911

 

Kids – who needed them?

They drained your bank account and destroyed your dreams.

Every time I saw an overzealous mommy delirious over her mewling poop machine, I knew it HAD to be an act.

Taking care of ME was a full-time job. Plants died in my care.

 

I was living in New York City – the epicenter of EVERYTHING. I milked that shiz like Bernie Madoff at a Ponzi scheme party.

I hobnobbed with pseudo celebrities. Life outside the velvet rope was not worth living.

 

I was a die-hard urbanite with the a full-throttle addiction to Broadway plays, ethnic restaurants and designer shoes, supported by a bullshit corporate job. If I combined them into The Sacrosanct Trifecta – went to see a play and ate Afghani food in a pair of Jimmy Choos – I spontaneously orgasmed.

I brunched (yes, I used it as a goddamn verb) at the Odeon in Tribeca. If a family came in, I’d move my table. I’m here for a cocktail and to maybe make a little eye contact with Robert DeNiro, and I don’t need to hear your squalling rug rats. Just because you had to go fuck up YOUR life doesn’t mean I don’t get to enjoy my warm goat cheese salad.

“Excuse me, hostess? I’m pretty sure I smell shit in that kid’s diaper, or maybe it’s just my friend’s penne gorgonzola, but, either way, just move us.”

 

My boss was a psychopath; a vulgarly successful multimillionaire with a God complex and a nasty temper. Do you know what it’s like to be paid six figures for a high-powered position and have Hitler’s brother throw a stapler at your head because his bagel had SEEDS on it?

When the corporate bourgeois aesthetic has you by the throat and you find yourself addicted to Jimmy Choo shoes, you do worse things than when you were addicted to smack.

 

A Crisp Fall Tuesday Morning.

8:50 am:  I had just dodged a paperweight when my phone rang. My brother was saying something I didn’t understand.

What was he talking about? He was recovering from lung cancer; those pain meds and the pot he smoked incessantly took him on verbal joyrides.Today, he was babbling about a plane.

“I have to go. Can I call you later?”

 

9:05 am:  My boss emerges from the inner sanctum. He always watched the news while he ate the breakfast that may or may not result in an inanimate object being hurled in my direction.

I was on hold with London. If I didn’t get these curricula vitae faxed over soon, I would surely have a desk accessory lobbed at me.

He yelled for all of us to get in his office, NOW. The TV screen showed…what was that? Was that a plane jutting out the side of a building? Engulfed in beautiful brilliant red and yellow flames, blazing wildly?

Above and below these violently beautiful hues was the blackest smoke I’d ever seen.

The dark of things and people gone forever.

 

9:21 am:  Port Authority closes all bridge and tunnels. My boyfriend was in New Jersey. No way to get to him. No way to get out of the city tonight.

 

9:31 am:  President Bush does nothing to reassure us. I want to hear that this is an accident; that an alcoholic air traffic controller got blackout boozed up when he walked in on his wife fucking the pool boy.

He tells us there is an “apparent” terrorist attack on New York City. Apparent? Whew. That means nothing; that’s like the “apparent” phone number I give men in clubs.

Breathe, Samara. Apparent, apparent…

 

9:37 am:  Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western facade of the Pentagon in Washington DC. There is no more uncertainty.

 

New York City is under attack by terrorists.

 

9:59 am:  The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

What are we supposed to do? Do we stay? Do we leave?

The rumors fly and claw at us like the crows in the “The Birds:”

The terrorists are now targeting Times Square – WHERE WE ARE.

The company’s human resource director voice comes through the speakers, giving us instructions on how to evacuate safely.

Too late for that. Full scale bedlam has broken loose. We’re all going to die, and we know it.

We just don’t want to die here, where we loathe each other so much.

Get. Me. Out. Of. Here.

 

For some reason, the elevators have been turned off. The staircase is jammed.

I can’t breathe. Too many people. Too hot. No air. Everyone is pushing. I fall. A man helps me up. We both fall. People step over us, on us. We use the wall and each other for support to get up. He’s my life line.

I lose sight of his face. He’s just a detached arm. A hand, clasping mine.

I try to help the people who are down. But if I stop to help them, I get knocked over by frantic people behind me.

I can’t breathe.

