blue plate special-kate christensen (part too)

“I was virginal and petrified and much too in love with him to allow anything real to happen. I identified with and envied him more than I lusted after him-he had all the qualities I lacked and desperately wanted to develop: confidence, autonomy, a backbone, a strong sense of self. I was insecure, introverted, self-conscious and shy. My crush on him propped me up, but until I could develop those things in myself, I would never be able to connect in a real way with someone I was in love with. I knew it at the time and it made me jumpy with frustration, with anxiety and impatience to grow up and leave adolescence behind.” (145-6)

“He rode a motorcycle. He was sad-eyed and Irish-Jewish and handsome in a skinny, feline way, and he had been a biochemist before he became a writer. He had a tragic family history. Most important, he seemed to think very little of me and to enjoy putting me in my place. This last quality was catnip to me and a clarion call to arms: I was determined to win his respect, to prove to him how worthy I was, to break through his impenetrably dense self-involvement. Also, he confirmed my worst opinions of myself, which satisfied my deep self-loathing.” (225)

“At the start of my sophomore year, after I’d had my heart well and truly broken by a stoner physics major named Kip with long blond hair and a dudely, passive-aggressive sweetness I could neither resist nor penetrate, I razored off my own long hair into a spiky boy’s cut full of cowlicks in an attempt to rid myself of my femininity entirely.” (197)

“I had no sexual interest in Kenny at all; I just wanted to marry him, which seemed like a completely different thing. What I liked best about him was that he had a crush on someone new. He was unattainable, a challenge.” (103)

“I had been able to tell Alec that I couldn’t sleep with him; with Tommy, I felt like paralyzed prey, and, because of my silence, I was therefore complicit somehow, or so he made me feel. I had fallen right into his trap. His rationale for abusing so many girls was that they didn’t tell him not to, and therefore they wanted him to. It never seemed to occur to him that laws protecting minors from predators like him were in place because we were too young and vulnerable to protect ourselves. He didn’t actually rape me, but some of my friends weren’t so lucky.” (131)

“We were both frustrated young writers who thought we were much smarter than we were, which engendered a kind of chaotic melancholy that needed blotting out.” (233)

“He’d married me in part because he loved my wild side, and I’d married him in part because I loved his stable, conventional side. He saw me as exciting and a little crazy, and I saw him as deeply trustworthy and solid. Unfortunately, these were the qualities in ourselves we most wanted to leave behind.” (281)

“Much of our talking in our first six months was about these fears. We challenged each other, tested each other, put each other through the wringer, even as we offered each other reassurance and love. We were both blown over by how quickly, fully, and precipitously we had fallen in love. Of course, we were terrified of being hurt and disappointed, of making a mistake. It was very clear from the start that this was no halfway thing, no light romance or short-lived fling. It was all or nothing with us from our first date. We’d put ourselves in each other’s hands, exposed ourselves completely and absorbed each other, and so we had to be very careful.” (335)

this collection of passages is about the relationships and the learning that is possible from stumbling through and growing older (if not up). i don’t have much more to say, other than i pulled them because i saw something, and the end is what i’ve always wanted. hashtag, squad goal.


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