Daily Dish

Business Person Gender Uncertain

Gender: The First Thing We Notice

I was watching a movie recently in which two men are interacting online, one certain he is flirting with a woman, while being maliciously pranked by the other. Gender was assumed via language and context. In fact, without those assumptions, the exchange would never have taken place. The same "fill in the blanks" presumptive process plays out when we overhear a conversation and interpret its agenda. Expressly aware of it or not, words are colored by assumptions as to the sex of the speakers. Studies tell us that when we meet someone … [Read More...]

Lifestyle

f Beautiful Confident African American Business Woman

One Step Beyond “No”

How to say no when you need to… effectively.

Woman Can't Sleep

How to Cope With Frustration

Coping strategies when everyday frustrations mount…

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Relationships

f Smiling African American Woman

Growing in Different Directions… Together

Helping relationships survive personal and professional change… happily.

Couple Planning Retirement

How to Survive Retirement With Your Spouse

When retirement hits, and you’re face-to-face and out of sync…

f Sad Woman Looking Down

Marriage Above All Else

Catch-22 for victims of domestic violence and their children?

f Troubled Couple

5 Tips for a Healthier Relationship

When questions asked and answered can lead to a healthier relationship.

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Most Recent…

f Beautiful Woman Side View Portrait

“Totally Naked Photo Shoot”

The announcer said: "Next up... a totally naked photo shoot." Naturally, I turned my head to look. Wouldn't you? Yes, I am a product of my culture. I was listening to entertainment news on television. It was evening, and I was editing. By the time the commercial break was over, I was immersed in writing again and missed the segment. Most likely, the line about nakedness was a hook - an effective one … [Read More...]

Personal Chef

Three Cheers for the Personal Chef!

Mmmm. What is that intoxicating aroma? Perhaps I should ask my personal chef, whipping up something in the kitchen... For lunch? For dinner? A decadent little bacon-wrapped filet, is it? Ah, the sauce. Fantastic. Not as heavy as Hollandaise on the asparagus, but butter-based and sinfully seasoned. Oh, right. I don't actually have a personal chef. An occasional cohort-in-cuisine, yes. Does that count? … [Read More...]

Elegant Table Setting Soft Red and Pink

Hostess With the Mostest

Dreaming of hosting elegant dinner parties? You know the sort... the table is set with your prettiest plates, linen napkins, crystal carefully placed just above the good silver. And as the host or hostess, you're graciously presiding over your domain. The menu? The flowers? The most important part - the guests? You have meticulously planned every detail, and you're hoping … [Read More...]

f Kitten in Boots

Le Chat Botté

Slouchy mid-heel boots. Tall, calf-hugging burgundy boots. Supple, silvery, suede stiletto boots... Such a delicious dream. Then one cavalier creature of feline fame found its way into the conversation. "Le chat botté," he says. "What?" "Le chat botté. Puss-in-boots. That's how you say it in French." Funny how my thought process differs from his, as my cohort-in-crime rattles off literary, historical … [Read More...]

Relationship Hangover Saying the Wrong Thing

Relationship Hangover: Making the Wrong People Pay

Sometimes I think I make the wrong people pay for what hasn't worked in past relationships, as if I'm living some sort of relationship hangover. In other words, the current love interest pays for the misdeeds of the former, just as the former paid for the failings of the one before. You know what I mean, don't you? The guy who has never lied to you says something that ignites memories of … [Read More...]

f Emotionally Needy Mother With Teen Daughter

Emotionally Needy Parents

I did not want to become my mother: emotionally needy, intrusive, manipulative and confusing in her back-handed expression of approval. To say that she was an emotionally needy parent is an understatement. It took me many years to understand this lesson: Deeply caring parents help us feel safe, but emotionally needy parents are capable of crippling us. Naturally, there's a difference between … [Read More...]

f Couple in Serious Discussion

How Much Sacrifice Is Normal in a Relationship?

My impression of most relationships: One partner is more likely to sacrifice in order to hold things together. The risk is that he or she will resent what is given up, and resentment will grow toxic. So how do we determine what a normal amount of sacrifice might be - so the relationship stays healthy? In my marriage, it was expected that I bring home a hefty income, that I take … [Read More...]