I’m going to suffocate and die in this staircase. I’m going to die in the staircase of a building of a job I hated.

I hear screaming.

It’s my own.

 

I see light – is that the street?  I push, push, PUSH. We’re bottlenecking at the edge. We’re crowning like the desperate head of an infant, one…last…PUSH.

I’m OUT.

 

All around me – chaos. The subway stations are shut down. The streets are pandemonium.

I begin the long walk home, on shaky legs, to my apartment downtown. As I walk, I pass people walking uptown. They are bloody. Torn. Disoriented. Covered in white dust and black soot.

I realize…these are the survivors.

The air in my neighborhood is black and filthy, like the inside of a chimney. Soot flecks fall from the sky and land on my hair. From the front of my building, I have a clear view of the wreckage.

And I know, in that moment, we’re all going to die, the people of New York City.

We’re all going to die today.

 

 

I don’t want to die. I’m only 32.

I still have shoes to buy.

 

No cell service. No land lines. No communication with the rest of the world.

I want to talk to my mom. I want her to know I love her.

 

I don’t particularly believe in God, but that moment – I decide to believe. And then, I do the oddest thing.

I fall to my knees. Right on the filthy, unyielding, abrasive, soot covered pavement. I was never religious before, but this moment feels like church to me.

“Dear God,

Please, please, don’t let me die. I know I haven’t always lived my life correctly. But if you let me live, I’ll be a better person. I’ll use hemp products. I’ll rescue a dog. I’ll drive a hybrid.”

I thought a moment.

“I know I might have pissed you off with those abortions. Since you made me so freakishly fertile that I got pregnant even on birth control, did you – WANT ME to have a baby? I promise, I won’t interfere with your plans again. Just please. Let me live. I’m not ready to die.” 

—-

I lived.

I got pregnant 16 months later. I kept my bargain with God.

Me and Him – we’re good.

 

In 2003, I gave birth to my son.

I had been given clarity, on September 11, 2001.

My son is the constant reminder of the good graces of God.

And I am grateful, not for the tragedy that day, that singular moment in history when searing images and heartbreaking stories changed the world forever,

but for the moment of clarity it afforded me. Which changed my world forever.

 

Dedicated to those who lost their lives - and gave me one.

We watched this happening – and still didn’t believe it was happening. .

 

This post is dedicated to the memory of those who gave their lives that day.

Where were you when it happened?
Talk to me. I’m listening. 

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I can hear the collective Gen X howl of protest echoing off all the Subarus at the Trader Joe’s parking lot.  Maybe YOU believe that honesty is the best policy, but maybe YOU didn’t spend your 20’s fucking bands like it was your job. No need for YOU to come clean about the dangers of contracting anal herpes from uncircumcised European guitarists which incidentally (fun fact!) can be transmitted even with the use of a condom.

Raising children is an intricately constructed, highly delicate web of secrets and lies. In order to raise productive members of society, we must subscribe to the “liar, liar, pants on fire” method of parenting.

Would honesty have stopped my kid from excavating Peter Dinklage-sized boogers out of his nose? NO. What worked was telling him that if he continued to mine his nasal passages for soft jade, his skull would collapse.

Let’s make a pact, here and now, to keep our big, fat cake holes shut about how much cocaine we shoveled in our faces back in the day, okay? My 8th grader already knows more about drugs than most street dealers. The middle school curriculum educates our kids so thoroughly on drug lingo, they can score in any neighborhood in America and several in Tijuana and not get ripped off.

All he needs is my credit card number in his sweaty little hands, and bingo! He’s able to purchase the Meth Lab Starter Kit off Amazon Prime. He doesn’t need even a tiny shred of encouragement from me that drugs are anything but BAD.

Are you really naïve enough to think that if you have a heart to heart with your kids about how you many opportunities you threw away because you spent the 90’s zooted, they’ll hear it as cautionary tale? That’s not how this works.

Kids have the highly selective hearing of a Jack Russell terrier. I’m not going to tell my kid about the time I heard the phone ringing through a haze of homegrown Thai stick and jumped up to answer my bong, breaking my foot. He’ll completely tune out the part where I spent half my freshman year of college on crutches. All he’ll hear is hear “MOM TOTALLY HAD A BONG.”

