What I Want To Tell My Daughter About Divorce

What do I want to say to my daughter about divorce? So many things … like:

“You are obsessed with fairy tales and still believe that the prince saves the princess in distress. As you get older, you will learn fast that you are no woman in distress, nor do you want to be! No one but you needs to save yourself. Until then, though, keep believing in happy endings and happily ever afters.”

Read What I Want To Tell My Daughter About Divorce in PopSugar.

With Unicorn-Filled and Cotton Candy Dreams,

Laura

B is for Botox: Thoughts on Aging & Beauty

B is for Botox: Thoughts on Aging & Beauty

A recent visit to a cosmetic dermatologist has turned my thoughts upside down.

In case anyone cares, I went to get a broken blood vessel zapped, and potentially have a mole removed. What I left with though, was more than that, mentally. Continue reading

Mom in the Mirror

Dear Mom in the Mirror:

You didn’t make anything homemade today.

All you do was heat up leftovers, slacker.

Your kid was bad in the store today, so you had to withdraw a privilege, and now you feel like crap.

You know it had to be done, but you work so much Mom, that when you have to be Bad Cop, which it always seems that that role is on you, it hurts.

Shouldn’t you have predicted your kid would act out? Shouldn’t you have known Mom?

What are you doing wrong to make your kid act so out of character?

Are you a bad Mom, mom?

Continue reading

Signs You Have Lowered Your Standards: The Low Self-Esteem Meter

Have you recently suffered a negative interaction with someone?

Have you recently stuck your head into an oven because you couldn’t stand one more minute dealing with people who suck?

Have you considered becoming a meth dealer and taking over the world, a la Walter White?

Are you unsure if you are settling for the same old BS that you swore you wouldn’t settle for anymore?

If you answered yes to any of these questions or you just simply want to amuse yourself or are incredibly bored, read on.

If someone is nice to you and you think, “Wow, this person is nice to me today. this is awesome,” 

You may have lowered your standards.

Severely.

Unless the person is your boss, no one should be that negative and mean to you so that when the person actually smiles or acts like a decent human being you feel the need to rejoice.

Sometimes it is hard to separate oneself from another person’s toxicity or moods, but if someone makes you feel bad or like you want to eat a box of nails when you are around her or him, it is time to say “au revoir douchebag.”

If you find yourself making excuses for someone all the time…

You are either a parent in public with your child…or putting up with too much bullshit from a jerk who needs to be kicked to the curb or taken out of your life.

People make excuses because they’re either too ashamed to tell the truth or they’re not ready to admit it…and when we make excuses for others, it’s for the same reasons. If you find yourself excusing someone constantly for his or her shit behavior, then it is time to evaluate if you really need someone in your life or not.

if you feel dirty after an interaction with someone…

You either just rolled in mud, are a pervert, or really need to cut that person out of your life. You should never roll around with pigs or hang out with people that don’t share the same morals and values as you because you don’t want to be in jail bending over for the rest of your life, do you?

if you feel insecure around someone..

You either need to work on yourself, or get away from that person. No one should make you feel so flawed that you can’t formulate a sentence or feel so fragile around them that you panic.

We aren’t made to be alone. We are pack creatures, but if you keep choosing jerk-offs to join your pack then like weak animals, you too will croak. Life is too short to be around people who don’t value us, and as much as we are all flawed and bad people at times, no one should be around someone that makes them feel worthless.

This therapy session brought to you by chocolate.

My identity through the eyes of men: Female Otherness

As a woman who grew up in a predominately female household, I didn’t learn that we were inferior or incapable of doing things that society indicated was otherwise.

But as I left my home and became integrated into society–school,  work, college, etc, I learned differently.

To admit this is maybe weak but, for a long majority of my life I have defined myself by Men. By their standards, judgments, and beliefs about me. Or about my otherness in relation to them. My wanting access to the circle that only men belong to. Forget about the glass ceiling. I didn’t want to be the most successful female. I wanted to be the most successful person, period. I wanted the men to lay in their tears while I threw tissues to them on the ground, walking away in triumph.

