Last week, I had dinner with a friend and a gauntlet of sorts was thrown: shape up and get some self-esteem, Julie, because you’re really bringing everybody down. Well okay, I thought. I get that. Nobody wants to hang out with a sad sack. But I just don’t know how you go about acquiring self-esteem.
This isn’t a ploy to get you to say nice things about me, or to pump me up with artificial compliments. I am truly at a loss as to how you transform the way you think about yourself. This is something that I’ve struggled with all my life. Keep reading »
I am in an open marriage. I know what you are probably thinking because, the first time a friend said this to me, I quickly felt myself growing judge-y. My knee-jerk thought was, She’s just doing this to please her husband. How sad. And then, Oh, they must want raise their kids commune-style. Can’t relate. But now, years later, I’ve realized that every relationship is unique, and it’s about finding what works for you.
So far, I’ve found a way to make my relationship with my husband, Edmund, keep its charm, passion, intimacy and commitment. And it has happened by opening the gates. Keep reading »
When I first saw Wendi Deng Murdoch spike that foam-pie-throwing comedian-protestor’s head like a volleyball, I giggled with glee. Then I sighed with relief. Here, finally, was a portrayal of an Asian woman I could embrace. No timid China doll or obedient geisha, no mere trophy wife, Deng was the tiger wife, defending her assets – er, I mean husband – with a single, long-armed swipe.
But now I’m torn. While positive, tiger wife is still a stereotype, “a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals,” in this case Asian women of a certain age, and a tidy media invention banking on the popularity of Amy Chua’s tiger mother, and perhaps the Chinese phrase, lao hu, old tiger, said of ferocious older women. A stereotype with international appeal, and yet another one I’ll have to battle sooner or later. Keep reading »
“It’s not really a shock.” When a famous person dies from causes related to drug or alcohol addiction, this, or something similar, is one of the more common responses people have. While there are plenty of crueler things people can and do say, this bored and blase lack of surprise over the death of a human being tends to bother me the most.
That is because my father is an addict. He’s been an addict my entire life. And to not be shocked by someone’s death at the hands of addiction would mean I would have to have to reached some sort of placid acceptance that my dad will also inevitably suffer the same fate — that his getting “better” is out of the question. Keep reading »
Camp Keeyumah, a lush patch of woods in northern Pennsylvania, is where my entire family experienced “the best moments of their lives.” I’ve been hearing about their beloved Shangri-La since I was in diapers. My grandparents were head counselors there for 13 years and my mom “grew up there” as a camper and then a counselor. In fact, that’s where she met my dad, a counselor as well. They fell in love when they were 16 and 17, respectively. Yes, they’re still married. Isn’t it romantic? But the story doesn’t end there. Keep reading »
Over a lifetime of reading women’s magazines, I thought I had the rules of dating down. Yet at 30, with almost a decade living in a notoriously single city under my belt, I still managed to cram more classic first date mistakes into one evening than I would have thought possible. Keep reading »