As one commenter says, “This was the most mind-numbing peak into a black hole of a pathetic sex life I have ever read.” Trust me, I know. I was there.
The Bleeding Heart Nympho’s Guide To Harvard Life
- May 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- March 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- November 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- May 2007
- April 2007
- March 2007
- February 2007
- January 2007
- December 2006
- November 2006
- October 2006
- September 2006
- August 2006
On The Web
(where I blog daily!)
I do not use real names on this blog for the men I’m involved with, not even those who have wronged me. (My friends are a different story, but the events concerning them are far less controversial.) Even when someone cheats or lies or manipulates, I avoid outing them and instead use generic first names and leave out identifying information like their job, education, age, or location. Instead, I bite my tongue, am vague about the details of how we became acquainted, swallow the words long before they ever make it to text, and shield these men as much as I shield those I love. However deserving they may be of the scrutiny, they don’t receive it … at least not from my readers, who at 1,000+ a day, could comprise quite the cyber lynch mob. If Gawker’s premise is that everyone is an asshole and should be called out for it, then mine thus far is that even assholes are entitled to their privacy.
But I’m not so sure I believe that any longer.
Lena Chen: do you think it’d be really bitchy for me to post the real name of a guy who tried to hook up with me even though he knew i was friends with his girlfriend? there are a number of people i could Google bomb this way
Scott: you’re in a unique position to dole out justice as you see fit
Lena Chen: yeah, i can play god
Scott: not quite god but as close as a college student can get
Lena Chen: i haven’t really exercised the option
Scott: are you planning to use his full name, or just his first name?
Lena Chen: i COULD use his full name, post a mugshot, do the whole vindictive thing, but i don’t think i will. people are just shitty sometimes. has he learned his lesson? probably not, but i think he’ll get his, and i don’t think i need to help out. although if i ever end my blog, it might be with a list of every douchebag i’ve ever encountered during college, their photos, and details about their jobs/lives.
Scott: that’s kinda harsh
Lena Chen: haha, maybe. they would all deserve it. here’s the thing. i’ve learned that human nature is pretty selfish and lends itself to shitty behavior, but most people are remorseful about it. the people who aren’t deserve to be called out.
Scott: i’m increasingly relieved that you have not deemed me a douchebag
For no reason beyond my greater visibility relative to most people, I have the ability to judge who deserves or doesn’t deserve to be ratted out and thrown to the cyber wolves. But I’m not God, and jokes about an explosive SATI ending aside, I am quite frankly very uncomfortable with the idea of being a vigilante, taking matters into my own hands, and sullying people’s names. So what if a David (and yes, this is a real name) tried to fuck me behind his girlfriend’s back even though she was my friend? Does that mean he should have his full name attached to that incident so that every person who Googles him finds out? Who am I to judge him? And perhaps most importantly, does his lack of remorse make him any more or less deserving?
You see, I don’t know who deserves it or not. Riley was someone who deceived me about having a girlfriend (who was another friend of mine) and yet I would never name him. I don’t think he deserves it, because he’s a good guy who fucked up in a big way and gave himself enough hell about it that he doesn’t need someone to force remorse down his throat. But if he didn’t feel so bad, should I have called him out publicly? Do I have the right to post people’s mistakes before a public audience if I was harmed in the process of their fuck-up and they didn’t say “sorry” in a way I deemed genuine enough?
My most recent freelance assignment is a column about being the “other girl”. It is a 700-word examination of the past year’s experience in attracting taken guys over and over and over and over … again. (Seven at last count). And when it comes to my professional writing, I like to name names. This is problematic, because despite the astonishing number of girlfriends who have already found out, there are plenty who are still clueless about their guys’ indiscretions. Given the context I offer in this piece, it wouldn’t be terribly difficult for a girl to recognize her boyfriend in my column. Does that mean I should withhold real names, or is that not my responsibility?Â Should these guys have known better?Â Or do I owe them the courtesy of keeping their moral lapses behind closed doors?
I don’t know. I really have no idea. For every David, there is a “Riley”, and I’m not sure if God himself could say just whether one deserved any more than the other to err in private.
“How can a novelist achieve atonement when, with her absolute power of deciding outcomes, she is also God?” — Ian McEwan, Atonement
I think I am afflicted with a particular form of writer’s block. It is not for lack of ideas or first sentences or intriguing conclusions. Rather, it is an almost paralyzing fear that I will get it wrong, that my recollections lie, or that what goes on the computer screen characterizes the people in my life unfairly. The quote above is posted to my Facebook, where it’ll remain until I finish my thousand-something piece on the past year of my life. Don’t hold your breath.
I keep bringing up the last chapter of Atonement during interviews, during conversations with friends who want to know why I haven’t made more progress with my book proposal, even during therapy. I don’t think I can sum it up more brilliantly than McEwan, whose novel about a novelist (how very meta) is as much a story of an aspiring writer as it is a critique of writers. He recognizes that we are very much playing god, and I for one am uncomfortable with the power. I don’t know what to do. Fiction is not my forte but the responsibility of memoir is too difficult to bear. When all is said and done, I don’t want there to be anything I have to atone for.
Aidan told me recently to just write, to let whatever the result speak for itself rather than worry so much about how everyone else comes out looking. After all, I was a party to the events I’m writing of, so who is to say that my interpretation is more or less accurate? Still, I find myself compelled to ask my friends and my men about the precise going-ons and emotions that transpired a year ago. I want to get it right. I want to get them right. Even more important than events themselves are the individuals but there is no criteria for accuracy there.
Or “How Guys and Girls Can Be Friends and Even Live Together”!
Check out my piece in The Crimson about the domestic life with my summer roommate Kam. The title is a nod to his love for Harry Potter — a source of household strife in the weeks leading up to its release (he couldn’t stop talking about it; I wanted to kill Harry myself). But bliss has returned now that he’s finished that monster of a book.
Best part of the piece is my tagline: Lena Chen â€™09, a Crimson Fifteen Minutes editor, is a sociology concentrator in Currier House.
Repeat after me: Lena Chen â€™09, a Crimson Fifteen Minutes editor, is a sociology concentrator in Currier House.
Fear the tree.
No late nights, no booze (not even wine), nothing until I get this proposal done. Between my job and writing, I’m probably working 55-60 hours a week. It’s not that bad, honestly, but I just can’t afford to be tired all the time. If I’m not burnt out, I can produce something decent. So I’ll stop with the energy-draining activities. Since it’s the weekend, I have plans for brunch and a facial today. After that, I’m sitting my ass down at a place with wifi and churning out the rest of this thing by Monday. I don’t care if it is Saturday and I have to write at 1am. I need to finish this.
Also, it is really hard to write about people who are still in your life and constantly evolving. They do crazy shit like break up with their girlfriends and there goes everything you’ve ever assumed about them along with a good thousand words or so. So can everyone try to sit tight and not shatter any more of my major assumptions until I finish this? Wait until Monday to come out of the closet/cheat on your boyfriend/confess your undying love. Kthx.