Lily’s College Lesbianage #11: Life Plans, Cuddling – A Jedi Craves Not These Things

Hello everyone! I’m at home in Florida right now enjoying the sun and old people. This winter break has provided me with a close up look at what I will be like when I am 85. It’s not looking good.

Multiple holidays have gone by since the last time I wrote. Let’s see…I went to a Halloween party in Brooklyn the night before Halloween (I mention this solely for the purpose of it making me sound cool) and then spent actual Halloween in bed watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians (this is closer to the reality of my coolness). Thanksgiving this year was an exact repeat of my Thanksgiving last year. It included my Catholic father, my stressed out mother, my absent minded brother, my Alzheimer ridden nana, and our in-no-way related to us 91 year old neighbor who cannot walk but refuses to use a wheelchair. We had the same conversations over and over again, including one about the pope’s decision to support condom use in Africa. A very fun conversation to have with the elderly over turkey and pie.

Other than my Nana, no one in my family lives close by so holidays are usually pretty small in my household. But this year we had twelve extra guests fly down here from my mother’s side of the family for Christmas. Despite the hectic nature of this event, it did remind me of just how lucky I am to have the family that I have. There were no huge fights. No disputes over politics. No weird racial or gay slurs. My grandmother even had her gay neighbors over for one of our family dinners.

Just like any family, mine isn’t without flaws. My grandma managed to insult everyone’s ego by either commenting on their weight or lack of musical talent. She was also keen on lying down on the couch, putting her hand on her head, and exclaiming to no one in particular “oh lord, I probably won’t be here tomorrow.” She did this roughly four times a day, always ending with a loud sigh. I now know who I inherited my dramatic tendencies from.

Adorable Things My Slightly Dysfunctional
Family Did Together Over Break

My parents’ favorite holiday tradition is picking out Christmas songs for the family to perform. Yes, to perform. It is my parents dream to start a family band and every year they think that the family is going to start said band over Christmas. Their dream is to have us perform the “cool”, “rock n’ roll” Christmas songs because everything about a family of four singing Christmas songs screams “rock n’ roll.”

Generally, they want me to play the piano and my brother to play the guitar while they sing “Merry Christmas, Baby” to one another. Every year my brother and I flatly deny their request. But this year, with my self-proclaimed “artistic” family gathered in South Florida, my parents dream of forming a family band finally came true. There were five guitars, one banjo, one Ukulele, one mandolin, and one melodica—a silly looking instrument that I played until I almost passed out—all strumming along to Frosty The Snowman. We may have sounded pretty awful (my grandmother had to leave the room because, “I cannot handle anything that is not perfect”), but at least we were ridiculously cute.

Captain Von TrappAnother fun family activity that my family engaged in was watching The Sound of Music together, adding 100 points to our adorableness score. The Hallmark-esque magic of this moment dissipated after two minutes when every boy under the age 17 left the room and my father started doing a German accent. But watching the movie reminded me of my undying love and man crush on Captain Von Trapp. I hate the idea of calling someone Captain but I would tooootally call him Captain, he is that beautiful. When he sings Edelweiss it’s like he’s singing just to me…me and Austria. It’s as if I am his own personal Austria.

Also, my brother has a haircut that makes him look like a lesbian. He looks like a lesbian who looks like Justin Bieber. It’s pretty exciting.

So, What Are You Going To Do After College?

Apparently, winter break of sophomore year is when every person over 40 begins asking what you plan to do after college. I’m still unsure of exactly what I am going to major in so it’s pretty hard for me to have an idea of what I’m going to do after college. I now just tell people that I am majoring in art history but plan on working in some aspect of the entertainment industry. It sounds relatively legitimate. I am not 100% sure what it means, but it has a nice ring to it. I’ve always just assumed that my whole life would work itself out. I’d just be super famous for no apparent reason and then write an action movie starring Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias as rival choreographers. Normal life goals like that.

My life plans thus far are as follows:

• Graduate with a degree in “extended knowledge of African American girl bands circa 1985-2000”.
• Get “discovered” on an elevator while singing the theme song to That’s So Raven.
• Become the perfect cross between David and Amy Sedaris.
• Marry Captain Von Trapp.
• Divorce Captain Von Trapp.
• Marry Helena Bonham Carter.
• Have some kids.
• Be the sensible, yet hilarious housewife on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
• Die happily in my sleep at age 103.

It’s sort of a foolproof plan.

Completely Unrelated To Winter Break And Cute Family Time

I have a question. What does cuddling actually mean? I have never been a very touchy feely person and I’m a big fan of personal space. It has taken me years to give people regular hugs and not just awkward idontreallyknowhowtohug hugs. So when my friends get together and cuddle with one another in a completely platonic way, I’m like “What?! I don’t understand?! Don’t they felt weird?”

