I borrowed my mom’s photo album of my kid/teenager photos last week, as part of my attempt to come to terms with my childhood and figure out how I got where I am today. One thing struck me when I was leafing through the album: I was never ugly.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve thought of myself as ugly. Read more … Keep reading »
I’m twenty-three years old and I’m already being replaced by younger women—scratch that—girls. Sure, their boobs might be perkier and their nubile bodies may not have years and pounds of alcohol and comfort foods appended to their hips, but honestly, what is so alluring about a pre-pubescent chick who has no life experience? Oh God, I sound like my mother post-divorce, mid-hellacious dating, pre-finding the last good man on earth. But she was forty-five; mother of three. Not twenty-three, with no children. Hell no. Keep reading »
As a teenager, I lived in breathless anticipation or sickening dread of the inevitable drama with a capital D that Monday mornings brought with them. Who had hooked up with whom that weekend (and where and when)? So-and-so called someone a nasty name. Did you hear Sally broke up with her boyfriend … or did her boyfriend break up with her? At an all-girls prep school, drama was the default setting. Now that I’m a young-adult author, drama is my literary milieu; it provides the conflict that makes a plot. But that doesn’t mean I want it in my real life. Keep reading »
Does the entire wedding industry these days seem like one big racket to you? In your lifetime, how many thousands of dollars have you spent flying all over the country (or out of it) to watch people say “I do,” buying place settings and champagne flutes from couples’ Williams-Sonoma registries, and oohing and ahhing over boulder-size diamonds on your girlfriends’ ring fingers? Adding up the numbers can be a dizzying experience, but what’s truly disarming is the fact that your total payout most likely pales in comparison with the price tag for just one of these celebrations. In 2009, industry-trend resource TheWeddingReport.com reported that the average cost of a wedding in the United States was $19,580—that’s more than $12,500 greater than the median annual tuition at a four-year public college. Keep reading »
Last year, for my first Valentine’s Day with a new boyfriend, I gave him a carefully prepared box with five smaller wrapped presents inside, each labeled with one of the five senses.
For sight, a DVD of a movie we’d spoken about wanting to watch together. For hearing, a mix CD of songs I loved and wanted him to know. For smell, a bottle of the cologne he liked, and on which he was running low. For taste and touch, a jar of chocolate sauce and a paintbrush to apply it. Our relationship was new and exciting, and the presents ranged from the almost thoughtless to plans for naughty fun together. Keep reading »
Recently, the National Retail Federation estimated that Americans will spend an average of $63.34 on each other for Valentine’s Day in 2010. That’s 6 percent less than last year, which is hardly surprising, given the recent economic tumult. It’s hard to justify spending obscene amounts of money on roses and fancy dinners when unemployment rates and house foreclosures remain steadily (and alarmingly) high. Frankly, I’ve always supported low-key Valentine’s Days. When it comes to showing love and affection, it’s the thought and effort, not the price tag, that matter. The best gifts to give on the fourteenth come from the heart, and, luckily for the cash-strapped among us, they won’t drive us into debt come February 15. Keep reading »