In Defense of Living With Your Parents

me at the Weekly Standard:A few years ago I was getting a ride home from a party with a guy in his early twenties. I lived in a gentrified neighborhood I could no longer pretend to afford, and he lived, it emerged, with his parents. “Good for you,” I said. “I think that’s great.”We hit a stoplight and he turned to look at me. “Do you?” he asked, with a sudden edge of cynicism in his voice. “Do you really?” I could hear what he was thinking: I guess you’re trying to be nice or whatever, bu … [Read more...]

Wooden Orthodox Wedding Crowns

Does what it says on the tin. Via Tristyn Bloom, for those who are--but why?--not following her on Twitter. … [Read more...]

“Unmaker’s Mark”: I review “What Happened to Sophie Wilder”

at AmCon: ...There’s a lot going on here. There’s Sophie’s quest for identity (she has three different surnames throughout the novel), a quest she seems to be trying to escape—she wants to surrender to an identity, sink into it, rather than having to go out and conquer and defend it. She doesn’t want her conversion and subsequent changed life to be about her search for self, but about her encounter with God.There’s a grim consideration of suffering and how it resists narrative. If you demand … [Read more...]

“Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head”: Me on VS Naipaul

at Acculturated: From Gothic novels to indie-rock lyrics, the house is a mirror of the troubled family within it. V.S. Naipaul’s 1961 novel A House for Mr Biswas is another one of these broken-home narratives; the Trinidadian novelist presents a surprisingly moving satire of arranged marriage and thwarted ambition.Mohun Biswas—always referred to by the narrator as “Mr Biswas,” even while he’s still a baby—lives in a makeshift, repurposed, patched and jerry-built world. Every surface is descr … [Read more...]

“Advice for Couples: Give Less Advice”: WSJ

Here's a feature article on one of my many obsessions. And yes, I hate "studies have found" too, but much of this rings true. I wish they'd elaborated more on the problems with simply recasting advice as, "When something similar happened to me, I..." storytelling. I've found that people giving advice on how to give advice typically think that will "work," but in practice it often causes offense (how dare you suggest that my occasional extra Snickers bar is like your drinking problem?!--not a … [Read more...]

“I’m Gay, But I’m Not Switching to a Church That Supports Gay Marriage”: me at the Atlantic

here you go... When I became Catholic in 1998, as a college sophomore, I didn't know any other gay Christians. I'd been raised in a kind of pointillist Reform Judaism, almost entirely protected from homophobia; when I realized I was gay it was, if anything, a relief. I thought I finally had an explanation for the persistent sense of difference I'd felt since early childhood. This sheltered upbringing may help explain my sunny undergraduate confidence that even though I knew of literally nobody … [Read more...]

“Friendship in Between ‘Romance’ and Loneliness”: Wesley Hill

blogs; did I post this already? It's from a few months ago. Anyway I just re-read it and liked it a lot. Comments also worth reading! Early on in Mark Vernon’s insightful book The Meaning of Friendship, there’s this throwaway observation: “In TV soaps, the characters always have their friends to return to when their sexual adventures fail; lovers come and go, but friends remain.” Reading that sentence, I think not only of old favorites like Seinfeld and Friends but of more recent sitcoms like Ho … [Read more...]


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