Category Archives: let’s just talk from our hearts

On Jealousy


Hey, writers: you ever have something you really want to put out there, but you’re afraid of how it will be received? This is one of them.

Sometimes you’re riding through life in a convertible and the sun is shining, but isn’t too hot, it’s just right, and your favorite song is playing, and you’ve got your babes by your side (yes, babes, not babe), and you’re thinking, “Wow, life is wonderful.”

But sometimes, it is too hot, and you’re sweating, and your ass is sticking to your fake leather seat, and the radio is playing a bunch of bullshit and you’re alone, and you’re thinking, “Wow, life sucks.”

And you look over in the other lane and you see an asshole who is just cruising, and you think, “Screw that guy, I’ve got a convertible, too, I’m a good person, too, why is he having fun and I’m not? I hate him.”

(That long-ass, long-winded analogy is about jealousy, in case you didn’t you get that.)

And my point is that, I’m usually pretty good at not even looking in the other lane and if I do, I nod my head, and reluctantly let the driver merge. Uh, this is also a metaphor, because when I’m actually driving, I definitely check the surrounding lanes, and I always let people merge, because I am a safe driver, and my insurance company will tell you that.

You get what I’m saying? Okay, if not, here it is: I’m usually really good with keeping my jealousy in check.

But sometimes, I’m not. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because, to go to the default, “I’m human.” Maybe because I feel the world owes me something it doesn’t. Maybe because I’ve had too much to drink.

And when this happens, I go into a real gross, ugly place. I think, “Why is ‘Sally LeAwesome’ killing it, and I’m not? Yeah, Sally LeAwesome is my friend, and I’m totally happy for her, but I remember a point where I had way more Twitter followers than she did, and now not only does she have more followers, but she sold a pilot, and has great abs! Fuck Sally LeAwesome!”

When this happens, I feel terrible, for two main reasons: 1. because jealousy is a terrible feeling, and 2. because I feel petty, and I hate feeling petty (unless it’s TOM PETTY, am I RIGHT??? HA. A HA HA HA. A HA HA HA HA HA!)

So what do I do? I get over it. How? I remind myself that their success in no way detracts from mine, and they’re my friend who worked hard to succeed, so good on them. And if they’re not my friend? I shrug my damn shoulders and eat a sandwich and then usually feel better after that.

But as lame as jealousy is, I still feel it’s important to discuss. I’m totally over pretending like I never get jealous. I don’t think that’s healthy, or remotely helpful. I think if we all just admitted that we get jealous, we’d have a much better chance at succeeding for ourselves. Because if you say, “Hey, I’m jealous of Sally LeAwesome, but that’s okay,” you can move on with your damn life and work even harder to be good. But if you deny it, you just let it fester, and the next thing you know, you have to have your leg amputated and your convertible needs a car wash.

I’m sorry, those metaphors got away from me there.

Hopefully, you get my point.

My confession: I get jealous. Sometimes, checking Facebook hurts my soul. But I’m okay with that. There’s nothing wrong with me. I want my friends to succeed and kick ass, but there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you know what, I want to succeed and kick ass, too.

How do you conquer jealousy? What makes you jealous?

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Photo by Nina Leen via LIFE photo archives for Google.


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I Talked To A Psychic Over The Phone And Treated It Like Therapy


I am very open to psychics, and astrology. Once, a woman stopped me on the street and hold me I HAD to call her for a reading, because there was something she just HAD to tell me. She gave me her card, and I was totally ready to call her until I realized that on the card, she had spelled the word “spiritual” incorrectly. (I believe she spelled it, “speritual.” That was it for me.)

So when I got an email asking if I was interested in a free “love reading,” I said yes, but asked instead if it could be a career reading, because for once, I am very satisfied with my love life and have no questions. They said absolutely, and arranged for me to do the reading over the phone.

