(this essay first appeared in Purple Clover) Frank* and I are like an old married couple except that we aren’t married, until recently didn’t live in the same house and for years didn’t see each other every day, or even every week. We’ve worked hard to get to this point—where our relationship isn’t always being questioned or parsed, discussed or denied. Where we can just be for days, even weeks,… Read More »See You Soon
We may not be able to recall when we first heard the term “shelter in place” but it is being bandied about frequently now that we have shootings and major disasters occurring almost daily. Our understanding of the term means that we hunker down, stay where we are, keep our head low, and don’t move until the immediate danger has passed, whether it’s a tornado, a hurricane, a flood, a… Read More »We No Longer Have the Luxury of Sheltering in Place
For the past few months it seemed like there was a school shooting every week. Those took the top news slots. Until they didn’t. Until they were bumped from the place above the fold by college students protesting against what they see as institutional racism on campuses like Yale and the University of Missouri. Until the attacks in Paris bumped that news off the front page. And all along, threaded… Read More »There Is No Safe Space
God help me. I grew up once upon a time when colleges didn’t provide safe spaces, when sexual harassment was de rigueur, when date rape was my fault for leading the guy on, when women could definitely not be anything they wanted to be. I’m not whining. That’s just the way it was. We’ve come a long way, baby. Right? Maybe not. Caitlyn Jenner makes headlines when she says the… Read More »What Not To Wear: Caitlyn Jenner Style
(This originally Appeared in The Broad Side) Recently, during a debilitating illness and after reading three novels and catching up on all my past New Yorkers, Elles, Allures, and Harper’s, I needed something to binge watch. I was hesitant to start something new as I realized that shortly my favorite shows would be back on the air and I had just finished the summer’s programs I am hooked on. How… Read More »How To Get Away With No Makeup and Hair
Here is what Viagra does: it allows a man to get an erection so that he can have intercourse with a woman when his body isn’t cooperating due to age, illness or medication side effects. Here is what Viagra doesn’t do: it doesn’t spark desire, it doesn’t make a man want to make love to a woman, any woman, just because he takes a pill. It doesn’t turn him into… Read More »That “Little Pink Pill” Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be
Full Disclosure: I do not like whiners. Especially adult whiners. Especially adults who constantly whine about how hard child-rearing is. (With this caveat: if you have a child who is emotionally or mentally challenged, stop reading. I do not know how it feels to be a mother to a child with autism or any related issue. I understand from friends it is both hellish and joyous.) But for all the… Read More »Hey Whiny Parents, Get Over Yourselves!
Dear Jessica: At 36, I was still getting catcalled in the street. At 46, I was being accosted by men on the streets of Paris and in cafes where I sat, by myself, reading and writing. At 50, and divorced, I was asked out by a man of 42 who was crushed when I told him he was too young for me. At 59, my lover frequently tells me I… Read More »Dear Jessica Valenti, You’re Missing the Cat Calls?
Some days I look in the mirror and I think: You look pretty good for a woman pushing 60. Other days I glance at myself and wonder: Who is that woman? She looks nothing like me. More than once I catch glimpses of my mother and my father in the way I look. And when I see photographs of my grandparents and parents when they were the age I am… Read More »Yeah, But I Still Feel Bad About My Face
At six months short of my sixtieth birthday I have a six pack. Well, practically. I can see the ripples of muscle more clearly than I ever had before even if they are covered in a small layer of post C-section, well-past menopause fat. The muscles are discernible. My arms are strong, too, the bat wings of old age less distressing than they might be. My legs can carry me… Read More »At Six Months Shy of Sixty, A Six Pack