One thing I have hated since I was as  young as seven years old, was the feeling that the male circle was impenetrable. I hated when boys gathered to talk and gossip or dominated classroom conversations. I wasn’t considering that these little men might just want to be around other little men, but that because I was female I couldn’t join in. It didn’t matter that I was smarter than most of them or as equal to them, or that the same jokes they liked, I did too. I just had to merely squeak by the circle, and lean in to hear what these XY’s were saying.

Then I got older, and then the circle got even tighter. When I was younger, an occasional boy would let me in, and even let me play sports with the kids on the block. As I got older though, the message was clear: If you don’t have a cock,  keep out. Having good looks occasionally meant entering into the circle, but usually then for other reasons such as, one man or a few men’s sexual needs. Maybe one or two might have found me clever and smart. Most were not considering me beyond what my appearance had to offer.

I imagine my experience is no different than many other women, however the thoughts, rejections, and acceptances from men really whittled me down. For the majority of my  early twenties, I found male attention and approval intoxicating on the level of addicting, and their rejection, painful and harsh.

When I entered stand-up, I found men to be either wonderful and helpful, or absolute toxic creatures who liked to shut me out of conversations with not just looks, but with words. Telling me I wasn’t smart  and wasn’t funny. These were the same men of course, who wanted to sleep with me.

Let’s not let the cute one succeed. Instead, let’s take her for all of her good parts, and throw the rest of her to the wolves.

The one moment of fresh air came when I entered college. While my former educational experiences taught me that the boys are more cherished and nurtured intellectually, college was a bit more fair and egalitarian. I felt like my intellect and potential mattered.

There have been many times in my life pre-30’s in which I let men decide where I would be allowed to go both personally, and professionally. I cowed to their toxic comments. I backed away at times when I wanted to be treated as an intellectual and artistic equal, yet I always had a bit of a fight in me, like a scrappy dog who refuses to get beaten down by a shinier, larger full-breed.  The same girl who wanted to beat every boy competitively, not physically, in elementary school has always been alive and well.

After spending a long time–years–working on my memoir, I realize that claiming my identity and refusing to let it be defined by anyone, especially men was my big hurdle to cross.

After six years departing from comedy, I went back last night. I went back because I will not let men tell me what I can do or who I can be. I am not 25 anymore. I am not someone’s plaything or some stupid blonde.

I am me, and after taking the time to do other important things–reproduce, finish college, get my head together–I decided I wanted to share my story in more than just the printed word again, and I won’t shut up until someone enjoys me. Until someone figures out that my story is much like many other women and people.

And if anyone doesn’t like it, F-off.

I am woman. Hear me roar.

Now? The 30’s have told me

Princess Coma: How to survive as a feminist when your day is dictated by Disney Princesses

My name is Laura and I am a feminist.

That could mean anything.

What it doesn’t mean is that I am a man hater, because I don’t hate men. You people piss me off sometimes, but I love men. Seriously. A member of the I love men club.

Feminism is a broad movement with many little subdivisions.

I happen to be the type of feminist who was raised knowing women can do it all, but I’m not against hiring someone for manual labor, as I couldn’t put my arm back on if it were attached with velcro. If I were good at manual labor, I wouldn’t, but I’m not. I will say that in the past few months I have attempted gardening and landscaping, which hasn’t gotten too awful or too great, so I’m not lazy.

I’m the type of feminist who believes in owning our own sexuality–and not being subjugated by it. I believe that the sex industry perpetuates our dilemmas, but I also believe women have the right to choose their own destiny both sexually and as a person.

I am both Madonna and whore, and yet neither.

However, once I realized I was having a girl, I made sure to tell everyone: don’t indoctrinate my child with Disney princesses.

News Flash: There is no Prince Charming. There is just Prince “okay for you.” He may be Prince Charming for a little while, but no one can stand up to that type of idealization.  There is  also no need to stand like an idiot trapped in a castle, hoping someone will climb up your hair weave, a la Rapunzel, and save your skinny ass. If your stepmother hates you and poisons you with an apple, you will probably end up suffering. The chances of some guy riding up on a horse and saying, “Look at that–some cute chick is in a coma because she was poisoned. I better kiss her and make her better,” is about 0 in five billion.

