Look Ma, It’s a Column!
August 3rd, 2011

So my weddings rant turned into a general rant column on HuffPo (a site that I have now been writing for since 2006, which is a bit…frightening?). The theme is “5 Truths about [X Topic] that No One Ever Tells You.” If you want to read the 5 truths on dating, click here. And for the 5 truths on relationships, click here. Next up: Parents!

The 8 Truths About Weddings (That No One Ever Tells You)
July 12th, 2011

Bride of FrankensteinThis piece originally appeared on The Awl.

Once you decide to have a wedding, there are many, many things to read: etiquette guides, Dos and Don’ts, planning checklists, vendor guides, “inspiration boards,” disaster stories, angry bridesmaid rants (”bitch made me wear PURPLE SHOES!”), even socio-political screeds about the cultural irrelevance of the whole thing. All of these are nice, and all of them are utterly useless. This has been shared with www.thechat.org.uk.

If you’re the one getting married—which I am, in 3 months, while also attending eight other weddings in as many months due to a hyper-marital zeitgeist (that as of July 24th includes NY gays!! Welcome to the madness!!) —a mysterious stupor befalls you. The tales of “bridal nervous breakdowns” have become ingrained in pop culture, “ingrained” meaning “anything that gets its own reality show.” Such breakdowns do happen, and they’re hardly gender-specific, but these displays of emotional gangrene fail to get at the heart of the nuptial plight.

So where does one go to find a guide to the true sources of wedding-angst? One resource is the wedding industry, that fondant tower of chintzy madness that exists to suck your wallet and self-esteem out through multiple orifices. The industry gets plenty of flack, mostly for its organza-wrapped obfuscation of anything important. But all this hating is silly. Yes, the wedding industry will crack open your skull and pour in gallons of raspberry-hazelnut ganache, and then send you a bill for $15,000. But that’s its job. It’s absurd to expect people in the industry to tell you the truth about weddings. They’re there for one purpose: to sell you shit. Calling them manipulative capitalist assholes (ahem, Rebecca Mead) isn’t solving the problem; it’s simply blaming the addiction on the dealer.

The truth about weddings was once something we all figured out for ourselves as we made our way through look at more information the glurpy pit of the engagement tar fields. Until now! Here is your look into the things no one ever tells you about weddings (but are nonetheless true).

1. WEDDINGS ARE EMOTIONAL RECKONINGS.
Have you dealt with your issues? I’m not talking about a few months in therapy and the occasional Xanax on a bad day—I’m talking about really digging in, sitting under the Bodhi tree, and dealing with all the nasty icky hurts and fears and angers that have burned your face and clamped your guts since you were five. If you have never once taken a hard look at what really triggers you emotionally, and figured out a way to release that trigger, you’re in for a shock. Because ALL of your submerged emotions will rear their Gorgon heads during the process of planning a wedding. Prepare to be confronted. Read the rest of this entry »

Everyone Loves the Person Arguing for Higher Taxes
May 23rd, 2011

I should start a Tumblr just for the emails I get in response to appearances like these. A few favorites:

“Saw you on CNBC the other day…Are you a writer still trying to figure out what she wants to do when she grows up…other than having www.shagmate.co.uk those babies with this guy you said in your other blog is your dream baby daddy…”

If you want to make millions of Americans criminals this is a great idea. I for one will tell you that I would be finding a way around such a tax.

Playing Catch Up (The Rumors of This Blog’s Death Are Grossly Exaggerated)
May 3rd, 2011

Ack! Ok so the time got away from me. Weddings! I blame weddings! My own (I’m getting married, something I have been loath to blog about ’til now) and other peoples’. I’m convinced that we’re all slaves to a zeitgeist – we pick up on what everyone else is doing, and subconsciously (or consciously) make it our goal. All those social cues you look for to know the “right” way to act, and how to measure success — well, they’ve all convened to tell you to get your ass married. And thus we have something like 10 weddings to attend this year, not including ours.

BUT more on that later. Right now, well, there’s lots to catch up on. If you want to get your Horror Chick fix, click here or here, or hell just go here. For other various topics, click here. And to check out a cool new site I’m working on, click here.

More posts coming soon! And they won’t all be rants about weddings! (Ok some of them will – caveat emptor).

To Do: Go on Fox and Praise China
December 14th, 2010

There’s a sick pleasure in slipping the occasional pro-China comment in during a broadcast watched primarily by people who think Joe McCarthy had a point. (The joy is particularly acute since I no longer have to personally handle the resulting hate mail.)

