Author: Stacy Morrison

My Company Sank and Nearly Took My Morals With It

I’ve never been afraid of failure. I always think of the potential for failure as pure “dare”—and can’t resist staring it straight in the face to see if I can beat it. I always thought this was a noteworthy trait of mine, a good trait. Hell, I even gave speeches about the benefits of not being afraid of failing: learning, experience, trying out innovative ideas, pushing your boundaries, surprising yourself. The trick, I say in those speeches, is to pick good failures, failures that give you more than you lose, whether insights or learning or experiences or, heck, even just great friends or one helluva a good story. You weigh the pros of what you might achieve and accomplish against what the worst-case scenario might be and say: Can I live with the worst, if it comes to that? I had always taken risks in publishing, tried to do things people said “couldn’t be done,” made things from scratch without enough money or enough time or enough team or all three. I did these things, …

How to Throw a Party for Your Pussy

I want to talk about sex. Though my friends will tell you I always want to talk about sex. Anyway, my freshman year in college, I went to a fraternity party and met many people, both male and female, who would go on to become my dear friends. I also met a really good-looking guy who caught my attention; he was shy and yet, once engaged, very direct and smart. I ended up upstairs with him in his loft bed, peeling out of my Norma Kamali snap-front dress with that satisfying pop pop pop, trying not to hit my head on the ceiling as I did so. We laughed a lot, and we had fun. Truth be told, I can’t remember exactly what we did sexually – if we went “all the way” or not – but I am positive we had a lot of fun. The next night, I went back to that same fraternity with my dorm hallmates and circulated around the party. I saw my previous night’s lover across the room, waggled …

Ghosted and Gone: I May Never Know Why She Left

Let’s call her Jane. Out of respect for her feelings. Even though I haven’t spoken to her in several years, even though it has been almost seven years since we stopped being best friends. Well, I thought we were best friends. Was I wrong? Maybe. We met when we were both editorial assistants at a chic, smart women’s magazine. Obviously, we were both thrilled to be there. She was Ivy League Official, though. I felt intimidated by her legit status. At first, I didn’t like her. I’m sure it was some kind of competitive pheromone exchange that made me instantly bristle and want to turn away from her. But she would pop over from her aisle to mine, plopping down in my visitor chair to chat with me and the other assistant across the aisle. I remember that I always made her laugh, which warmed me up to her. I remember that she was really smart. And wore way too much brown for my taste. I remember a few months later when I told her …

Not Going Gently Into the White (Blonde) Light

As I edge my way toward 50 — with curiosity, no fear and only a few regrets — vanity is on my mind. But I’m not fretting over wrinkles and the general softening of my flesh. I’m curating my look — as I always have, at every age. But what’s different now? I never think about my age in doing so. And, I won’t lie, I fucking love that beautiful irony. When I was much (much) younger and in leadership positions at a precociously young age, I felt compelled to dress for the respect I wanted to command from the businessmen (yes, mostly men) I did business with, which translated into bright-colored suit jackets with black skirts and pants, mostly, while keeping my youngish hairstyle. Once, I met a friend for dinner after a business meeting, and she greeted me with “God, take that thing off,” referring to my apple-green jacket with its teensy shoulder pads. But the bright armor and nude pumps did what they were supposed to — project that I was playing …

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Come Wade In My Stream of Consciousness

I am forever aswim in my own stream of consciousness. Socrates and I would have been very close friends, I’m sure, as I have exactly zero capability not to consider and reconsider every thought I have or decision I make in order to better understand its origins. What is it that motivates me? (Curiosity.) Why I am threatened by not being understood? (Because I need to feel known and seen.) What is it, exactly, about okra that grosses me out? (Simple: the slime.) As Socrates put it, before being put to death, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” And my life, well, it’s very deeply examined by me̶  in a way that is exhausting. Frankly, it’s very tiring to be in a constant meta-conversation with myself. But there’s no stopping it. So to keep things lively, I made my streams of consciousness public. I wrote a book about a time in my life when my house and my marriage fell apart at the same time. And, in it, I laid it all bare: the …

The “Vision Thing”: How to Un-See Yourself

I’m a starter. A person who starts things, makes things. I’m a little bit addicted to the blank page, the open field, the undefined future. In my career as a magazine editor, I was a part of four start-ups and led the rebirths of two magazines. I’ve written one book and am at work on another, lining up words and ideas and moving them around the page until they eventually add up to a focused emotional experience. Seeing what isn’t yet there and building it? That’s my specialty. But I want to share a secret about how to have “vision” — a talent that is generally attributed to a person’s having unusual creativity; the ability to pull, seemingly from thin air, an idea that is so relevant and alive we can’t resist it. It seems like vision is magic — yanking the rabbit out of a hat — but for me, my vision has always come from a very simple and readily available resource: seeing people in the world around me very, very clearly. Remember …

Owning My Desire: Why I’ve Always Been Unashamed of My Sex Drive

You wake in the middle of the night, your arms around me, body pressed against mine, and you stiffen immediately. I reach back with my palm to cup your cock, wanting to see how hard you are. Slowly, I arch my hips back, back and up, to make way for our connection. My eyes are still closed. I lick my fingers, make them nice and wet and moisten myself, then lift my top leg and slide it back, to rest it on top of your legs. You put your hand on your cock and point it toward me, I steer my hips toward you and we come together, slowly. The connection is blissful and wildly erotic, such slow movements, like hanging in dreamtime. I wrote that scene for a lover. A lover I met on the internet. And we wrote dozens and dozens more, sending little erotic vignettes back and forth to each other in a single Word document, adding to it over time. We wrote the scenes to entertain us for all the time …