Your kids will use your past drug use as an example of how it’s possible to survive stupid behavior. Need I remind you how different things are today? When we went to college, we didn’t have to sell a kidney to pay tuition. It was perfectly FINE to eat shrooms until we broke the time/space continuum. But I’m not going to spend my golden years eating cat food because my kid racked up half a million dollars in loans reenacting Pineapple Express.

 

And you, Mr. “I’d rather teach my children how to properly use and respect mind-altering substances,” you need to CALM THE FUCK DOWN. It’s bad enough that parents want to disclose past drug use, but wanting to partake of them with your children truly signals the decline of western civilization.

Who told you that you could schlep your kid to Burning Man? Surely the child would rather go to Disneyworld, or soccer camp, or just lie in a crib and drool that attend this debauched, drug-addled shit show.  I don’t care how ‘mature’ Perseus is for his age, or that he’s on a beautiful spirit journey, 7 years old is too young to smoke DMT. Do you really need to tote your offspring to the Black Rock desert so they can witness you getting so high on molly you shit yourself?

Statistics I probably made up show that kids who do drugs with their own parents are more likely to become addicts. So, marinate in that a little before you pull out a pookie and torch that shit with your middle schooler.

I get that you need a little ganja, a toot of blow, maybe a smidge of heroin to take the edge off. But the only reason you think it’s a good idea to do drugs with your kids is because YOU’RE HIGH.

I can have an honest relationship with my son without full disclosure of every sordid detail of my drug history. In fact, I highly recommend using scare tactics to frighten your kids into sobriety. It worked for a lot of teens in the late 80’s, when one of the most iconic PSA campaigns of all time likened our brains on drugs to a fried egg sizzling in a pan.

Of course, no one has ever understood why the egg wasn’t scrambled, which is a lot MORE like your brain on drugs, or who the man in the commercial was supposed to represent, and why use an EGG, which is in fact one of the most perfectly nutritious foods in existence, and why make that sizzling egg look so damn good, perfect if you have the munchies and add a side of toast and bacon to those brains, but the point is DRUGS ARE BAD. BAD.

Also, breakfast is delicious.

Any questions?

 

Are you one of those honest parents, ruining it for the rest of us???
Talk to me. I’m listening. 

 

Come hang out with me on Facebook and Instagram so I can have friends without leaving the house.

 

I get it. I do. Just last year, your cherubic daughter was pleading for you to take her to American Girl. Who wants to think about her getting ass fucked by the basketball team?

But she is.

Maybe not your daughter – but her best friend. And maybe not the whole basketball team. Maybe just the point guards.

The fact is, our teens are having anal sex. Teen Vogue’s “A Guide to Anal Sex” isn’t encouraging them to experiment with it. They just are, because horny teenage bodies are a wonderland.

The article, a nonjudgmental guide to safe anal sex, fills in a much-needed gap for teens, particularly LGBTQ teens, whose questions typically go unanswered by sex education. Generation Z, kids born after 2000, are more connected to available information than any other generation – but googling “anal” and “sex” is going to give them less useful information and more of a magical mystery tour through Porn Hub.

All over the Internet, Teen Vogue’s tutorial on browning the sausage is being vilified as indoctrination into the seamy world of deviant sex; a permission slip for Caligulan behavior.

Elizabeth Johnson, “The Activist Mommy,” launched a national campaign to boycott Teen Vogue. To date, more than 11 million people have viewed a video of Johnston burning a copy of Teen Vogue in her backyard.

I love a bat-shit crazy, over-the-top Christian rant but since the article was an online exclusive, her backyard theatrics are as moronic as they are deplorable. Johnston is a home schooling mother of TEN KIDS. What she’s really pissed off about is that if this tutorial had been published two decades earlier, she wouldn’t have used her vagina as a clown car.

In fact, in a recent psychological profiling of Johnston which I made up, a team of doctors concluded that Johnston could “really use a dick up her ass.”

Johnston has gained notoriety, and a massive following, for her hate-speech ridden rants against feminists and the LGBTQ community. She has nearly a quarter of a million Facebook followers and her anti-Teen Vogue campaign, which is now calling for the boycott of all products of Teen Vogue and Conde Nast sponsors, is gaining traction daily.

