Love: what a subjective term. Those four letters resonate so much emotion to each and every one of us, yet come about in different forms. For many of us, love is seen as a bouquet of roses and chocolates handed over by Mr. or Mrs. Right, but for Molly Rosen Guy, it’s much more than our shallow-surfaced, Hallmark-induced vision. No, no—Guy does not need your flowers and candies to feel loved, just her friends, her daughters, and most importantly, herself.
Guy is no longer the woman that you knew from the on-hiatus bridal site she founded, Stone Fox Bride. From the trials and tribulations of divorce, losing her father, and becoming a single mother, Guy has transitioned into a strong, phenomenal force to be reckoned with. To say she’s come to terms with her life is an understatement—at 42 years old, she’s using the obstacles of her past to reroute her life in the way she wants, regardless of society’s unrealistic standards. It’s no wonder she’s reshaping her outlet into Stone Fox Ride—she’s just taking us along with her, no matter what it may entail.
Below, we talk to Guy on love, loss, and the importance of emotional expression.
Originally you were working on Stone Fox Bride, but now it’s changed to Stone Fox Ride. What does this transition entail?
“We’re in a really interesting transition right now. I can’t speak to exactly what is going on, because more will be revealed in time, but I’m no longer selling wedding dresses and engagement rings. We are focusing much more on women in transition with their lives.”
What inspired your own transition, both personally and with your career?
“I went through a divorce and lost my dad in the same year. It just didn’t feel right to be selling wedding dresses while I was going through a divorce, and after I lost my dad I couldn’t bring myself to go back to them. I couldn’t get excited about weddings the same way I did five years before. I was desperate to think of an alternate income stream, and I wanted to keep doing what I love to do. So, on a whim I decided to teach a writing class, and it did so well that I did another one, and so on. Now, teaching writing is becoming a real passion of mine, and definitely a career path I want to venture in.”
How has your personal evolution impacted your perception on the word “love”?
“When my dad was sick, I watched him struggle to heal and get better because all he wanted to do was to head home to Chicago to be with my mom, who he was with for 43 years. He just wanted to get back to his daily routine: waking up, reading the paper, drinking tea in his favorite chair looking over Lake Michigan while sitting with the cat, going to his office, playing basketball, cooking dinner with my mom and watching Blue Bloods or SVU. He didn’t want to get skinny, he didn’t want to get a boob job or get rich and famous, he just wanted to be in the flow of his life. He wanted to spend time with his grand-kids, and barbecue or take a bike ride, and it really caused me to reevaluate my priorities in terms of what I was working toward. I certainly don’t know what romantic love is right now, because I’m not really having success in that department right now, but I do know what it feels like to love. I love my life, my children, my work, and the consistency of my routine. I’m grateful to be able to be in the flow of life. I feel blessed to be able to love the small things that life hands me.”
There’s so much more to love than the romantic sense of it. Platonic love, familiar love, even loving your surroundings is a huge part of the definition. Some of us just get too caught up in the romantic side of it.
“Look at Valentine’s Day, for example. I don’t have a romantic love on Valentine’s Day, and I don’t need one. I’ve had a few boyfriends in my life, I’m 42 years old. I threw a Valentine’s Day event called “Heartbreak Hotel” at Books Are Magic for people who didn’t have dates, and everyone just did a few readings of very heartfelt pieces, and we had ear piercings and wine. And what I said at this reading is that friendship is so underrated. We have this day where we’re supposed to give candy hearts, go out for fancy dinners, and fuck our significant others. We’re supposed to honor these romantic relationships, regardless if they’ve been going on for 6 weeks or 6 years, but what about our friendships? The people that showed up for me this past year were my friends. The people that will show up through thick and thin are friends, and my friends and family are more important to me than any romantic relationship I have ever had. I’ve been thinking a lot about what love looks like in terms of friendship. I have two kids and I don’t have a husband, but I spend every holiday with my friends. I know that they’re going to be there no matter what, and I don’t feel sorry for myself because of it.”
There’s such a societal pressure to be in a relationship, especially for women. There is such a stigma of women needing to be in relationships in order to feel successful, even if those relationships aren’t necessarily healthy. How do you think we as a society can work on relieving that pressure on women?
“Honestly, I don’t know. I’m still working on that myself. I really wish there was a quick fix to all of it. But, I think the more time we can spend by ourselves without our phones in nature, looking at the trees can help ourselves. You don’t have to go deep into the woods, but you can walk through Tompkins Square Park or Central Park and sit with the discomfort of what it feels like to be alone with your thoughts, your body, your skin, and what comes up around that. It’s really hard to put the phone down, and I think it starts there. Just put it down, have a meal with a friend and tuck the phone away in your bag and just talk for a few hours. Try sitting in your house with the phone down, just give your brain a break from the internet and social media.”
You use #cluboflostdaughters a lot in your posts. Could you tell us a bit about that?
“I have two Instagrams: @stonefoxride, which was a wedding page-turned-divorced and women in transition page, and @mollyrosenguy was the one I started last year when my dad died, and that’s where I was posting a letter to my dad every day after he died. That’s where I came up with #cluboflostdaughters, it became a hub for women to go to who had lost a parent. Other people started posting things under the hashtag, and it sort of became a community for us to relate and express ourselves while coping with grief.”
People don’t talk about grief enough. We tend to bottle things up until we explode or have a mental breakdown. How do you want to empower women to own their emotions?
“I don’t think I’ve intentionally tried to do anything in that sense, but with my daughters I just try to express that emotions are not off-limits to talk about. We have a chart in the house that they can point to when they’re feeling a certain emotion, like rage or confusion. Keeping in those feelings can make you sick, so finding a healthy outlet to express those emotions are extremely helpful. It’s not weak to show any other emotion that isn’t happiness, it’s human.”
Do you have any upcoming projects?
“I’m working on a new memoir about my dad, and I’m hoping to sell that shortly. I also have a writer’s retreat coming up this spring in Mallorca, and I have four new classes that I’m teaching. And, I also have a bunch of new writing and projects that I can’t announce just yet.”