I think my bafflement of this phenomenon might stem from the fear I had in high school. You know, the fear that once people know you are gay every one of your girl friends is going to assume that you are coming on to them. I avoided locker rooms, changing in front of my friends, and sleeping in the same bed as many of my girl friends because of this fear. And although I no longer am afraid of these situations, I still do not know where the lines of physical contact between women are drawn.

So here’s the thing, I really enjoy cuddling, like a lot, buuuut I don’t feel comfortable cuddling with friends. Is there something I could do to change this? Like, wouldn’t it be fun if “hooking up” sometimes just meant “cuddling”. For instance, you go out one night to a party or some other sweaty deviant venue and at the end of the night you take a lady home. But instead of getting all hot and bothered and taking off all of your clothes, you just pop in a DVD of Greys Anatomy season one and cuddle the shit out of each other. THAT is my ideal night. I’m putting it into my life plan right now.

The End of This Post: A Picture of My Brother

So my 16 year old brother has this haircut, the kind of haircut that sort of makes him look like a lesbian and also sort of makes him look like Justin Bieber. Therefore, it makes him look like a lesbian who looks like Justin Bieber (is that still a thing?). So here is my brother standing next to his twin, the accidental lesbian icon J-Biebs.

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Lily has written 29 articles for us.


  1. <3 for the sound of music. I'd never seen the songs in English, they translated them in the French dub (La mélodie du bonheur~)
    and the question "So, What Are You Going To Do After College?" is annoying the hell out of me these days. With my degree I can…'t do anything =/

  2. Lily, you just keep getting awesomer and awesomer. Keep it up, guuuurl.

    I had the opposite problem with music and families during the holidays as a teen. I’m the only musical member of my fam, and for the first 5-10 years of my budding musicianship, was always asked to play clarinet for everyone. Really…you want to hear an unaccompanied concerto piece, really? really??!

    I can’t say that family band is much hipper, but at least you’re not flying solo!

    • AHHH. This is what my family made/makes me do! Even worse though, since I play clarinet and bass clarinet, they would want me to play bass clarinet for them. I’m sure you realize how awkward that is. Bass clarinet is not typically a solo instrument.

  3. Amy Sedaris was on NPR today. This was the first time I had ever heard her. Up until this point I had only heard OF her. This is a weird comment. Over.

  4. Lily, I have to say that your column always makes me laugh, probably because I can relate to it to an almost scary degree.

    Also, my brother got a Justin Bieber cut before I came home, and I was so excited to see that I am not the only one in the family who enjoys lesbian haircuts.

  5. I like that you found an “Edelweiss” video with Thai subtitles. I don’t read Thai, but apparently there are 4 different “S”s in the Thai alphabet, which means that “Edelweiss” spelling just got a whole lot more variable.

  6. ” But instead of getting all hot and bothered and taking off all of your clothes, you just pop in a DVD of Greys Anatomy season one and cuddle the shit out of each other. ”

    This is also one of my life dreams. Why can’t this be real?

  7. Greetings Lily!
    It’s been a long long time since we last spoke but I stumbled onto your blog and don’t regret it. How very entertaining and whimsical! I’ll pop in from time to time as I look forward to reading more. I hope this message finds you in good health and happy spirits.

    Your elementary school/ old pal from downtheroad,

    Sidenote: about the “What to do after college” thing..just remember that only YOU have the power to create the life you want for yourself. Make it happen! Work your magic sister.

  8. I, too, have noticed that winter break of your sophomore year is when everyone starts asking you what you’re going to do with your life. Unfortunately, for me it’s not just people over age 40. It’s generally people over age 15. And when I tell them I’m an English major they look at me with pity in their eyes. So now I tell people I’m a business major. No one has to ask what you want to do with that…

  9. “the… lesbian icon J-Biebs.”

    What does this mean that he is our icon I don’t even.

    • Haha I don’t actually think he is our icon. I just think it is funny that there was that whole lesbians who looks like justin bieber thing. I didn’t really know who he was until I saw that website so now I associate him with lesbians, I think a lot of other people do too.

  10. “I’d just be super famous for no apparent reason and then write an action movie starring Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias as rival choreographers.”

    I would watch that movie! I would even pay the extra cash to see it in 3D.

    • Agreed and I’d also block off a time in my schedule to watch the straight-to-DVD sequel’s “World Premiere” on television.

  11. wishing this column existed roughly three years ago when i was starting out at college, but nevertheless enjoying it immensely!

      • I thought you knew…

        There needs to be “How to Hug Properly [Without Being Drunk].” We should write this book. It can be full of interviews and feelings. More the latter than the prior. Yes?