But this Wicked Witch of the Right is not just another sanctimommy.

She is Anne Coulter on steroids, and her Teen Vogue hate rant is a symbol of everything that we need to be frightened about in our country today.

 

I’ve worked with teens for 15 years. Yes, they’re having anal sex. Young gay males and trans teens experiment with anal sex regularly.  Heterosexual teen anal sex has become much more prevalent in recent years.

The plethora of available porn, and teenage natural curiosity and desire to emulate what they see, might partly account for this.  Some studies attribute the rise of anal sex among teens as a way for them to remain “technical virgins.”

Of course, there’s also the rise of everything Booty-related in pop culture.

By the time Kim K broke the Internet with her resplendent greazy a$$, popular musical artists had been touting the butt as the newest wave of sexual preference. To name just two, female rappers Lil Kim and Nikki Minaj have proclaimed their love of receiving analingus in their lyrics, with Kim claiming, “He be looking kinda fruity, but he still could lick the booty,” and Minaj rapping in her hit song Anaconda, about a man who “[tosses] salad like his name Romaine.”

 

Much of the backlash against Teen Vogue stems from the belief that the magazine targets 12-17 year olds. To be clear, I am not in favor of 12 year olds having ANY kind of sex. Tweens are not emotionally ready to handle sexual intimacy. Moreover, the average American tween, who is prone to stunts like riding a flaming couch through the neighbor’s backyard, cannot be counted on to practice safe sex.

Does Teen Vogue actually target tweens? No. Editor Elaine Welteroth describes the magazines “sweet spot” as age 18-24. I looked over Teen Vogue’s latest offerings. It featured a story on the best beauty buys at Nordstrom’s anniversary sale. The very first item is $92 Chanel lip gloss.

What 12-year-old is this being marketed to? The only tween who can afford $92 lip gloss is Baron Trump.

Indeed, the publication has undergone a radical shift in focus with its new team of editors. When it published the editorial that shook the world, a scorched earth denouncement of Trump, it firmly established itself as the woke voice of the resistance.

Teen Vogue is no longer a magazine for 6th graders who want to read about Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. If you don’t feel comfortable exposing your 12-year-old to graphic details about sex then utilize parental controls on the computer. While you’re at it, cancel the family night viewing of Game of Thrones.

This wouldn’t be nearly as big a deal if the article was about penis-in-vagina sex. That variety of sex has a longstanding cultural stamp of approval. Despite booty popularity, our society still has negative attitudes about anal sex that are rooted in homophobia.

And anal sex is probably one of the more stigmatized sex acts, because of our negative feelings about that part of our body. How often have you heard people discuss that the anus is only designed for one way traffic? Until you’ve had a discussion with someone responsible for designing our bodies, or seen the blueprints, that’s a value judgement, not a statement based in sound science or current medical data.

 

The bottom line (pun intended) is that we need to protect our kids. NOT from information. From harm. Sex ed has been shown to help prevent and reduce the risks of sexually transmitted infections, HIV and adolescent pregnancy.

Conservative activist moms are nothing new. In the 90’s it was music (remember Tipper Gore?). In the 2000’s it was video games. But this frenzied backlash against Teen Vogue is part of a larger, more frightening climate of oppression and ignorance that has found its poster boy in America’s Orange Overlord. Chances are, it’s going to get much, much worse before it gets better.

Do you openly talk to your kids about sex? What do you think about Teen Vogue?
Who the fuck spends $92 on lip gloss?
Talk to me. I’m listening. 

 

Come hang out with me on Facebook and Instagram so I can have friends without leaving the house.

 

Vanessa, the Reigning Queen of the strip club I worked at in the 90’s, had figured out the secret to the male/female dynamic.

She insisted that women can simply not get all their needs met from one man.

It takes three. We need one man for sex, one for money and one for love.

 

In my 20’s, I didn’t *look* for specific qualities in a partner.  I once fell in love with a man because of how he looked hailing a cab in the rain.

 

Now, in middle age, women have a roster of specifications. We want someone tall/smart/kind/successful/funny/sexy/fit/rich/woke.

We’re pushing ourselves right into the”die alone with cats eating our faces” sphere with these provisos.

