The Jong and the Restless
Fear of Flying, forty years on.
Since the age of thirteen or so, my female cohorts and I have defined womanhood through a handy set of quantifiable—or tangible, at least—measures: bra size, dark eyeliner, use of tampons, relative intactness of one’s hymen, smoking, being “eaten out.” From there, the relevant metrics have only accumulated: a double-digit number of sexual partners, being able to fuck like a man, a long-term boyfriend, securing a respectable profession, refusing to go dutch on dates, being able to fuck like a lady, paying rent, and so on. But now, at the precipice of thirty, I’ve found that the single experience that divides women from girls is loss. The Big Reshuffle, The Divorce, or, as some of my friends and I call it, simply The Event. The first true loss of intimacy, security, and love in a woman’s life typically
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