Monday, October 8, 2012

Personal note to readers 10.8.12


My Dear Readers,
I’ve moved over to ONELEISURELADY.COM and hope you’ll make the move with me! Over the next few months there will be lots of great Lady of Leisure articles and advice from Dating, to trying new foods & exercises, and making the most out of your travels. I’ll have some guest article bloggers as well so stay tuned! 

Like the One You're With


You hear it constantly, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” But what happens if you don’t LOVE the job you’re currently doing? Is that supposed to be a reflection of where you are in life?  And what if you love being comfortable more than you love your job? What if you want to have a life? 
I’m a writer and a producer. I love what I do- most of the time. But there are jobs that you take, just for the money and the ability to have a Lady of Leisure lifestyle. For those of you new to the blog, an LOL lifestyle is a new lease on life! It’s putting yourself first, being adventurous; finding moments of carefree bliss in our otherwise hectic and crazy lives. 
Recently, I was working on a show that sucked. I won’t name which one, but needless to say a combination of things came together to make it a less than exciting experience. And again, I usually love what I do, but I found this particular job incredibly annoying with difficult parameters and not challenging in a positive way. I found myself in uncharted waters because usually, I feel like I can do anything! I usually love what I do! Its part of my new LOL mantra! 
The reality is, that I did the job at 100%, not at my usual 200% speed. This makes me think of two things. 1) Why do we always feel like giving all of ourselves during the time required is not enough. Why do I feel bad that I only gave 100%? I only did exactly what was asked me, nothing more and nothing less and for some reason that makes me feel bad about my performance? This feeling of having to give more than is asked of you and it being expected in work performance is ludicrous. We are all culpable too, because when taking a new job, we like to over deliver and over achieve. We don’t talk about all the things that we need to be the most successful, we talk about the things that the company or the job need. This makes you start already behind because it is impossible to deliver great results when you are burning yourself out or when you aren’t discussing the time off you need to recharge, the benefits, and other “you things” that are needed to provide you with energy and brain power for your optimum performance. 
The second thing it made me wonder is why I need to love the material. Is it necessary that you love each job? I don’t think so. I think that sometimes, you can just like it and be fine. This notion we have of having to be in love all the time is inconsistent with the rest of the worlds notions of work. Sometimes, a job is just a job and you do it well, get paid and move on. Just because you’re not dreaming up new ways of making it better every second does not mean that you’re not doing a great job. So take a deep breathe and get rid of those guilty feelings!
On the flip side, having a job you don’t love can be a miserable experience. It can lower your productivity and make you a generally crabby person. I think that it all comes back to being a “glass is half full” kind of person. If you’re in the unfortunate situation of being in job you don’t love and you feel like you’re working hard for no reason,  think about all the great benefits of this situation! 
1- A pay check is great!
2-You have an ability to disconnect from the material and have a life! 
3-Yoga/workouts/personal hobbies – these are all things you tend to put off when you are working on something you LOVE. 
So I say that you don’t have to love what you do all the time. Sometimes, you love that your doing something that is moving you further along in your career endeavors and that is enough. It’s okay to just mildly like the job your with. We don’t need to have love affairs with our work all the time. Sometimes having a life for a moment is just as great.
So don’t get discouraged if you’re an actor out there wearing a chicken suit right now – Brad Pitt did that too. Or if you’re a housewives whose kids are driving her crazy and at night is penning the next 50 Shades. Like the job you’re with enough to just appreciate that its moving your along on your path.  The rest will come. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Failure to Launch

I fell down Runyon the other day and have a wicked bruise on my left leg. As I was falling in slow motion, i thought about 2 things:

1-George Clooney's Inside the Actors studio appearance was really good.
2-Please don't let me fall on my dog. She is tiny. I will kill her.

I got up with a little help from my friends and limped back to the car, eventually making it home. When I got home I fed my dog and was about to cancel my spin class date when I looked at my badge of honor, purple and blue and thought,  "F it".

While at Spin class, feeling incredibly proud of myself for being there, I started thinking about all the things I wanted to do and made a to do list in my head.

1-Re-watch a moment of George's Inside the Actors Studio
2- Edit my novel
3-Edit one of my screenplays
4-Edit my spec
5-Find work
6-Figure out the pesky health insurance thing
7-What the F is wrong with my car
8-The dog needs food
9-Where in the world are my sisters
10-Touch base with my brothers
11-Jesus, when did my To Do list get so long
12-When was the last time I went to church
13-Check out the Churchill
14-Don't fall down anymore hills
15-Stop making lists

And it went on. Suddenly, I was wishing I had stayed in my bed, bruise and sweat free. I had a moment of panic during the uphill climb. What was I doing with my life? Prince was singing, Purple Rain and I was pondering the meaning of my life. Purple bruise and now purple rain? Was the universe sending me a sign or was I just acting crazy, looking for signs everywhere in the hopes of getting a clear directive?

When our parents were our age, they were adults with children and steady jobs. Most of the "kids" my age I know, have dreams and worlds that don't revolve around PTA. Even my friends with kids have sort of alternative lifestyles. They take yoga, they might not own a home, they try to eat organic.

My overseas friends insist its a big city American thing. They are sure that in the big cities we are all big dreamers rebelling against conservative conformist ideals yet secretly making communes of our own where we want to grow cabbage out in the wilderness with some sort of family.

My city friends insist that they aren't hippies and that this "failure to launch" is due to the overwhelming amount of options they are now presented with. When our parents were kids the career paths were clear - Doctor, Lawyer, Homemaker, Teacher and maybe the artsy ones would be journalists, actors and in LA, a producer. Now a days kids can be youtube sensations, they can multi-platform marketing specialists and brand multimedia managers or skate board artists - and get paid for it. Our dreams have gotten so big and our childhood a bit longer.

The HBO show, GIRLS, deals with this. I love in the pilot when she points out that she's ONLY 24 and that in this generation, how is she supposed to follow her dreams without help? She still has dreams and feels some sort of entitlement to follow them despite the current state of the economy. Most 20 somethings can probably relate and we excuse them as 30 is the new 20 and 20 is the new 14.

But in your 30s when do we give up the right to have those dreams? When is it that we start feeling like we shouldn't be renting, we should be buying? When is it that we feel we should take that 9-7 job that we don't love because we need financial security? Is there an acceptable age? When I was 20 I used to think that number was 30 and now that I'm there, I know that I didn't have a clue.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Say What?

I went to visit an adorable little baby this weekend. He was 3 days old and already had a personality. He liked being swaddled, he had a little snort, he was already a little guy. Who knows what ideas were swimming in his little brain or what smells he was attracted to, but grabbing fingers and making faces seem to be his favorite past times while awake.

