Humor

Digitally Challenged After All These Years

I wish Safari could help me find everything on my phone. “Show me how to connect to WiFi again?” my younger self would ask my kids. “Here, I’ll do it,” they’d respond, taking the phone from my hand without showing me how, leading me to a bad pattern of helplessness. I now feel like a bird with clipped wings that cannot fly. “You still don’t know how to do this Mom? Scroll down, no just scroll down, keep going,” my daughter says trying to help me find the right setting. Frustrated, I look up at her. “Did I stand behind you and say, ‘Just step, just start stepping,’ when you were learning how to walk?”...

What You Can’t Ask Your Adult Daughter About Dating

“I’ll tell you but promise you won’t be weird.” “I won’t be weird. I’m never weird.” “Oh my God mom, you’re always weird about this stuff.” Nikki’s younger sister Lulu piped in. “What do you mean? You guys never tell me anything so how can I be weird about it?” “That’s why we don’t tell you. Because you’re weird.” “Well, I’m not promising anything. I’m your mom and if I want to be weird about it, I’ll be weird. Now do tell!” ...
Lisa Poulson

Surprised by the Joy of White Hair

n the middle of 2020’s pandemic lockdown, everybody’s hair looked terrible and there was nothing anyone could do about it. We all had roots. Scowling at myself in the mirror one night, an idea sparked. What if I stopped coloring my hair? At 57, wasn’t that OK? On September 4, 2020, the first day salons could legally open in Alameda County, I walked into my colorist’s tiny new salon, a converted shipping container in Oakland, filled with anticipation and relief. I could not wait to see how I might emerge....
Carrie Bradshaw

Some Things I Never Do When Dating After 50

I walked into the swanky hotel lobby bar dressed in black jeans, black shear blouse, black boots, and my favorite red shearling coat, furry side out. It was a ‘look at me’ outfit. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw. “Where do you live?” I asked, covering the ubiquitous ‘get-to-know-you’ questions. “Chelsea, but you’ll never see the inside of my place,” he gibed....
zippered mouth, shut up, closed lips

Thinking of Giving Up Swearing

In recent years, I’ve started swearing more and more: with friends, with colleagues, with the family. For a long time, I felt OK about that. For starters, I enjoy it. And research shows that swearing has a number of benefits. One study found links between how fluent a person is in the English language and how fluent they are in swearing. This “verbal fluency” suggests that having a wide range of swears at your disposal enables you to communicate with maximum effectiveness....

It’s Not About the Hairdresser It’s The Journey

Liz. I don’t know why you insist on making that drive every month. There’s gotta be plenty of good hairdressers down here.” . And so begins my husband’s and my monthly-I won’t call it an argument-more of a debate- about my refusal to give up my every-four-week cut and color appointment on Newbury Street in Boston even though we moved to the Southeastern Connecticut shoreline 3 years ago....
Felice Shapiro

Things I Never Thought I’d Say or Hear A Year Ago

At times, I barely recognize the former me. A slow drip or should I say an injection of hope is on the horizon as the vaccine rolls out and into the arms of friends and family but in the meantime...... I wonder about the behaviors of the new me that have become embedded over the past year.  "No problem, I can wake up at 5:30 for our yoga class." Did I just say that? Yup.  ...
Candle

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....
Woman dating on zoom

The Surprising Benefit of Zoom Dating

I carefully applied Nars Roman Holiday lipstick; just a hint of color to go with the sweater, instead of a darker color that doesn't suit my aging complexion. To avoid gas, I was not drinking a vodka tonic. Instead, I smoked a joint called Banana Kush that promised “a mellow buzz and a relaxed sense of euphoria in social settings.” Just for kicks, I spritzed myself with my favorite jasmine perfume and logged into Zoom a little early. “I look good.” I thought. “Cute even. And the Zoom filter hides all my wrinkles.”’ I had purposely made myself the Zoom host so I would have time to examine and re-examine my on-screen appearance and create the right lighting, if need be....
Ginny Poleman

Post Divorce: Feeling like 18 Again

Last Saturday with no plans, I reserved a timed entry for one person to the Whitney Museum of Art and headed downtown. I plugged my earbuds in listening to the museum’s audio guide, and took my time revisiting my favorites and appreciating some new works of art. No one interrupted, distracted, or expected anything of me. My skin tingled with inspiration, as my heart rate slowed. My feet floated through the galleries, while my spirit was grounded....
Illustration

Control Top Rescue

How the Hell did I get into this thing anyway? I managed to get the straps down and push the cups to my waist. Trying to push the thing down over my hips was harder, my thumbs got stuck in the underpants. Standing there, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, thumbs in my crotch. I needed one hand to pull out the other. I jerked my right hand out really hard and my arm ricocheted into the side of the dressing room partition. If my arm didn’t hurt so bad I might think this was funny. Thank God I was the only one in the dressing room. Ok what are my options?...
Skiing and listening to music

Throwback Music That Fills The Soul : What’s On Your Spotify Playlist?

My Harman Kardon stereo was my bed mate in high school. America's Horse with No Name, The Doors Rider's On The Storm, and Steve Miller's Joker and Toker and Midnight Smoker tucked me into my dreams each night. I can't remember it all but Bruce Springsteen carried me through my first romance and although I gave up the boyfriend, I never gave up Bruce....