretty simple, really, and yet so damn hard. My therapist says I have to. Who am I to argue?

As we crawl our weary way into the weekend, do you want to play truth or dare with me? I’m serious. Let’s get a little vulnerable. What’s a secret you don’t usually talk about? What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? What questions do you want to ask me an each other? You can go as deep or silly (or both) as you want. Or you can just tell me about your week and show me pictures of your dog! In fact, I DARE YOU to show me pictures of your dog (and then submit to the Queer IRL gallery!).

See you in the comments! I’m excited to be weird with you.

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Adrian is a writer, a Texan and a divinity student at Vanderbilt University. They write about bisexuality, gender, religion, politics, music and a whole lot of feelings at Autostraddle and wherever fine words are sold. They have a dog named after Alison Bechdel. Follow Adrian on Twitter @adrianwhitetx.

Adrian has written 151 articles for us.


  1. Happy Friday! Hope everyone is having a good day.

    I’m currently brainstorming ways to get our two (formally feral) cats into the same area as the two of us to take a photo for this months gallery. We have so many photos of them but not a single one that has us in the shot with them.

    I guess we could each pick up one of them and get a friend to take a photo in the narrow window before they go into meltdown mode? (neither objects to being picked up but they want to be down again after about 10 seconds)

    I’d be happy to accept suggestions if anyone has them.

  2. Hmmm, truth or dare, eh?

    Okay, here’s my “truth” question:

    If you didn’t have any obligations, responsibilities, burdens, or tautologies, what would you do for yourself this weekend? What is your ideal of self-care right now?

    This Class 4 introvert here needs a full day recharging with videogames and cocoa in my bunker*

    *Pillow fort.

    • I would be not working on finding freelance clients on my day off and just working on my book! But my girlfriend and I came back so exhausted from a wedding the other weekend and just spent the rest of the day in bed watching The Good Wife and ordered a pizza and went to sleep at 9 and that was also an amazing splendid day.

    • Oh my gosh. I desperately need some time off from my family and toddler. I would take my bike into the woods for the weekend. But maybe I’d go somewhere where i could be deep in the woods and ride but also get really tasty healthy food that someone else made and cleaned up after

    • If I had no obligations, and could do anything for a weekend, I would put on a podcast and cook something for lunch that takes time and care. Then I’d go exploring (because I’ve only been in my new city for a month!) and maybe go to a museum. In the evening I’d stick on a movie (or another podcast!) and draw my bullet journal and maybe read. An introvert’s dream <3

    • Oh my gosh. So. I had literally built a pillow fort and bought tea and Oreos in preparation of an entire weekend of nothing but video games. It’s raining all weekend! I was so ready to hang with my ancient fluffy cat and only interact with humans via text. And then a friend guilted me into going up to the mountains, even though it’s going to rain all weekend. Why I let people convince me to do things when I know I don’t want to simply because they passive aggressively suggest I owe them, I will never know. So I am in the mountains, my wheelchair is already rusting, everything hurts and goddammit Commander Shepard needs me! Can I come and hang with you please?

  3. Fun dog-related story:
    One time during one of our walks, my dog Nunu and I climbed a particularly steep hill that overlooked the area. As soon as we reached the top, he started to take what I am sure was the most magnificent of dumps. I exclaimed, ‘What a beautiful spot to poop!’, only to realise that an elderly man had chosen this exact moment in time to cycle past me. Seeing as the area was deserted for miles and logically I should have seen him coming (especially considering the pace he was going at), he most probably thought I had just spoken to HIM; I am told not everyone has highly intellectual conversations with their canine progeny. My addressing the guy would have been shocking no matter what I’d said; people around here would rather eat their liver for breakfast than acknowledge the existence of a LIVE STRANGER. Live strangers who interrupt their peaceful Sunday morning avoidance of their wife Gerda by proclaiming the scenery is an aesthetically pleasing location for one to ‘poop’ at… Well, those are the most atrocious of them all.
    Anyway, here’s where it gets good. I’m originally from the Netherlands, but have been living in Belgium for a while. The language they speak here is Flemish. It’s very similar to Dutch, with a few key differences. For instance, in ‘my’ Dutch, ‘poepen’ means ‘to poop’. In Flemish, however, ‘poepen’ means ‘to fuck’.
    The old man slowly but sternly continued to cycle past me, aggressively avoiding eye contact and refusing to grant me even so much as a ‘Hmpf’ in reply to the startled ‘Have a nice day’ I yelled at his receding form.