I didn’t mind my kid reading fairy tales as it’s nice to enjoy the world and be altruistic as little kids often are, but I didn’t want her to get wrapped up in the romantic notion that women need to be saved by a more capable individual, i.e, a man, and that once you meet someone and fall in love, paradise awaits you.

Mother in-laws exist to banish that sort of fable anyway.

I digress.

I always liked the animals in Cinderella, and Snow White, but I was more of a Dorothy, Alice, or Laura Ingalls type of girl. That’s who I imagined I would be until Madonna came around, and then I wanted to prance around in lace outfits and crucifixes (who cares that I was raised Jewish. Have you seen how pretty those prayer beads are? Serious stuff man. I begged my Catholic friend to let me wear her rosaries. She said no. Party Pooper. Would have gone awesome with my denim jumper, huge clip-on hair bow, wigwam socks, and purple mascara.) Of course, let’s not even delve into the fact that Madonna was not exactly the most proper role model for me.

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to hump a dog and go on a gondola in Italy with a lion, while I’m half-dressed.

Don’t worry, there were plenty of good influences in my life–I did want to be Pee-Wee Herman for most of my childhood–not that it helped, but damnit, I did not want to indoctrinate my kid into Disney.

Nope. Minnie Mouse? Sure–just don’t make me listen to Mickey for more than five minutes. That creature has the most annoying voice on the planet. Sadly, I do a good Mickey.  Going to Disneyland and seeing some of the classic movies? Sure. I’m not a totally nazi over the topic. I can imitate a Disney character and sing the songs with the best of them, but I just didn’t want my kid to idolize dimwitted princesses who probably were barefoot, pregnant, and living over a stove once the fairy tale lights were out.

Guess what? It doesn’t matter. Everyone else has introduced her to princesses as she’s a girl, so they think she’ll love them, and golly gee, would you know what?

She loves them.

She doesn’t think to herself that Cinderella probably prostituted herself out that night to get in to the upper echelons of society. She just loves the songs, mice, and dress.

And damnit, all day long in my head is the song, ‘We can Do it, We can do it, gonna help our Cinder-elle–ee, there’s really nothing to it. We’ll tie a sash around it. Put some ribbon to it.”

I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with Sleeping Beauty, Tiana, Snow White, Ariel, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Belle. I give them their vitamins, brush their teeth, and make sure they’re in the proper spot at meal time (to the left of my daughter’s high chair tray on our dining table.)

They join us in the potty.

They join us in the car.

I even have the dolls with the magic clip-on dresses.

My mom bought her a Cinderella Barbie, which I have yet to give to her.

When any other kid goes near the princesses, fire and brimstone erupt. I swear my child plots the death of these poor kids.

Note, she’s two and doesn’t want to share yet. Totally normal, but not as funny as she wails while trying to holding every damn doll in her hands.

All day long, my mind whirs of “Feed child, walk dog, where’s Cinderella did I lose her again?, wash dishes, write, apply for jobs, wipe kid’s butt, was Sleeping Beauty a narcoleptic or drug addict?, eat a snack, wash my hands, wash her hands, and don’t forget to wash Snow White’s too.”

Our day ends and begins with these little dolls, in which my child reenacts the most intricate and sometimes rather imaginative conversations with these dolls.

The other day, desperate for my kid to chill out, stop chatting, and start eating, I made Cinderella tell her, “Less Talking, More Eating.”

I knew having the ability to switch my voice would work to my advantage one day.

As “Cinderella” disciplined my daughter, she wanted nothing of it.

She turned to the Cinderella doll and said, “No Cinderella. I don’t like you anymore. Go back to your video. I’m not gonna to be your friend.”

Freaking 2 and she’s already pulling that “not gonna be your friend” business.

