Daily Dish

Don't Want to be Burned


Hoping for wisdom courtesy of a blast from the past, I spent a few morning minutes revisiting my archives. I was seeking perspective, motivation, answers. I found myself remembering the stresses of my son's college application process, my sense of helplessness in alleviating his concerns, and trying to mitigate as well as navigate the continuing saga of post-divorce financial strain. Ah, if only we could put on a happy face and that would be enough. … [Read More...]

Work-Life Juggle

Bride looking sad

Why People Don’t Marry

This reason to stay single surprised me. What about you?

Overwhelmed Boy

Kidding Ourselves About Kids

Practical concerns for (over) scheduling our children and ourselves.

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Happy Middle Age Couple

Living in Sin

New data on living together before marriage questions old assumptions.

African American Woman on computer

Facing Down Facebook

The downside to our seemingly standard social media maneuvers and checkpoints.

Serious Woman Gray Eyes

On Bitterness

Is the “bitterness” label little more than a deflective device?

Mature Couple Happy Together


Not married, not engaged, not “official”… Lacking a label for love, and hidden agendas.

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Most Recent…

Man and Woman Back to Back

Ties that Bind

Don't most of us have a 'type' when it comes to romantic partners? I know I do. At least, I did, though over the years, the more superficial aspects of that type have fallen away. The substance, however, has remained constant. So what about our professional partners? If we have a choice in the matter, do we return to the same individuals if possible? And if we do, what are we gaining? … [Read More...]

Mature Woman Contemplating

Love, Informed

Picture yourself older. Really older. What do you see? More importantly - how do you feel? If you are a woman, if you are beginning to see signs of age, if you are worried about what that may mean for your personal life, your ability to earn a living, your sense of who you are in the world and how others will treat you - do you feel vulnerable? … [Read More...]

Peggy Season 7

Truth and Consequences: Mad Men Season 7 Episode 2, “A Day’s Work”

Mad Men Season 7 Episode 2 yields several standout lines of dialog. The first is delivered by Don's secretary, Dawn, as she tells Peggy's secretary, Shirley: "Just keep pretending." That sounds like good advice if you want to keep your job - and you aren't a white guy with a corner office. Wiser words still, but harder to pull off - Sally says to Daddy Dearest Don: "Just tell the truth." … [Read More...]

Carton of Brown Eggs

Wrong Formula (for Work Family Balance)

When I saw this title on the Daily Beast - "Career + Family = Solved," and the topic was women freezing their eggs, I was irked. Bad math! Wrong premise! Lousy formula! Sure, sure. It's a catchy headline. But all you do is postpone problems you run into a few years down the road, as those of us past the baby, toddler, and preschool stages of parenting know. … [Read More...]

Sexy Casual Style Jeans and Leather Jacket

Giving Diet Discipline a Helping Hand

I always insist that I don't diet. And I don't, as a general rule, because diets don't work! But I do have times when I need to reset my eating discipline. And my trigger TTJ Syndrome - Too Tight Jeans - which always makes me feel miserable. And that typically follows a lapse in eating and exercising that is explainable... but not excusable. You know. Winter, stress, too much to do … [Read More...]

Teacher in classroom

Best Jobs for Women… According to Men?

I bumped into a short article recently on the best jobs for women... according to men. That isn't exactly how the piece was positioned, but it's a quickie, unscientific glimpse into the male psyche. I must clarify: the men were young, the data nothing more than asking a few gents their opinions, and I confess that the responses (for me) elicited laughs more than insight. Care to know … [Read More...]

Teen Girl Covering Her Ears

The Things We Say

I hear the words slip out before she can censor herself. She's enraged, which is nothing new, but this time she's especially hurtful. I tell myself "sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me." This is a child's attempt to deflect pain, and no longer a child, I know there is no truth in this saying. As often as I observe the way her moods come and go … [Read More...]

Mature Woman Smiling Warmly

Face Time

There are times you just want to sit across from the person you need to talk to, to listen to, to influence. The person from whom you hope to glean knowledge, perspective, answers... possibly a job. You don't want to look bored. You don't want to look too eager. Yet our expressions, our gestures, our "je ne sais quoi" are often best communicated non-verbally. And that means face time. … [Read More...]

Tired and Worried Woman

Nuit Blanche

Considering the French term for an all-nighter, a "white night," I suspect it has to do with the way we feel in the morning - a bit blank, as though some of our brain cells have been erased, zapped, or covered over with white-out. J'ai passé une nuit blanche...  I stayed up through the night, sleepless, working on this and that. Of course, the white night more likely refers to lights on, without the relief … [Read More...]

