The Story Behind the Story: “Unhinged”

I attended a handful of weddings last year, and this piece was inspired by a bachelor party my boyfriend was planning for a buddy of his. Surprise! In actuality, the idea emerged from a series of conversations I had with some girlfriends about their discomfort with strippers. My boyfriend was unsure if he was getting a stripper for the bachelor party, and it came up a handful of times when we were out with other couples. While the guys would relay stripper experiences to one another, the girls would quietly listen, only to later dissect and discuss. The stripper stories weren’t all that surprising, but how these girls reacted to the stories were. Beneath the eyerolls and sarcastic remarks were subtle suspicions; “Why would my boyfriend/fiancé/husband even want a stripper? What does that say about him?” The real question they were asking was, “What does that say about me?”

I started thinking about how we can project our own insecurities, and I wanted to write about the girl who let those insecurities get the best of her. We sometimes expose more of ourselves than we intend, especially taking into consideration the challenges of dating in a digital age. This is a girl in her 20’s looking for a relationship, but she is still figuring out who she is (…she doesn’t want to be that girl, so instead, she inadvertently becomes this girl.) . I wanted to take the eyerolls and sarcasm and crank up the crazy, and the story proceeded to pour onto the page.

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About Victoria Provazza

Victoria Provazza holds an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in Story|Houston and Driftwood Press, among others.