  4. I think one of the most daring things I have ever done was just come out as queer trans woman-ish aligned person to myself. Then being visible and open about it when I am most comfortable, and telling most people not to gender me. I guess the other would be cliff diving in an unknown area, that had me questioning the safety of jump(going back down the way one came up would have been really hard).
    I guess one secret, which I’m sure others have is a worry I will be friend less and partner-less in the future, marriage not really my thing. That people, in my family, will ostracized me for being single or not married. I dunno it’s hard finding dates, more so dates with Jewish LGBTQ people who aren’t men. Oy vey.

    How’s everyones week going? I had a nice Sunday spending time with a lbtq friend who I dearly like(as a friend). We had a nice lunch and spent time at a local park where queer women are usually known to hang; in fact we saw two moms having a walk in the park with their child it was beautiful and refreshing. We need more lgbtq parents visible having family fun days out.

    On the other hand the past two days I’ve spent the Jewish high holidays with family and it’s nice to see family, but I am also glad I only see some of them infrequently. Related question, I was recently added to a group chat(whatsapp) with some of my relatives and they post awful stuff including bad jokes, and cishet porn. Kind of frustrating as I rather not be included.

    Saw a hawk fairly close up, during the walk in the park.

    Thank you for reading and viewing my thread. Have a positive & safe weekend!

  5. How does one make friends as an adult? Is there an app for that?

    I’m always good at answering questions, I’m definitely the open book type, but am bad at asking questions and I’ve worried it comes off as self-centered. It takes me forever to become comfortable with new people/situations and I definitely feel like I am destined for a life of solitude and cats (honestly, though, that doesn’t sound awful).

    I’m saving my pet posting for the queer gallery (plus I need an updated photo of myself and my furbaby). But she is there, in all of her fluffy glory, as my profile pic. Happy Friday all!

    • I have this same problem! I am super happy to answer questions and be pretty open and frank in my answers, but I really struggle with asking people (what I feel are) the right questions to be able to find stuff out about other people. I would also like an app for this. Thank goodness for cats…

        • After you ask, “what about you?”, listen to their answer, and ask a second follow up question. The truth is that people really like talking about themselves, to an audience that seems impressed/interested. If you are that audience, the other person will like you. I always feel compelled to find something interesting or witty to say, but honestly, that doesn’t go half as far as just asking basic follow up questions, and then acting interested in the response. To be fair, after a few follow up questions, most people will tell you something interesting. (That said, if their answers to your questions are vague, like “I dunno” or “I like lots of things”, it’s hard to follow through on that on your end.)

    • I struggle with this as well. Partying and social media aren’t my thing, I study at home, and live in a village with a population of, like, twelve, and an average age of 87.
      Also, I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m just not willing to hide or change who I am in order to fit in and be liked. This, too, really narrows down the number of potential platonic (and romantic) relationships, though the ones I do have in my life are incredibly valuable.

    • In the recent I’ve made friends through Tinder, and Tumblr(yes I hung out with a local queer I met on tumblr). Also going to LGBTQ social spaces that aren’t bars, say like a Coffee day, or park day could be a good way. The other would be to do what I am doing, hosting a potluck in the park, or the like. You are in NorCal so depending on the city/region you may have some good event options(to go to or host) in friends making.

      • Sacramento is the closest big city, but it’s far enough away that I rarely go. At least I know a lot of LGBT folks in the area, it’s just that most of them are my parent’s age. Which isn’t a bad thing! My dearest friends are my “other mothers.” But having friends in their 30’s who live within 20 miles would be great, too.

        • Maybe hosting an LGBTQ event could bring help you find more? Just ask one of the local lbtq orgs to share the event to garner more attention and it may work out? Kind of did for me, but I am fortunate(and in some ways unfortunate) that I live in a LGBTQ area.

          If you have a tumblr I’d search around there too, or in the autostraddle directory.

    • I’m socially awkward and I make friends through structured activities. Most of my friends have been made through work, activist activities, and many have been through sports. Adult team sports and classes (I’ve done soccer leagues, capoeira, dance, ultimate frisbee, running groups, and group rides) have been one of my favorite ways to make friends. I have met people through those with whom I can do healthy things and talk so I end up spending less time at the bar, etc.