6 Gifts That Give Back — With Style

There’s no denying that the holiday season provides plenty of opportunity for self-defeating habits and thoughts: We eat too much, sleep too little, plan more than could possibly be done and then feel bad about all of the above. Really, though, the holidays are meant to be a time to feel joy and happiness and sweet relief from the daily grind. Fortunately, there is gift giving to help us correct the balance. There’s a particular thrill to getting just the right gift for a friend or family member you love—and we all know the simple trick of doubling your pleasure with a gift that “gives back” (with a portion of the proceeds supporting a cause you care about). But let me propose a third dimension of uplift and awesome: By buying one of these gifts that give back, we are also funding the thriving American ecosystem of idealistic entrepreneurs, the believers and doers who literally can’t sleep at night because someone is hurting, hungry or in need. Each of the below organizations is about helping …

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Stacy’s Note: Saying Grace

Gratitude we practice. Grace we are given. Sometime it appears when bidden. Sometimes it appears when it seems all is lost. And plenty of times, grace arrives on our doorstep even when we thought we had no use for it. We can be thankful for grace — and so many other things — as we head into this first week of the holiday season and prepare to sit down with our families (chosen or otherwise) and have the luxury of quibbling over who forgot buy the extra tube of rolls and who has to clean all the dishes, amid the plenty that surrounds us. But before we get to all that hubbub, the chaos and indulgence of our feasts, before we say grace at the Thanksgiving table, let us dwell on the very idea of grace and try to conjure this untouchable sensation that can lace the most quotidian of exchanges with the poignant call to: Stop. Breathe. Pay Attention. Feel the tingle of something you can’t quite explain run up your spine and alight …

Stacy’s Note: Breaking the Habit

This is not particularly good news for many of us, as we teeter-totter on the seesaw of Good Habits and Bad Habits, trying to adopt the former and shed the latter in a way that will balance out, making us one step (or, okay, 375 FitBit steps) closer to our imagined ideal. The data we collect may tell one story — such as the symbiotic relationship between my recent weight gain and my also-recent inability to go more than one night a week without a drink or two with dinner — but it’s the other stories these habits tell that we are after this week at TueNight. The stories we tell ourselves as we wrassle with these habits. Such as… Lindsay Bell-Wheeler on never quitting…on quitting. Rita Arens on using the very mental tricks that pulled her to anorexia to keep it forever at bay. Alice Bradley on the bad habit we all need to ditch. Amy Barr on the other bad habit we all need to jettison, pronto. And Alexandra Rosas and Vikki Reich …

Being Small is the Greatest Escape

There is no such thing as quantifying loss. Loss is beyond measure, inherently both heavy and weightless, its true burden to be measured only by those who are carrying it. In that way my dead parents equals your failed business venture or your sister’s cheating spouse. We cannot assign it a hierarchy. Loss takes, and takes, and takes. This price is what equalizes. We only need know it takes. I had the hubris to write a book about walking through a season of loss in my life. I called it Falling Apart In One Piece, a bit of wordplay that pleased me, because with it, I could announce my failures and overcome them, too, in a single breath — even though the truth is, it took me almost three years to walk that distance. The night of the book’s official publication, I was feted at a party. It was a poignant kind of triumphant: I stood on the stairs in the entry hall of a friend’s beautiful suburban home, surrounded by dozens of people listening …

Can We Still Make Best Friends After 40? Hell Yeah

In the past few years, I’ve flown past quite a few milestones, ages by which such-and-such and so-and-so would supposedly happen. I can handle the thinning eyebrows, the slower metabolism, the death of my fertility. But did I hit my sexual peak at 35 and start an inevitable decline? Umm, no. Definitely not, is all I’ll say here. And the old trope that it’s impossible to make “true” friends after 40? To that I say “bullshit.” I would need another hand or three in order to count out the truly deep and meaningful friend connections I’ve made in the past five years. And that’s not because I think I have some kind of black belt in awesome-friendness. But it’s because, for me, friendships changed from being situational to being intentional. I wasn’t spending my friend capital on people who just happened to be around me — say, parents of my son’s friends — but was instead seeking out and bonding with women who connected to something vital in me. Knowing myself better — which of …

The Wishful Hobbyist: Finding Time and Space to Be Crafty

I have a confession to make: I live a secret life. No, no, not like that — though that would surely be interesting. I’m talking about an imaginary life in which I do hobbies. The hobby projects themselves are actually real and fully formed in my mind: making a beautiful scrapbook of my son’s first years, stringing together hundreds of 5mm labradorites to craft a dramatically long necklace, sorting through the collective family photos of three generations and making photo books for the Morrison clan. But I haven’t actually done them. At least not yet. I have all the raw materials, carefully and painstakingly researched and collected over many months and years. (My son is ten, for crying out loud. I bought the scrapbook before he was born.) I have drawings and plans and dog-eared references. I have carefully stored raw materials and neatly aligned good intentions. I want to be a person who actively does hobbies! I come from hobby stock. My father built model trains (H-scale, if you know these things) for a weekly …

The Picture At My Desk: Mom and Dad

I have a lot of little photos at my desk, all around me. Actually, they’re Stickygrams, those awesome mini-magnets of your Instagram photos. But the most important photo at my desk isn’t a Stickygram. Because I don’t have an Instagram photo of my parents. They died before Stickygram was invented. Before Instagram, even. They died four weeks apart in June and July of 2010, both of sudden, unexpected illnesses that punched a huge hole in my life, never to be mended again. But the photo doesn’t make me sad. The photo makes me think how made-of-awesome I am. That love that parents give their children makes me think about how much my parents meant to me, that I, as an unnecessarily independent person, didn’t even realize until they were gone. Turns out, you don’t feel the floor under your feet until you’re falling. One day a few months ago, I was sitting at my desk, doing that funny daydreaming thing that leads to writing, and I was once again feeling that curious sense of empty, …