Here's a place to talk about the relationships in your life whenever you want.
My mother, Lisa, and I don’t have a normal relationship. Not by a long shot. She’s unintentionally one of the most body- and sex-positive women I know. Examples of how dope she is when it comes to sex include:
- Growing up, she was one of the only mothers I knew of in my group of friends who let their daughter have boys in their bedroom with the door closed.
- When I was 16, she took me to the gynecologist so I could get a birth control prescription without any judgment whatsoever.
- After I wrote four erotic novels for HarperCollins a few years ago, both of my parents went around telling everybody like I had written The Iliad or something. (“We were so proud!” – Lisa)
- One time, a sex partner texted me that his five-year-old kid smelled the flavored lube we spilled on his comforter and asked what it was. He said to his son that he was eating a lollipop and accidentally dropped it on his bed. I laughed so hard after reading this and my mom asked what was up. I told her what happened, and she insisted on me texting him a picture of her giving him a thumbs up.
- When I had a breakup this past December that really fucked with my head, she slipped a hundred bucks into my checking account. She knew I was going shopping at Babeland and then out to dinner with three of my good friends that day as a pick-me-up. I texted her, “Firstly, you didn’t have to do that. You know I hate when you do that. Secondly, did you give me $100 to spend on sex toys so I will have a reason to stop dating terrible people?” She texted back, “DANA!” and then, “Kinda.”
- A perfect example of our atypical dynamic is when she had to get a mammogram and a pelvic ultrasound done in the same day and she texted me, “Gotta go get my boobs squeezed and my cooch looked at — talk to you later!”
She’s a very good mother, and we talk about sex very openly. However, to me, my mother is also a complete freak of nature, and that’s because she met my father at age 14 and they’ve been together ever since. As someone who’s had 10 different sex partners in the last year alone, I’ll admit that the idea of my mom only having had sex with one person in her entire life weirds me out a little. To each their own, but if I married the guy I started dating in middle school, it would not be pretty.
While my mother completely supports my lifestyle as a single woman gallivanting around New York City (she has never judged me for having a new guy pretty much every other month), it does scare her a little. Mama Bird doesn’t want her Baby Bird getting physically or emotionally hurt or, you know, syphilis.
In short, for a while, it’s not that she didn’t like the idea of me being on dating apps; she just worried about me a lot. I’d go out to meet someone and she’d ask “Who is this person?” “Where are you going?” “Can you text me when you get home so that you know that you’re safe?” The idea of meeting up with a complete stranger from the internet in hopes of looking for a romantic connection completely baffled her.
She has never seen any of the apps I’ve been on, only screenshots from them of me being sassy to random men.
But if I asked her to explain the nitty-gritty dynamics of how these sites and apps work, she wouldn’t be able to do it. She has no idea. So when I, purely out of curiosity, asked her to take over my OKCupid profile for a day and fill out the profile on my behalf, it cracked me up when her response was utter terror.
“I don’t know how to do this, Dana!” she said to me on the phone. “I don’t know what people say on these things.”
And that’s when it hit me. My mother has not only never seen any dating sites before in her life, but she also hasn’t dated since 1974. Her anxiety about “messing up” my profile cracked me the hell up.
“Just write what you want to write,” I told her. “I’m not really taking this seriously.” My mom’s fear that her words would ruin my chance at finding a partner entertained me to no end. “Don’t think. Just pretend to be me.”
Then I emailed her the prompts for all eight questions on OKCupid. It took her over an hour to write a few sentences for each, but the results were worth the wait.
When I opened the email, I read:
My self-summary: “I am an independent and fun-loving attractive twenty-something girl. I am confident, but always ready for laughter and being spontaneous.”
DID YOU HEAR THAT, FELLAS? I’M AN ATTRACTIVE TWENTY-SOMETHING GIRL. [insert fancy girl emoji here]
What I'm doing with my life: “I am pursuing a very promising writing career and looking forward to other great upcoming opportunities. I enjoy reaching out to people who are willing and ready to make a positive change in their life.”
Who am I, Iyanla Vanzant?
I'm really good at: “I am a good listener (without being your therapist), but also very good and honest with conversation. I love to discover new and exciting adventures and people to share them with. I'm really good at finding humor in my daily life.”
Nicely done, Lisa!
Favorite books, movies, shows, music and food: “I love a good pizza and Twix bar while listening to '90s pop music. Or cuddled on a couch watching a scary movie. Especially love going to a Broadway show or spending time poolside reading a good book.”
That first sentence is the realest thing I’ve ever read.
Six things I could never do without: “I would never do without my family, which is number one on my list of must-haves. Number two would be my friends, then my humor and independence, Doc Martens, my fluffy bed, baseball caps, good books.”
That is EIGHT things, Lisa, but nice try.
I spend a lot of time thinking about: “How I can get away with rainbow hair at my new job.”
100% accurate. I used to have purple/pink/blue/green hair before I went blonde for a job search (that recently ended, by the way).
On a typical Friday night I am: “On a typical Friday night I am probably either out with friends doing something fun or just snuggled in my cloud bed watching numerous comedy sketches by Matt Bellassai or drag queens.”
No lies detected. Also, what’s wrong with enjoying a pillow-top mattress, Lisa? SINCE WHEN IS THAT A CRIME.
You should message me if: “You should message me if you’re looking for a chick who's not only good-looking, fun and easy to be with but will keep it real at all times.”
Please note that this is the second time she has made me point out to others that I am physically attractive in an eight-question dating profile.
This profile resulted in a few people messaging me — no more or less than usual. But that wasn’t the point. Even if this profile makes me sound borderline-nuts, I wasn’t expecting a huge dip or spike in messages. It was just fun for my mom to experience a part of my life she wasn’t privy to before.
After I’d pasted all of her answers into my profile, she texted me, "I didn’t realize that this is what you guys do nowadays. This felt like homework! Do I sounds too much like a seventies chick?"
She absolutely did, but it was perfect.
"Thanks, Mama," I texted back. "For everything."