Mad Men Peggy Season 7 Ep 1

Mad Men Season 7… Of Time Zones and Beginnings

In Mad Men's Final Season opener, "Time Zones," we're greeted by formerly failed ad man, Freddy, pitching poetic prose. It's a gem of an idea - both Freddy's and Mathew Weiner's - as Don Draper is the wizard behind the curtain creating smart slogans and Peggy's piqued interest. The pair may be discussing a Swiss watch, but as they say, it's "time for a conversation," as the premiere situates us in January 1969, and … [Read More...]

Skeptical expression

Are You Cynical?

The narrow street is barely recognizable except for two low-rise apartment buildings and a clapboard cottage. Maybe two. The sprawling campus of brick has transformed the landscape, but this is only a single example of the gentrification that continues in my neighborhood. These particular structures, quite pretty in fact, are part of an expanded private school that sits adjacent to the public school my sons attended … [Read More...]

Unhappy with Hair


"Just a trim. A little layering through here," I say. "You can see where it's heavy in the back and on the sides." "Sure," she says, snapping the smock together around the back. Over the next 30 minutes, through protests and intervention by other stylists, all of us attempting to guide her politely, I receive the following: Worst. Haircut. Ever. Well, worst haircut that I ever paid for. My consolation … [Read More...]

Entitled Woman

I Want What I Want… and I Want it Now!

Me, me, me. And ME, ME, ME. Now tell me more... about me... would you? Signs of entitlement? Maybe yes, maybe no. Abject cluelessness? That, too. Visions of operatic mi-mi-mi struck recently while browsing my usual social media feeds. The abundance of self-promotional updates, one after another, hit a screeching and sour chord... with me. Now, now. We're just trying to compete, to make a buck … [Read More...]

Mature Woman Contemplating

Marriage Made Me, Marriage Undid Me

I've been mulling over living arrangements, more often of late, as the circumstances of my life are evolving. Cohabiting part-time is one thing; that has been my situation for more than two years, and it's gone well. The arrival of a good man on the scene dovetailed with empty nest. However, living with someone full-time is a dramatically different scenario. It's something I'm considering … [Read More...]

Three generations in the kitchen

Moms Rising

Women, women, women. Or more specifically, mothers. I took a long, slow breath as I saw this headline in The New York Times: "Number of Mothers in U.S. Who Stay at Home Rises." Or should I say a deep cleansing breath, before yet another painful push? Regarding the recent Pew Research report on stay at home moms, I can't say that I'm surprised … [Read More...]

Woman Contemplating and Leaning Against Window

On Your Own

There are those who can't stand to be alone with themselves for long, feeling as though they are less worthy if they aren't out with friends or more importantly - to them - in some sort of relationship. Then there are people like me. We may enjoy our relationships, wanting one even, but identity is not forged as a function of the "other." Nor are we dependent on external perceptions … [Read More...]

Woman Laughing

No Crying? No Laughing? No Way!

I haven't had a good cry in a long time. A very long time. On the other hand, I laugh frequently. And we're talking everything from polite tittering to uncontrollable belly laughter, which brings me to tears. I'm a fan of the LOL, the ROTFL, and the MDR (the French equivalent) - though the real thing, rather than simulated signs or abbreviated messaging to indicate degrees of amusement … [Read More...]

Beautiful Msture Woman closeup

Cracker Jack Helpers

The caramel corn, the peanuts, the prize. Cracker Jack was always a treat, and the tiny toy inside was essential to the pleasure. Like most of us, I enjoy surprises - happy ones, that is, even the small ones. I find myself thinking of Cracker Jack as I'm standing in my kitchen, grinning over a silly (but useful) discovery. Despite a decade of cooking on my range, and scouting for this and that on my counter tops, I have only just come to realize … [Read More...]

Surprised Middle Aged Man


The other woman in this little adventure is twenty-something, with a quizzical look and a smile on her face. At my side is my guy, equally surprised. "You want to do what exactly?" she asks. "A split," I say, as the others at the dining table glance at each other, wondering what I might be up to. Our conversation has meandered into interesting terrain to do with exercise, dancing, stretching - at any age. … [Read More...]

13 year old boy

Talking to Kids About Sex

We went round and round, as we often do, drawing from our own experiences of what we did right - and not so right - as parents. We were talking about kids, their sexual education, what they see online, what is or isn't "pornography." He compared interpretations based on his upbringing with one foot in Europe and the other in the States; I did likewise, though my French experience … [Read More...]

Businesswoman Making a Decision

Crisis of Conscience

When a manager told me to lie to a prospective customer - oh, it must have been 20 years ago now - I refused. It isn't that I was supremely secure in my position or that I didn't understand it would mean money in her pocket. It wasn't even the fact that lying about what you can deliver, when you know you can't, is bad business. It was, to me, a matter of right and wrong. A matter of … [Read More...]