      • When I lived in the UK all of my friends were from work. We were a very close group and leaving that behind was so hard. I haven’t managed to make any close friends at my job now. I’m friendly with the people here, but they aren’t people I would really want to hang out with outside of work. Plus I’m one of the few people at work who doesn’t live in the Sacramento area and that’s quite a drive just for socializing. I’m kind of stuck out in the boonies. Other than summertime Parks & Rec activities, the only structured things I know about are yoga (tried it, didn’t like it) and one of those wine and painting nights. Add to that the fact that 2/3 of the county is republican, I almost don’t want to try to make friends here…

    • MAKING FRIENDS IS SO HARD NOW. I’ve made exactly one friend (that stuck) since I graduated high school, and that was only after I answered her ad looking for a room-mate and we lived together over 2 years.
      So, eh, not sure if I can apply that “method” elsewhere.

      PS. Okay, actually, I’ve made one more friend – one of my oldest and best friends’ husband. Who is very midwest American in that he’s super social, open and friendly, so it would have been difficult not to become friends with him.

      • Most school friends have just become facebook friends… It’s so tough! I moved to the UK after college and made friends through work, but I moved back to California 3 years ago and so far that hasn’t happened here. Adulting is hard!

  6. I got a random day off work today so I can actually post for the first time in ages, and although random days off work mean no pay, I can’t make myself care this week. I’m trying to build up freelance clients so I can have days I don’t go to this job every week! In August I quit my steadiest freelance gig which was nerve-racking but all the signs pointed to it being time to move on. I’ve been getting a lot done lately and starting to feel more secure in my life which is…scary and unfamiliar?

    I’ve also been riding my bike a lot which feels pretty daring with drivers here and it’s been a million degrees so I’ve been exhausted and gross a lot, but I’m pretty proud of making progress.

    Those girls in the “truth or dare” stock photo definitely realized all those dudes were jerks after they kissed each other and are now dating.

  7. “Let’s get a little vulnerable” sure why not eh? Not really a “secret” persay, but definitely something I have only mentioned in a previous AS comment/put on my AS profile and talked to my girlfriend about, but hey, I am genderqueer. I don’t know why it’s so hard to “come out” to family and others I know, even when the opportunity presents itself- like, oh maybe a sports team meeting where a team member was finding weird ways we are similar to other teams in our sport and one was “we all identify as female! as far as I know..” and I was definitely jabbing by girlfriend in the side with my thumb like HEY HEY IS THAT A COMMENT ABOUT ME DOES SHE KNOW AND IF SO HOW? DOES SHE READ AUTOSTRADDLE TOO?
    I think maybe the reasoning behind all this “secret” nonsense is that I’m worried people will be like pft she’s not genderqueer, or my family will have a harder time accepting this than they did my queerness and the fact that I have a girlfriend. Also despite passing a policy and our sport being inclusive of non binary/gender expansive participants, I’m still worried my team would be weird about it.

  8. Truth.
    (I always choose truth.)
    I’m terrified that I’m not actually physically capable of connecting with another human on a deep, emotional/romantic/sexual level. I just feel like I’m on the outside always looking in.

    In other news, I interviewed for a badass promotion at work this week and I’m alternating between thinking it went really well and thinking I totally sucked, and I’m going to be a giant ball of anxious for the next two (ish) weeks until I find out.

    But I’m going to see Battle of the Sexes tonight, so here’s to distractions.

  9. I’m so bad at truth or dare….I can never think of good questions or dares! I will say though that I’ve done a lot of crazy shit and messed up shit in my life to the point most of it just feels normalised to me…until I tell the stories to other people age they’re like “oh my god that’s so crazy!” I do still feel like the most daring thing I’ve done is come out to my parents though. I used to always pick dare because I had too many secrets when I was younger, but now I think I’d go 50-50!

    Anyways….I just got my undercut redone and now I’m chilling watching Ru Paul’s drag race with my friend and hoping to see the woman I’ve been seeing later…

    Tomorrow is my birthday, which I don’t really like because people always cancel on me at the last minute, so it gives me really bad anxiety that I’m going to be alone. But hopefully this year is gonna be good! I’m playing with my LGBT women’s samba band at a bi visibility event which is awesome and the girls are basically just one big family so it’s gonna be great to be with them ??

    Hope you all have a great weekend straddlers!