I’ve done phone readings before, and to be honest, I kind of treat them like therapy. Therapists and psychics really do have a lot in common. They both listen to you, remind you of your finest qualities, and offer some form of advice. A common misconception is that psychics tell you what will happen. Not really. A good psychic will never claim to know exactly what will happen to you and when. They merely open the door to possible futures, based on what they know about you, which shouldn’t be a lot. And if you’re just as open to them, you might get something out of it.

Here’s what went down: I got a call from a friendly voice who asked me for specific questions about my career. (It’s good to prepare a list of questions to ask beforehand). I asked those questions and she then asked me to say my name three times in a row. Okay. “Almie…Almie…Almie.” I sort of expected some sort of Beetlejuice thing to happen, but, alas.

Here’s what she said about me:

“[You’re] not looking directly at something, [you’re] looking away from something, instead of being focused forward.” 

“[You’re] a perfectionist who doesn’t like to make mistakes.”

She added, there’s “an area where [you’re] being mislead in some way.” That, “someone is being less than honest with me (in the business world).” She proceeded to compliment me, calling me “very witty” and said that I have a way of “helping others feel comfortable with themselves.

Here comes the future stuff: “I see you taking a big leap forward, more on your own, as you’re the one running the show. The path is very straightforward and direct. Less turmoil around you, almost less of the side jobs. [You’re like a] subway, and it’s going really fast.

This is the part where she told me that I was going to write “three things.” Tangible things. She says I “need” to write more, and as a result of writing these three things, I was going to be “very successful”, more than I ever expected. (Yes, I did tell her I was a writer, but that was it.) She said by October, one of the things I was writing would be completed, and that I shouldn’t delay. “Don’t delay, you live in LA” — this was a phrase that was stuck in her mind.

She totally called out that I feel stuck a lot, and that when this happens, I need to “take a break” and “go to the beach” or “sit by the water.” She added, “I see you on a small stage with a mic and you’re holding one of your books and talking about it and people love it.

Okay, sweet. Then she said this:

There’s a man out there who is saying unkind things about [you], criticized [you]. This is an odd person.” I didn’t know who she was referring to, other than, you know, the entire Internet.

Overall, she was complimentary and oddly motivating. And when I asked her about a specific job interview coming up, she got specific too, saying I was, “one of the most qualified people. They’re showing [your] foot in the door, it’s a 3 step process. I’m getting a big push from a spirit with this job interview, but you’re going to outgrow this job.” In the end, I wound up not taking the job (but it had nothing to do with what she told me, I promise.)

I hope my great job still lies in front of me. She said I should get used to being backstage; that I, “really have creative life and you’ve got the ticket. Just hold steady.” As for what’s getting in my way? She says it’s — get ready for this — myself. (Twist!). “Just get out of your own way.” She really nailed that part, and also the part where she told me, “you didn’t start too late, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be…you did not miss any opportunities. you are right where you’re supposed to be.”

That warmed my heart.

So, we’ll see, Internet. We’ll see.


Do you believe in psychics? Ever had a reading? How did it go?


Photo by Nina Leen, via LIFE photo archives for Google.


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To Do List Part 2.


In 2009, I made a “to do list” — male celebrities I’d like to do. It features some wildcards, like Peter Dinklage. And this was before Game of Thrones. I had worked with him on a film (which is a glorified way of saying I was an extra on his film in his scene), and I put him on the list.

But it’s 2015 now, and so, I feel I should update this list. The last list featured 5 celebs — this features 6. And if that bothers you, well, I’m sorry. There were some people I had to carry over. Some got left behind. But some remained forever glorious.

Here are 6 celebrity dudes on my To Do List.