Now, as a Lady of Leisure, I've had plenty of time to think lately. And as I stared into his tiny little blue eyes, I wondered what were the things that would have the biggest impression on this tiny little life. Would it be his surroundings? His parents? His friends? Would it be movies that would teach everything he needed to unlearn about dating? Would it be his favorite TV shows or the music he listens to everyday?

Well, I've been paying attention - and I'm ready to pick a beef with some of the music! Yes, you artist! You with your catchy song lyric and great tempo - I'm talking to you!

BRUNO MARS - GRENADE
So, I actually like this song, and listen to it often, but level with me here Bruno - what are we saying? You would catch a grenade for this girl, but she's likely to rip the breaks out of your car. That doesn't seem like a fair trade...or like unrequited love even. That just seems like you're a pansy. I'm sorry. I like you, a lot, but that's what I think. But people sing this song and they think it's romantic! We breathe this song in on the radio and sing it out loud at karaoke and start to think it sounds so lovely! The man would catch a Grenade for you, he'd jump in front of plane for you but you won't do the same! And thank Goodness, because we don't need to two crazy dead people.

Loving someone who doesn't love you isn't romantic. It's silly. A right of passage? Yes and certainly something we can all relate to, but, really? We are we chasing after someone we'd take a bullet for but who in turn doesn't only not like you - it seems like she'd like to let you take that bullet, Bruno.

Not a sermon- just a thought.

ONE DIRECTION - YOU DON'T KNOW YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL

Ah yes, Girl I love the fact that you have no idea how hot you are. That's the single thing I find the hottest about you - so please, be insecure, question your self confidence, have no idea that you're pretty. Don't you dare be empowered by that fact because the thing I like about you the most girl --- is you don't know you're beautiful.

I know I know, what are we teaching people anyway? Do we want girls to be self absorbed, conceded assholes? No, of course not, but to celebrate how attractive it is that you have no idea you're even a little attractive and triumph your insecurities... Well, that just seems a little chauvinistic doesn't it?

NEYO- LET ME LOVE YOU (UNTIL YOU LOVE YOURSELF)

You know how Whitney Houston told you that the greatest love of all was to love yourself? Forget all that. Lets take a short cut baby, and let me love you until you love yourself. Don't work on yourself, don't go through all that - nah, just be with me and I'll love you enough for the both of us. I got this don't your worry you're pretty little head.

Really? Again, I know we're trying to be romantic here but the message is a little...well, wussy.


But I guess that's what love songs are right? We feel like wusses when we're in love! Maybe I shouldn't be so tough. The truth is, from what I remember, Love, makes you feel crazy and love loss, even worse. I think I've been feeling numb for so long, its been easy to be cynical. But, yeah I do remember that! At one point in time, I would have caught a grenade for some douche bag that wanted nothing to do with. I did play on my insecurity and want guys to like me when I thought was ugly and started to feel that way too! And yes, I did want someone to love me enough for the two of us. We tend to loose ourselves in that state right? Yeah, I vaguely remember that feeling.

Fortunately, though unfortunately while we are in that state, it doesn't work that way. You know what's romantic? Being in love with someone who loves you. Falling in love, slowly with someone and being petrified of every step, that is romantic. Kissing someone in the morning who doesn't wish they were in bed with someone else. That's romantic. Being able to live without someone but truly enjoying their company, that's romantic. Having the confidence to know that you'll be okay if it doesn't work out -- that's romantic.

But we don't respond to those songs. They would be too upbeat and when you're down, you need someone to commiserate and thank God! Because otherwise you might really start to think you're alone. Instead we all sing along to the same songs at the top of our lungs hoping and willing ourselves to know that this is the last time we ever feel that way.

Maybe it is?

I dont' know. As you know if you read my blog - I have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm an expert at dismantling relationships and finding all the reasons it's not gonna work out, but trying positive for a change - I'll leave you with some romance. Besides, that baby I now know might benefit from being surrounded by romance. He lives in a University town - there are enough cynics around him anyway.

Bright Eyes- First Day of My Life



And for that matter - I like "GET LOW" too - regardless of the message - Forget the message. Everyone, put on your dancing shoes and go the Window - to the Wall....


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Relationship PTSD

If you've been watching "Episodes" and you've ever broken up with someone only to try and rekindle the flame after a bad break-up, you saw Sean and Beverly's attempt at make up make out and instantly knew, he couldn't go through with it. Not because he was a bad guy and couldn't get over his wife's cheating, albeit sort-of-kind-of-getback-at-you-sex. He kept seeing Matt LeBlanc's rumored an anaconda sized manhood shagging his wife. He was traumatized and still suffering from severe relationship PTSD or R-PTSD.



Sean is not alone. Many of us bring lots of baggage with us into new relationships. Divorced people and monogamous people in long-term committed relationships are the worst. We may as well has bags that say:

*CHEATING ISSUES
*DADDY ISSUES
*PRIVACY ISSUES
*TRUST ISSUES
*FINANCIAL DISTRUST ISSUES
*YOUR MOMMY ISSUES ISSUES
*CLEANLINESS ISSUES
*FRIENDS ISSUES

and so on and so fourth. We are a wreck!




I asked on Facebook what kinds of R-PTSD people  bring with them into new relationships and the responses were hilarious and sad all at the same time.

My friend "Lindsay" sent me an email saying that her ex-husband's mother was incredibly controlling. She's been dating her new boyfriend for a month and everything was going well. His mother called her to invite her to lunch and Lindsay promptly broke up with her boyfriend. "It was too much pressure," she confided in me. "He was great but I just had visions of her ruining my life and wearing white to my wedding and demanding to sing at my baby shower".

Lindsay may have over-reacted, but after 10 years with the same husband thinking that this was it for her, the thought of an overbearing mother in law who found her phone number by looking through her sons phone without any warning was one sign too many.

"Meg" wrote to me about a similar PTSD experience regarding Facebook. Her ex was having an affair with a woman on Facebook and as a result she tends to be incredibly overbearing with her new boyfriend about it. "I don't care, I don't have anything to hide so I just give her my password," her boyfriend Allan told me. Meg appreciated his patience, but admitted to me, "I don't want to be this way.  I don't want to be mistrusting, but I was with my husband for 8 years and that happened. How can I keep my guard down after just 9 months?" she asked.

I have no idea Meg. I will say that if you're new boyfriend is going to cheat on you, he's going to do it regardless of whether you have his Facebook password. This paranoia mostly affects you, the traumatized one, but also has an affect on your kids, your co-workers and your new relationship. Luckily for Meg, she's in a relationship with someone who lets her, as she herself said, "be crazy".

