Breeality Bites year in review: Things I learned (and didn't learn) about life in Denver
Guys, 2013 ruled! I don't know about you, but I fell in love, went tanning, went to Starbucks a lot, visited a porn palace in San Francisco with my family, continued my quest for landmark status of Casa Bonita and entertained the idea of writing about how Dunkin' Donuts is no big deal to Denver natives (but then transplant Westworder Samantha Alviani did too good of job refuting my annoyance over the excitement with a great case.)
Halloween 2013 memories: An endangered species, the 80s Colorado native.
As the year winds down, I thought I would recap some of the life lessons I learned through this column, because after all, what is an egocentric writer's job in life but to be publicly introspective?
Denver is going to keep changing, and natives like me have to accept it
Bye, bye, Northside Jeans & Gold. And your ridiculous signs.
This year, I've written about Smiley's Laundromat, Kitty's East and Gunther Toody's in almost-Glendale closing, the demolition of the first Hooters this side of the Mississippi (which was housed in a mid-century-modern marvel of a structure) and the general loss of some of Colfax's creepy charm. The strange structure that encased the indoor Ferris Wheel at Funtastic Fun was also given a death sentence, and I railed at 7-Eleven for not doing its part to keep Denver looking less temporary and crappy.
But I also learned that you can't stand in the way of progress -- I want to draw a parallel to Denver's growth and the ragged and permanently pregnant alley cat that was living in our yard this year until we had her spayed and she ran away. But you can't catch Denver in a squirrel trap and stop it from populating. It's also not the city's fault that I from suffer from nostalgia and have a hard time understanding a lot of modern development's purpose/charm. I guess I either need to move or shut up about it.
You can't intellectualize the strip club
On my second trip to a strip club ever, I learned that I am uncomfortable in a place that openly invites creeps to get their male gaze on. I also battled with the insane amount of jealously I experienced when seeing a stranger put her butt at chin-level with my boyfriend's face. But as a feminist who believes that dancers and sex workers have the full rights of anyone else to do their jobs/whatever they wish to do with their bodies, lives and time, I found myself being mentally pulled in too many directions.
My sister and $300 that went directly to Shotgun Willie's.
Then I realized I was over-intellectualizing a visit to the nudie bar, especially considering I was there with my own sister, who not only loves strip clubs, but has a considerably higher IQ than me.
Feminism is not dead to me
Speaking of feminism, though I pulled back and chose not to write about it, I definitely had a moment where I was ready to abandon feminism altogether. Feminism's international Internet conversation seemed to shift toward infighting, even though we were supposed to be a force uniting for a common cause. (Just google "feminism" and Miley Cyrus, Lily Allen or Beyonce to read what I mean about the division.)
But I decided to focus on the feminism I know, and talk about issues like icon appropriation, the history of sexism in rock n' roll, DIY feminism and slut-shaming during Halloween costume season, which landed me a spot on HuffPost Live, which was the feminist equivalent of Sports Shouting. My belief in the cause was reaffirmed.