Category: Huffington Post

Girlfriends’ Guide: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Mel Gibson?

I’ve been on summer vacay, professionally known as a hiatus, but even fun in the sun couldn’t distract me from the Mel Gibson debacle calling to me from supermarket checkout lines to the evening news to family dinner conversations.

He’s a beast, isn’t he? Rage, mixed with misogyny and racism is just too grotesque to be ignored. What do you think we should do about it? Ban him from “The View?” Applaud that his talent agency has kicked him to the curb? Go easier on those Russian spies, to show solidarity to Oksana Grigorieva, his baby mama? Torch his homes? Start recording all our distasteful private conversations for future evidence?read more ›

Girlfriends’ Guide: Tipper and Al Separate: Congratulations to Them

Here’s my question: What took them so long? Think about it: the Gores are two dynamic, intelligent and passionate people who have met everyone and been everywhere. Their lives have been filled with options and inspirations, seductions and distractions. Who wouldn’t be tempted to wonder what it would be like to rewrite their Third Act? After 40 years of marriage, it could feel like the commutation of a death sentence… I’m just saying.

Oh wait! I’m not supposed to say that, am I? The national dialogue is trending toward shock and disappointment at the Gore’s news. Not me. Call me a cynical recent divorcee if you want, but I think they are both very courageous and clear-eyed in their decision to separate. Not only that, but I don’t think either of them will live to regret the decision, hard as the transition will more ›

Girlfriends’ Guide to Teenagers: Smells Like Teen Spirit—All Over My House!

Last Friday, I titled my blog, “We’ll Remember Always, Graduation Day” and was told several times by readers that I needed to clean up my syntax. Really?? Doesn’t anyone remember the Beach Boys’ cover of a song that was first made popular by my mother’s heartthrobs, the Four Freshmen? It’s a song title, people!

So, for those of you who may have taken a pop cultural nap over the last twenty years, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is the title of an album and song from Nirvana. Remember them?

“With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us.
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us.”

Anyway, I now know well what Teen Spirit smells like. It’s got a kind of sweet smell that lies somewhere between a newborn’s breath and vomit. It’s full of health and vigor and danger and risk. All I know is, I got a good whiff of it last more ›

Girlfriends’ Guide to Teenagers: “We’ll Remember Always Graduation Day”

I never pictured myself one of those sentimental mothers who would add emotional significance to Senior Prank Night or Mystery Night. I felt more contemporary than that; I could relate to the excitement and sense of anarchy that accompanied the sigh of relief and pride in surviving the gauntlet of high school and college. But I was delusional.

I should have known I was a goner when I burst into tears at my first child’s preschool Halloween Parade, twenty years ago. I’ve cried at any parade or processional ever since. I feel like I’ve been on a rotisserie and repeatedly basted with loss, pride, fear and joy for the last ten years and I’ve still not built up a thick skin. My children have attended a school where everything they’ve done has been memorialized in professionally recorded DVDs, and what is irritatingly evident in every soundtrack has been my laughter and my absolute delight in their existence. I’m like the Devoted Mommy version of Roseanne Barr singing the national more ›

Girlfriends’ Guide to Teenagers: Momma Does Coachella!

Ok, so maybe I wasn’t really the very oldest person at the three-day festival in the Indio desert last weekend, but I was certainly the most improbable person in the daily crowd of 78,000. I missed Woodstock, but in my teens I had more than my share of dusty and reckless rock bacchanalias. I saw Hendrix burn his guitar and Janis wail and once stood frozen in terror between a battalion of police officers and a gang of Hell’s Angels who were throwing bottles and rocks at them.