And thank God for those patient people out there who date those of us afflicted with Relationship PTSD, because we are a handful!

"Alana" confided in me that once a month she asks her boyfriend if he wants to break up with her. They've been dating for 5 years. "I just like to know where I stand" she told me.  And its not only women who suffer from Relationship PTSD. "Jacob" sent me an email the length of a novel explaining to me that his ex always use to come into the bathroom while he was pooping. True story. He said it bugged it him out so much that it lead to their lack of sex and eventually the demise of their relationship. He now has a locked door policy in the bathroom and says weekend getaway trips with girls he's dating have been pushed to the three month mark and beyond.

My friend "Erin" constantly asks her fiancé if he wants her engagement ring back.

On my end, I can tell you that as a fellow R-PTSDer, I too have my many moments of crazy. I am the most confident person in the world, except when it comes to relationships. I still wonder when I can call or when I can text or if its okay to post a photo or if he's going to realize I'm crazy at any given moment and tell me where my daddy issues and I can go.

But there is hope for us! Relationship veterans have to be in relationships with very patient people. If you're not a patient person and can't' take a little bit of crazy, then you probably should date someone whose never been married or in a committed long-term relationship that went awry. They might be a little saner or at least do a better job of hiding it. Because isn't that really what differentiates us anyways? Us veterans of relationship war to the table with all of our bags - labeled not willing to commit anymore time than we need to if you're not up for it from the get go.

But we're not all bad! There are many benefits to dating a Relationship Veteran.

*We generally cook better.

*We generally communicate more...much more than you may be accustomed to (It's something we learned in couples counseling).

*We are planners because we have been, but we're not making long term plans for while.

*We generally will be nicer to your parents (because anything is better than the in-laws we had that now hate us).

*We love your "alone" time because we miss ours.

*We love your kids, because they aren't ours.

*We tend to want to have more sex with you...because we've been married or in a long term committed relationship that went south and probably spent a lot of time...not having sex.

*We are generally more independent, because we've had to be.

So if you can take a little crazy, try dating a Relationship Veteran PTSDer. We keep it interesting...for sure.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Learning to Walk

Life is made up of a series of "firsts"whose outcomes inevitably determine the relationship issues you'll have forever. 

If you were successful at taking the ever exciting first steps right away and walking was something you picked up quite easily and naturally, you're automatically programmed for earlier success. You are more of a risk taker. You haven't been soured by failure and disappointment. If in turn, you were a late walker, you either tried harder, which put you on a hard working track, or you gave up and found new ways to signal you needed things, forcing your parents to do your bidding, until you had no choice but to walk. Either way, all of those firsts set off a chain reaction that has inevitably sent you on a certain relationship educational track. 

My first kiss happened at the beach. I was 12, he was 11 1/2 and we were all playing a game of truth or dare. It was only suppose to be a peck kiss, but I went for it. I made the first move. He was horrified, but curious enough to go with it for a moment. Our short romance lasted a mere 3 days but it thrust me into the "take charge" educational track eventually thwarted by divorce (more on that later). 

By contasts, my good friend Anne, was first kissed at age 15 also on a dare, but the boy seemed not too excited. She didn't feel like he wanted to pick her. It left her feeling like she wanted to be picked. She wanted someone to want to be dared to kiss her. Admittedly, she dismissed perfectly nice, handsome, shyer men in college because she was still holding on to this notion of being picked. 

So all of these "firsts" happen and you finally meet "the one" and you think, "thank god that's over, so now I can relax and not worry about it." But you find out, as any married person will tell you, that once you get married, that's where the real fun begins. The theory of raising children and whats acceptable to you or what you discussed six years prior when you were dating and in your twenties is probably different from what you're thinking now in your thirties. All of those firsts that lead you to this person are things that haven't escaped your system, that will affect the relationship you have with your children, your in laws and all of the new relationships that come with being married. So fine, some people can make it work and stay together, adapting to each others beliefs of marriage and child rearing and others decide that the gap is too wide and that Johnny BeDaring who picked you at the sorority formal in college is not who you pick to have a life with.

Well let me tell you, there are a whole new set of firsts that come with being divorced. First new apartment, first new bar outing, first new emergency contact, first time you let someone hold your hand...in public, first time you introduce someone to your friends. Sure, I still remember the dashing 12 year old  boy that made me think a boy like that could like a girl like me, but I remember the first boy that kissed me post separation, that made me think that perhaps I too could be happy one day, even more. His name is Gabe by the way. Which seemed a little prophetic. My male counterpart showing me that I too could want all of the normal things that people wanted, that I had wanted once upon a time, but was too scared to explore and ruin, since everything I touched seemed to turn to shit.  

Once you pass the really sad and icky someone-should-really-instituionalize-me part, the dirty little secret of divorce is that you get a blank slate of do overs. It's actually the only gift that comes with it, so embrace it my newly divorced friends. That, and the occasional weekend to yourself away from your kids if you have any. You get to have all of those firsts again, as an adult with just as much motion sickness and butterflies as before except this time you feel like you shouldn't let yourself for some reason. You've been here before, you should know how to handle it, right? But you don't. Post divorce you, is a whole other set of rules and its okay to be really nervous about it. I would even tell you, to embrace those nerves because there is a whole new dating world for you to explore!

I think I heard a few of your hurl all the way over here, but its true! I know, no one likes dating when you have been accustomed to the simplicity of marriage. He always picked up the phone, you never had to guess what he wanted, it was comfortable and even if it was miserable, it was the devil you knew right? 

Well, the devil you don't know, might be better. I am in my first relationship post divorce. My first one. First relationship Facebook status change, first person I've called my boyfriend in four years. First person I have suggested my parents meet. First person whose parents I've met and let me tell you, it has not been without the occasional run to the bathroom and cry because you have no idea what you're doing movie moment. 

I don't know what I'm doing. I have no clue. The last time I was in a real relationship, people didn't text. I don't know what the rules are. I have no idea when I'm suppose to be cool and when I'm suppose to be vulnerable. I'm making this up as I go along, people. I have no idea if it's going to work out or not, but I'll tell you that for the first time in many years, I really hope that it does. 

And that's exciting! There is a whole new world of firsts out there. My first post divorce dates for better or for worse are impacting my relationship now. My first post divorce job is evening affecting my career choices now. You are a different person, now. A stronger, faster, funnier (trust me) version of yourself. You're learning to walk again and this time without the aid of your parents but  probably cuter shoes. 

