Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's new on the blog

Well, I have been busy rearranging the blog a little.  What has initially started as just an outlet for some of the stuff that I want to write about has quickly morphed into a story about my journey as a new author.  I will still be posting opinion pieces under the page "On My Mind," but the main page of the blog will be dedicated to the trials and tribulations of writing a novel.  Please sign up for an email subscription on the right and you will get an email when the blog is updated.  I will be updating and changing the look of the blog over the next few months too.  So keep coming back and checking it out.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

iTunes and Marriage

My husband, Michael, and I share an iTunes library. Frankly, when we bought our first Mac it never occurred to us to do any differently. We share everything, a bed, checking accounts, a wonderful daughter. It's funny because our personalities, relationship, and our stages of life are reflected in our iTunes library. It is like a mini archeological dig to look through the music in there.

The first thing we did was load all our CDs. Or I should say all of Michael's CDs. He has hundreds. I have three. His were all the classic 80s rock and hair bands plus every Elton John and Beatles album ever made. Mine were weird semi-famous people, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Amy Grant, Cathy Denis. (Yup, those were the three). I never bought music, I relied on my cool older brother and sister to make tapes for me for my walkman and let me listen to their cast off albums (yes, actual vinyl). Think Upstairs at Eric's by the Yaz (my sister) and I Wanna be Sedated by the Ramones (my brother).

At that time our daughter was probably five and didn't have much interest in music beyond Raffi and the Disney soundtracks. So guess what got loaded next? You got it, Disney sound tracks and Raffi. As her musical tastes changed we then ended up with Hannah Montana, The Jonas Brothers, and High School Musical sound tracks. At this time she got her own computer so the iTunes road started to diverge. Just like she is starting to break away from us as a tween, she is developing her own tastes in music. And the iconic words often leave my mouth: “Turn that noise down!” It’s scary how music makes us sound like our parents!

My husband developed an interest in country music. So he downloaded some Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. I thought it was weird that a Jew liked Jesus Take the Wheel. He claims he doesn’t really hear the words, he just listens to the beat and the music. I do hear the words and that explains my country downloads which would be Cleaning This Gun by Rodney Atkins and Online by Brad Paisley. The lyrics are very funny and I listen to them on my iPhone and grin. People think I’m nuts.

Even as our iTunes library continues to be the Grand Canyon of our relationship, the first layers our past, then as our music tastes and lives have changed, more layers have been added. The thing that struck me is how it represents our marriage and how we make it work.

In a marriage, you have to make room for each other’s personalities. One person does not call all the shots. The iTunes library has room for Pat Benatar (Michael) and Death Cab for Cutie (Me). Beyond that, we have influenced each other so that we are both listening to music that we probably wouldn’t have with out our partner saying “Hey, check this out!” David Gray would not have been my first pick as I am sure The Foo Fighters would not have been my husband’s. So our horizons are expanded, our live enriched because we are together.

There are times when he does download a song I can’t stand. That is what play lists are for. I can ignore the stuff I don’t like. Just like I do in real life. We both have strange habits that drive each other nuts. The fact is, those quirks don’t matter. It doesn’t do any good to focus on them. My personal play list has in it what a great father he is, how much he loves me and our daughter, how hard he works to make a stable financial home for us, how supportive he is of my typing away here, when I ask him for help or to do something he does it, and the list goes on and on. I listen to the good stuff all the time.

The fact is that a marriage and a play list has room in it for a lot of things. Bad choices, arguments, quirks in personality. It’s all what you pay attention to. I’ve forgotten about Michael’s extensive collection of Elton John, just like I forgot about what we were arguing about last week. Just like the 80s hair bands are standing patiently next to the last 70s punk rockers, we stand patiently next to each other. Waiting to see who will show up next and what is around the next corner.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Goodbye to the Girl

The Girl said...

The Girl is my daughter. I call her The Girl because she is the only girl to me. I was tucking her in one evening, one of the few motherly things she deigns to let me still have, and we were discussing Christmas. This was a safe, neutral topic not likely to provoke an outburst followed by dramatic eye rolling and sighing. Although I am never sure what is safe anymore.

“Mom,” The Girl Said. It is impossible for The Girl to start a sentence without the word ‘Mom’ at the beginning, even when she is addressing her Dad. “I don’t want to go see Santa this year.”

“Are you sure? I love Santa.”