  10. Audrey, thank you for opening up a space for people to be vulnerable <3

    My secret: Even though I value my independence and solitude, I cry sometimes because I just miss so much having someone to cuddle with. I'm not the kind of person who knows how to easily be touchy-feely with other people, even just in a platonic way, so I mostly only get that within a relationship. But I really wish it came more easily to me, and I feel very jealous of people who are naturally comfortable with touch.

    • I used to not be touchy-feely at all (I think people from Northern Europe rarely are), but learnt to be more open to it during the time I lived in Spain, as it was much more ingrained in the culture there. It also felt like the ultimate sign of acceptance when my female friends didn’t stop hugging me/tickling me/giving me weird face massages after I came out as gay.
      Now that I’m back North, I kind of miss it.

    • Definitely some recognition here. I’ve started to realise that I take all my cuddle needs out on my mom’s dog and my two little cousins (who are 4 and 6 years old). There’s a lot of cute aggression going on there. :P On one hand, I don’t feel much like cuddling with my friends, but on the other hand I clearly need some form of cuddle, and I’m nowhere near a romantic relationship to get ze cuddles from. So perhaps I should try being more touchy-feely with the people I already know and love? I dunno.

  11. Hello happy Friday this is the first Friday Open Thread I have commented on!

    Audrey I feel similarly about needing to try really hard to connect with people bc *is* it worth the anxiety tho?? About 2.5 months ago I moved to a new city – I have a couple of family members here, but other than that I know nobody, and I don’t have a job yet (though, fingers crossed, I was informally offered one this week and I have another interview coming up!) so I have 0 friends. Combined with anxiety this whole situation has led to me finding it really hard to get up the motivation to talk to anyone, even my friends from where I used to live. But I am trying to get past it, and one of the ways I am trying to get more connection/conversation with people is by actually using my Autostraddle account to comment on things after 3+ years of lurking! So far I have been okay at commenting, and then bad at replying to the lovely people who reply to my comment so I clearly need to try harder. Otherwise it really is just going to be me and my cat alone forever.

    I also joined an orchestra 2 weeks ago – I play viola – which has really helped, just having that one bit of structure in my week, and also the people there are super friendly!

    Something I don’t usually talk about is being bisexual! I ID’d as gay for a long time and then was thoroughly unnerved when I fell for two cis male humans in a row. It has been a long and pretty scary process of re-coming-out to myself and acknowledging my own internalised biphobia, but I think I’m about there now (apparently ‘there’ enough to be posting a comment on the big wide internet anyway). So all the posts in Bi+ Week this week have made my heart grow by about 16 sizes. Thank you Autostraddle for being a beautiful place. <3

    • Ahhh welcome to FOT! I’m glad your commenting experience has been positive so far :)

      Happy happy bi week, I hope it has made you feel more connected. Making new friends in a new city is really hard, and honestly my biggest suggestion is to find something to do where you’ll see the same people multiple times, and it seems like maybe orchestra could be that thing! I really hope so…good luck!!

    • It can be so tough! I’ve been with a guy for almost a decade. It was shocking to my system at first. I’m going through another weird period… I developed a terrible/wonderful crush and it reminded me of what… uh… really gets my engine going. My partner has been there for me so much and shows up and coparents and cleans and listens when I’m a crying blubbering mess. But there’s a reason I have been with women before him and I’ve received a shocking reminder. Life is weird. Good luck on your journey… guys can be decent partners sometimes ?

    • Welcome to the open thread!

      It’s true, meeting people in a new place is so hard, and can really take time. I think it’s so cool that you joined an orchestra though – I hope you’re able to connect with some cool people through that.

      Congratulations on re-coming-out to yourself as bi, and happy bi week!

  12. First off: Its the autumn equinox! *Jumps in leaves*
    My first thought was to dare myself to go on that hot chocolate tour of London I’ve been fantsising about, but I have to dare myself to get a job first so its safe to say thats been put on hold for the forseaable future :)

    SPEaking of finding it difficult to connect to people as an adult, I went to 3 networking type events this week: a publishing conference, a panel/networking event, and one meeting with my mentor this morning. As an introvert all this socialising cant be good for me. In other news I dared myself to take part in one of those twitter pitch contests and tweeted one for my fantasy YA novel. I was selected when I didint expect it and sent out what was probably the world’s most rushed and crappy cover letter. The prize was a critique and not representation so I’m trying not to let it bother me so much.