But just incase you're still not ready to move on -- here's a list of movies to get you through it...one baby step at a time.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hunters


You meet a cute guy at a bar, you start chatting. He has a low raspy voice, he smells amazing, and his breath has just a tiny hint of your favorite scotch. You strike up a conversation and find out he's a producer, he's got a dog, and its taking everything in you not to start planning the processional to your fake -never-happening wedding to this guy. You tell your friends you may have met "the one" and you start planning your weekend getaway trips to San Diego. You fantasize about your  adorable 2 kids and how you and your better half will create dynamic power plays in your field. 

After a couple weeks he smells like gross cheap booze, his dog has shit everywhere, he has roommates that annoy you and  you realize that producer means unemployed with the occasional PA job.   Suddenly you're planning the breakup. How are you going to get out of this with the least amount of scarring?

You start planning what you're going to say about what went wrong. You'll blame it on the dog, you'll blame it on the roommates. You'll blame it on your schedule, but there is one dirty prejudice you don't always want to admit to. When it boils down to it you're embarrassed about his job.

How much does some one's occupation influence their overall appeal? I had a girlfriend who dated a waiter once. I'm sorry, he was a part time waiter, part time party boy, part time dreamer who didn't have a then discernible talent. Our friends were sure that they would never work out. She left the country a few times with little more than informing him of her travels. 

Another good friend, a smart woman as well, also found herself a boy toy. Never taking the unemployed writer/actor seriously, she cheated on him constantly. 

I won't bore you with the details, but I will tell you that both of these women are now happily married to those men. 

They are the exception. 

In general, I find that women, whether we admit it or not, are very judgmental about our chosen mate's  chosen profession. It doesn't help that our mothers first questions tend to be, "What's his name? What does he do? What does he look like?"It instantly invites judgement. We start second guessing our crushes upon the judgment of others and what starts as inquisitive fodder from our loved ones turns into a introspective inquisition about what we want out of our lives and if this person can provide it.

Because there in lies the detail. Women plan ten steps ahead. We see a man and instantly evaluate him not only on physical characteristics of height, weight and the size of his..shoulders, but also on his ability to "hunt" and provide. We want him to show him  off and have everyone be jealous of our chosen specimen who can take care of everything and is gorgeous. 

But is that a mistake? I asked several ladies and the overwhelming response was "YES, but I would never admit it in public."

I don't know what the answer is to the question of should your spouses career matter, but I guess the answer is "maybe". I venture to guess that I would probably not like dating a cop or that it wouldn't work out between me and a republican congressman, but should you nix potential matches because your mate's chosen profession is a "dream" profession or because they work at Starbucks? 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Newness in the Everglades


Hello my amazing friends and blog readers! It’s been a very long time since I’ve written, but it’s only because I’ve had such a hard time keeping up with my Lady of Leisure lifestyle lately juggling multiple producing, casting and writing projects while still keeping up with DLOL, Doglady of Leisure, Sabrina.

I won’t bore you with all of the details of the past few months and instead drop you right into the present. Right now, as I write this, I’m in a swamp on my Ipad. God bless technology. All around me are reeds, water, alligators, snakes, and mosquitos. My hair looks like the lion king and I’m pretty sure that to the outside world I would appear to have smallpox because of the lesions left on me by giant Jurassic era looking mosquitos.

Yet somehow, I’ve found myself rampantly hit on since I left LA and landed in Everglade City. Isn’t that always what happens though? Newness is a powerful aphrodisiac. You always like the new kid in school even if he’s not as attractive as the guys you usually like, you always get extra attention when you change your hair, you always feel a little more confident with that new car. The offer of a new job entices you to consider changing your entire life, even if it’s not what you necessarily want to do, because newness is exciting.

It’s kind of like starting a new relationship right? You want to shout it from the rooftops, you want to show it off, and you want to take it for a drive. You want to post every picture from every second and can’t wait to document the next moment because you’re sure that this time it’ll be different. You feel like the newness won’t ever wear off.

But eventually, it isn’t new anymore. You’re not the new kid in school, your hair grows back, your car isn’t as shiny and might even smell a little bit. The new job feels like you’ve been doing it forever and allure begins to wear off. Everything starts to be normal and you start craving something new, again and again, thus starting the cycle over and over.

That is what happens to normal people. I have a bit of the opposite problem. I don’t crave new. I hate changing my hair, which I unfortunately just did to traumatic results. I didn’t move for the job offer. Part of this I know is a byproduct of having been divorced, which I know I bring up in every post (I can audibly hear you saying GOD GET OVER IT!), but it’s true! In my 20s I starved for new. I couldn’t wait for more new. I wanted a new car, new clothes, I moved apartments every year, I changed jobs as often as possible and devoured new. I only listened to new music, I only watched new movies, and I only accepted new friends. I renounced old and anything that connected me it.

How things change. Today, I drive an old car. My favorite films are old Audrey Hepburn movies. I live in my friend’s old apartment and my best friends are people I’ve known for years. The nature of my job is to move from project to project but even in that arena, I’ve found a way to keep some semblance of stability. It’s not that I don’t welcome new experiences and opportunities, it’s that I’m still a little bruised and afraid of all that comes with “New”. I’ve been very hurt by “New” and I’m still trying and willing myself to learn that all new things don’t have to bite.


So I’ve been trying to get reacquainted with “New” in all aspects of my life. I fed alligators today. I went in with a safety guy and held a stick to protect myself of course, but where I would have ordinarily stood back and watched or like a true Gemini, jumped into the alligator pool, I cautiously took a calculated risk. I feel really good about that.



I also pet and played with a wolf; not a dog, a wolf. Again, all calculated, relatively protected environment that still could have gone terribly wrong, but didn’t.




I try to remind myself that it’s the same with relationships. "Newness" doesn’t necessarily have to bite, though it has bitten me in the ass over and over again (and not in a good way). I’m trying to let myself be excited about “New” because let’s face it,  I want to jump in the alligator pool. I want to do things all the way because I’m a hopeless romantic and I hope against all odds that someone wants to jump with me, someone who knows how to swim and isn’t afraid of alligators, but also carries a weapon to ward them off just incase. What usually happens, to me at least, is that I say all of these things to people too quickly and show my cards too fast which tends to scare people off. And as you know, every bad habit I’ve learned about dating, I learned from movies so I have a lots to make up for!

My friend Jake insists that when we meet the right people, they’ll want to hear those things. He insists that they want to hear the “I miss you’s” and they want to get the texts and phone calls. He thinks it’s important to show people how you feel.  I want to believe him, I really do, but I’m just not sure. My friend Matt insists the opposite. He says that you can’t make yourself too available not just physically, but emotionally too at the beginning because “newness” is often mistaken for like or worse, for love.