 

And yet – why delegitimize my needs? Maybe it’s not about the size of his biceps or the car he drives, but it’s about making my soul sing.

 

Music Biz Guy is smart and kind and not only knows who Patti Smith is, he LOVES her. We share an appreciation for kitschy films and great books. He talks me down from the ledge when I travel to receive writing awards and can’t leave my hotel room.

He’s for Love. Platonic Love. I’m not attracted to him at all. I’ve tried. Even copious amounts of tequila, which is always a reliable kick starter for my libido, has failed me. No spark, no ignition.

 

Muscle Man – well, I’m not sure what he’s into. Like most men without body fat, he pursues very little outside of the gym. But he makes me feel safe.

He’s for Sex. Also possibly for High Contrast Photos. His skin is the most sublime dark chocolate. But not for Love – I could not love someone whose brain I didn’t want to lick.

 

Top Cop is smart and successful and fit. Perfect age for me – mid 50s. He has a summer house on the beach and can order a bottle of wine like nobody’s business. He is for Money. Possibly for Sex. Definitely not for Love.

He doesn’t know Iggy Pop from Iggy Azalea. My sordid past would worry him. He’s always been a Responsible Adult, even in his 20’s. He was having kids and passing out cigars while I was raising hell and passing out in clubs.

 

Rocker Dude is smokin’ hot. We have amazing physical chemistry. He’s super smart and very creative and basically perfect – except he’s crazy.

When I don’t respond to his texts he sends me 40 more. He’s intense and verbose and the male version of me, only I’m the male version of me, but either way he’s out of his mind and we can’t BOTH be like that.

He’s blowing my phone up right now. Remind me to never stick my dick in crazy, okay?

He’s for Sex. Maybe for Love? Definitely not for Money and most certainly not for Ever.

 

 

 

So many women place the majority of their identity into being the partner to one person. Twist their ankles stuffing their foot into that glass slipper.

I’m not looking to start a family with someone. Why shouldn’t I live at the apex of possibility?

 

If I could find everything in one man – one person – I would be with that person.

I want a man who will brew me coffee while I write. Let me sit on his lap and act like a little girl, even though my therapist claims that’s unhealthy. A man who will figure out why my kitchen cabinets don’t close and who will rotate my tires and that’s not a metaphor for ANYTHING except automobile maintenance.

I want a man to Pretty Woman the shit out of me. BUY ME THINGS.

Yes, I’m THAT woman.

Take me shopping on Madison Avenue, take me to Hawaii, get me a goddamn maid.

I’m the woman who wants to ride on the back of your motorcycle to a dive bar in Asbury Park. The woman who will tell you to get that neck tattoo, the woman who doesn’t give a shit what you earn or what you drive or where you live as long as you can carry me up a flight of stairs and fling me on the bed.

Yes. I’m THAT woman.

I’m the woman who wants NO responsibilities, to be in charge, to wear The Pants, to never wear pants, to do it all, to sit on the couch and just listen to the house settle and breathe.

I’m the woman who will steal your soul, heal your heart, serve you breakfast in bed, refuse to cook, kneel at your feet, smash plates when I’m angry and give you makeup sex so good you’ll always be looking for a fight.

I want a man who will love my roadmap of scars, my slaughtered dreams, my relentless need, my clenched fist, my hollow disregarded heart.

I want a man who loves me, not DESPITE the fact that I’m insane, uncivilized, emotional, unreasonable and unrealistic, but BECAUSE I am.

I want a man who knows that bliss is hidden at the center of our raw, aching parts.

I want a man who will love even the tarnished clichés of the paragraphs I just wrote.

 

I will build a collection of men to fill my needs, knowing that they can never be met.

Until then, I’ll slay dragons and kiss princes and dream of the day I can tell the difference between the two.

 

Have you found your soul mate? Does that exist?
Talk to me. I’m listening. 

 

Come hang out with me on Facebook and Instagram so I can have friends without leaving the house.

 

In some ways, it’s harder to hate your body when you’re thin than when you’re overweight.

Besides your own body negative narrative, you invite hate from others who think you are being an indulgent first world bitch.

 

I have always loved food. The taste of it; the experience of it; preparing it as an act of love. Sharing it with friends; digging into a holiday meal with family.