“I think I’m too old.”

“Well, I might go sit on Santa’s lap.”

“Yeah? Well I won’t be going with you then.” Eye roll. Sigh. I laughed. All I have to do to embarrass her is breathe, never mind sitting on Santa’s lap.

“Well, how about we walk around the mall and look at all the decorations and then get a manicure?” This provoked an enthusiastic response. Even though The Girl is not a girly girl, she is all about pampering.

Do you know the saying “Be careful what you ask for, you might get it”? My husband and I had been waiting a little impatiently for Santa to be over. Our daughter hung onto Santa longer than most kids and with a conviction that made me think I would be stuffing her stocking secretly when she was 21. Santa was starting to be a little inconvenient. We wanted to travel during the holidays, but couldn’t because there was such concern about Santa finding us. The Girl seemed to doubt that even though he could magically fly around the world and deliver toys to millions of children in a night, that Santa’s magic did not extend to being able to find her in a different house, even if I emailed him to let him know.

I looked at The Girl with her budding breasts and newly curvy figure. Her pajama bottoms were too short because she had shot up and was well over five feet tall. I now had to jealously guard my shoes. I realized with a pang of regret that Santa was gone. That the magic of childhood went with him. That things were ordinary now and there was no hope of ever going back. I knew for sure that The Girl was already leaving me.

I hugged The Girl tight that night and snuck a kiss onto the freshly washed hair. She sighed and rolled her eyes. As I turned off the lights, I said a tiny prayer that she would let me keep tucking her in for a while. As I walked downstairs it occurred to me that, even though she would always be The Girl to me, very, very soon she would be The Woman to everyone else.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Saying I Love You

I was driving into work today and on the radio they were asking listeners to call in with something they do everyday.  The first thing that came to mind was that I tell my husband and daughter that I love them every day, several times a day.  Some people might not say "I Love You" that often, but I believe people learn from repetition and I want to make sure that my family knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I love them. And more importantly, as I tell my daughter "no matter what."  As we all know, though, sometime actions are louder than words.  It's one thing to say "I love you", it is another thing to show "I love you" and showing is far more complex.

I have been married for 18 years and one of the things I have learned about being in a successful marriage is that you have to be able to translate your partner's language of love.  For instance, my husband spends hours every week planning and cooking our meals.  He is a former chef, so he does enjoy cooking, and frankly he is way better at it than I am.  But his meals go beyond protein, carbohydrate, and vegetable.  They are very often five star feasts on a Tuesday night.  This is his silent way of saying "I love you."  Whether or not our family needs this bounty is up for debate. But this not about need, this about going the extra mile for someone else.

It is easy to overlook the adjustments someone has made to accomodate you and your preferences.  I think one reason marriages fail is that we become blind to the little non verbal "I love you" messages that are sent our way every day.  For example, dishes in the sink drive my husband crazy.  Dishes in the sink don't drive me crazy. I don't understand why you would want to do dishes more than once a day.  However, because I know they make him nuts, I make a concerted effort to get the dishes cleaned up for him before he comes home.  I don't get to it everyday, but I certainly do more dishes than I normally would.  This is my little "I love you" to him.

So, as you go through your day today, keep an eye out for all the little things that your spouse or partner or kids do to say "I love you."  And certainly, don't forget to show it back.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


We have had an unusually warm fall this year.  I still have herbs and my zinnias are still blooming.  We are having trouble finding a spot for our Halloween skeletons and gravestones.  But no matter how much we rejoice in the green, we know that fall is coming.  This is a poem I wrote this time last year for a creative writing class I took.  This is how I look at fall.


Little gifts wrapped 
in thin brown papery skins,
nestled in my crusty garden gloves 
that hold the shape of my hand 
even when they are empty.
I settle you carefully into your cradle of dark earth,
pointy side to the sky,
even though I am sure
Mother Nature knows which way is up.
I rely on the feline mafia
to take care of any thieves.
I will find their decapitated mummified bodies,
flat and hard after a long winter
when the snow recedes.
I will look each day for you.
Then suddenly there you are 
purple, yellow, white
while everything else still looks asleep.
Joyfully, I will shout
“The crocuses are up!”
I will tramp across the wet yard
on my way to work,
my heels sinking into the damp earth
because I have to see you.
Touch spring.
Touch the earth turning into another cycle.
Starting again.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Hair