I leave you with no words of wisdom, because I honestly don’t have a clue. I do know that there are things I’ll never be really good at while there are things I excel at better than other people. I’m good at business matters, because I can separate. It’s not personal, it’s business, but when it comes to matters of the heart, how do people keep things to themselves? Keeping my feelings to myself is not my forte. When I’m in the “new” (see what I did there?) I try to maintain a level head and I’m getting better, but I’ll never be the girl whose bible is Why Men Marry Bitches. I’m just not and I have to hope that my charming, old soul personality has a counterpart in the world that not only accepts it, but thinks it’s pretty great.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Old Romance

Old people may be looking haggard these days, but they know something that has been missed on our generation and may be non existent by the time my brothers (in their teens) start really dating. I'm talking about Real Romance. Not flowers to get laid romance, but real, honest to goodness "just because" romance.


Old people know it and are laughing at us! They are cute to each other, they hold hands, they find everyday ways to be romantic. Just look at these folks ....







I don't know if its because everything is just easier these days and we are more accessible, but we all seem to have a scheduled attitude about relationships, romance, and life in general. I attribute Romance's ventilator status on a number of factors outlined below.


1- Daily Technology
How can you be romantic in 140 characters or less without sounding cheesy? How can you FB something cute without being obnoxious? What are you suppose to e-mail your sweetie, a SomeE-card  that someone else emailed to someone else? 
  


2-Internet Stalking
This is also related to technology, obviously, but I felt it deserved its own subcategory. There's no mystery anymore! You can find out everything about a person by just typing in their name. Since a person's Facebook profile, which you've probably already looked at before you've gone on a date with someone, reveals all their likes, their sense of adventure, their hobbies is so accessible, it's become the norm to look. This gives the sense that you know someone better than you actually do. We've replaced sharing common experiences with knowing a lot about someone really quickly, very early on. As a result, we think we know someone before we really do and we take people for granted from the get go. 

3- Dreamers
Now a days we are told that we can be anything we want to be and that we can do anything we want to do. This causes us to be incredibly selfish. I don't say that like its a bad thing, a little bit of selfishnesses is necessary and important to self discovery and happiness, but this incessant search for "our dreams" sometimes puts us out of touch with our reality. Dreaming is great, and important, and necessary, but its been part of the demise of romance. 

4-Modern Women
We want it all and feel that we deserve it, but then get upset when men can't read us and our confusing mixed messages. We want to be wooed, but some of us want (need) to pick up the check while he rest of us can't fathom romance and reaching for our wallet co-existing. We want you to wait for us, but not wait too much because then we think you don't like us and that precise amount of time that you should want to wait is different for every woman. We want you to plan elaborate dates but not so elaborate that it means more than it should. 

5- Modern Men
You just give up too easily. You don't know what things are worth fighting for anymore. You want the new, next, better thing because you've been told you can have it. And you can, so you don't work as hard for that girl whose an 8 1/2, especially when the 10 is gonna choose you anyday now. You work so hard for your career you want everything else to come easily. You think effort equals high maintenance and women are demanding less of you now than ever. Maybe you should let her know that she's worth the effort. 

6-Dating sites
We think that everyone is just out there and if we sift through enough people, the right one will pop up on our screen. If there isn't an instant connection we think, "no matter, bachelor number 23453 here has the right look".

7- Divorce
With Divorce rates higher than ever, people in new relationships wait longer to tell each other how they feel and divorcee's are the worst offenders. We don't want to have our heart's ripped out of our chests, we don't want to admit how we feel to ourselves, let alone to you! We are more cautious with romance, we are more cautious with feelings, yours and ours. 

8-Starbucks
Now when people ask you out for "coffee" to be romantic odds are you're gonna end up at a starbucks. And odds are, you've had this romantic encounter with someone else, at a similar starbucks. Since there are no mom and pop shop coffee shops unless you live in New York or LA, and all starbucks look the same, even if you didn't go to that SAME starbucks, you probably can' help but think of that other person. Thus ruining your romantic gesture. I know. Starbucks. go figure. 

9-The "Green" Movement
We don't want to send flowers anymore. They die. It's not green. Its not helping the planet. Anything that doesn't serve a purpose has gone by the wayside as wasteful and unnecessary. We don't want to waste our precious time on things that are not essential. I'm not saying they're wrong...I'm not a huge flower person either, but honestly, get a candle.

10-Quick Sex
I gotta say, I think my grandma is right about this one. There is something to be said for waiting. Our waiting timelines may not coincide (mine and my grandma's) but waiting a little bit gives you some time to let romance actually brew. To figure out if you want to be romantic with someone in the first place or if you were just getting to know someone.


So what is one suppose to do about this? How do you remedy this rut that Romance is in while still sticking our green, dreamer, coffee loving, scared-shitless-of-romance selves out there?? How do we triage it back to life? 

My ex husband and I may have been ill matched, but he taught me the most romantic thing that I'll always take with me. He  knew no matter how angry I was about work or what a bad day I had touching my stomach always calms me down. I know...its weird right? How is that romantic? Well, because its something so random, so mundane that it told me he was really paying attention to the little quirks I have. I want to pay attention. I hope to pay attention. 

And men I'll let you in on a little secret. At the end of the day, that's really all that women want, just for you to pay a little attention. And women, we don't' get to get off that easily either. Romance is not a man's duty, its the way we keep the fire alive. So embrace it! Go buy lacy lingerie, surprise your sweetie with a sext, get a stripper pole in your bedroom, write someone a note (old-fashioned!) and leave it in their pocket, dance with your lover, get drunk and play quarters, hold hands, splurge on a sitter every once in a while. It's important. 

For some Ideas on Romance - Get inspired here:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dog People vs. Non Dog People

We are a strange breed, us Dog People. It is it true. We wake up earlier than you, we go to bed later. We spend countless hours actually talking to a little furry body that cannot articulate their thoughts back to us. We buy them toys when they haven't asked for them and we are always trying to make sure they are safe, happy and cared for. Yes, its kind of like having children, without the "I hate you mom" talk back.

It's not that we don't like children. Many of us dog people just really like our dogs. None of them are perfect mind you. But dog people understand each other. We know that someone's dog has personality problems, or throw up problems, or peeing anxiety or food aggression. We don't judge them for the way their life revolves around their dog and helping them with their behavior problems, but instead embrace them and try to help out as best we can.

This causes a separation between dog people and non dog people. Non dog people do not understand why you can't just leave your dog alone all day. It's just one day! Why are you feeling guilty crazy dog person?! Yes, they all say this. They want to know why you're spending the day with your dog park friends on a Saturday afternoon when you could be drinking with your very single, very fun friends, non dog friends.

But my dog people provide an outlet for me that my non dog friends don't. I suppose its why people with children seek out other breeders to sympathize with. We share our dog pictures, our obedience class woes and our little behavioral victories.


