HELLO, CRUSHMONSTERS! It’s the one-year anniversary of Straddler On The Street! That means Vanessa has crushingly, lovingly interviewed 52 of you weirdos. It’s quite an occasion, so we figured we’d do something a little different to celebrate. Back in October, everyone’s favorite commenter duo, Cat and Kathryn, came to visit Boston. They somehow got Vanessa into an Irish pub, where they revealed their hidden plan: they had brought along bribes, a tape recording app, and some hilarious interview questions. They wanted to ‘straddle the ‘straddliest ‘straddler of all — and they succeeded. The results speak for themselves, so I’ll let them take it from here. – Cara
Header by Rory Midhani
Straddler On The Street: Vanessa, 24
Okay queermos, prepare to have your hearts explode with the burning love of 80000000 suns, because today we present you with an interview of epically amazing proportions. We cornered Autostraddle’s very own Vanessa and bribed her with sweets, alcohol and our undying love to reveal her innermost self to us.
When we visited Boston we took Vanessa to an Irish pub, bought her beer, laid out ten Cury Wurly chocolate bars on our table, and told her we were going to interview her. For each question she hesitated on or refused to answer, a Curly Wurly was removed! This is groundbreaking journalism at its finest.
Sit back Straddlepants, bring some snacks and get comfy because you are about to find out just how funny, adorable and drunk Vanessa is in real life.
Vanessa, what are you doing with your life?
I’m currently living the dream. I quit my job and moved out of Brooklyn and moved back home with my parents and my younger brother just outside of Boston. I will be traveling and WWOOFing come January and I am just trying to figure it all out.
[Lifting a question] from everyone’s favorite dating website, what are six things you couldn’t do without?
Autostraddle, my phone, the internet, my friends, sex or masturbation and orgasms, and writing.
What’s your favorite book? TV show? Movie?
Book: The Good People of New York by Thisbe Nissen. TV show: True Blood. Wait, no, BUFFY! I really like vampires, especially when they’re gay. I hate movies, but I like My Girl. I also like Grease 2 better than Grease.
What do you spend a lot of time thinking about?
I think about how I can make the world a better place, and also why people are so awful.
I have these spirals where I think about how I can lose weight, and then I think about why I care about losing weight, and then I think about why the world is so fucking awful and I think about why I buy into it, and I think about all the people who aren’t buying into it and then I kind of feel bad about myself but then I’m like NO! You’re doing the fucking best you can. And then I’m back to square one.
I think about what I’m going to do. And how important it is to be good to yourself versus trying to contribute to society. I think about all the people I care about and how I can do good things for them. And then I think about how I treat the people I care about and making sure I’m treating everyone in a way that’s good. Those are some of the things I think about.
I also think about floral print and what dresses I should buy.
How did you discover Autostraddle?
What’s your karaoke song?
I don’t have one.
[Cat takes away one Curly Wurly.]
Noooooo! Ok, I’m really good at singing Ani DiFranco. I feel like any of her songs I could easily make into a karaoke song. [The Curly Wurly is returned.]
Who is your celebrity crush?
Jennifer Lawrence and Mary Kate Olsen.
What’s your favorite thing to cook?
I make a really good stir fry and I really like making grilled cheese. I also like making baked goods that will impress girls.
What’s your preferred type of underwear?
Remember when we did Underwear Week? I’m the only person who didn’t contribute anything because I’m really boring and I’ve been buying the same pair of bikini briefs from Victoria Secrets since I was ten. Boy briefs – not really for me. Thongs — super uncomfortable. Lacy underwear — also really uncomfortable, though sometimes I wear it to be impressive… but then I’m immediately like, “Take this shit off me right now!” So yeah, Victoria Secrets bikini briefs. I like getting floral print patterns, obviously, so I try to underwear shop in spring.
We like to call the following part of the interview “How Lezza Is Vanessa.” Do you own a cat?
No, I’m really allergic to cats.
Do you own power tools?
Are you sure you’re gay?
I FEEL LIKE MY IDENTITY IS BEING QUESTIONED.
How do you feel about the patriarchy?
I really don’t like it and I hate men.
Do you like women?
In any given five minute period of each day, approximately how many feelings do you experience?
I guess like every minute I feel about seven million, so what is seven million times five? Thirty-five million? So approximately 35 million, but sometimes it’s higher. It depends who I’m talking to or what is happening. Like earlier today, my girlfriend did something cute, and I felt like my heart grew eight sizes bigger, so I was probably experiencing more than 35 million feelings within that specific five minute period.
Do you like musicals?
Do you love Ellen DeGeneres?
It’s now time for the “Have You Ever” section. Have you ever fallen asleep at work?
No. Unless you count falling asleep at my laptop at 4am while writing Autostraddle articles, in which case yes, frequently.
Have you ever stolen anything?
Yeah! So, when I was little and I was visiting New York with my mom, we went to the MoMA Design Store and they had those free New York maps everywhere and then I saw this beautiful map, I mean it was amazing, and I thought, “This will take us everywhere, and it’s free!” So I put it in my bag and we walked out of the store and my mom was like, “Where do you want to go?” and I said, “Well I have this amazing map!…” and then we both saw the price tag and it was like, twenty five dollars! A lot of the maps were free, but that one wasn’t! But come on, twenty five dollars?! It was a map! A fucking map!
