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Rebecca Adler Archive

Rebecca Adler

My Life in Istanbul, So Far

October 5th, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Basak meets me at the airport shuttle drop off point in the busy city center. We hail a cab and we’re off to my new apartment. She shows me how to get in and gives me a tour of the apartment. I drop my bags in my room and then we’re off again. She wants to show me the neighborhood so I won’t be lost when I’m all alone at home during the coming weeks. We walk, and walk, and walk. Where we’re going, I don’t know. She shows me her workplace, says I can come there anytime if I need help with anything. And then our destination is in sight: Cevahir, the biggest mall in Europe.

She shows me to the grocery store so I can stock up on a few necessities. I feel awkward shopping in front of her so I try to make healthy choices. I throw a couple of nectarines and bananas into the handbasket, then I head toward the dairy section. Without having to tell her what I’m looking for, and before I can reach for anything, she stops me: “That’s not milk.” (more…)


Rebecca Adler

The Fear of What’s Out There

September 14th, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

ISTANBUL, TURKEY-

After traipsing around Europe for weeks with a giant backpack strapped to me, I’ve finally made it. I’ve arrived. And oh, how things are so different here than I could have ever imagined. After all of the warnings and strange looks from friends and family, I’m here and I can finally say with confidence and first-hand knowledge: You don’t know what you’re talking about. Istanbul is amazing and beautiful. The people are kind and the city is modern. There’s nothing to worry about.

I’ve thought about misconceptions a lot in the few days since I’ve arrived here, and I’ve talked about it a lot with the new friends I’ve made since arriving. It’s sad to me that the only things we ever hear about each others’ countries are the negative things. After all, it’s always going to be blood and guts that get people to read the newspapers. Nobody wants to read that the sun is shining and the birds are singing. No, we all need to be whipped up into a constant state of paranoia over What’s Out There, The Other. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

Marking Time

August 6th, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA

It’s been a week since I last saw you. Almost two months since we stopped sleeping together. Four months since you started dating someone new. Seven months since you moved out. Eight months since you shattered my picture of our future. One year since we moved into our new apartment together. Sixteen months since you photographed my sister’s wedding. Eighteen months since we returned from France. Nearly two years since I greeted you at the airport in Paris. Three years since we first moved in together. Three years and some months since you first told me you loved me. It was during the same trip when I took you to meet my parents. It had already been two months since I had first met yours. Further back in our history was our first fight: three and a half years ago (still one of my most memorable St. Patrick’s Days).  It was more than three and a half years that we first had sex. Almost four years since we began hanging out. And, it was nearly five years ago when we first met.

These are the events by which I have been marking my time - something I have been doing for far too long.

(more…)


Rebecca Adler

Going to Istanbul (not Constantinople)

June 7th, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA

I come from a family of dreamers. My dad was always chasing some harebrained idea or another. One week he’d be talking about starting his own business, and the next he’d be obsessed with buying a motor home to travel cross-country in. My mother spent many a weekend humoring my father as he dragged her from mobile home lot to mobile home lot looking for the perfect vehicle for this crazy adventure that has yet to materialize - twenty years later. At some point my mom took to saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it, Grant,” to just about every idea my father came up with.

Granted, my father made these things all sound wondrous and doable, but when it came to the logistics of trying to do any of the things he wanted to do, it just wasn’t going to happen with nine children in tow. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

Rules Are Made to be Broken

April 21st, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA

I typically make a lot of New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I only made one: Stay single for the entire year of 2009. I know, I know, this doesn’t sound like an extremely difficult resolution, but with my dating record, I actually have to set a goal for this. See, I haven’t been single for more than a few days since I was 16 years old. That’s 12 years of being trapped in relationships!

Oh, I know some of you out there are rolling your eyes and sarcastically saying, “Oh, boo hoo for you.” But if you’ve never been single for your entire adult life, you’d understand how liberating it is to be on your own. Now that I’ve gotten over the initial shock of it, I wake up every morning and feel like doing the happy dance because I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I can apply for a job halfway around the world. I can stay out all night partying with the guys from kickball. I can take a spur of the moment road trip with friends - no questions asked, no guilty conscience, no forced invites, nothing but me and whether I feel up for it.