    *drowns in autumn aesthetic to forget about taking practical steps to achieve dreams for 5 mins*

  13. I hated truth or dare. I was the least desired girl in my year (some of the girls regularly convinced the boys to rate every single girl, so I know this for objective fact, having seen the lists) so getting a boy to kiss me was a favourite “disgusting” dare to make the less popular boys lose the game… and quite a few lost rather than submit to the humiliation of giving an androgynous girl a peck.

    I’ve only ever told my partner about that, and I doubt anyone else remembers, so I guess that’s kind of a secret!

  14. Here’s a truth: This week I went on a first date with a girl who is really cute and seemed totally cool online(we met on bumble). In real life though, I did not think we clicked, even though she did. She wore sunglasses inside the whole time (it was dark when we got there….) and asked if the tacos at the very authentic Mexican restaurant I brought her to were like the ones at Chipotle or Taco Bell. I just moved to a new place, and even though the date was a major bust, I’m kind of considering the second she asked me on just to not be so lonely. I know that’s super lame? But like maybe I’m being too nit picky? I’m very bad at getting dates and very good at getting ghosted, so now I feel guilty about being the one doing the ghosting….

    • Ohmergawd. Don’t do it! You’ll end up in a relationship you don’t love and then feel bad when you want to break up, which may extend the relationship because you are too guilty to break up with her by this point.
      And if you know the relationship is going nowhere and she doesn’t know, but stay with her because you want company you are kind of being an ass. When you know you know (I think….)….

      • Ok thank you for giving better advice than some of my friends! I felt like it was super rude to just keep talking to her for company but was getting mixed reviews from other people haha but like is just ghosting rude too? Dating is so difficult to figure out ?

        • Well it depends on how long you have been speaking for. Plus, there is the whole you are probably mutuals on tumblr, or at the very least one you is following the other so they may realize something changed. Ghosting could be solid choice, but tumblr could make it harder.

        • Ghosting is not as bad as stringing someone along for company. Although the only reason I ghost is because the men I have dated in the past were too pushy and being honest could put me in danger. Yea dating sucks. Why is it not like in the movies!?!

        • I don’t understand why people here even think ghosting is an option? Don’t we all agree ghosting is awful if you’ve actually met the person (and they’re not, like, not respecting your boundaries and being stalker-y)? But since you’ve mostly talked online, sending a message explaining you didn’t feel like you clicked seems appropriate.

    • You could also just let her know that you’re not feeling the dating thing but are open to hanging out as pals? You’re allowed to ask for what you want — there are options between “what she wants” and “never speaking to her again.” Since you’ve already determined that ghosting is an option for you, there’s no real risk in asking.

  15. There are many things I can say about my week, but fuck it let’s get personal.
    My vagina has died and doesn’t want to be touched.
    I sometimes think men are attractive even though I don’t want to be in a relationship with a man. I feel like a lesbian, but I don’t want to label myself as one just yet.
    My secret shame is my obsession with my plants.
    I want friends who act adult like, don’t need a significant other to make them happy, can legally drink, and is okay with masturbation. I don’t know if that sounds vain, but whatever.
    Also I’ve been doing yoga everyday now.
    I feel like I should be available to men even though women feel better. Penises scare me and I’ve seen them in real life. They are fun, but why are they like that?
    The queer meditation seems to be happening. I just have one more thing I have to get through. The event description and all that jazz has to be okayed. Really hope it happens soon, I’ve started compiling my notes.

    What we will cover in meditation:
    Practice personal cleansing technique
    Pinpointing where pain is in the body
    Connecting with and healing each other
    Work on using protective fields

    I have the techniques pretty much laidout and everything.

    My plants

    Meeee trying to grow my hair out. Growing pains y’all.

    When am I going to date a girl who gifts me a care bear and likes to eat takeout while netflix and chilling?

  16. Mmmh… Truth (I always choose it too). I’m afraid I will forever be alone, and can’t get out of this stage of my life. I also I’m in love with someone that happens to be in couple with another person. Also I crushed for years on a close friends.

    Also, I miss my fish. It’s a very ordinary goldfish, but she’s already 4 years old, and I’m worried she’ll die while I’m in Ireland. Watching her swim for hours saved my sanity. Seriously, I’m still very depressed, but thanks to her, I don’t have anxiety anymore – just have to think of her and the crisis is gone !

