Why She Takes a Bite of Yours Instead of Ordering Her Own

“I just asked you if you wanted fries. Come on, stop. No, these are mine. Are you kidding me? Why didn’t you just order your own?”

We’re on a date and you ask me what I want. You say you’re paying tonight, that I can order whatever I want. You’re being kind.

Nothing. I’ll always say nothing. It doesn’t matter what I’ve eaten that day, or if I’m hungry or if the smell of salt and grease is calling me over like a siren’s song. I’ll order a starter, or a salad, or a water. I don’t want to tell you that behind coyness I crave with with something that feels red hot. Wanting something, announcing that I want something, consuming something, growing from it. Taking up space, demanding to be satiated. Demanding fulfillment of primal needs I’m not supposed to let you know I have. I’ve been taught these are off limits to me. At least if I want you to look at me without disgust. I want you to like me because I really, really like you.

I’m eight years old. It’s track and field day. I’m a full foot taller than any of my peers; my dad was tall and I look just like him. I’m so young yet pushing through growth spurts left right and center. They think puberty will hit me soon, and it does. I’m not used to the new length of my limbs but im running as hard as I can. I was never good at sports but today I feel like I can do anything. I beat the fastest boys in my class. I don’t stop there, I run the 1200 meter, 800 meter, 600 meter, 200 meter, 100 meter dash, shot put, triple jump, and standing long jump. I want to try everything, I push myself twice as hard as anyone around me, just to prove that I can. I’m exhausted but exhilarated. I reach for one of the snacks on the table like the boys around me are doing. They’re casually racking up wrappers, peels, and straws, handfuls to each.
“You don’t need that.” My teacher gently chides and pushes my hand away, “You don’t want to look like a piggy.” I want to tell her I’m thirsty and tired, that the oranges on the table look sweet and refreshing. The words get caught in my throat.

I’m 17 years old. Someone I love passed away and mourning sits heavy in my stomach like a stone. Eating doesn’t cross my mind, filling up seems sacrilegious, as if by filling one void erases the one he left. It’s been days since i’ve put food into my mouth. Eventually my body fights back hard enough against starvation. I sit down at the table and suddenly my hunger demands to be felt. I eat a portion of pasta, it’s seasoned by my bitter bile and salt. A dollop of sauce hits my mourning black attire. I go back for more.
“Is she really getting seconds? She ate so much already.”
A distant relative at the table remarks, just loudly enough. I go to the kitchen and scrape my plate into the garbage. She’s right, I think, eating at a time like this is disgusting. I wash my mouth of the evidence. I wash the stain out of my dress.

My friend tells me that she didn’t eat lunch today. She didn’t have enough money for the $8 salad at the $3 burger joint. “Just order your own fries” her boyfriend complains. She doesn’t know why, but she feels strongly like she just…can’t. When the server asks her what she wants, that extra second of”…and some fries” becomes an extra second for those around her to process that she is demanding more than they expect her to…and they don’t like it. She worries she’ll seem greedy, demanding, boorish. Trusting her boyfriend she thinks, people wont judge him for this, he’ll be alright to share just one or two. She’s hungry, the fries look so good, he really wont mind and he’ll be glad she saved him the money or the embarrassment. He won’t look at her like she just asked for the world.

Guys berate girls for tasting their food and not ordering our own as if we don’t teach girls to hide their appetites lest we seem ‘piggish’. Having a fear of eating in front of people is so common for girls, we are taught that our need to eat is second to appearing dainty for men, for others. “I don’t eat in public” is a commonplace statement, and girls nod in understanding when they hear it. Eating is an aggressively political act, its safer not to go there. There’s no winning. “Order your own” becomes “uh… Do you really need that? You eat a lot” almost instantly. We’ve been taught that eating is corruptive consumption, self serving, dangerous. Admission of “unfeminine” and “unflattering” primal human need.

And we just want you to like us, because we really, really like you.