Have you ever gone more than five days without taking a shower?
Yeah, obviously! First of all, I used to go camping a lot. Second of all, showering is such a fucking chore. Third of all, who cares?
Have you ever really read any of the articles on NSFW Lesbosexy Sunday or do you just look at the pictures like the rest of us?
Occasionally I read the articles, and I recently read this one that really spoke to me about different kinds of orgasms you can have and learned so much about myself! I am being sincere.
“Would You Ever” is the next section, Vanessa. Would you ever agree to being cloned?
No! I have no interest in somebody just like me running around, then everybody would tell them their feelings and not me and I would get really upset and jealous. And mad.
But what if you could, like, offload some of the feelings?
No, I like all my feelings, I want them all, FUCK OFF, CLONE!
Ok, we’re gonna go on to “Would You Rather.” Would you rather: Tegan or Sara?
Tegan ’cause she’s hotter.
Would you rather have legs as long as your fingers or fingers as long as your legs?
I think legs as long as my fingers… for sexual purposes. I think if I had fingers as long as my legs they’d be too big for people.
Would you rather be a giant duck, or a miniature elephant?
Wrong answer! That is so fucking impractical! How long would it take you to do anything?!
You would be a small elephant, what would you even be doing? Sleeping, drinking water, having lots of sex hopefully because duh, and being a matriarch because elephants are one of the only animal groups where the woman is in charge. If you’re a giant fucking duck, you’re terrifying, everybody is afraid of you, you’d need so much bread to eat to be full.
You’d get all the tiny elephants to do things for you! Like, get me some bread, bitch!
I mean, sometimes I’m really into taking on the submissive role, so I would do that for a giant duck.
Well, I’ll allow that answer, even though it’s wrong. Ok, would you rather: Piper or Alex? And why?
ALEX. I think Alex is hotter, objectively, and I also am more attracted to her persona. Piper is so entitled. And LARRY?! Really? Really Piper, Larry?!
Emily or Paige?
I don’t watch Pretty Little Liars, but I think the answer’s Paige. She’s the hot tomboyish one, right? Yeah, Paige.
Would you rather: be 4’5″ or 7’7″?
4’5″. I really like being short, it’s a big part of my identity. It would be really hard being tall.
Would you rather: fart popcorn or have your past and future web history available for everyone?
FART POPCORN. Fart popcorn forever! I would fart popcorn, and then I would eat that popcorn if I could avoid the second option. I just wanna make it clear how very much I am NOT choosing the other option.
Noted. Okay let’s finish up with some more serious questions. When did you come out?
When I was 19 I told a lot of people I liked a girl and I didn’t know what that meant, but that I was exploring it, and from then on it’s sort of been an ongoing journey.
How did your friends and family react?
My family had a mixed reaction. And my friends… I don’t think my friends really believed me, but I think a lot of my friends who didn’t believe me four years ago believe me more now. I think a lot of people just thought it was a phase at the time.
Do you have any advice for anyone who reads Autostraddle who is struggling with their identity? What would you say to them?
Honestly, it feels self important to be like, “here’s my advice,” because what do I know… but whatever, fuck it, here’s my advice. I think as a world, we get really fixated on this idea that we’re all supposed to “find ourselves” and then you “find yourself” and then there you are, but that’s not how it works. I think a lot of people are scared that if they’ve committed to something in the past or if they commit to something now, they’re committing to it forever, but it would be really fucking boring if we found ourselves and then just were that person forever. That would be awful, honestly.
So I guess I hope that one day we can live in a world where people feel safe to try out whatever they’re doing, where if you date a girl now, and you break up and never date a girl again, that’s okay, and also if you only ever date girls again, that’s okay, and also anything in between. I think that a lot of people freak out so much about what they are, but what if we lived in a place where it didn’t matter, and you could just go for it, and you could just try to be your own person and try your best to be a good person and be nice to people?
We don’t live in that world yet, but we can all allow ourselves to take on that mindset. We don’t have to figure out our identity in a day or a week or even ever at all. We just have to be ourselves every day and see what happens. I guess that’s my number one piece of advice. Just go for it. Try your best to be an authentic version of yourself every day and fuck everything else.
We’ll end with the same question that you always end with. Is there anything else you’d like to say to the AS community?
I would like to say that it is going to be really difficult to live up to Cat and Kathryn, because they got me drunk, they brought me Curly Wurly chocolate bars, they interviewed me which was very exciting and made me feel very special, and they’re so cute! They’re so cute in person you guys, so fucking cute. I wish I could meet all the commenters in person.
And also also also I would like to say that I love you all, every single one of you, more than I even love Curly Wurlys, which is a whole lot. Thank you for letting me interview you for this column for a whole year! I love you.
If you would like to be featured as a future Straddler on the Street, please email vanessa [at] autostraddle [dot] com. Include a few photos, 3-5 sentences about yourself and put “Straddler Submission” in your subject line. Approximately a million people have submitted so far, so please be patient as Vanessa goes through her inbox — you’re all sexy with really smart brains, and don’t you forget it!