"Happy Valentine's Day!" the woman threatened.
February 11, 2016 8:48 AM   Subscribe

"[E]ver since noticing a beautifully wrinkled and mysteriously sensual older French woman at a friend’s party, and, having inquired if she was the wife of the frizzy-haired, balding older man with the huge, horn-rimmed glasses next to her, and being informed that, “Nooo, she’s his mistress. They’ve been lovers for many years,” I’d decided that loverhood was what I aspired to." "The Magic Trick," by Carolita Johnson. (SLTheHairpin) posted by MonkeyToes (12 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
"...and felt sadness creeping like a black mold into all our pleasures...."

I got stuck trying to visualize that phrase.. :-\
posted by HuronBob at 8:59 AM on February 11, 2016


"...and felt sadness creeping like a black mold into all our pleasures...."

Welcome to middle age.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:05 AM on February 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


This phase had gone on for so long that I didn’t even want a boyfriend anymore.

“Why don’t I ever have anyone for me?”, I sniffled, holding panic at bay by keeping my emotions and thoughts elementary, “Someone just for me?”


I'm not the only one who sees this conflict, right?
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:25 AM on February 11, 2016


Man, that is one good essay. Why doesn't it surprise me Carolita Johnson's cartoons appear in the New Yorker? Great stuff.
posted by My Dad at 9:42 AM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


“penis in a soggy, flesh-colored tennis sock.”

I got stuck trying to visualize that....
posted by MuChao at 10:10 AM on February 11, 2016


This phase had gone on for so long that I didn’t even want a boyfriend anymore.

“Why don’t I ever have anyone for me?”, I sniffled, holding panic at bay by keeping my emotions and thoughts elementary, “Someone just for me?”

I'm not the only one who sees this conflict, right?



It is a conflict, but it doesn't seem surprising. Sexual relationships can bring up all kinds of feelings that weren't there before, feelings that may or may not be realistic or practical. That's why I personally don't do well with casual sex -- I can be all "I don't even want a boyfriend" beforehand, but after the sexy times, suddenly the schmoopy is strong in me.
posted by JanetLand at 10:13 AM on February 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


The writer does answer the question "why don't I ever have anyone for me?" One of the reasons is that she might find it difficult to have a long-term, committed relationship with a 35-year-old man who dresses like one of the Three Musketeers.
posted by My Dad at 10:21 AM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have a relationship with what I call my "ex with benefits". We used to live together, now we don't, we still spend time together pretty much weekly. It's really good. There's both a casualness that comes from not sharing finances, and an intensity that comes from only seeing each other for about one day out of seven. Lately there's been some possibility of me moving to LA for work reasons, maybe seasonally, maybe for several years, maybe permanantly, and we've been discussing how this would change the relationship, whether he comes with me or not, and how it'd work.

Which is to say: this piece felt a lot like my life is right now. And it's a nice reminder that yeah, maybe this will come to an end sometime. It's a lot of fun right now, enjoy it while it lasts.
posted by egypturnash at 10:41 AM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


"...and felt sadness creeping like a black mold into all our pleasures...."

It reminded me of Robert Browning's lines from "Andrea del Sarto":

"Come from the window, love,—come in, at last,
Inside the melancholy little house
We built to be so gay with."
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:10 PM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


That was an excellent read, thanks!

> I'm not the only one who sees this conflict, right?

Hu-mons! They are so illogical!
posted by languagehat at 2:50 PM on February 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


CAROLITA! I forgot about her after I stopped reading the Hairpin awhile back. She is my candidate for the Most Interesting Woman Alive; she is my hero, and you can learn more about her bonkers life here.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 9:47 PM on February 11, 2016


she might find it difficult to have a long-term, committed relationship with a 35-year-old man who dresses like one of the Three Musketeers

....who does magic.

I always say: Leave someone with the best they have to offer you, and throw the rest away.

That is good advice.

Very well-written and fun piece.
posted by Miko at 7:34 AM on February 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


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