So we’re sorry we took a bite of yours, maybe we were just hungry or maybe you can learn to share a bit of that nonchalance towards food your masculinity has afforded you.

Dating disatsers date 2

Date Number Two: Mama’s Boy

So Jon and mystery girl lasted about a week before he realized that her actions held no irony and therefore she was just on a lower plane of reality than he was. That and she wouldn’t put out. She totally thought that I was her friend now, something about us both being disappointed by Jon. Bonding via douchebaggery. Let it be known that I’m a terrible person, I couldn’t stand her but let her believe we were close to get information on her ex lover. I knew I was awful from the moment I grabbed her hands, looked into her eyes and lied:

“You deserve so much better!”

Grace Kelly inspired nonchalance

Grace Kelly inspired nonchalance

So Jon was desperate at this point and I was painfully single so he decided it would be wise to approach me after totally humiliating me in front of my classmates and his creationist cult of a family. The thing is, he said he missed my dry wit and sunny disposition. Never again have the words “wit” or “sunny” been used to describe me since. I should have shot him down, but he was actually making eye contact with me. I mean, who else could fully appreciate the film festival event he had gotten tickets to. What other girl would want to see an exposition of Hitchcock’s blondes with a lecture from the president of the film association? And seriously who else would put up with him as he grumbled about shot composition. He needed someone to look smart in front of and I was too impressed with the tickets to say no. It was a sugar daddy Catch 22.

And I looked hot for this date. Again. A different set of leather boots and a cleavagy shirt. And classy make up reminiscent of Grace Kelly herself, goodness knows I looked the part for the evening. Always dress for the class you wish you had.My mom’s boyfriend drove me there while I received thoughtful romantic texts like:

Will you be here soon? -J

You’re not late but you might be.-J

ETA?-J

So he shows up in a letterman jacket and sunglasses. (Not a sports team letterman jacket, a film club letterman jacket. Yeah, they make those.) My mom’s boyfriend spotted him and asked if I was a lesbian, we were off to a good start. So we enter the swanky film festival building and he stands a good two feet away from me at all times, like he’s embarrassed someone will see us and assume we’re on some sort of passionate rendez-vous at 3pm on a Sunday.

Suddenly I spot her at the other end of the hall waving to us … his mother. The kid took his mother on the date. I’m not a dating expert, all I have are my mom’s failed relationships to go off of, but something tells me there was one too many of us. I mean it started off cute, date two was a bit early to bond with the family, but if he was ready to move fast I could be too. 

After awkward chitchat usually reserved for getting seated at the wrong table during a wedding reception, we sat down in the theatre auditorium. The mother figure made sure to plant herself right in between us. The movie started and it was about as boring as you’d think an early Hitchcock retrospective would be. Hipsters in plaid shirts mumbled quietly about use of saturation to themselves, creating an eery atmosphere akin to a psych ward. I couldn’t even glance over at Jon with sultry bedroom eyes because his hawk mom was glaring me down like she could smell my intentions to corrupt young Jon. Then I noticed it. They were holding hands.

I have no issue with boys who are close to their mothers, but this was a new level of disturbing. It was kind of like finding out Freud was right and the world is a messed up place. Exactly like that. Thankfully, the movie ended and I made a dainty exit, but not before Jon shook my hand goodbye and said “I hope you didn’t think this was an actual date or anything.” Needless to say, I never hung out with Jon again. But he wasn’t my last romantic failure.

Dating Disasters Jon with no h

Dating Disaster: Jon With No H

So then I met him, the exact personification of my type. We’re going to call him Jon with no H because that’s the kind of guy he was. Seriously.

It should be known that there’s a guy at my school whose name is actually Jon with no H and I even thought he was cute for a while. My friend Tatiana decided to help me get with him by making out with a little and dating him for a few months. Surprisingly that did not help my cause. He is not, however, the kid I’m talking about.