Those experiences may look colorful in my autobiography someday, if I can remember them by the time I get around to writing such a thing, but they strike me now as hideous cocktails of second degree sunburns, more dust than a tractor pull, the specter of LSD lacing everything from drinking water to cookies and juice and the inevitable lust and violence that drugs, alcohol and utter exhaustion inspire in young people-or old people for that more ›

Girlfriends’ Guide to Teenagers: School Bullies Hit Parents Where It Hurts

I’ve been working on this blog since the beginning of the week when 9 teenagers were finally indicted for various crimes that appear to have led to the suicide of Phoebe Prince. Phoebe, for those of you who don’t know, was a 15 year-old freshman and new student from Ireland at a middle class Massachusetts high school who made the mistake of having sex with a senior boy on the football team, thereby inspiring several month of harassment and bullying from his female friends.

One day in January, right before the big school dance, a car of these mean girls drove by Phoebe and hurled an energy drink can at her. She went home and hung herself in her closet. Worse, the mean girls continued the hatefest at the dance two days more ›

Girlfriends’ Guide to Teenagers: Help Me, PLEASE!

Everybody, please sit down, I have something to share with you: As of this blog, I am going to focus on a single area of concern–TEENAGERS–for the foreseeable future. Yes, you know me as the gadfly who holds forth on everything from pink pubic hair to Sarah Palin (I can’t wait till I can write blog about them both in the SAME post!)

But I have been working on my next book, GIRLFRIENDS’ GUIDE TO TEENAGERS, for a couple of years now, and it occurred to me that perhaps you readers might want to weigh in with your opinions, personal stories and guidance. read more ›

Bad Feelings Aren’t Biodegradable


Two days in a row I’ve been in a funk. Actually, yesterday felt like a long road of flat highway in Texas somewhere — empty and endless. Today feels like I’ll be lucky if I’m not crying by the time I finish this blog. Who knows, if I don’t snap out of it soon, I could slip into rage tomorrow and be in jail by dinner. These days aren’t worryingly frequent, but I do dread them and do anything I can to postpone them. Notice how I don’t say “prevent” them? That’s because I believe my almost-ex’s truism “bad feelings aren’t biodegradable.” They stick around hiding under the landfill like Styrofoam cups and disposable diapers. Sooner or later you are going to have to pick them all up and find a productive new use for them, but the chore seems so onerous.

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What Am I Supposed To Look Like Now?

Me, pre- hair chop:

I had an epiphany recently and it said that a woman’s hair should not promise a fecundity that her ovaries can’t support. I went to my hairstylist with the order to “chop it all off” and let me tell you what a mass orgasm those words inspire in a salon! Immediately everyone in our vicinity was coming by with huge smiles and looks that could only be described as slightly feral. This is what they live for; someone coming in and letting them use every scissor, razor and thinning sheer at their disposal and then top it off with product (I love hairdresser lingo.)

Before my Girlfriends with long hair call me out as a hater, this was a very personal epiphany, although I do recommend considering it. Like most women, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my hair; wanting it straighter in my teens, curlier in my thirties, thicker in my forties and less gray (or as TV commercials say, “fewer grays,” which suggests that they are still so rare as to be individually addressed.)

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Like A Virgin, Again

One of the few bright promises sustaining me while trudging through a divorce is Sex With a Stranger. I haven’t had it yet, nor do I see any immediate prospects, but I’m keeping the faith that it is out there. It’s been 27 years since I’ve had it, and I seem to think about it, a lot. In preparation, I’ve even started kegeling again at all red lights and TV commercials. Four pregnancies and four babies; so much fitness to achieve in so little time.

Here’s the awkward part of my fantasy life: it suffers from arrested development.

I imagine making intense eye contact across a crowded room and then feeling the obsessive anticipation that he’ll come find me. There would be, of course, hours of kissing and swollen lips after. After the frenzy of our first touch, we would grab and tear at each other’s clothes and I would be conquered. (I mean that in a feminist way, of course.) We would linger over the discovery of each other’s body, naked before open windows that let the sunlight dapple us and the light breeze caress us. Clearly I’ve stolen the inner life of one of my teenaged daughters.

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Vicki Iovine – Girlfriends' Guides