    Anyway, so this was my first week alone in my new city ! It was quite a good week. I spent a lot of time alone in my bedroom. Played the trumpet – was good the first two days, and now my sound is AWFULL. Tried to work a little – failed. Write some little thing, including for my litterary blog, for BiWeek ! I went to my future school and the teachers are so happy to have an assistant, it warms my heart ! Can’t wait to meet my future students. Also, I went to the National Ploughing Championship, wich is the biggest outdoor event in Europe, – it was CRAZY, and very muddy ! I had a bit of depression today, so I took some nude just for me (I’m that kind of girl), and… created a tinder acount -> Who knows, it might work. I’m trying to keep myself in a good mood. Working consciously on my feelings is the only thing that keep me breathing sometimes.

    Also, let’s end this with some Teresa Berganza, because everybody needs a sexy opera singers in their life !

  17. I got a series of not great haircuts over the summer, the last being literally the opposite of what I asked for. So I had to let it grow out for like two months in its weird lopsidedish way. Today the first day of fall felt like the best day for shedding my summer awkwardness. My haircut is just about perfect, even my cowlick is nearly behaving. Truthfully, so ready for fall to rejuvenate and motivate me!

  18. Hi! This week has been fucked up, but I’m grateful for Libra season and was so ready for Virgo bullshit to be over (sorry Virgos, I do still love u tho). Contemplating starting prereqs for nursing school next year, and would love to connect w any queer nurses/nursing students/nursing school dropouts about anxieties and excitements and experiences….. <3 <3

  19. Seeing a lot of introverts here this week. I am most emphatically an introvert too, but I actually found 3 people (a family) that don’t drain me when I spend time with them! It was a doubly great revelation because I haven’t really had any friends here since I moved in January (see: introvert, plus there’s a language barrier going on). It’s great to have people I know I can hang out with.

    Also, they took me to pick up something from a Kijiji seller, and damn am I glad that the husband – who’s in the Army – came with me. Seller ended up being a stereotypical 30-something gamer dude living in his parents’ basement, and my spidey senses were tingling… especially when we were invited down to the dude’s bedroom to grab the item. So yeah, I kinda have a potential bodyguard as well as a new friend.

  20. I only played truth or dare once and I’m pretty sure my friends had pegged me as queer. The truth questions were about if I fancied anyone else apart from the boy I was known for fancying. The dare was that one friend pretended to go to sleep in bed and I had to kiss her…

    Ok my week’s been pretty uneventful but I have a lot of questions tonight about the world (is that allowed? I know they’re not interpersonal ones but they’re still questions)

    1 Is it possible that in some situations someone being on the (autistic) spectrum makes them better judges of character? My mum has this frenemy who she thought she was great friends with because the friend would use all the right body language while saying nasty things to her. The friend has now started outright bullying her. Not picking up on/caring about the body language, I hated this friend as soon as she started saying nasty stuff to everyone.

    2 Is there a point at which not caring/knowing about celebrity culture becomes a detriment rather than showing you’re smart? Is this point sometimes, always or never?

    3 Question 2 was inspired by my dad. I tried asking him this question but he didn’t get it as he knew nothing of the personal traits of W. I can’t quite remember but I’m pretty sure Laura Bush’s campaign was about getting kids reading. Melania Trump’s one is all about stopping bullying, especially online. Could it be that these first lady ‘campaigns’ are passive aggressive messages to their own husbands?

    4 When were guns widely used by the British spies/army etc? Kit Marlowe had a pistol on Upstart Crow and I’m pretty sure that’s anachronistic.

    5 Why are teens in American novels so young? I’m reading a novel right now and the 17 year olds remind me of what I was like at 13. Was I really that … whatever the word for not innocent is because it’s not guilty?

    • #3 I think you have first ladies mixed up, Barbra Bush was all about children’s literacy, and getting kids off drugs, a bit ironic when you think about it. While Laura was about education and women’s health. You do have a good point, and never really thought about it that way. But, what does that say about Michelle who was all about getting kids to eat right, and be active? I’m pretty sure Obama was fairly fit(at least more fit than Bush and Nectarine Noriega).

        • Maybe. I don’t remember what Nancy was championing, but I don’t think it was related to Ronald. And then there is Betty Ford, as we know is a rehab clinic for drug and alcohol. I don’t think Ford had a drinking problem?

          • Hm maybe it’s not everyone. I think it’s true with the Trumps though. It must be hard because of the amount of stuff the patriarchy would give her (or just the attention she’d get from fame culture in general) if she was to divorce him but such a lot came out during the election about what a nasty person he is esp around women. (and minorities but honestly that’s about her being a decent person if that bothers her or not, she’s a woman and he’s a sleazy misogynist who made advances on others during their presumably ‘monogamous’ marriage so that directly affects her).