In my high school full of track team stars and future teen pregnancy cases, Jon’s demure, pompous, arrogant personality was a breath of fresh air. He liked classic literature and film noire. He scoffed when I said I really just liked the Avengers and made me sit through like all the movies Quentin Tarantino has ever made.

One day after a heated argument about his decision to not go to college to pursue his love of directing, I told him he would end up working at Blockbuster and recommending slasher flicks to housewives and he told me he had to suffer for his art like the great Tarantino had done. And I ate it up because he seemed so worldly and Avant guarde. He was so in love with himself I found it hard not to fall for him as well. He wasn’t worried about being nice or getting high grades because he was so above the system.  That and he had really green eyes and wore batman tee shirts.

So with all the grace of someone on an infomercial and all the poise of the person you yell at in a scary movie to not go down those stairs godammit, I began to flirt. And by flirt, I mean stroke his ego like no tomorrow.

Example conversation:

Jon: I don’t know how I feel about Tim Burton’s use of German expressionism, it seems so forced.

Me:

Jon: it really all boils down to mise en scene.

Me:

Jon: the framing of a shot and juxtaposition of characters can just make the scene.

Me: ha-ha wow how philosophical of you, you’re so…

Jon: Smart…I know. Don’t strain yourself trying to find more adjectives.

Me: you sure do know movies!

Jon: Morgan, for the last time, its FILM.

(*******ACTUAL CONVERSATION*********)

So it worked, kind of. We hung out quite a bit through September and when October rolled around it was Halloween dance time. And even though Halloween and school dances were under him, Jon asked me to go with him. This was my first high school dance and the boy I liked had asked me to it. Was I excited? I was planning the wedding. I was someone who never told anyone that I liked them to save them the embarrassment. No boy had paid any attention to me, ever. I knew high school was going to be my turning point, it had to be!

I wore the tightest thing possible: the sexy kitten costume. I mean I had wanted to go as Super girl but Jon questioned the quality of my ability to look like her. Yeah he was a total asshole; I think that’s been established. So I donned what I thought made me look hot, and let me tell you…it did. Blonde hair blown out, thigh high leather boots, fishnets, a butt hugging black skirt, and so much cleavage that my 36 DDD looked like EEEs. And of course, the cat ears that made it a costume and not a back page ad.

I went to a school sanctioned event like this

I went to a school sanctioned event like this

Jon decided to go as Marty Mcfly as Calvin Klein in Back to the future. Meaning he dressed exactly how he normally did and put on a jean jacket. The look was pretty funny on him as he looked a bit like tin tin with a permanent scowl. Or tinkerbell or a lesbian. I went to his house first and he decided to walk me there because hey that’s what they do in those classic 80’s teen movies. When I got to his house his mom opened the door and I mustered up all the sweetness I could manage while looking like a call girl. To be fair I think his mom was just happy I was a girl, but with all of the makeup I had on, it could have been some pretty convincing drag. His parents were the worst kind of people: creationists. A super religious bunch that really seemed to get a kick out of the fact that their son might not go to hell for sodomy after all. 

His dog somewhat attacked me while he laughed a bit and I really should have taken that as a sign but I was not about to let psychopathy ruin my night goddammit.

My female friends all told me I looked incredible when I got there.

“You can’t even tell it’s you Morgan!”

“You’re like… hot-ish!”

“Ok maybe more like normal for once”

“It’s great do it more often”

“Is Tessa here yet?”

“Seriously I haven’t seen her, could you tell her to find me when she gets here?”

And

“Wow Jon is really lucky!”

To the last one he thoughtfully replied: “Woah, we’re not a thing or anything like that I mean wow just no way jose”

This quite possibly should have been sign number two but did I mention he was cute? I laughed it off and attributed it to the fact that labels were obviously under us I mean we were alternative and smart and much too mature for things like romance and affection and eye contact. And so what if my night was pretty shitty because he refused to dance to top 10 chart songs, a guy liked me enough to go to something that demeaned him. It was almost like practice for when he would ultimately have to buy tampons for me at some point.