I think it also makes a difference when dating. Dog Owner daters understand if you want to run home and let your dog out for a little bit before the movie, they get spending saturday afternoon hiking so that your dog will be worn out and you can go out saturday night guilt free. They get that you might want to spend a thursday night cuddled up with your dog watching a movie. They get that your dog's adorable snoring is endearing.

Non dog owner dating is different. No one is worried about sleepover arrangements and if the dog can come by. Non dog owner dating means spontaneous weekends in wine country and laguna. Dog owner dating means, you have to plan for a sitter or boarding.  It's clearly not as sexy, but having someone who understands your dog owner lifestyle is key to dating in the dog owner circles.

I have known several relationships that have not worked out because of "dog owner" vs "non dog owner" dilemmas. "Elle" always wanted her dog to sleep over with her at her guy's place, but "Jake" was not a fan. Because she lived in Burbank and he lived in Weho, it was not convenient for either of their work schedules . When I interviewed Jake about this dilemma he confessed that he really liked Elle, but ultimately it was him or the dog and he had to let her go.

Scheduling is important even within the non dog owner world. My friend "Chris" confessed to me that he couldn't make it work out with a girl because their schedules were so different. She was a 7am Yogi and he wanted to have a more unstructured morning since his life is so structured elsewhere. Throw a dog in that mix and it would be even more complicated.

So I think that either the person you start dating should have a dog, or they must be very dog-friendly if you're a dog owner. Otherwise, the dog will become a huge point of contention. Women sometimes alter our lives when we start dating someone new. We leave the dog a few nights at home when we REALLY don't want to, we say that its not a big deal to leave her in a kennel multiple weekends just so you can enjoy your new beau's company, but once the newness wears off, your partner will be stunned to learn your routine is completely different than he has been experiencing.

It's important to "train" your new beau and emphasize the importance of your dog in your lifestyle. Yes, you wake up really early and take your dog to the park everyday if this is a deal breaker, then better you know now than later. But be careful of altering your life style for a new relationship when ultimately, you'll want to go back to your ways and your partner will be left with the uncomfortable task of getting use to you and your dog, all over again.

Need help finding a dog person? If you're an online dater (which I am not...please see: My Adventures in Online Dating )

Try these sites:
Dog Friendly Dating Sites

Re-inventing yourself

I don't know about you, but I got to move pretty often as a kid. While some kids dreaded the new school, new friends, and new situation stresses of moving, I always embraced it. It was a time to start over, to be whoever I wanted to be and change in ways that I had not allowed myself to in my short little life.



As an adult, the prospect of moving has become much harder for me. I enjoy making movies and visiting new places, taking new and different casting and talent booking jobs and throwing myself into new challenges, but altering my surroundings is a much tougher sell to my adult self. So how does one go about re-inventing and re-invigorating yourself when you also want to start laying down roots?

Sure, a new haircut helps and new work out routines or hobbies can also be invigorating, but what are you really changing? I have been actively trying to embrace this new reinvention challenge by forcing myself out of my comfort zone. My friend Victoria always reminds me that its not good to get too comfortable in one area of your life and that embracing that which scares us is actually a great way of healing.

So I'm starting small. I hate the sound of my own voice, even on the cell phone message. Perhaps the new, re-invented me, doesn't want to have those insecurities! But what to do to correct it? Do I all of the sudden take up acting or singing and jump into it 100% ? Not exactly. I've been writing for a radio show called, THE PEITR (pink elephant in the room) REPORT for my good friend Chad Steers. My two last reports were about health and fitness and then a political satire on the morning show wars. Chad brought in a few actors to help us out if we needed and read our segments on air, or we could opt to do them ourselves. I decided to put my big girl skirt on get ready for my microphone close up.

Terrifying is the word that comes to mind. I'm pretty sure I broke out in hives and made every stupid inappropriate joke you can make to a group of strangers, as I do when I'm nervous. But in the end, I got some great help from my fellow writers and the show, to my great surprise, was not ruined by my voice. People actually laughed where they were suppose to laugh and it came out alright! Who knew!

The re-invention process doesn't need to involve me dying my hair purple...it can happen in many little ways, little baby elephant steps at a time. Plus, as you're looking to change the things you don't like, you'll probably learn that there are a few things that you really do like about yourself and your surroundings. So find something you're afraid of and kick its ass. You'll feel radballs.


Monday, April 9, 2012

The Status-quo

Friday morning at 5AM outside of a Georgia Waffle House, a gun fight broke out over someones relationship status update change. Luckily no one was hurt, except hopefully pride and ego.

See Facebook, I think this is a perfect time to do away with the "relationship status" on FB. It creates several problems for the single folk so I suggest that you change it to either MARRIED or SINGLE and that's it. Everything else is just asking for a trouble.

Should you change your relationship status?... These two have quite a bit to say on whats appropriate.


Let's start with the beginning. Yes, in the beginning everything is great and nice and easy; private and yours. Then someone changes the relationship status and all of the sudden, there has to be a conversation. You are no longer hanging out and seeing what happens...no, you are now IN A RELATIONSHIP...in public. Your family, your friends, everyone know KNOWS that you are "in a relationship" which sounds way more serious than it needs to be when you're starting out. It's setting you up for failure and disappointment and resentment over who updated their relationship status first, and what took you so long to accept or change it. It's exhausting just thinking about it and that's just getting into it.

So then what happens? You date a few months, now you're IN A RELATIONSHIP status change, somethings start going awry and you need a break. So what do you do? Do you say "It's complicated?" Doesn't that essentially blow the lid off of your relationship woes? Why is that even an option? Everything is complicated! Even good marriages are complicated. It's a terrible option.

But lets say you change it. You are honest and change your status to now "it's complicated", so everyone feels the need to comment on it. In public. On your wall...about why it didn't work out and giving you advice on different bedroom activities to try to spark up your relationship again..which is weird, when its your grandma giving you advice.


At this rate, what you could have worked out privately has now become a public forum, with everyone opining and taking sides. So you break up which literally becomes the single biggest news on your timeline. There is even a little heartbreak icon. But when do you do it? Do you change it when you decide to break up or do you wait a few weeks for the dust to settle? What is the etiquette on this? Then they have options to guide you through your break up...so you can publicly wear your Scarlett letter of break up every step of the way. You can choose separated and eventually through the trauma again of writing divorce.

And this is why I am never changing my relationship status on FB. It's traumatic! These ladies at the Waffle House I'm sure have many other problems as they are touting around guns at their local 5AM eatery, but at the end of the day, even they were bruised by the dreaded FB relationship status change.

Why do I care? Ugh, because then comes the dreaded pressure of what you're saying if you DON'T change your status. Are you saying that you have something to hide, that you're not as committed or not proud? These are the questions that come up when you choose to not update your status.

