I used to write a romance advice column for the Daily Planet. It was often sexual by its nature, and usually silly by style. I adore writing of all kinds, but my inclination is to focus mainly on the lighthearted and fun, the witty but mindless. I advised readers on where to meet men and women, which underwear to sport, and whether or not to hook up with your ex. I gave thoughtful but playful answers.
Don’t get me wrong; sometimes I took things seriously. I wrote a post during that time that I was hesitant to publish because it shared so much about me and my struggle with depression after an awful breakup. I decided that sometimes what you can provide to readers is more important than the image of yourself that you’re worried about portraying or protecting.
This brings back to why I’m writing this post: my image. The last column I wrote for #MSP—my newish, current assignment for the Daily Planet—attracted some interesting comments. A couple folks called me vapid. My first thought (after the obvious) was “Oh snap, is my column vapid?”
The answer I came up with was that it certainly can be. Do any of us not have a vapid side? I doubt it. Must everything in life be intellectually stimulating? I don’t think so. So why did I care if from reading this installment of my column a couple people were telling me I sounded vapid? Well, while my recipe for a successful dinner party may be to some uninspiring, I certainly am not insipid or trite. Does that matter? Probably not. I encourage everyone to write what they enjoy. Usually if you take pleasure in what you’re doing, you do it well and come out with a better result. If you enjoy it and others enjoy it, who cares if some people don’t? That is always going to be the case.
I like writing about sex. I love writing about food. I enjoy writing about my friends, my dating adventures, and my goofy dinner conversations with my parents. Yes, sometimes these things sound dumb. Other times my sarcasm and satire is completely lost on some readers. But this is the nature of the written word. I undoubtedly plan to continue to write about the lowbrow, the accessible, and maybe even the trashy. I’m going to delight in writing it and hopefully people are going to continue to find amusement in it.
After saying all that, my intention this week is not to argue or prove anything. My intention is to introduce myself. Who is it that writes #MSP? Why is she in the Twin Cities? Why does she love the Twin Cities? Oh, hi, that’s me, Nicky.
I started as a Formica Dinette (before a name was picked) and eventually became a Nicky (my real first name was immediately rejected upon looking at me, and my nickname was born). My birthplace is a small town in North Carolina and it’s where I grew up until I left for college. It’s a fairly conservative place, a college town in the midst of mountains, containing farmers, academics, religious nuts, and some hippies.
I moved to Minnesota for school—to a city in the Midwest (the land where both my parents came from)—and faced some anxiety being in a whole new place with a whole new set of people at Macalester College. I made friends and learned things; I grew up a little. Since then I’ve moved from St. Paul to Minneapolis (my most frequented of the twins). I own a little condo and live with my tiny dog Ninja. I adore her, am quite fond of my home, and have a great job in the software industry. It’s all fabulous and non-vapid, but rather uninteresting to the average reader who doesn’t know me. I’ve made the most amazing friends through Titter, through work, through music shows, brunches, and bike parties. These are the people with whom I have my adventures.
I travel as much as I can, I volunteer at one of the local art museums, I read books when I can stay awake long enough, and I take pictures when I feel inspired. My best skills are eating and ordering food. There’s almost nothing I won’t eat and I appreciate a really tasty cocktail. I’ve got a thing for bacon and as most of you know I have parties annually to celebrate the salty meat. I’ve been working on the discovery of a better word for “foodie.”
I’m most passionate about relationships and people. My friends and family and the other connections I have made in Minneapolis/St Paul are what I focus on most in my life. These things are what I find most interesting and amusing. There are also times when I date and times when I don’t date so much. I think dating and figuring out how you want to present yourself are questions that many of us 20s and 30s single and sort-of-single folks discuss and contemplate. It’s another relevant part of my life and my writing.
I love the Twin Cities. They’re where I have my #MSP adventures. They offer a great selection of restaurants, an amazing cycling scene, and a host of cultural events: art, music, theater, etc. Sure there’s MNcest, but it must be like that everywhere, right? And most of all there are the people. The amazing people are what keep me from running away because of the Minnesota winters. I’ve got my local place to shop for dresses, my dentist’s office where I love the people and the free chapstick, my favorite local jewelers, and even my Minnesota “family” and “vacation home.” The people here are what make Minneapolis and St Paul the place I love. I write about these people and what we do, how I relate to them, and what we struggle with. So expect to keep hearing about my wine-drinking with friends and my adventures to eat snails with them. But you never know when you’ll hear something serious from me.