My hair is an hour glass
each day a little more turns silver
each day a little less brown.
The stark white strands deride me
for things left undone.
They sneer at the time
that I allowed to slip through my fingers
unaccounted for, fallow.
They mock the high aspirations of youth
and chant “half done, half done, half done.”
My hair is a sash. 
Little silver insignia appear daily
on the brown lawn.
One for birth, one for death,
one for every trip to the emergency room.
Each tear that falls 
turns into a silent silver milestone,
a badge of honor
of another day hard won.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Technology V. Magic

Last weekend I saw two movies, GI Joe and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Although at first glance, they seemed like two very different movies, essentially they have the same plot. Our heros have to overcome almost insurmountable odds to save the world from an evil megalomaniac. Their methods however are very different. In GI Joe techonology is the weapon of choice between two sides. In The Sorcerer’s Apprentice magic is the medium of war. Interestingly, even though neither movie was intended by the makers to be particularly realistic, I found it way easier to buy into the premise behind The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

My husband and I have a very good friend who is a real movie aficionado. He watches hundreds of movies a year and owns thousands of DVDs. He is also an engineer and a very intelligent guy. When he watched Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger he like it until Arnold discoverd the machine that was going to create an atmosphere on Mars. As soon as the words “The core is made of ice” were out of our hero’s mouth, the movie lost my friend completely. It was such an abomination of basic planetary knowledge that he was not able to continue to suspend disbelief long enough to stay with the story. So now when ever my husband and I watch a movie and something is completely ridiculous to the point of being unbelievable we look at each other and say in a Schwarzenegger-esque accent “The core is made of ice.”
We found a lot of those moments in GI Joe. The first one was the battle suits. The special effects of the battle and the feats were really fun to watch. But my first comment was not “Wow! That was cool!” It was “The suit is cool, but the person inside would be a bloody pulp.” Even if you could build a suit that performed like that, the body inside the suit would never be able to withstand the forces that come with moving that quickly and being thrown around so violently. Not to mention, as anyone who has any experience with technology can attest, nothing works that smoothly. Ever. The phone can’t get a signal, the computer freezes up. Having something function that well really is fantasy! I am not going to enumerate the other “core is made of ice” moments in the movie. Suffice it to say there were a lot of them and they were mostly due to the juxtaposition between the movie’s technological feats and the gut knowledge that technology has it’s limits.

On the other hand, in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, I found it a lot easier to believe the outrageous special effects because it was magic. There is something so much more elemental about magic. No one has experience with it so anything really goes. So when the paper dragon morphs into a live dragon and destroys part of China Town, there are no thoughts of “a dragon would never do that” or “that just doesn’t obey the laws of physics” because with magic anything can happen. The other thing that set this movie apart was that the hero didn’t get it right away. He didn’t just put on Merlin’s ring and go kick some supernatural butt. He struggled through the entire process right to the end. And even in the end, it was his understanding of science and creative thinking in addition to magic, that really saved the day. There was something so much more satisfying about the main character pushing himself and his innate abilities to the limit to save the world, rather than just pushing a machine to it’s limits.

Neither movie was the pinnacle of cinematic art, but if I have to pick I’ll take the mystery of magic over technology every time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Love Letter to Michigan

Dear Michigan:

You have taken a beating in the news for the last couple of years. The recession hit you long before it hit the rest of the country. You've had one of the worst unemployment rates in the nation, the Big Three came close to failing, and Detroit has been dubbed once again the murder capital of the country, if not the world. Kwame Kilpatrick's antics haven't helped either. Your shame was spread across the front pages of newspapers and featured on CNN. I am sure, Michigan, you want to hang your head and hide behind Canada.

I am here to say, Michigan, raise your head. I have lived many other places in my past, New England, France, and Chicago to name a few, and I love living here. You have a thriving arts community, music, museums, theater. You are incredibly ethnically diverse. Your naturally beauty is unsurpassed. Sports fans have a lot to choose from and frankly, you have some up and coming industries that everyone seems to forget about in the shadow of the Big Three.

First of all, let's talk Detroit. No one seems to be able to get past Detroit when it comes to talking about you. Detroit is like any other city, some places are good to go, some places are not. If you don't go to the Cass Corridor, you will probably be OK. Detroit has a lot to offer. Unbelievable dining (rumor has it Michigan has one of the highest number of master chefs in the country) in pretty much any cuisine you can imagine. Just to list a few: Ethiopian, Greek, Japanese, Russian, Polish, Mexican, French, Italian, Korean, Chinese. Speaking of food, what about Eastern Market? That fantastic kaleidescope of locally grown produce and products beckoning me on Saturday morning. We always go nuts and buy way too much when we are down there.