I told her that wasn’t very nice…and later on I heard her tell Cinderella:

“Let me give you a hug. I’m sorry I made a bad choice. I’m sorry I said I won’t be your friend.”

And then, to prove the apple is part of my tree, she dons a Cinderella voice and says, “I was disappointed in you. You made a bad choice.”

The “two” hug and make up.

When my daughter sees princess bikes, towels, shirts, toys, or dolls, she hovers over these items whether they belong to her or not, and is entranced.

I guess whether I want them or not, I am stuck with these princesses, and hell, I’ve even started to sing her some of the songs from my childhood.

Why not? Hopefully I won’t get my feminist card revoked.

What I really fear, more than being forced to watch Snow White or Cinderella twenty times, is the fear that my daughter will make men count more than herself.

That she will want so badly to matter to the opposite sex, that she will forget who she is. That she might end up bowing down to someone thinking, “he knows better.”

These fears are all from me. She’s only two. She is still smart enough to boss boys around and know that it works.

And being subjugated or bowing down to a man doesn’t just require a female with a bad self-image, but a male with a poor view of himself.

We need to be conscious of how we socialize both young men and young women. The conversation is not one-sided. It’s multifaceted and starts at home, continues at school, plays out in the media, and is then enacted in society.

My role as her mom is to expose her to many different goals, activities, people, and viewpoints, with the reassurance that who she is is wonderful, no matter what, as long as she respects herself and others.

This means that for now, I get to wear tiaras, and watch her reenact fairy tales that while they may hold no real bounds in life, they are wonderful, fanciful, and simple for her and her world.

If only we could capture that joy in the simple that children have, we would all be much happier.

Excuse me now…one of the princesses needs a bath and the other, a dress repair.

All in the day of the Queen.

Doing the 12 Steps: How to Back off and Let Fate take its course

Hi, I’m a “drive the bus”-aholic.

No,I’m not a bus-driver. You damn well would not want me to ever drive a bus or anything larger than a four-door car because I’m spatially challenged, short, and hate big cars.

What I mean is, I am the kind of person that will keep trying to make things work even if I am in a situation with another person who doesn’t seem to want to.

I just keep trying.

I think I can, I think I can, I think this. Freaking. Sucks.

I cannot solve the world’s problems in a day, or even ten years. I cannot make something happen all on my own whether it is a friendship, relationship, or working situation. I always feel that somehow, the answer and solution lies in me.

News Flash:

I’m not only not that special, but I cannot control other people.

I cannot make the horse drink the specially-filtered water I brought for her.

I can only bring the horse the nice water, and then walk away.

This is when I fail. I truly believe if only I do everything right or keep trying, that it will go my way.

This is charming when it comes to pursuing a dream or not giving up on giving good oral, or continuing to be patient with my kid, but when it comes to relationships, it isn’t cute.

It is draining. It is draining, unsatisfying, and humiliating at times, when you are the one going, “Rah-rah, sush-koom-baa!” and the other party in the scenario is looking at paint dry.

If you find yourself like me, feel comfort that you’re not the only one who tries so hard, only to feel like you’re steering the boat alone.

There is something to be said in walking away sometimes.

Bad Guys Get all the Luck

So this is going to be a short rant, but I would like to know why it seems that people who are total jerks end up happy?

I know that happiness is subjective, and what may look like happiness to me may not truly be happiness, but it just seems as if some of the biggest turds in life are successful and happy. I wonder what the correlation coefficient is for general “asshole-ness” and life success?

I know that everyone talks about karma, and that wanting bad things to happen to bad people is a big waste of time and resources when in fact, you could be working on your own success, but just every now and again,  I would like to see a bad person fall to his or her knees in misery.

I recognize this is probably a sign of jerkiness on my behalf, but just once I would like to see someone that deserves it, gets it.

Like, why can’t a rapist be stoned in public just once? Or watch an abusive man or woman get ejected from a large rocket type object onto a bed of sharp nails?

I know this is just a little of my own anger speaking, but I felt like putting it out there. I have watched so many bad people hurt good people in the past year, that I am feeling incredibly skeptical of everything, and I really dislike that. One of my most endearing traits is my ability to keep “bouncing” and smiling despite the obstacles ahead of me.

