Archive | Etiquette Matters

A Few Notes on Middle Age and Sex

Sophia Loren at age 46

I don’t mind middle age, but I mind everyone’s archaic attitudes about it, especially when it comes to attractiveness.

The truth—rarely uttered, but unavoidably true—is that we are young for a far shorter time than we are not, and almost without exception we are assholes during this very fleeting period.

Which is all to say: I refuse to smile when told, “Wow, you don’t look 50,” as if it’s the ultimate compliment. I refuse to play nice when I’m called a cougar for snogging a 25-year-old. And I really refuse to make self-deprecating jokes about my age the way others do, perhaps because they have children so are inured to insults about their age. America so fetishizes youth—to our peril, since the result is a bunch of maskless bozos who insist on civil liberties without civic responsibility—that it licenses a toxic desexualization of the not-young, especially of women. Put simply, I reject the rejection. Continue Reading →

The Ultimate Fool’s Errand

Only once has someone broken up with me in a way that I immediately and completely accepted. Really, this was quite an achievement, because historically I date people off and on forever unless they reveal themselves to be complete sociopaths or get married. (Although my aversion to marriage is well-documented, I am not in the business of making third parties miserable.)

But though this beau was neither married nor a complete sociopath, his breakup line was so effective that we never spoke again once he uttered it. In a low, caressing voice he said: “It seems this is not what we had hoped.”

In point of fact, he was absolutely right. We’d been dating for four months, which is exactly how long it takes for sexual chemistry to wear off when there’s no other glue in place. I won’t bog you down with the details (he did too much coke and considered me too much of a prude) but as I write this I can assure you that, 20 years later, the only real memory I have of that relationship are those nine magic words. Continue Reading →

Astro PSA With Tons of Quotation Marks

“Shantavia Beale II,” Kehinde Wiley.

After six weeks of retrograde, Venus stationed direct in the wee hours of this morning. What does this mean? That beauty and congeniality are back in the house. Does this mean that our country is going to miraculously return to civility? Not bloody likely, because what Venus Retrograde shows us is where real care, love, and compassion is disrupted. In other words, this time around it showed us what lived below the surface of “nice” and “normal” in the “United” States of America. So though a lot of “allies” are showing the inevitable signs of weariness, the point is not to return to business as usual so much as to integrate the lessons of these last weeks’ turmoil and transformation into your daily routines. A positive “business as usual” has always been a privilege unavailable to many, anyway. So petition reps AND go to the beach. Color roots AND attend protests. Buy oysters AND donate to social justice causes. Post about your cute pets AND concrete ways to topple institutionalized white supremacy. True change is a long haul, so we must pace ourselves so that we never let up. At the end of the day, social justice worth fighting for isn’t nice and pretty. Rather, it is kind and beautiful. Venus would approve.

I am scheduling intuition and tarot readings again beginning July 1; book here.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy