Happy Endings?

I’m not sure if it’s because actual humans my age have started to get married. I’m not sure if it’s because I am starting to think that the astrologer I saw in August was full of shit. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve written and journaled and dated and obsessed about my romantic life, and for some reason, I still cannot find the relationship I want.

I recently turned to a book called Spinster by Kate Bolick to see if it had any answers for me, as I’m well on my way to becoming a twenty-something abuelita. In the end, I wanted to chuck it against a wall BECAUSE Bolick ends up in a relationship in the end. Also, she’s in several long-term relationships in the book, so I feel like that’s not a spinster.

I want real spinster stories. I want to see a story about a single woman who is not sure if her happy ending is coming to come through. I want to read more stories about women who prefer to eat popcorn in bed while watching Gilmore Girls instead of going on another mind-numbing date. I want to read about the women who never found that monogamous partner and what they do when it’s 10 PM and they really want a back rub. I want to know about the women whose fingers lack wedding rings and what they plan to do with their one and precious life.

 

At least, that’s the narrative I’ve lived so far. And, from where I’m standing, it’s a lot harder to savor the stretch in between the beginning and the happy ending when it’s your own life.

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Paulina’s Guide to Podcasts

I really can’t say this gently, so I won’t even try: You have a problem with if you only consume media made by white people.

There is no way that your views on race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, or ability will ever change if you live in an echo chamber. Instead, you must challenge yourself to listen to others’ experiences. The best way to do this is to make friends with people who are different than you in some way. Another great way to supplement your intersectional education is to listen to podcasts that are produced by people of color.

Though I certainly support reading works by diverse authors, and watching shows that tackle issues of identity, I think the podcast is a unique media form due to its aural nature. You hear folks telling their own stories in their own voices, and you often feel a stronger emotional pull than you would get from words on a page. The more you learn a show’s inside jokes, recurring segments, and host dynamics, the more you come to identify with the showrunners and love them as if they were your friends. Podcasts are a free way to become absorbed in someone else’s world, which is essential to breaking down prejudices.

Do not worry: I’m not saying you have to delete Radiolab, This American Life, Welcome to Night Vale, or How Stuff Works. Just consider adding a couple of my humble suggestions to your list.

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Step One: March. Step Two: Take Action.

It takes a Trump presidency for strangers in Boston to smile at one another on public transportation. Don’t get too excited: it was still a New England grimace, not a warm Southern greeting. But as I entered the Red Line with my poster in tow, strangers bearing unfortunately shaped hats, plastic bags, and colorful signs all acknowledged each other as comrades on the way to the Boston Women’s March.

This Saturday, I joined my parents, friends, and millions of folks across the world to march in protest against the rigged election of Donald Trump. After meeting my parents, my mom’s colleague, her partner, and their young son for breakfast, our motley crew headed over to the Boston Common to join a sea of people.

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Note: the three year old also had a sign. His featured their dog, Stanley, biting Drumpf.

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If You Want to Be My Lover, Here’s a Reading List

Here’s the thing: if you want my future, I really, really, want you to take my past into account. Truly, the Spice Girls do not describe my philosophy on relationships in any way shape or form (except for the whole thing about getting along with my friends. Baby, Posh, Ginger, Sporty, Scary, and I can all agree on that). Just to show you how much this song won’t work, I’ve provided an annotated version for you:

If you want my future, forget my past duly noted that this statement is erroneous

If you wanna get with me, better make it fast actually, I’m ok with a slow burn

Now don’t go wasting my precious time is getting with someone ever a waste or just another learning experience? 

Get your act together and we’ll be just fine all applicants must have their act somewhat together in order to audition for the position of my lover

Now that we’ve determined that late nineties British pop songs are not an accurate instruction manual for loving me, let me provide you with a better sense of where I come from and what I need.

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No Estoy Con Ella (And Here’s Why)

Before everyone jumps down my throat, let me make one thing clear: I will vote for Hillary Clinton. This is not the post of a disgruntled Bernie fan. I voted for Hillary in the primaries because, when thinking about the issues that matter most to me and make the biggest difference in my everyday life, I trust that Clinton will protect reproductive rights, improve the educational system, and institute better policies for working families. I respect Clinton’s intelligence, career experience, and track record of making changes for (mostly white) women.

But, I still feel super uneasy about voting for Clinton. As a Latina, I am critical of her actions toward Latinx voters as well as her foreign policy record in Latin America. As these two facets of my identity are inseparable, it has left me feeling highly uncomfortable about my choice in this election. Basically, I can vote for the woman who is friends with the man who helped to orchestrate the Chilean coup, or I can vote for a rapist Cheeto who will almost certainly increase deportations exponentially.

Young people of color deserve better options in this election. Here’s why.

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