Detroit has a thriving arts community with theater, music, galleries, museums, and more. The great thing is if you live in the suburbs of Detroit, like me, it's all about 30 minutes away. No having to drive for a couple of hours like you do if you live near New York, or God forbid, LA. In 30 minutes you can be down town at the DIA (that would be the Detroit Institute of Arts for the foreigners) taking in a new collection, or at the theater enjoying the latest show. There are smaller events and places too numerous to even mention. Let's just put it this way, if you keep your eyes and ears open, you will never be bored living here. There is always something to do or see.

I also contend that Detroit has the best music scene, with a big variety of different types of music. Everywhere else I travel, on the radio it's all hip hop, rap, and pop with a couple country and christian music stations sprinkled in. Not Detroit, we have classic rock, classical, adult alternative, jazz, heavy metal along with the others already mentioned. Michigan is the birthplace of Motown and it still shows with an awesome music scene.

One of the main things that contributes to your arts community is the ethnic diversity of your population. In any given day, I will see a Jewish yamulke, a Muslim head scarf, a Sikh turban or an Indian sari. It is so common to hear someone speaking another language that it doesn't even register. My daughters friends are African American, Indian, Hispanic, Asian, German, Jewish, Hindu, Christian. She is truly color blind. Yes, we have racial tensions, but there are very few communities where all of these different types of people live together. It makes for a rich and interesting life.

The cool thing is that once you are done with the city, if you drive 30 miles from downtown, you are basically in farm country. Michigan is essentially a rural state. There are hundreds of square miles of town, county, state, and national forests, parks, and recreation areas. If you like the outdoors, Michigan is for you. We have the longest shoreline of any state in the US, so any water sport involving liquid or frozen lakes is popular here. Swimming, fishing, boating, ice skating, ice hockey, ice fishing are just some of the normal things people do here. I'm sure people have thought of other more exotic pastimes to get them through your famously long winters.

The variety of habitats and natural features here is stunning. Not only do you have the aforementioned farm lands, but there are second growth forests where people hike camp, and hunt during the season. On the western side of the state is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park with sand dunes that stand over 400 feet above Lake Michigan. There are also wineries Up North (in the fingers of the mitten) and on your western side. Not to mention golf courses, which although are not necessarily a natural feature, are beautiful and a lot of people play.

And, by the way, how cool is it that anyone that has a hand has a map of you? Where else can you say, "I'm going to the thumb" and everyone knows exactly what you talking about. I can point on my hand and show people precisely where I live. Try that with California!

Sports fans have four professional franchises to pick from, the Detroit Tigers (baseball), the Redwings (hockey), the Lions (football), and Pistons (basketball). The feeder team for the Tigers, the Mudhens, is located in Toledo. If your taste in sports is not covered by the professional teams, we have the Big Ten University of Michigan with all the teams you could possibly want to watch. The rivalry between U of M and State is highly entertaining. If you wear blue and maize to Lansing on the wrong day, you are in more danger than walking the Cass Corridor in Detroit!

The Big Three have been in the news a lot lately. People who live outside your borders probably think that is the only industry here. To be sure it dominates, but is not the only one. Battle Creek has an up and coming bio tech industry, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are busy attracting companies from Chicago. Whirlpool, which has always been based here, has just recently decided to build it's new world headquarters in Benton Harbor. The film industry is bustling. As a matter of fact, the HBO show "Hung" is filmed on the lake I live on. The number of movies being filmed are too numerous to mention. We are more than the auto industry and anyone who doesn't realize that has grossly underestimated you and your population.

So Michigan, what I have to say is this: You may have taken a beating in the news and a lot of people outside the state can't think past the mayhem in Detroit and the economy but I know that you have the resources both natural and human to be great. I really love living here!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hopes for the Future

Last September my eleven year old daughter came home from school and said, “Mom, my teacher said all the students in India and China have higher IQs than all the American people combined. She said we will have to compete for jobs with them, so we had better work hard!” This statement caused me to pause for a moment. At first I thought, “How dare this teacher say such a thing to my daughter!” But as I got thinking I decided that this was one of those teachable moments that all the ‘experts’ talk about. That one statement encompassed so many divergent yet some how interrelated subjects under the one umbrella of my hopes and dreams for my child. I thought about standardized testing, what skills are really necessary to make it in the world, what jobs will look like in the future, what defines success, what my over all world view is, and finally how one embattled teacher is trying to lead these kids into the future.