            She should just go back to New York & say it’s for Baron’s schooling & hope with the rest of us that he isn’t president for 8 years so she can quietly divorce him sooner or later.

            If she’s genuinely in love with him then all this focus on bullying is hypocritical. A good message but hypocritical. But I don’t think she can be.

  21. Question: What is the latest revelation or ah-ha moment you’ve had about yourself? I’m always trying to figure out why I behave a certain way and I recently realized that my reaction to fear/uncertainty is to push people away. I’ve been single for a while now and every time I start getting close to someone I freak out and push them away.

      • Judging by the wave of sadness that just passed through my body I’d say I identify with that statement. They say the first step of healing or fixing anything is knowing what’s wrong, so I guess we’re doing well so far?! We just need to keep reminding ourselves that we’re not bad and practice self-love as often as we can. The more we speak about shame the less power it has over us. Thank you for the vulnerability exercise.
        I wish you well, Audrey.
        (Oh, have you seen Brene Brown’s TedTalks on shame and vulnerability. Maybe I need to revisit them as well!)

        • I can’t remember which of the bigger realizations that came last, so here’s a smaller one: Yesterday I was hanging out with my mom and her boyfriend and felt the urge to pick at my feet (I’m a compulsive skin-picker) but couldn’t figure out how to do it without them noticing. Then I sort of wished I could be alone so I could pick without anyone commenting on it. And that made me realize skin-picking is pretty similar to an addiction to me, and “oh my god do I have more in common with my alcoholic grandparents than I thought!?”. But since I don’t act shitty when people tell me I need to stop this habit, and clearly acknowledge that it’s a problem, we’re not THAT similar after all.

  22. Last time I played truth or dare someone tried egg another player to dare me to show them my bra.
    Which was mortifying because:

    1) My 12 year ass was not wearing one and acknowledged puberty things like it was a monster under the bed

    2) The person being egged upon was my little brother

    3) We just outside the pizza parlor and anyone could see including our parents

    Course I said “hell no what is wrong with I’m not going to play if you’re going try shit like this dude”
    So I went back inside to the one person chorus of chicken calls and never played Truth or Dare ever again.

    Also I think my brother was just as mortified as I was. But more shocked and confused then anything.

      • I don’t feel like my ability to
        walk away from people is something badass, but I know with my logic parts humans are pack animals and belonging to a group is a thing we sometimes put above our own personal needs or safety. Also that AFAB people are taught to be extra agreeable.

        Unbelonging and being disagreeable is normal to me, it’s not as hard to tell people no as I think it is for most people.

        I think I’m trying to say thank you but declare it no big deal because I’m still uncomfortable with praise. Or don’t think I deserve it maybe because it doesn’t feel earned.

    • Uuuuugggh. The last time anyone tried to play truth or dare with me it was my 8 and 9 years younger little cousins (one boy, one girl) who’d just learned about the game and who only played to get me to show my breasts. They were quite young and it wasn’t sexual, just forbidden, but my young teenage self was scarred by their insistence.

      Good on you for sticking up for yourself!

  23. truth: this week, like national coming out day, always make me feel weird because I’m semi-not-out to my family. I’ve tried to come out to them as bisexual/queer, but they’ve sort of persistently not registered what I’m saying, and beyond that, I’m a pretty extremely private person, and don’t entirely trust them for assorted reasons (they aren’t homophobic, but deeply uncomfortable with sexuality in general, and mine in particular, so it’s lalala I can’t hear you or YOU WILL NEVER HAVE SEX EVER reactions from them about dating), such that unless I end up in a serious long term relationship (not currently on the table) they’ll never hear about my dating life.

    I’m not NOT out in the rest of my life (and 90% of the people I consider close friends are themselves bi or queer, so), but I’m also not exactly an open book to just anybody. I lean pretty hard into queer signifiers and I always answer truthfully if asked. But still. I feel kind of blegh about not being entirely out and having given up on getting my family to hear this information.

    There’s also how I didn’t figure out my sexuality until a few years into college, and so the straight ally label kind of stuck in acquaintance perception, I think.