Now, to make this whole New Year’s Resolution thing work, I decided to make a list of rules that will hopefully help me from ending up right back in the relationship world. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: (more…)


Rebecca Adler

When We Stopped Being “We”

March 20th, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA -

When you left I lay there for nights on end, staring up at the ceiling, memorizing the shadows cast there by the street lights outside, listening as the heater clicked on and blew too-hot air at me and then waiting for it to turn back off.

I lay there listing in my head the reasons why you left, filing them away, stacking them up, shuffling them around, reorganizing them, examining them, turning them over and over again, all in the hopes of seeing the why more clearly.

I lay there night after night, unable to sleep, crying, waiting for the world to wake up, listening for the sounds of life outside so I could know I wasn’t alone (more…)


Rebecca Adler

Learning to be Alone with Myself

February 4th, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA -

Anyone who has a younger sibling knows what it feels like to be loved unconditionally. If you have enough siblings, you may even know what it’s like to be loathed unconditionally. Me, I’m lucky to have two younger sisters who would have done just about anything I asked them to do when we were younger. It might be said that I made them into my own personal slaves. Kati was about 16 years younger than me, so her tenure was short-lived and she didn’t get into nearly as much trouble as my sister Jess.

I would get Jessica to break into my mom’s secret stash of M&M’s. Or I’d have her steal my sister Melissa’s favorite doll so we could torture it. We’d also (more…)


Rebecca Adler

Cartwheels Will Make You Gay

January 26th, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA -

My dad is pretty infamous within my family for his over-the-top hobbies and do-it-yourself home improvement projects. In the early 90’s, when my family still lived in Modesto, Calif., my father decided he was going to try his hand at woodworking. He then proceeded to purchase approximately 30 books on the subject, subscribed to Woodworking Magazine, and began researching all of the tools he would need to be an expert woodworker.

We spent a lot of time at Sears in those days, as my dad began purchasing every saw, workbench and sander known to man. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

It Was Never Just About Marriage

November 13th, 2008
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA -

Early on in the battle against Proposition 8 here in California, I told one of my lesbian friends that I was fiercely opposed to the initiative, but that I felt like it wasn’t really my place to be angry since it wasn’t really my battle.

“Are you kidding? We need you, and other straight people like you, on our side. We won’t win this proposition without that support,” she told me then.

At the time I thought she was only humoring me. I didn’t realize how true those words were until now. Statistically, the LGBT community really did need us straight people to vote down that proposition. Only 1 in 10 Californians are part of the LGBT community, which means, of the votes cast on Nov. 4 in opposition to the now-infamous Prop. 8, more than 4 million of them came from heterosexuals in support of their gay neighbors, friends and family.

There were also plenty of religious people and clergy who voted against this proposition as well – the few who were able to look past the flurry of lies thought up by the proponents of this measure. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

California’s Propositions are Keeping Me Up at Night

October 31st, 2008
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA-

For the past several hours I’ve been staring into the darkness and begging myself to shutup so I can get a bit of needed rest. But I’m too anxious and my mind is racing. I don’t think I’ll be sleeping until this damn election is over. It’s not so much the presidential election that has me worried. It’s all of these ballot measures that are so important but have somehow been forgotten in the higher ratings mud-slinging and fear-mongering of the presidential candidates (Don’t get me wrong though, I’m still completely freaked out about the presidential election, especially after seeing all the crazies on TV and Youtube).

I cast my ballot about three weeks ago by mail and had been able to convince myself that I’d done my part and I’d just have to wait for the results. That was, until tonight (or, last night, as it were). I went to a Proposition Party with my boyfriend. No, this was not a party where people proposition you. It was a party where each person was given a ballot proposition to research and discuss with the group so we could each make educated decisions about how we vote on Tuesday. And that’s when I realized how truly scary this election is, at least here in California. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

There’s More at Stake in November than Just the Presidency

September 29th, 2008
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA-

For a couple of months now I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts regarding the same-sex marriage issue, which is appearing AGAIN on the California ballot this November, despite anti-gay-marriage laws having been found illegal by the California Supreme Court in May.

And yes, I do realize that Californians showed their true colors back in 2000 by voting against gay marriage, so I understand why all of the fear-mongering has started up again regarding this issue. I’m sure they too thought they’d put this baby to bed when they won a 61 percent vote in support of marriage being between only a man and a woman. But here we are California, we’ve been given a second chance - and I think there’s a high probability that gay people will be able to rest easy about this issue (at least until next election season rolls around).