So I sucked it up and sucked in my stomach because wow that skirt was freaking tight and smiled like a Stepford wife. I felt really pretty for once in my life. I’m telling you it’s the magic of the sexy cat costume, I totally get why 8/10 girls wear it on Halloween. It was all going great until this random girl showed up and he started talking to her. I mean she was clearly his type; she also had gone the too cool for a costume route. At least I think it wasn’t a costume. It could have quite possibly be a reference to an obscure cult film. It was like she had waved the “cute alternative” flag in his face. What a bitch, couldn’t she see that’s what I was suppressing my personality to do?

So we hung out in an odd polyamorous triad at the back of the school cafeteria that had been converted into a dance hall while all the other students romantically gave each other blow jobs to the soothing sounds of Nicki MinajJon with no H and mystery girl were in some heated discussion on whether or not she could pull of a Helena Boehme Carter look while I did my best to look cute. And during all this not even a single greasy teen boy tried to grind on me so Jon would get jealous like I was offended at least give me the opportunity to reject you. So I wandered away out of curiosity, I mean they had to notice if I just left right? They did not.

I managed to make my way to the bathroom and take a lap around the school track before I decided it just wasn’t fun to discover seniors in compromising positions anymore, (it loses its hilarity after like the fifteenth pair).

Some great things you can learn when hiding from your date in a bathroom:

How to whistle

The alphabet backwards

That Stacy has chlamydia and Maggie is great for a good time

Five new names for your hoo ha

The mandolin

I came back to my date ceremoniously sucking on the other girl’s face. I had to cough like at least 7 times for him to notice I was back. As they pulled apart for him to ask me to politely leave-

Ok now I know what you’re thinking: Morgan you must have come back with a gale force of sass so strong it physically pulled the smirk off his face. I bet you ripped that girl’s weave off and wore it as a macabre mark of your territory. You made someone hold your cat ears while you slapped her. And Maury came out and told you that you were not the father. You became a whole team of Amazonian woman and stomped on them with stilettos and war chants while your blonde locks were stained red by the blood of your enemies-

-I stuttered a bit and sat at one of the lunch tables for the rest of the evening surrounded by fake mist. On paper I can think of a comeback to fast it would beat Bolt at the Olympics as long as it had a ten second head start, but in real life I was more of a deer in the headlights.

The worst part? I couldn’t leave. The douche canoe was my ride home. Eventually his dad came around with the minivan to ruin the magical romantic evening. Oh dear, how would I ever survive. Jon had gotten a new girlfriend and made sure to kiss her goodbye as I tripped into the back seat flashing his father. His dad looked at me for an explanation and apparently “I hear sharing is in now” wasn’t what he was looking for.

So after the world’s most awkward car ride, we got to my house at around midnight. Jon’s dad suggested quite enthusiastically that he walk me to my door. The conversation went something like this:

Dad: Hey Jon it’s really dark outside.

Jon: great observation dad.

Dad: maybe you could help Morgan to her door?

Jon: No.

Dad: but *wink* you could, you know, help her to her door and say goodnight.

Jon: I’m sure she can manage on her own.

If you can believe it, that was only date number one. There was another. No, really. Stay tuned for that train wreck.

Opening to the Romance Chapter

Alright, let’s discuss all the dick I’m getting. Am I right? High five! And by all the dick I mean zero dick…I get no dick. I mean you can’t really expect me to be just turning them down left right and center, I was that one chubby kid who watched star wars and would not shut up about it for four years. Seriously this one time a doctor asked me if I could be pregnant and I said I was a star trek fan and he just nodded and carried on. I felt a real connection to Spock as he tried to navigate the complex workings of societal norms while having pretty terrible eyebrows. I have fond memories of the days before I discovered tweezers.