Family in Bed_Feet

Why Kids Are Hard on Marriage

Let's just say it. Kids are hard on marriage. When I make that statement, are you foaming at the mouth or fidgeting a little? Is it something you know but wouldn't so much as whisper? Why are we so unwilling to acknowledge what most of us have experienced? To say that children put a strain on marriage is to speak the obvious and to feel subversive. To express anything less than glowing sentiments … [Read More...]

Woman with Skeptical Expression

Emotional Availability: Connection Is Not All or Nothing

We talk about emotional availability as if it is a single dimension of a willingness or capacity to emotionally attach. To connect. And we approach that emotional connection as if it is all or nothing. It seems to me that I, like others, too often address this and related topics without being sufficiently specific. This is one of the problems with labels, lists, and a cultural propensity for the quick fix. … [Read More...]

Woman with eyes closed

Think Sleep Can Go? All Systems, Slow

Sleep deprivation... How do I NOT love thee... Oh, let me count the ways! It may be a crisp, sunny morning outside - cause for a good mood - yet all I can say is... If only I were sleeping. Inside, I am witness to the recent storm: remnants of a day that began before dawn and ended after midnight, the 24-hour period that preceded it (only slightly less hectic), the day before that, very much … [Read More...]

Beautiful African American Woman Smiling

The Art of Reading People

It was a series of lessons in the art of reading people, all in the course of routine errands. First, there was a stop at the cosmetics counter of one of my favorite stores, as I quickly engaged in "reading" two women, and one of them was certainly reading me. They were about the same distance from me, and in a flash, I knew which one I would connect with as I was processing her body language and … [Read More...]

Secret to Your Success

The Secret to Your Success

The article had me at its title: "Your Success Isn't Always About You." Hallelujah. A little common sense when it comes to understanding a critical aspect of what makes us successful - any of us - whatever our objectives. The point of the interview that is summarized in The New York Times: Individual success is not only an outgrowth of a smart idea or talent or plenty of hard work, but … [Read More...]

Gorgeous Asian Woman_Serious Expression

Over-Preparation: Will It Ease Social Anxiety?

When social anxiety is an all too familiar presence, can you over-prepare for a date? What does that mean? Are we talking about three hours of hair styling and lash curling? Or scanning every online feed for the scoop on Mr. Wonderful? Is it different if we're talking about a professional situation? An interview, a presentation, a semi-social gathering? Does worry lessen … [Read More...]

Heroine

Who Are Your Heroes?

We could pose the question from a variety of angles and in a number of ways. Who do we admire? Who do we look up to as examples? Who are our heroes? In reflecting on a recent remark that mentioned an influential grandmother, and a reference to Katherine Hepburn as one of my icons for many reasons, I realize this: I no longer have heroes. Certainly not among our contemporary public personalities. … [Read More...]

f Girl Peering Through Torn Paper

Packaging Personal Style

We know that politicians are packaged for public consumption. Likewise, celebrities, though personal style and image were more easily conveyed in the days of the Hollywood machine, not to mention before the ubiquitous nature of social media. Individuals are packaged as well - from the names we use for ourselves to hairstyle, glasses or contacts, attire and the way we speak. Many go … [Read More...]

Crazy Kid With Cooking Utensils

Cooking With the Kid

Not long after one son was safely back at school, albeit wobbly on two injured feet (another story), I heard from the other - first a quick phone call and then an invite on Skype. It was an unexpected visit, and a pleasure to see his new apartment. At least as much fun? Cooking with my son online, though he is half a country away. And yes, I recently expounded on the time-honored tradition … [Read More...]

Now Voyager Trailer Screenshot 1941

Now, Voyager…

When my Man Friend planned a Saturday complete with what sounded like a full and entertaining set of activities - a hike through a wooded park, socializing with friends, an outing for lunch - despite his coaxing, I declined. And he did not press. After a week that included several near all-nighters on behalf of a client, and naturally, a few hours here and there for my own writing - there was little … [Read More...]