It’s sensuous and sublime and one of the great experiences in life.

Unfortunately, I was also an emotional eater as far back as childhood. Food was a replacement for love and attention.

 

I was a super skinny kid, before it was chic to be skinny. I had a big butt and a flat chest and  I hated my lopsided, pear-shaped body. I cried shopping for jeans that fit. If they fit around my waist, I couldn’t pull them up over my ass.

No boys ever liked me. In high school I was the smartest girl and I was in love with the smartest boy but he pined for a big-breasted girl with shiny hair and perfect skin.

 

 

In my 20’s I replaced a drug addiction with one to exercise. And so began my complex, deprived, unhappy relationship with food, exercise and my body. I worked out constantly and ate a very restricted diet. I was bone thin. My life revolved around the gym, sticking to my regimented way of eating, or bingeing as a reaction to it.

Every meal was a minefield.

A few years ago, I gave up exercise. I ate whatever the hell I wanted and gained a bunch of weight and was simultaneously miserable and ecstatic about it.

Breasts. I finally had them.
I could eat all the cake I wanted. I had much more time to do things I loved.
I looked in the mirror and LIKED what I saw. I only saw the voluptuousness, not the flaws. Breakthrough

Recently, I felt myself getting winded going up the stairs and knew I had to get fit. I didn’t want to drop dead of a heart attack before 50 like half the people in my family.

I’ve also been working two jobs and lost some weight as a result. Ironically, the combination of dropping a few pounds and going back to the gym has started the cycle of body hatred.

I don’t know why getting MORE fit and dropping some weight would make me despise my body to the point of not wanting to look in the mirror.

I just know that I choose growth and evolution of self.  I’m so many wonderful things, none of which matter because I look in the mirror to reflect my self worth and if that’s not being trapped in your own personal hell, I don’t know what is.

 

After I had my son, I was completely demoralized by the way my body looked. The physical perfection I had desperately and ineffectively sought was further away than ever. It wasn’t just that I had gained weight. I had transformed into an amorphous creature with baggy skin. It was terrifying – and I tormented myself to restore it to where it was before.

Almost 14 years later, that never happened. I know some women regain their gorgeous pre-baby bods. I don’t know whether it’s plastic surgery or Photoshop or round the clock private training but whatever it is, it’s irrelevant to me and the permanent kangaroo pouch I carry above my C-section scar.

 

 

I have had a volatile relationship with my body my entire life.

I’m closer now to a happy place with food than I’ve ever been. Those non-exercise, eat-everything years reminded me that life is too short to give up warm bread slathered with butter. Although I love the taste of healthy foods  – if I was a poet I’d write a sonnet extolling the magnificence of a perfectly ripe peach –  I’m in a committed relationship with cake.

And yet, I’m brainwashed by culture programming. If I have the perfect body, then I’ll have the perfect life. When you’re beautiful, people love you. We all want to be the beautiful people who everyone loves.

This is what is done to us. To all of us. It’s insidious and soul deep and reinforced every day, in every part of our lives. I’ve all but stopped reading my favorite writers online because I’m sick of being bombarded by The One Way To Finally Lose that Stubborn Belly Fat.

Just once I’d like to look in the mirror and see my body without cataloguing a litany of flaws.

I’m tired of being in a room full of people where the women all exclaim how beautiful each other is, while men greet each other with talk of work or family.

 

I don’t know how to change the narrative. I can’t tell you to start loving your bodies when I don’t love mine.

But there has to be a way to fight this, to reject the idea that we’re not beautiful unless someone tells us; unless our bodies are perfect – or even that physical beauty matters so much.

This is the prison women are in. It’s what that keeps us tethered to our own insecurities, too busy obsessing over our bodies to do the real work.

It’s why plastic surgery is a billion dollar industry and we don’t care if we die on the table from elective surgery as long as we die with big tits.

I will never understand the idea that women deserve admiration, above all other accomplishments,  simply because of the way they look.

 

I will tell this story, but I will not own it.

It is not mine. It’s not yours, either. This is because nobody ever told us the worth of our hearts and minds.

 

Body issues. Will this madness ever stop?
Talk to me. I’m listening.

 

Come hang out with me on Facebook and Instagram so I can have friends without leaving the house.