So besides the obvious, I’ve never dated anyone, possibly because of my crippling self-esteem issues and more probably because of my commitment issues. An acne ridden teenager with commitment issues and a never ending love for knitting? Not really prom queen material. Although it would make excellent drag queen material, go try that out and send me pictures. My only experience with romance has been from indie rom coms with Zooey Deschanel that I watch to seem alternative and deep.

attempting manic pixie dream girl, achieving the opposite

attempting manic pixie dream girl, achieving the opposite

I just don’t seem to fit into the role of indie darling manic pixie dream girl. I don’t have ten feet of hair and four feet of bangs, a cute laugh, I’m not artistically inclined, and I wear pants every so often instead of flare skirts and 60s housewife dresses. If I try to giggle and flip my hair I end up choking a bit and whipping someone in the face. (Please men, keep your pants on it gets even better). Once in an attempt to appear like the sweet oddball who knocks out men with her wingtip eyeliner I learned ukulele. Which would have been mildly acceptable if I had given it up and didn’t rock at it.

An open letter to Zooey Deschanel,

Dearest Zooey, I’m glad you could make time in your busy schedule of baking and having sex with Joseph Gordon Levitt to read this. I’m asking you to stop being the quintessential Hollywood “weird girl”. Every single movie you’re in the guy has to learn to love you for your quirky flaws. The problem is: you don’t have flaws. The guy is really just getting over the fact that looking directly at your blue eyes is kind of like looking into the sun. You could go blind from that, maybe you should wear sunglasses to protect the general population. The only thing weird about you is your innate love for humanity. No one can be that perky all the time, heck, even when you pout it’s like watching a small puppy trip over its legs. I bet you even like poop rainbows and fart dreams. And if you don’t you can bet there are like four scientists madly in love with you who are throwing away their careers to make it happen. The standard you set is too unrealistic for actual oddballs to live up to. I’m begging you to return to your home planet and wipe the population of the memory of you.

Thanks, Morgan

Ps. if you’re ever around lets go shopping or get fro-yo or something

PPs. I’m also quite open to a ukulele duet

Truth be told, I have no idea how males work. If I were to have a boyfriend would I have to feed it or walk it? I’ve never even had a real pet (unless you count guinea pigs because they’re hardcore as fuck).  Any knowledge of bedroom relations comes from fan fiction written by sexually frustrated twelve year olds.

Ex:

Dean: I’m a demon hunter and you’re an angel of the lord, this could never work.

Castiel: but I love you for your flaws can’t you tell? You’re not broken Dean.

Dean: godammit Cas, I need you.

Castiel: Right now?

Dean: *Groans and grabs Castiel’s hips* we gon frick in da booty.

Castiel: is that how this works or…?

Dean: I don’t know there’s been some dialogue it seemed time for butt stuff.

Castiel: ok butt stuff.

*they do the do*

Quality smut right there.

So with brazen naivety and a vocabulary that included like 14 words for penis (magical trouser laser anyone), it’s no doubt my foray into dating land ended up with pain and a little disappointment.

Let me start by describing my type. I seem to gravitate towards anything with cheekbones, and that heroine starved male model androgynous look. I actually really like pastiness and lank, so basically like the nerds you beat up in high school. And most of the time I actually value intelligence over appearance (wow I know, I deserve some kind of award or something).

You would think this would make my dating pool quite wide and inviting, yet in my high school years these guys were in vogue. I blame Glee. Think Reid from criminal minds or a super hero with the glasses on. As a bigger girl you can imagine how odd I felt liking these scrawny kids. No way would they be able to pick me up and carry me to our marriage bed. I’m pretty sure they seemed slightly less threatening than the all American linebacker type, like I could definitely beat them up if they tried to hurt me. That was a sexy quality.