  24. I’ve been feeling a lot of internal conflict about a new guy we’ve had at work for the past few weeks. And by “internal conflict” what I really mean is “I hated him.” It’s not like he was openly disagreeable, aggressive, or mean—he is actually soft-spoken to the point where it’s hard to hear him. But the more I got to know him the more I felt like he just had a victim complex and had a manipulative tint to what he was saying, even if he didn’t intend for it to be like that. I know that different people have different levels of pain tolerance and everything, but I just felt like he would complain about so many things—his shift is too long, there are so many steps to this recipe, there are so many things to clean.

    Once when we went together to take out the trash at the end of the day, I started throwing bags into the chute and he sat down on a chair for 15 seconds and texted. I was livid, but I didn’t say anything direct and just snapped at him to start heading back. And I was so angry at myself the whole weekend about how I just said nothing. I should have had every reason to get angry at him—it was only his second weekend working, and I’ve been here for an entire year. I felt like he took advantage of my politeness, and then I felt powerless because for some reason I still didn’t want to be impolite.

    Anyway, I did feel vindicated yesterday, because my assistant manager started talking to me about him, and everything she told me was exactly how I had been feeling. Today, he left on his 2pm break and never came back, because he texted our boss and quit without saying a word to any of us in the store. Still pretty bad because now we’re even more understaffed, but at the very least I feel a little lighter.

  25. I had soup with my mom, (but not until after I confessed that I function at about 30% at all times, and asked her to help me dispose of five months of recycling), a parent at work said nice things to me via email about how much she appreciates how I care for her son, I am so sleepy. I am so, so sleepy.

  26. Hi Audrey!

    I’ve been trying to catch up in my coding bootcamp cause I was stuck on something for a really long time/kept closing out of everything because any time I tried to do anything my whole computer would freeze and even after I went to go check on people in the house it would STILL be frozen and I took it as a sign to give up and was trying to figure out how to tell everyone that I was giving up, and was like looking through all the introduction material they gave me to be like AHA! I knew this was bullshit! But I just ended up falling in love with it all over again? and my mentor helped me get through that difficult part and gave me a freeze so I could try to catch up and it’s felt like the biggest sigh of relief??? Like I’m still nervous and anxious and freaking out but I still kind of love it a lot and it’s really nice.

    In other news, we’re working to get me to get a trauma therapist aand after the rough session I had two weeks ago, I’m just like…..tired. Like I know we need to, and we’re like months ahead of schedule (considering I wasn’t trying to bring it up for like uh two years at least), but I’m just tired haha. I come in to group every week and I don’t tell anyone at any time ever what really happens at work because the little I do has me feeling shitty, like what was it? Two weeks ago, manager bit my ear. Last weekend, they tickled me. And do get me started on the coworker that is basically a pedophile and I have no idea what to do about that (cause like short of, beating them/causing a scene/losing my job/being arrested (which I really cannot handle), I have no idea what to do). Like, I think when I was little, I was like, just get to be this age and it won’t happen anymore and even better!! you can help others!! And finding out that’s not true is just heartbreaking to say the least. And someone trudged up a memory that didn’t feel traumatizing? Like it did feel traumatizing at the time and like always has but with everything else I’m like??? it’s probably fine???/ But falling asleep after multiple anxiety attacks and Nyquil and anti-anxiety meds at 3 this morning says different.


    My aunt is out of the hospital and recovering.

    Someone just sent me a really lovely message.

    I got books comin! I got books I’m reading!! (I’m currently reading We Are Never Meeting In Real Life by Samantha Irby because my digital loan expires like tomorrow or something and I love her aND I DIDNT KNOW SHE WAS BISEXUAL IMAGINE MY SURPRISE WHEN I GOT TO THE DILDO CHAPTER WHOOO)

    Even though the coding is difficult, it feels like a way out? Like, it’s something to cling on to when I think about work and stuff.

    I haven’t written in forever (hence this ridiculously long update) but this is helping me get back into the mindset of it and for that I’m so thankful.

    idk man, I’m not alone, I know there’s love for me and I have love for others, and I got books and water and my computer and a really soft bed (side note, the most butch I’ve ever felt was earlier this week where I rearranged my bed, topless, I was like THIS IS THE DREAM) and I went to a lgbt festival that was mostly black lesbians (SOME WHO EVEN HIT ON ME WHAT IS THIS LIFE) like a weekend ago and that is some miraculous shit right there.

    Sending love to you all if you’re cool with it! If not, just good vibes in general!!

    Have a great weekend!

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