On NPR Today
September 12th, 2010

I did a segment on NPR’s Living on Earth show today, talking about the potential environmental effects of Obama’s infrastructure ‘Stimulus Plan B.” You can listen to it here. Radio is officially the best thing ever — I might be picking my nose during this entire segment, and you would have no idea….

In Defense of Having Children
August 10th, 2010

This piece originally appeared on The Awl

Disclosure! I will begin by stating that, at the age 31, I currently have no children. Which, in and of itself, will be a driver for many parents to click the “BACK” button on their browsers while muttering that I have nothing resembling a fucking clue about this topic. Click away, self-righteous parents! No doubt you have a poop-flinging banshee destroying your living room at this very moment. Go handle your business. No hard feelings.

Despite not having children, I think about them. A lot. In recent years, the full teeming strength of my biology has been consumed with a single, driving goal: to produce babies. And now that I’ve met the man with whom I will gladly (but not immediately! Don’t freak out, babe!) have said babies, the topic has become even more germane.

Unfortunately, thanks to an entire body of pop-literature, magazine articles, and semi-accurate science, I am also aware that having children will not make me particularly happy. Or, more specifically, it may very well leech every iota of joy from my existence. (But I’ll never regret it! Never! No regrets! Wouldn’t trade it for the WORLD!)

Yes, according to myriad sources, having children is the quickest path down the proverbial Slip N’ Slide to abject misery. No sleep! No freedom! The complete loss of a halcyon lifestyle that we (“we” in this case meaning predominantly “white middle-to-upper-middle-class professionals with college degrees and subscriptions to New York magazine”) enjoy with vigor. Gone are the boozy weekend brunches and “Mad Men” marathons and bi-weekly pilgrimages to
Bruni Sifton-ranked restaurants. Banished are the freedoms and comforts and indulgences of modern life.

And the expense! Let’s not forget the expense! It will cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to raise just one offspring — money that may (gasp) be incentivizing us not to procreate, money that could have been spent on innumerable bounty, like unnecessary Apple products or Brooklyn Heights co-ops or yacht upgrades. Or simply not earned at all, as we enjoy the budding “free time is the new wealth” economy embraced by our generation. Between, ineffective tax breaks for parents and rising inflation, potential breeders are all in danger of seeing their finances slashed and burned by the gestation of a fetus.

Get pregnant, and suddenly so many funds must be procured! Careers and spending habits may be questioned! Mate-gaming may be necessary! All sorts of problems arise that can only be solved by 1) relocating to a developing country, 2) marrying rich or 3) dropping the idea that a child must be a manifestation of upper-middle class angst.

There’s also the enviro-guilt of reproduction. What a carbon footprint it will have! What a tax on our already-gasping planet! You could commute to Taiwan on a weekly basis for the rest of your career, and your carbon output still wouldn’t approach the environmental assault of plunking another human being down on the earth.

And of course there’s the myopic drudgery of caring for said human being, who at the outset cannot see to its most basic needs. Feeding, wiping, washing and burping will replace the serenity of guzzling Starbucks and reading the Arts & Leisure section. Yes, we can all pretty much agree that no one has ever really liked caring for babies — and now in the age of post-gender co-parenting (right?), we can all recognize just how much it blows to spend your hours changing diapers when you could be reading blogs and imbibing organic cocktails. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Wanna Pay Taxes? Fine – We’ll Call ‘Em Something Else
July 29th, 2010

In the list of “Things I wouldn’t recommend doing”: After battling the summer flu for a week, which included three non-blissful days of throat-searing laryngitis, I went on Fox Business this morning to talk about finding creative alternatives to the gas tax. (Hell, if people don’t want to pay taxes, just call them another name — like, say, tolls. Or “happy fees.” Or something.)

Definition of Madness: Going on Fox and Arguing For Higher Taxes?
May 28th, 2010

Maybe so. But I did it anyway.

One Two, 80’s Horror Remakes Coming For You
April 30th, 2010

Yes folks, it’s Nightmare on Elm Street remake time! This morning I went on Mediabistro’s online radio show to talk about the movie with Jason Boog and Kiran Aditham from Fangoria. And a written (and much more detailed) review will follow. Just as soon as I drink some coffee and finish writing it.

UPDATE: Here’s the review. And considering the movie was #1 this weekend, apparently a bunch of other (depraved, likely adolescent) people agreed with me.