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Rollingskating into the New Year

The year of 2012 — the year of the dragon — was a year of change. I went from making no decisions ever about anything to making huge life decisions. I left DC for the small town of Richmond. I moved from a studio apartment to a house six times as big. I moved in with a man who makes me laugh and smothers me with hugs. I quit my job. I became a yoga teacher. (Namaste.) I write the rest of the time (when I’m not slinging canelés at the corner bakery.) So I’m up from one to three jobs but I’m also down five to four pillows. My real hair color is back. (Oh, hi gray.) Y’all, I had a lot of shit going on these past few months. And now is the time for settling. For watching all the whipped-up fairy dust in my snow globe of life to succumb to gravity. Once that dust settles and life works its way into a new order, I want to be at peace with the order and to know that even if it doesn’t all work out exactly like I planned, it’s still exactly where I’m supposed to be.

So, essentially, my intention for 2013 is to roll with it.

I also made a resolution: Go roller skating.

I did not intentionally thematically link my intention and resolution. I’m not even sure where the inspiration for the roller skating came from. I haven’t roller skated in roughly 26.3 years. The last time was in middle school with my boyfriend David Johnson. When I say boyfriend, I mean the guy who asked me out over the phone before we ever even talked in person. A few days later we met up at the Skate Ranch. We couples skated, naturally, and I fell on my ass while we were holding sweaty 13-year-old hands. Afterward, he kissed me on the cheek, told me he loved me and then broke up with me the next day on the phone. I still blame the fall but it was probably those bright pink goggle glasses with the lady bug stickers that I wore.



I pick resolutions that can be completed quickly and with little effort (I like to call it Fast-Track Accomplishment). And so my resolution is already accomplished as of last night (see above). Skating was sososososososo much fun. Amazing. Blissful. My cohorts and I gave new meaning to plastered smiles. It was all so familiar: A/C on full blast, inappropriate songs about ding-a-lings, free sodas to the best back skaters (the skinny girl with 70s hair that dangled above her butt won), leg warmers (truth). And of course the new realities: pain in my hip and the clenching of my stomach as I rolled over the uneven wood knowing I would eventually fall as soon as I got my groove back and stopped being careful. I did. I fell at the very end of the night during PYT and mid-back skate. It felt like I was made of glass and everything inside me had shattered on impact. And yet I felt expansive. Giddy. Alive. I’d say this one was a winner.

I’d also say if you made a loftier resolution, perhaps to get out there and start dating again/to find a relationship/to fall in love/get a new job/end a bad relationship, then be at peace with whatever comes from that resolve. I would also say, be specific. You gotta give the universe some direction when you’re asking it for something. Remember, action and connection are your friends. Overthinking and analyzing are not. And know that you might have to feel a little shattering pain to experience the explosive happiness, too. It’s worth it.

Share resolutions! Or give me some new music ideas. (Please.)

Still romantic.

It's enough.


In light of the Tom and Katie split (because no one saw that coming the day they got married) and stoopid Bachelorette dudes who all happen to be in “love” with an emo-less blonde, I felt that you needed something newsworthy and pertinent.

That guy Justin Halpern, who did the Sh*t My Dad Says twitter feed (turned best-selling book turned TV show), just published a collection of essays about dating. The book is called I Suck at Girls. As you can imagine, it’s about how he sucks at girls (and dating). You should read it because it is hilarious. You should also go see him next Wednesday, June 6 at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in DC where he will talk about the book, dating and probably some sh*t about his dad.

WIN 2 TICKETS + 1 COPY OF THE BOOK. Just be the first person to email me at rachel@rachelmachacek.com.

I got to ask him all about girls and his new tome in advance of this appearance, and I approve of the dating advice dispensed below. For more info on tickets to the event, scroll down.

RACHEL: Why were you so clueless about women/dating?
JUSTIN: Well, for one, I was terrified of making a fool of myself. It’s really hard to be good at something when you’re convinced you’re going to fail before you even start. Also, most of my information, I got from 80s movies. Not a great resource.

RM: That depends on the movie. I always thought guys could learn a lot from Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science. No matter. What’s your earliest memory of sucking with girls? Did things change in high school or college or as an adult (for better or worse)?
JH: I wanted to impress a girl in my elementary school so I drew a picture of a dog pooping on her head because I thought she’d think it was funny. She did not. I was sent to the principal’s office. I got a little better in high school and college, but I was really shy. Some people thought I didn’t speak English because of how little I spoke.

RM: Ha! That totally reminds me of standing at the bus stop when I was five years old and having this kid Liam chase me around with a branch that he’d dipped in dog poop. My mom told me he liked me but didn’t know how to show it. I love that dog poop is a universal prop for showing affection. Despite the canine fecal emoting, clearly you did something right – you got married last year. What changed and when? Was there a moment you knew that this was it?
JH: I think I finally became okay with being alone, and when that happened, I didn’t operate from a place of fear. I was much more confident, and to be honest, my wife is uber confident and didn’t put up with any of my neurotic bullshit.

RM: What was the best advice your dad (or mom) ever gave you about dating and/or women?
JH: My dad told me to never listen to anyone who ever gave me advice on women. He said each woman is different, and when you try and generalize three billion people, you’re being an f-ing idiot. I think that helped me try and take each relationship on a case-by-case basis.

RM: Your dad is pretty f-ing brilliant. Speaking of which, Sh*t My Dad Says is all your dad. I Suck At Girls is all you. How does it feel to lay bare your private life?
JH: It’s fine until I do book readings in front of people. Then it’s embarrassing. I mean, my dad is still very present in this book, so I get to hide behind him a bit still.

RM: That is, indeed, the rub with writing about your dating life – all that vulnerability. Everybody knows your sh*t. Why was writing about girls/dating the next logical step for you?
JH: I’m not sure if it’s logical. We shall see. I just wanted to write something that I felt compelled to write. I didn’t want to force an idea, and this seemed to come naturally. If I came out with “MORE SHIT MY DAD SAYS” I would have wanted to punch myself in the face.

RM: Speaking of self flagellation, I hear from a lot of people who tend to beat their heads against a wall because they are mystified/perplexed/driven to madness by the opposite sex. If men and women could do one thing different to make dating easier what would it be?
JH: I think for me, it would be to at least try and believe that I was worthy of being dated. I like people that are self-deprecating, but I was so much so that it probably just made women feel like they were dating a total loser. No one wants to feel like that.

RM: Truth. If you could go back and talk some sense into your younger dating self, what would you tell you?
JH: Think about what you have to offer someone in a relationship, and believe that it’s worth something. Even if it isn’t. Basically I’m saying I would tell myself “LIE TO YOURSELF, MORE.”

Amen Justin. A-men.

You can see Justin at Sixth & I next Wednesday, June 6 at 7pm. $10 for 1 ticket; $17 for 1 book + 1 ticket; $22 for 1 book + 2 tickets. Buy tix here.

Might be cuter than cats.