  12. These are my rules for safe cuddling (I am a cuddle slut when I’m sober and I just manage to not be a cuddle rapist when I’m drunk by stringently following rule one):

    1) Communication. Say “would you mind if I (hugged, snuggled up with, put my arm around your waist)you?” Also, make it clear that this is platonic cuddling, and if it’s potentially non-platonic cuddling either own up to it or don’t do it.

    2) Other people. If you are cuddle-piling with three or thirteen people, it is so clearly platonic that you can actually flirt a bit. It also feels awesome, if you can get everyone arranged comfortably.

    3) Don’t let it turn into sex. Once platonic cuddling has turned into sex once, it overshadows it for a really long time.

    Also: a good way to get people to contemplate cuddling with you is to start out with massage exchanges.

    (I liked the rest of the article too, but cuddling is something I care about very deeply).

    • This resonates with me a lot because whenever I am overcome with feelings, I automatically return into the fetal position.

  13. She was also keen on lying down on the couch, putting her hand on her head, and exclaiming to no one in particular “oh lord, I probably won’t be here tomorrow.” She did this roughly four times a day, always ending with a loud sigh.


    (my grandmother had to leave the room because, “I cannot handle anything that is not perfect”)

    hahaha. I didn’t know we had the same grandma, Lily. Or maybe the two of them are just long lost twins, but their likeness is uncanny.

    Great column per usual. :)

  14. •Marry Helena Bonham Carter.

    Also, I love cuddle puddling. Though I think there are almost always some ulterior motives involved when one initiates a cuddle puddle. Or is that just me? …

    • There are ALWAYS ulterior motives to cuddle puddling. Especially at all-lesbian no-pants parties.

  15. i love cuddling but then i’m always too antsy to cuddle with anybody. this is just a lose-lose situation…

  16. You are not alone in your sentiments about cuddling. My girlfriend and I cuddle ALL THE TIME. Who needs to get hot and bothered when you’ve got True Blood, blankets, and each other?

  17. I am super happy to see another one these articles Lily :)
    I’m a huge fan of cuddling, but I’m usually using it with non-platonic motives in mind.

  18. I’m good for a hug with my friends…(or whoever) but cuddling is a whole different kettle of fish.
    Hugs are just arm and upper chest based situations (I like the squeeze, rub, slap combo, which isn’t anywhere near as dirty as it sounds in practice I swear).
    Cuddles on the other hand have a full body wrap, snuggle motif going on. These are best left for lovers but are also good and not at all weird with children and animals.

  19. My family [ok, my mama and I] watched the sound of music too! Our only musical endeavor [my computer is telling me that this is spelled “endeavour” but I’m not sure that that’s true or it’s just because this is a Canadian computer] consisted of choosing a random church off the street to go to on Christmas eve and watching the girl in front of us struggle to keep with the beat as she clapped along.

  20. I’m glad there’s another lesbian that has the same crush on Captain Von Trapp as me. *whew* And I sort of have the same thing about cuddling, but also the opposite thing.

    For example, me and my straight roommate cuddle ALL THE TIME. She’ll come up to me while I’m studying and just hang on me, and I do the same thing. And with a couple of straight friends I do the same, because we’ve just sort of established that it’s ok. With gay girl friends it’s sort of ok, but also sometimes not, because, like you said, “What does it mean?!”

    I’m a big fan of hugging, so I’ve resolved to just break down the boundaries that people build up. Hopefully then hugging and cuddling become something that’s normal. *lol*

  21. Lily:
    Come to Canada and you can cuddle me all you want.
    Also, bring Grey’s.

    I appreciate that someone else is having the same college/uni cuddle problems as I am…it doesn’t matter if they’re gay or not, because it ALWAYS GETS AWKWARD. You know, if it’s not immediately preceded or followed by sexytimes.

  22. Oh god this sounds too much like my life right now. my brother is two years younger than me and has the bieber swirly cone hair, but his hair is bright red and he is about 6 foot.

    my family is way too neurotic. overbearing but nice. nicely neurotic. we watch romcoms about minnesota jokes and dancers who get along well, usually WWII era, because thats when swing was big.

    everybody loves a good swing dance.

    but i cant drive because i have a temp disability in my right ankle, which happens to be the driving ankle. so i’m out of college and stuck in rochester.

    which is a silly town to be stuck in. its a city, but it feels like a big town.

    nice underground metal scene though.

  23. also i wish i had more platonic cuddling in my life. whenever i try to be friends with girls they get all about drama or they don’t like that i’m pretty gay.

    i don’t want to fuck you, Nice Girls, i just want a nice hug. all the boyz hug me and all the girls…

    idk what the girls do anymore.

  24. Please, please, please write the action movie starring Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias as rival choreographers: that is the most inspiringly awesome movie idea ever! It would become a cult classic and 30 ears after it gets released, it’d still be touring as a sing-a-long-a show like The Sound of Music, Rocky Horror Show, and Grease.

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