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I Was Never An Ugly Duckling

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 »

When The Other Woman Is A Younger Woman

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 »

All Those Girls In Love With Drama

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 »

Are Humans Supposed To Be Monogamous?

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 »

A Sensual Valentine’s Day Dinner For Two

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 »

7 Thrifty Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

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 »

How To Know If He’s Just That Into You

When it comes to finding a potential soul mate, getting the date is only half the battle.

These days, small talk isn’t enough to determine if someone is into you, but you can rely on more innate signs based on a person’s body language. Sure, a big, wide smile is a good starting point, but there are other telltale signs that can also tip you off as to whether your date is into you. Keep reading »

Can’t Be There? Set Up A Skype Date

I like to think I discovered using the internet to make phone calls long before anyone else did. The year was 2000, and I was backpacking through Asia and had stopped in Calcutta, India to visit with my friend’s extended family. My friend’s cousin and I had gone out nightclubbing and when we returned to his apartment at two o’clock in the morning, he offered for us to call my friend back in San Francisco, for free. Calling from Asia was pricey enough for me to stick to email throughout most of my travels, and I envisioned us breaking Indian law when I watched him put on some headphones and sit down at his computer to make our phone call. The next thing I knew, I sat like a customer service representative with my headphones and talked to my friend while she shopped through Chinatown. After a quick laugh and a shock to her system to hear from her cousin and me, we noted that the connection wasn’t half-bad and marveled that we could chat for nothing while halfway across the world.

I was hooked. Keep reading »

Granny Panties

I’m somewhat sorry to say that I gave up my thong panties along time ago. The truth is I only wore them once and that was enough for a lifetime as far as I am concerned. There is nothing sexy to me about having a ribbon of material stuck up my butt. It may sound cute or sexy, but it doesn’t feel cute or sexy. Know what I mean? I did get a thong because I had heard it would make me feel sexy, and it would get rid of the dreaded “panty line.” Uh huh. What is so wrong with a panty line? Or for that matter, if your panty line shows, the clothes are too damned tight for you! Keep reading »

I Love You Like A Sister

Women can frequently be heard exclaiming, “I love her like a sister!” I shake my head. No, you can’t love your best friend like a sister. A sister’s love is separate from any other kind of love. A sister knows not only your entire history, but also what your thoughts and emotions were at every milestone. A sister knows not only who you are, but also what made you who you are. Keep reading »

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