your letters got sadder. your lovers betrayed you. kid, I wrote back, all lovers betray. it didn’t help. you said you had a crying bench and it was by a bridge and the bridge was over the river and you sat on the crying bench every night and wept for the lovers who had hurt and forgotten you.
“Anytime I write or give a talk about sexual assault, inevitably, someone brings up two magic words that somehow make people, usually disbelievers, feel better about the world: FALSE REPORTS. Yes, false reports exist. Yes, false reports exist. Yes, false reports exist.
There. I wrote it. Three times just to make sure you know they they do exist.
They happen. Of course they happen. Just like how everyday people lie on the trial stand. Just like employees fudge the truth about billing hours. Just like how some people “forget” a number or two when filing their taxes. People give false reports. YES. And, in that vein, I pray that people understand that (INCONVENIENT TRUTH #4) for every false report there are about 1000 truth bearing women who will NEVER say a word because they understand that when it comes to rape, the benefit of the doubt is given to the assailant, not the survivor.
It’s also imperative that people understand the difference between a false report and a withdrawn statement.
Many, many women I worked with who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, who were beaten black and blue, whose bodies were broken and spirits were crushed withdrew their statements and vanished into thin air. (WHY? Go back and read IC #4.) That’s a withdrawn statement. An actual false report is when the alleged victim admits to lying about giving a false statement. There’s no retracting of anything, just an admittance of lying. However, I must also interject, that there are women who also admit to false reporting out of fear of going forward. Not everything is black and white.”—The Five Inconvenient Truths About Sexual Assault (via amberlrhea)
“If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax; I’d limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I’d have fewer imaginary ones. You see, I’m one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after the other, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had it to do over again, I would travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over again, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances; I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.”— Nadine Stair
Dépaysement: The sensation of being in another country.
La douleur exquise: The heart-wrenching pain of wanting someone you can’t have. Even a Sex in the City episode was named after it!
Chômer: To be unemployed, but because it’s a verb, it makes the state active.
Profiter: To make the most of or take advantage of.
Flâneur: As defined in the book Elegant Wits and Grand Horizontals, it’s “the deliberately aimless pedestrian, unencumbered by any obligation or sense of urgency, who, being French and therefore frugal, wastes nothing, including his time which he spends with the leisurely discrimination of a gourmet, savoring the multiple flavors of his city.”
Esprit d’escalier: The literal translation is staircase wit, but it means to think of a comeback when it’s too late.
Retrouvailles: The happiness of meeting again after a long time.
Sortable: An adjective for someone you can take anywhere without being embarrassed.
Voila/voici: It’s so necessary that we use it all the time. “Voila” literally means “there it is” and “voici means “here it is.”
Empêchement: An unexpected last-minute change of plans. A great excuse without having to be specific