6.) Pharrell Willams


I’ve made it clear how much I hate that damn song, “Happy.” I once tweeted, “Someone just cut someone else off while playing ‘Happy’, and it was the first time that song ever made me happy.” It was something like that; this was a while ago. I’ve also joked that the song is so silly, it should include the line, “Clap along if you feel like a shoe without a sock.” But I realize that Pharrell is more than “Happy.” Pharrell has been on my radar for a long time. Mainly for his personal style/fashion, TBH. His music was always secondary to that, for me. But this dude is 41 and looks like a damn giddy 20-something. I’ll clap along for you, Pharrell. My room? It needs a roof. Let’s fix that. Clap along, Pharrell, if you feel like giving me a roof. And uh, really get up there and secure it and, uh, shit, I don’t know much about roofing. All I know is that when Pharrell performs, he has the giddiness of a young man (as well as the face), and it makes me want to be happy. Like, I would even overlook the clusterfuck that is “Blurred Lines” for Pharrell. Because I’m happy. Clap along.


5.) Marc Maron


How the hell did this one happen? Well, I Netflix marathoned Maron, that’s how. We all know I love older men, and Marc Maron is that quintessential older man — the one who pretends to hate his life when really, he’s secretly loving life, balls-out. The problem here is that Maron is sober and I am not. My wine glass is only empty because I’m about to fill it. But man, I have a thing for cantankerous older men. Maron seems to have a problem with everything, and I find that insatiable. I’d put up with his bullshit, roll my eyes, and be his forever. I’d listen to all his bullshit records, from those bands that no one’s heard of but he somehow has, and he knows it. Shit.


4.) Blake Shelton.


I guess I’m on a The Voice kick — first Pharrell, now Blake. The Blake one shames me, deeply. I don’t know what it is, but once I saw him on Saturday Night Live, doing his “Wishing Boot”sketch, that’s when something clicked — sweet fancy Moses, I wanna do this man. We have absolutely nothing in common. He’s a country music star and the only country music I like is real old school, like Dolly Parton country. (BTW, I AM AWARE THAT  HE, AND PHARRELL ARE MARRIED. AND I REALIZE I HAVE NO CHANCE WITH THESE PEOPLE. CHILL OUT.) Discovering that I’m attracted to Blake Shelton is like someone telling me I can urinate through my eyeballs — what? How? And why? — that’s how it feels. I feel so…ashamed. Not that he’s not an attractive and talented man — he’s just so not my type. I’m confused. But I’m gonna roll with it.


3.) Jon Hamm

Four Seasons Hotel

So on the previous list, I included Don Draper, but not Jon Hamm, and yes, I am aware that Don Draper is fictional, thank you. But this time around, I am including Jon Hamm, the man. Because he’s proved himself to be more than Don Draper. He has a wicked sense of humor and always kills it on SNL. I’ve come to the point where I am able to separate him from Don, and I like what I see. Funny story: I once saw Jon Hamm in person and made an ass of myself, but that’s a story for another time. If you’ve read this far, let me know if you ever want to hear it. Anyway, my point is, he’s come so far. He’s no longer just “Don Draper” to me, and thus, deserves a spot on this list, even though I heard rumors that he picks up random girls and fingers them in his car. What? WHAT??? I’m just being honest. Just being honest.


2.) David Bowie


I mean, this one is a given, if you even know me at all. David Bowie is one of my true loves. But the thing about Bowie, and the reason why he’s not number one, is that I believe you should never meet your heroes, even just for one day. (HA! SEE WHAT I DID THERE?). He just means too much to me. So much that I don’t even think I can say anymore. Just know that I love him, and will forever, but hope to never actually be anywhere near him. I saw him in concert twice, and bawled both times. So any interaction between me and Bowie would be bad news. But I can’t not include him on the list. So here he is. Ziggy played guitar…


1.) Paul McCartney


Paul McCartney is my EVERYTHING. You know, I have a boyfriend, so this list is all fun and games — except for Paul McCartney. My boyfriend understands that if I were offered an evening with Sir Paul, I would take it (to the limit) (one more time). And he accepts that. We both know it’s never going to happen, but so help me God, if it does, I am IN IT to WIN IT. I don’t fucking care that he’s old. People are like, “Oh ew, imagine his 72-year-old body on you” and I’m like, “I am, and it’s FANTASTIC.” I will want Paul McCartney forever and always. He is the one for me. He just doesn’t realize it. Try to see it my way, Paul. We can work it out. We can work it out! P.S. I love you. You, you, you!