(more…)


Rebecca Adler

Civility In the Face of Bitterness

August 27th, 2008
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA

It wasn’t until I was about 23 years old that I was able to face my family with the fact that I no longer believed in the Mormon religion. And even then I didn’t really face them. They found out in bits and pieces. The most obvious sign was the divorce, which I never told my parents about directly. They heard about it from my younger siblings. Through my siblings they also learned of my tattoo (oh my!) and my drinking (this hasn’t been verfied, but I’m pretty sure they’ve heard about it by now). And of course the whole living in sin with my boyfriend for the past two years probably tipped them off as well.

At first they would try to get me to come back around. They’d question me about my beliefs and ask when I had been to church last. When I avoided their questioning or outright changed the subject they’d get upset, angry even.

(more…)


Rebecca Adler

The Stuff Urban Legends Are Made Of

May 12th, 2008
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA-

Awhile back my boyfriend told me a story over dinner that pretty much put me off my food. I then proceeded to tell just about everyone I know about said story and then just as quickly forgot about it. That is until it came up again tonight.

And now I just can’t resist sharing it with you good folks. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

Giving Up the Pill For My Health - Or At Least My Sanity

March 25th, 2008
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA-

I’ve noticed lately that I think a lot more about my health in real terms.

I don’t just think about the cold I have or the weird pains in my legs as something that will cure themselves in the next couple days. Instead I find myself wondering what the cause is, what it means in the long term.

Most of the weird things I see happening to my body lately can be traced directly back to birth control pills. The pain in my legs, which I swear is hypertension or blood clotting, is listed as a possible side effect of the pill. So is the melasma, or sunspot, found on my upper lip that makes me look like I have a mustache.

Maybe these things are also just caused by a poor diet and general aging. I’m not so sure though, so I’ve decided to do an experiment. I’ve decided to go off the pill. And in this decision I realized that, holy cow!, I’ve been taking birth control for nearly 10 years. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

In My Big Ole Family Who Needs Parents?

March 7th, 2008
by Rebecca Adler

PARIS, FRANCE-

There is a weird breed of people who love the idea of a big family.

When they find out I come from a family of nine, they exclaim, “Oh I bet that was so much fun growing up!”

I should note that these people are normally from single-child families. They have no idea how much fun it was. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

I Really, Really Want to Look Back on This One Day and Smile

February 10th, 2008
by Rebecca Adler

PARIS, FRANCE-

I leave humbled.

Humble. It’s a word I never understood as a child. A word I don’t think I ever really understood until very recently. It’s a word, like bitter, that needs to be lived before it can truly be understood. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

I’ll Be Breathing Fresher Air After the New Year…Maybe

December 31st, 2007
by Rebecca Adler

PARIS, FRANCE-

Although it’s not listed as a national sport, I’d have to say the preferred national past-time of the French is smoking.

In Paris, women smoke cigarettes while taking their babies on walks, pushing the stroller with one hand and smoking a cigarette with the other.

Children take smoking breaks during recess.

And every cafe has a haze of cigarette smoke loitering at the bar. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

Paranoia About Toxic Shock Syndrome and Fear of Calling For Help In the 21st Century

November 30th, 2007
by Rebecca Adler

PARIS, FRANCE-

It’s three o’clock in the morning and I’m panicking.

I woke up with the worst pain in my abdomen.

To be more specific, it feels as though someone has reached inside me and is squeezing my innards as they attempt to rip them from my body. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

Day 7 of La Grève and Everybody’s Getting In On the Action

November 20th, 2007
by Rebecca Adler

PARIS, FRANCE-

Waiting at a stop light the other day, I saw a bus stop and begin letting people out even though there was no bus stop marked at that corner.

A group of about 20 business people got off and began crossing the street in front of me. One by one they began to gain speed, until they were running en groupe to the other side of the street where they all made a right turn and continued to run, holding their scarves and hats against the wind.

Just as the light turned green I saw what it was they were all running toward. (more…)


Rebecca Adler

Sometimes I Feel Like My Life In Paris is Like Being Stuck In a Comic Strip

October 28th, 2007
by Rebecca Adler

PARIS, FRANCE-

I was pulled over by the French police today.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before it happened.

Every time I see the police here I actually physically cringe because I’m so afraid of them.

But this morning I didn’t see them. I didn’t know they were there.

I also didn’t know I’d done anything wrong. (more…)