Unfortunately I think I'm a lone wolf pack in that regard. Most of my girlfriends would be incredibly suspicious of someone who doesn't change their Facebook status. They take it as a message, a clear signal of intent. I can see that...really I can, I just think that every divorced person can agree with me when I say, that maybe us divorce folk deserve a pass. Maybe you can't second guess our intentions all the time and just let us work through the Facebook relationship status change in our own time. Remember, anyone whose post 30 didn't grow up with Facebook, so this whole concept of having two break ups- an online one and a private one, is just a little new to us, so please bare with us as we adapt to the new social norms.

Take a moment to review some of the other suitable options for status change:

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Break-up Agreement

A guy broke up with me once, via pamphlet. Yes, via pamphlet. It was a pamphlet for AA and he insisted that until I went, we couldn't be together anymore. I took the pamphlet to my nearest bar and got drunk with my girl friends while amazed that someone would write a message, on a pamphlet and leave cease and desist type e-mail until I got sober.


Surely that's not the best way to break up with someone, but what IS? Yes, Carrie Bradshaw got broken up with via post-it and the wedding singer got stood up at his wedding which sounds dreadful, but got the message across, didn't it? Sometimes we don't give enough credit to the breaker-upper (dumper). It's difficult to smash someone's hopes an dreams! It's difficult to find the words that say, "you're great, I'm just not feeling it"especially when they expect you to say it to your face. And when did breaking up with someone to their face become the only respectful method?! If I want to break up with you, shouldn't you have the right to hate me in private..say via text? Cowardly? Yes...but also effective! If a guy is going to tell me he's just not that into me anymore after a few dates, I think I would much rather just know the bottom line. No lengthy explanations, no pity, no self-righteousness, no speech about how I'll eventually move on. Just clean and to the point. 

I said this to my friend, Sheri, at dance class this morning and she said that I obviously haven't been broken up with in a while, because that is the worst advice ever. She said that not only does someone owe you an explanation for breaking your heart, but that they owe you face time to tell you that they are no longer interested. She says that if you've put in the time and have shared your life with someone the least they owe you is a conversation to let you down as easy as possible.

I'm not advocating an "It's over, don't hate me text", but there has to be some happy medium because no mater how long its been since I had a boyfriend, I still remember what it feels like to be the dumper or the dumpee and it seems to me that if someone wants out, they get to get out...immediately, to prevent further heart ache to you or themselves. Can't a phone call suffice? 

As long as its not done in public, in the middle of your date, at your parents house, or as your moving in together or on your wedding day, it's all pretty much a crap shoot anyway right? Whatever you say is going to be twisted so that the other person can move on. They get to have that. Its one of the rights of the dumpee. As the the dumper, you unfortunately just have to deal with that. 

As the dumpee you also have the right to cry, binge eat, sing every sad song on the radio and bed hop your way out of the slump...judgement free (for a few months). 

As the dumper you have the right to call (not voicemail) and break up, unless you live together or are engaged. You have the right to your feelings. You have the right to keep explanations short. You have the right to break up!

There is never a right way to tell someone that you don't love them. There is never a right way to tell someone that you've been lying to yourself and to them in order to try something on for size in the hopes (and with the best of intentions) that it would work out. There is no right way to tell someone that you're in love with someone else, or worse yet, that you tried your best but just aren't attracted to them, no matter how abstractly beautiful they may be. 

The whole break up situation makes me break out in hives. This is the reason I ruin every relationship I'm in. Anticipating the break up is enough of a reason to up the anti and prematurely break up to avoid the intense fall-out. Maybe people should have a "BREAK UP AGREEMENT" where you lay out how you'd like to be broken up with before you get too emotionally involved. That way, both parties are clear with what will be expected in the end. And if there is no end, then great! You don't have to deal with it, but if you do, then you both have a game plan. This is why I'm all about the pre-nup. Maybe its the post divorce brain speaking here, but it would have been incredibly helpful to know the game plan and take that out of the emotional equation. Breaking up is hard enough, but then we have to deal with the method and process too? It's just too much. It's not fair...to anyone! I think I'm gonna build in some form of the BUA in my next  relationship. 

And nothing to me is more terrifying than the dreaded Facebook status update. Damn you Zuckerberg for adding that little tid bit in there! Now, not only do I eventually have to go public with my new terrifying relationship, but then everyone gets to know when I break up too? Urgh and then wether you were the dumper or the dumpee who changes the relationship status on Facebook and when? What are the rules? I'll never forget when I changed my relationship status from "married" to single. It was like...deciding to get divorced all over again. So public, so embarrassing, so humiliating for everyone involved. I think I'm gonna build into my BUA that no relationship status be changed on FB until there is at least a fetus between us. I think that is going to be part of my new rules. 

But then my friend Sheri brought up that she would never trust someone who didn't change their FB status to "in a relationship with Sheri" once they started getting serious. And I guess I can see that too! Facebook is ruining my BUA! 

Does that make me a pessimist? I don't think so. I just think that clarity is important. I'm gonna dip my toes in the pool, I want to know where all of the exits are, just incase I fall in. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Waxing Woes vs Laserin' Hoes



Our rebellious, free loving 70s counterparts may disagree, but hair removal is basically the best thing that's been happening in the western world since the advent of the bathing suit in the 1940s. You crazy hippies were all hopped up on LSD anyway, but now a days, waxing has become the norm...everywhere. That is of course, unless you are lucky enough to get a Groupon or Lifebooker deal to Lasering.
Yes, Lasering. While it may seem a little dangerous to have a red laser aimed at your lady bits, any lady who has been waxed by a crazy butch Soviet refugee looking Olga will tell you, Lasering is the way to go! Setting you back a cool $1500 for a half bikini, if you can afford it, it will completely change your life. 

Now, yes they both hurt, yes, they are both unpleasant but even the Egyptians have been sugaring since before the times of Christ so I feel like they were onto something there. Its only the western world that has taken some time to catch on, but why? Yes, its a pain ...literally a pain (sometimes in the butt) but most women feel most confident when hairless.


I was having this very conversation with some ladies at the grocery store (I know, how domesticated am I?) this morning when the topic of "intention" came up behind these practices. One lady, Alma, insisted that you are making a strong statement by waxing all of your lady hair, that you are easy, freaky and sexual. She didn't seem to think that the method mattered, but that the end result certainly sent a message.  Now, Alma is a 55 year old housekeeper with grey hair on her head, so I knew I had to ask her about her haircut of choice down there, but I waited until we had other group opinions on the subject.