First, I am certain that Elizabeth misinterpreted what the teacher was saying. I am sure her teacher was referring to standardized tests, not IQ. While it may be true that foreign kids do better on some standardized tests, my feeling is that these tests only measure one portion of the spectrum of human intellect. They are innately limited. Just like our eyes can only perceive one small tiny percentage of the light spectrum, so these tests only divine a small part of our children’s potential.
I also wonder, who is being tested? Other countries have significantly different educational systems that start tracking kids into educational levels at an early age. Are they testing the kids who are going to drop out in middle school and become farmers or only the kids on track for college? What about over all penetration of education in the population? In the US, every kid is educated, even kids that won’t benefit from an education long term. Do those countries that we compare ourselves so severely against do the same? Is every kid in every rural village, slum, or farm going to school everyday and then potentially a candidate for this test?

Later that day, while we were on our way to Walmart, I asked Elizabeth how she felt about what her teacher said. She said, “It scares me that I won’t be able to have a job in the future. I am afraid I won’t be able to support my family.” She was worried that people from India and China would move to the United States and take all the jobs and the Americans wouldn’t have any. Her response lead us to a big discussion about a global economy, outsourcing of jobs overseas, and what jobs may look like in the future. “You know, you can make your own job,” I said. She looked at me in surprise and said, “Really? Do you have to ask the government?” I laughed and said of course not and went on to enumerate the many people we knew who owned their own business. “Your Aunt Lynn owns her own company. If you become a musician then you will very likely make your own jobs.” Again, the answer was, “Really?”

The honest truth is that the career Elizabeth will have will not look anything like what my husband and I have today. Just like my job does not look like my parents. It is possible that Elizabeth will never work in an office environment at all, or on a limited basis. She will probably have a job with a set of skills that don’t even exist yet. She may work for a Chinese company, but not live in China.

The main point I wanted to drive home with her during this conversation is that I believe that the world is an abundant place. Just because the economy in China and India are doing well, does not automatically mean that our economy has to be doing poorly. In other words their success right now is not the cause of our current troubles. I believe that there is enough for everyone and the fact of the matter is if Elizabeth ends up making even half of what our family income is today adjusted for inflation, she will be wealthier than the vast majority of the world. I, like all other parents, wish my child to be more successful than I. But really what is success?

I think we spend a lot of time focusing on the material aspects of success, and the material aspects of having a career. A career is not all about making a lot of money. I hold out hope that Elizabeth will follow what she loves. I tell her over and over again that she should do what she loves and she will find a way to make a living doing it. Is her happiness worth the big house and car? What about balancing a family if that is what she chooses? Contentment, I think, is a goal in and of itself. Contentment is the dowdy sister of Wealth and Fame. She is ignored and cast aside in the pursuit of the others. But if you seek Contentment out, she will reward you with a life that is quieter than Fame will allow and not necessarily as financially stable as Wealth. But she is less fickle than both and you will have rich and textured life. That’s not to say there won’t be challenges, but you will be in the captains chair of your life, because Contentment is all about letting you be you. To me, a life richly lead with a lot of experiences and love trumps the material things any day.

And now I come full circle back to the embattled teacher. I can see her in her class room. She has more students and less money. She is desperately trying to prepare these kids for economic opportunities that don’t even exist yet, based on economic realities that are in their death throws. The US economy is in a tail spin and people are afraid and uncertain about their futures. Trying to prepare someone else’s is virtually impossible. She is fighting the kids to get them to read and write more. She is fighting the district for more money. And sadly, she is probably fighting a fair amount of the parents that either do not care, are so overwhelmed that they can’t even deal with their kids school work, or in their infinite wisdom, do not agree with her approach. She is afraid for the kids future and wants to try to motivate them to do better, to be competitive, to care about their future too. That is probably where that statement, “All the kids in India and China are smarter than you,” came from. And so I have to thank her because she gave me an excellent opportunity to talk to my child about my world view and hopefully help develop her own. But I do have this message for my girl: “Honey, there is nothing more important than an education and you will be reading over the summer.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why Cosmo Annoys Me

In renewing my niece's subscription to Cosmopolitan, I managed to accidentally check a box and sign myself up as well. Imagine my surprise when this fount of 20 something wisdom showed up in my mailbox. What completely shocked me was the relentless sexuality pulsating across the cover. It annoyed me. But I never like to dismiss something out of hand and frankly, I was curious, so I read a couple of the articles. They were like those fruit flavored waters. A wisp of strawberry flavor, but no real substance. They annoyed me too.

