Karla Araujo

Is Anything Normal About “Normal Marital Hatred”?

On June 27, 2022, the New York Times reassured me that the moments I want to attack my kind, mild-mannered husband with a meat cleaver are completely normal. Three months later, the Washington Post also sanctioned these instances of partner loathing, quoting family therapist and author Terrence Real, the creator/proponent of “Normal Marital Hatred,” who says, “Real marriage comes the day you realize that this person is exquisitely designed to stick the burning spear into your eyeball.” Mr. Real goes on to explain that no one acknowledges the “underbelly” of relationships. He postulates that there are moments when you look at your partner and hate their guts. Wait, Terrence, have you been hiding in marital closets across America?...

Sleep Divorce: Can’t Sleep with Him…..Can’t Kill Him

I'm considering Sleep Divorce....It’s three a.m. and the mass lying on its back next to me is emitting unearthly sounds. I awaken, surfacing from a dream in which I’ve tried to weave the snorts, rasps, whistles, and jagged breathing into the plot. Clad only in a polka-dotted bikini, I’d been floating through a field of daisies towards Freddy, my third-grade boyfriend, while my husband lay serenely unbothered by his own tortured cacophony. I love my husband. We spoon perfectly, taking comfort in one another’s warm, pliant presence. Randy and I watch TV shows and tennis tournaments in bed, snuggled with our small mutt Zadie, all of us munching popcorn. Awake, we’re blissful. But turn off the lights, shut off the electronics, and we join the ranks of couples contemplating divorce. Sleep divorce, that is....
Taking a nap

I Sleep Around. And I’m Shameless

This past year I started again. I hadn’t slept around in years but now I do It regularly. I relish the delicious illicitness, that feeling of surrendering to a higher power. The desire is overwhelming at times. When I succumb, I savor the sense that I’m slipping out of myself, completely letting go. I crave the cool Egyptian cotton or silken Italian leather beneath my bare skin before giving myself over. I confess. I’m a slave to the nap. I’d like to blame the pandemic. The fear of catching a potentially fatal illness. Or losing someone else to it. Maybe it’s age. I’m 65. I’ve lived a lot. Run too many miles, hit too many tennis balls, worked too many all-nighters. But I think it’s more a capitulation, an acknowledgement that it’s okay to be tired. Napping has become my friend....

This Smells Like My (Charred) Vagina

For years, advertisers have tried to convince women that we should be ashamed of any aroma that might be leaching out of our Southern Hemisphere. A quick online search for “vaginal odor products” yields nearly five million treatment options including one called “Private Party Vaginal Probiotic” and another, a complete “Vaginal Health Kit,” in case just one product doesn’t nip the problem in the bud. Thank god someone who actually has one is finally reassuring us that, gee, our vaginas smell terrific! I’ve barely caught up with the aforementioned candle, when, lo and behold, Gwyneth’s back in the laboratory....
Karla Araujo

Karla Araujo

Karla Araujo is a humorist and freelance feature writer in Washington, D.C. She's written everything from Triscuit boxes to essays on National Orgasm Day and passing gas in yoga class. Most important of all, she's been assured she's way Better After 50.