Next up to bat on the opinion wagon was a lady named Dana. Dana, is a 35 year old mother of 3 with the two year old from hell. Poor Dana probably has a 70s fro happening and looks like she hasn't showered in ten days. Her blond hair is now turning a scary shade of green. She too suggested that you are making a statement with not only the length but the mode of removal. Dana was adamant that the method was also a strongly worded statement to her partner. She suggested that when she met her husband she made sure to wax a thin landing strip. She said this indicated to her husband when they were dating that she was a lady...that no woman looking for a husband should be bald, because this sends the wrong message. Its says "hoe" not "home". She also said that getting regular waxes indicated to her husband that not only did she need time to herself to take care of regular maintenance for him, but that it was built in time in her schedule for personal pampering (wax, nails, eyebrows,etc).  If she was full bald or lasered forever, she would have no hopes of solace. She started getting louder and louder saying that if she lasered, after a few times she'd be out of excuses to be out of her home! And then what would she do, huh?! Then what?! I see her point.

I needed a man's opinion.


I called a few of my guy friends who have pleaded to remain anonymous...as they will for now. One of them, we'll call him "mike" emphasized to me that guys aren't reading into anything other than they are about to get laid before they see your haircut of choice. "Edward" added that he didn't even know lasering existed and he was of the opinion that mixing it up was the way to go. "Rodrigo" just asked me about my hair cut and I hung up.

This got me thinking about relationships. Why is it that as women we feel the need to over analyze everything we do and how it will be perceived. Well, on some level, you probably are making a statement depending on the occasion and the relationship you are in. Maybe you're trying to say, "sometimes I'm a lady" and maybe, if you're Alma, you're trying to say "sometimes, I'm freaky, even if I'm older..maybe I can school ya". 

Maybe everything doesn't have to mean something and everything doesn't have to be a statement about how you feel about someone or yourself. Maybe you're just trying on a new hair cut or wanting to feel a little sexier. Maybe you just want to simplify your life and not have to worry about doing something every 4-6 weeks. Either way, if we aren't already, maybe we need to take guys out of the equation for everything we do. Somethings really are just about you! And they should be! Because you know what...god bless em...they probably don't really notice and or care and that's great. Mohawks are cool, bald is beautiful....whatever floats your boat. 

I'm kinda glad I got that Groupon deal. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A case for vanity

I went to a catholic school  with very scary nuns. The kind that inspire movies like the Exoricst. Maybe they weren't that bad, but I can't be sure as I've spent the past twenty years trying to forget.

But one thing that sticks out particularly well was the lesson that vanity was a sin. A deadly sin, one of the seven, in fact that quickly spiraled you to hell. 

Well no offense to mother Teresa, who was a wonderful hip lady, but I have to make a case for examining and de vilifying vanity. 

First of all, let's define vanity. I work in casting and talent so, I completely understand how obnoxious it can be. I see hundreds of girls and guys on a regular basis who tell me how wonderful they are. Not just confidence, mind you, but out right shameless vanity. As a matter of fact, my favorite all time answer the question "Why are you right for this job" always ends with some variation of "because I'm beautiful". Gets me every time.

That ugly obsession with beauty and building your own self worth on it is not only disgusting, its harmful. I've had girls tell me in the same breath that they are confident and beautiful and then break down and tell me how this one gig is going to change their lives and this is their shot and their moment and break apart at the seems when really, the reasons for casting someone versus someone else, has nothing to do with whose better looking. Sometimes its an energy someone got, or a million other reasons I can't get into but 9 times out of 10 it has nothing to do with whose "hotter".

So, why was I defending it again?

Well, I just got out of the hair dresser and I was reminded about the power of feeling beautiful. A woman in the chair across from me came in and didn't say a word. Nothing. She walked in in sweats, was slightly over weight and had no make up on. While we the rest of us all were all chatty Kathy's this woman just sat there reading her email and playing on her phone. She didn't chime in, she didn't participate, she just kept to herself slouched into her chair.


When she was done, she looked in the mirror, apparently thinking it was just another of the same and she started crying. The rest of us in the small salon all began to shower her with compliments thinking she hated it, trying desperately to make sure she stopped feeling sorry for herself. We passed tissues, we hugged her, we tried to console her. She finally gathered herself together drank some water and spoke.

"I feel so pretty" she said sobbing. She continued. She said she felt like she needed to go to the gym, that she should start treating her husband better, that she wanted to be out in the sun, that she wanted to plan a trip, that she felt good about herself.

It reminded me of my trip to Africa, specifically Zambia a few years ago. There was this orphanage, well, it was really a room where little kids with no families went to be with other kids. They slept God knows where all together, trying their best to just survive. I couldn't believe it. I didn't know how anyone was suppose to be hopeful there. What was there to be hopeful about! Desolate, horrible conditions with no signs of getting out. What is the point? I felt an overwhelming sense of hopelessness.

That is until I started talking to some of the moms in the area who looked after these kids. One of them was a fan of my hair. I had clip in extensions at the time (i know how vain of me) and they matched her hair color perfectly so I gave them to her. We put on some make up and looked in the cracked mirror she had propped up against her cardboard home. She smiled, she was excited. She felt pretty and confident.

Now, is a new hair do going to magically change her life? No. But you know what, it made her feel great, and why doesn't she deserve that just because she doesn't have any money? Does poverty mean she has to  always pretend to not be a woman and not want to feel pretty and sexy? No. F that.  Obviously this woman needs food and a house that won't collapse with the rain, but she gets to feel pretty too. Why shouldn't she?

I know it might seem shallow, but feeling good about yourself can sometimes start with a new hair cut, with a little lipstick, with a new pair of jeans. And who has the right to begrudge you that? I'll tell you what, when you've been miserable and in a hole feeling like you're already in the depths of hell (if you're divorced you understand!), and a little vanity gives you just the rope you need to start climbing out, good for you. Of course like any rope, gives you a little room to hang yourself too if you let it.

Like anything else, moderation is the key, but vanity is certainly not the enemy, excess is. Feeling pretty and confident are cornerstones for great relationships with yourself, with others, with business. I know, it's like the dirty thing we're suppose to feel but not say out loud.

Well, I'm saying it. If there is anything that being a Lady of Leisure has taught me , its that I deserve the things I work for. If I want to buy a new pair of jeans that helps me feel better about myself, I'm going to. If a new hair cut gives me that little boost to go in a pitch something, I'm going to. And maybe I should start looking at other volunteering opportunities that inspire men and women to feel good about themselves.

Having grown up never feeling pretty and always looking outwardly for validation, this is a radical new concept for me, but one I believe is universal.

There is a case to be made for a small dose of vanity. If a little outward primp can make you feel like a million bucks and help give you that extra push to inspire success, I say go for it.