I Can Explain…The introduction to my future biography

So you’ve picked up this book thinking it would be the perfect beachside read to lighten your spirits like some majestic unicorn bound in paper or maybe you thought it would make a great happy first period gift for your niece. In the first case, thanks mom but you already have a copy and in the second instance for goodness sake that is a terrible idea go throw her a party and invite all the cute boys she writes about in her journal. Also make a banner and splash it with some fake blood and have a cute red punch bowl, keep it classy and elegant. Shower her in pig’s blood.

This is exactly what your niece would want I know I’m a professional hip teenager. Ok maybe that’s an overstatement. I mean I act like a fifty year old in menopause and pretty much hate most people my age but I watch a lot of 80’s high school movies and I know a party isn’t hip hop happening unless there are some side pony tails and a murder to cover up. Or something.

Did I mention I hate people my age? Seriously, I can out bitch your grandma when talking about “kids these days” with their drugs and their twerking. I long for the day I’m considered old enough to lose my shit and wear cat sweaters with sequins on them, or tasteful jogging ensembles. My 90 year old neighbor mistook me for a striking woman in her 60s and proceeded to tell me it wasn’t too late for vaginal rejuvenation because she saw something about it on Oprah. I mean who does she think I am? Of course I saw that Oprah episode.

Basically if you were looking for a novelized version of a sarcastic little shit’s inner monologue you have found it. Congrats. I’ve written it with full knowledge that you’re going to laugh at and not with me but it’ll be like re-living your high school glory days. Feel free to try to give this book a swirly. If your teen daughter is ever seen looking into the distance with a quiet smile on her face she’s probably thinking about butts or something I cover in this book or seriously butts because they’re great. Prepare to cringe as I try to navigate life with as little social interaction as possible and as much social anxiety as I can muster (seriously it’s a gift).

Everything in here is pretty true, it all happened at some point or another. And names are changed to protect me from people I just really want to bitch about. Especially you Sarah. Also, if you were deterred by the fact I talked about periods you should probably put the book down and retreat back into your own little world where women pour blue liquid into pads or something.

I’ve been described as Daria if she was a little chunkier and blonde. And less witty. And didn’t have kick ass indie chic friends with cool older brothers. And she was Canadian. Ok maybe less Daria and more John Travolta in Hairspray. But a really sarcastic John Travolta in Hairspray.

Photo on 1-2-15 at 1.55 PM #4

Possible names for this book thing I’m writing

Another Harry Potter book

Angry Girl yells at things

My mad fat diary (taken)

Some Gay fanfiction

Oh look an angry teenager

Star Trek: the high school frontier

Did someone say emotionally unstable?

Possibly better than the last Dan Brown book

E=MC2

(In which I’m a Hawaiian physicist who falls in love with a native girl and must throw away logic to embrace his chance at finally being happy after a bitter divorce with his ex-wife who turns out to be an alien)

Why do I think I’m qualified to write a book? I mean it’s really hard; I basically have to be continuously witty which is hard because half of my thoughts are dick jokes.

Ex:

Mom: Ok seriously, how do you get Bob from Robert?

Me: Rob, Bob, I don’t know.

Mom: and Bill from William?

Me: not a clue.

Mom: and how do you get Dick from Richard?

Me: You ask him nicely.

Alright I think I’m doing this for street cred. I mean my mom did say I needed to do more after school activities and starting a gang seemed like a good idea. Turns out gangs don’t snap and do choreographed dance routines. I feel lied to. So a book was a moderately less violent way to occupy time I could be spending complaining about things. And it makes me sound pretty cool.

Person: what have you been up to?

Me: Oh you know, I’m writing a book.

Person: Oh that’s cool, like a diary thing or..?

Me: *flips hair* More like a modern depiction of the fragility of the human psyche told through the guise of a thrilling coming of age story.

Person: you’re writing dick jokes aren’t you.

But hey, I could be pretty decent at this: I had a pretty shitty childhood I can draw traumatic experiences from…I think that’s like the only prerequisite. That and grade 11 English.