Interestingly, my husband’s reaction was: “What is this garbage in our mailbox?” You’d think he’d be more enthusiastic about the new addition to our library. Especially since half the articles are about giving great head, hand jobs, and sex positions that are his secret desire that, after almost 18 years of marriage, he is not able to tell me he wants. This made me even more annoyed by the Cosmo people. What was the deal if a guy didn’t even want to know this stuff? Come on, didn’t he want to help me map my g-spot? What’s up?

So the cover is annoying, the articles are annoying, and the fact that they don’t know anything about men is annoying. But the really irritating thing is that they don’t know anything about women either. The entire magazine is the “Total Woman” phenomenon that created a huge flap in the early 70s wrapped up in generation Y packaging. Marabel Morgan, author of “The Total Woman,” advocated being completely submissive to your mate. I admit I have not read the book myself. I do remember my mother deriding it and thanks to the miracle of the internet, I have been able to get a pretty good idea of what is between the covers. A quote from Wikipedia sums it up. "It's only when a woman surrenders her life to her husband, reveres and worships him and is willing to serve him, that she becomes really beautiful to him...*"
I know the young 20 somethings will cringe and exclaim, “We are not subservient to men! Look at us! We have careers! We have outside interests! We are sexually liberated!” Really? Look at what you are feeding your mind with. Cosmo is all about revering, worshipping, and serving men by focusing exclusively on what they want in bed, in a relationship, how they want you to dress, and what they want you to look like and then giving you instructions on how to subvert who you are to conform to these desires.

All you have to do is look at the head lines. “What Men Find Hot- They Rate Their Favorite Looks” (July 2010), “How To Touch A Naked Man” (March 2010), “75 Sex Tips from Guys” (June 2010), “Speak His Sex Language” (April 2010), “Look So Sexy!” (June 2010). It goes on and on. Then there is my all time favorite headline also from the March 2010 issue: “Curb Your Cravings! Without Feeding Your Face.” Where do I even start? The use of “feeding your face,” a derogatory reference to eating, indicates that women shouldn’t like to eat. It is more important to be thin and therefore more attractive to men, then it is to enjoy a sensual delight like eating. It brings to mind the scene from “Gone with the Wind” when the maid is desperately trying to get Scarlett to eat before she goes to a picnic because it wasn’t seemly for a woman to have a big appetite. Don’t you think it is time for us to move beyond the Civil War in our attitudes about what makes an attractive woman?

The weird thing is that after all the reviewing of articles and getting upset about how they subvert women to men, I noticed that they do not treat men all that well either. All you have to do is look at some of the tables of content: “Man Manual,” “101 Things about Men,” and “Guy Watch.” They treat men like they are an exotic species at the zoo that we watch, talk about, and interact with only on the most superficial level. Men must be stupid because we have to guess what they want or read about it in a magazine. (“His Burning Sex Need- Satisfy the craving your man won’t admit to you” May 2010). And they must be completely unoriginal because they want all the women to look like Porn Star Barbie. They must have the attention span of a gnat because they will lose interest if women don’t do acrobatics in bed. All of this make them sound like knuckle dragging neanderthals that need to be “handled” by the women in their lives. Not a very flattering picture.

I know Cosmo would respond to my charges by saying they are just giving their readers what they want. They are in business and I would guess that they are trying to do just that. My point is that as women, we should demand more. We are so much more then what is portrayed on the pages of this magazine. We are whole people that have rich lives beyond the people we love. Are we really going to buy into this plastic, flat depiction of what it means to be a woman and a man? Honestly, want to keep your man interested? Be a vibrant, independent person with interests and friends beyond him. You’ll keep him fascinated for years to come. Ok, I’ll admit it, being good in bed doesn’t hurt either.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marabel_Morgan. N.p, April 18, 2010, June 22, 2010