I think when I get this fired up, I should just channel my energy outwards and try to focus on something creatively.

In fact, if any of you out there in cyberspace ever feel so pissed off that someone truly evil is getting by and getting high on life…take a run, write a poem, bake a cake, or whatever floats your boat. The only way to really spur anger like that is to channel it into something productive. There is nothing to gain by being mad, except for headaches, extra weight (some people emotionally eat), and stress.

Let it go and try to hope in a more silent voice, that the jerk who let you down gets his…

He or She may never, but you can’t spend the time or money worrying…you’ve got a life you’re supposed to be living of your own. Don’t let someone rob you of that!

Be a Good Girl

Women are told from the time we pop out of our mother’s uterus and become the keeper of our own that we should be “good.”

Be a “good girl.”

Be nice. Nice girls don’t do that.

Little girls are polite. Be polite.

Be nice.

Be nice.

Be nice.

Maybe I don’t want to be nice. Maybe I don’t want to be good either. Did anyone else get the memo that being good kind of sucks? That being nice all the time makes one a doormat? That taking shit from everyone and smiling and saying, “It’s okay,” makes you one miserable good girl. Plus, no one looks cute with a shit-stained smile.

I feel like sometimes I’m just compelled to say the nice thing or right thing because I know that if I don’t, I will be seen in a negative manner. I really hate that about myself.

I also hate that I am brought up in a world that tells me women aren’t funny, that we’re undersexed (such a bunch of BS folks), and that we’re all supposed to be nice and polite.

Don’t rock the boat darling.

There are so many times in my life that I just let people be their douchey selves while I laid down and said, “Sure, walk all over me. Go ahead. I hope you enjoy the walk.”

I should have handed these individuals a complementary water bottle and chocolate, sunglasses, map, and towel while they enjoyed taking a walk all over me.

That was what I got for being a “good girl” and being nice.

Sometimes, I was a bad girl in society’s eyes, yet to the person begging me to be bad, I was being submissive: translation: a good girl to an even bigger asshole. A good girl is submissive.

A good girl forgets who she is and what she wants so that others can be happy.

A bad girl does what she wants and shapes her life in ways that are meaningful to her.

I’ve let negative comments, conversations, and interactions ruin my day either because I was being too nice or polite to walk away…or too “good” to say what I wanted to, or even worse, I said exactly what I wanted to and was now reaping the guilt that my assertiveness had spun on me.

I’ve had men tell me I am stupid or that I’m not funny…or that my writing is stupid. I even had one guy tell me I couldn’t graduate college…that I was that dumb.

Apparently, he hasn’t seen my degree from Columbia, but I digress.

I have silenced myself with women too when they have hurt my feelings, by not saying what I wanted to say.

Sometimes, I said too much or just enough to feel like an ass for being so direct.

I just wish I never felt that conflict between who I am and who I should be according to the unspoken rules of society.

I am sometimes good, sometimes bad, but never awful.

To those that took a walk down the length of my heart and soul at my expense, you are all filthy animals, but I will never lie down in the mud with you, and you never stole my true self completely. Even in my darkest times I have always had an energy, a spring in my step, and an inner desire to move forward. No one will squelch that.

Let every day in my 30’s be a testament to living my life fully as who I truly am at all points and times, as along as I am not hurtful to others.

Let my daily activities show the things that matter to me, and reap work that matters to me.

I cannot worry about being good when there is so much time to be spent on making my mark on this world lest I be forgotten.

If we’re not here to be remembered for something that impacts others in a positive way, then why bother?

For Your Daughter

If a man is not good enough for your daughter, he is not good enough for you.

Remember this mantra when you are dating, married, or single with just a wee vibrator and Haagen-Daas to get you through the night.

We women rationalize and excuse too much, and expect too little.

Consider this the next time you spend any significant time with a partner.

I will be back darlings for more delicious dish on life and what have you. I’ve been busy, but haven’t forgotten you all.