Who is on YOUR “To Do” list? DON’T BE SHY!

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My Ex Boyfriend Is Getting Married


Oh dear Internet Blog, how are you? I’m doing well. I had an interesting discovery about 3 1/2 weeks ago that I’m hesitating to share, because I really don’t want to disrespect my boyfriend. He’s amazing. So this was very, very hard to write. This blog, though, is made for me to vent my feelings, and since I’ve ignored you so, I feel it’s time to open up. That’s what this blog is all about, right? Right. So here we go.

One of my ex boyfriends is engaged. Engaged to be married, not for battle. Just thought I’d clarify.

Let me make this clear: I am not upset that I am not engaged to him. I have an amazingly wonderful boyfriend whom I wouldn’t exchange for anyone else. Except for maybe Paul McCartney, but he knows that, and he’s okay with that. So this isn’t about that.

What it’s about, is realizing that I have now reached an age where ex boyfriends are getting engaged, and that’s scary as hell. I’m not ready for this. Note: this is the same ex I wrote about here and here (oh, and wrote about him in my book, which you can get here. Did you think I was above self-promotion, even in deepest honesty?). It seems like so long ago, and I guess it is, and I should be okay with that. Except for I resist the march of time. I can’t help but resist it.

This ex is even younger than I am (by three years, which can be a lot when you’re in your twenties. On our first date, he couldn’t legally order an alcoholic drink. That’s how much.) He’s younger, and yet, by getting engaged, he makes it appears as though he has his shit together. Having your shit together is something we all strive to do. Getting married appears to be a sign of having your shit together. No mind if your shit is as unassembled as an Ikea dining room table; it’s appearances that matter.

Because I know and realize that getting married does not automatically = having your shit together. Anyone can get married. It’s not like it’s hard to get married. What’s hard is having a good, solid marriage. That’s the real thing. And I know that, I do.

But, I can’t help but hear this news and reflect on my own life. Cue The Beatles ~~**”In My Life”**~~

No, but seriously, what in the everloving fuck am I doing with my life? Yeah, some things are good. I’ve got my health, a house, a great roommate (I’ve moved since I last updated, I had to move twice in 1 year, but I figured that shit out I did), and lots of freelance work. And, a fabulous boyfriend.

But what I don’t have, is a solid career. I want to get into TV writing, and I’m working on it, but holy shit, it’s a long and daunting road. That’s like “The Long And Winding Road”, but with more honesty. “The long and daunting road/that leads me/to your floor/because I am so drunk/wait where am I/don’t leave me lying here/barfing on your flooooooooor.” And I’m trying to get there — “I’m trying to be the shepherd, Ringo” — but goddamn, it’s hard. And I realize it’s hard; it’s supposed to be hard.

Getting older is hard for some people. Hard and weird. (That’s what she said? Sorry.) And apparently, it doesn’t get any easier. My friend told me, “Things get even weirder in your mid thirties. Two of my best friends just got married for the second time. Also, I’m still not over my ex having a baby, which could be why I’ve spent the past month sleeping with a sleazy investment banker dude who more or less is a decent person but still pretty sleazy.”

So what’s the point of it all? Well, that’s a little too deep for this blog. I’ve always said, the meaning of life is to live. So, like Mr. McCartney, I’m going to live and let die. And I wish the absolute best to my ex.

Have you reached the life milestone where an ex gets engaged? How did you feel?


Photo by Nina Leen for LIFE Photo Archives For Google.


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The Weighing Is The Hardest Part


So I went to the doctor today, and I was dreading it for so many reasons. The first is, everyone knows doctors are scary. They’re like society’s acceptable bogeymen. They take your blood and judge your lifestyle. And this was my first time seeing this new doctor (thanks, Obamacare, for screwing with my insurance), and I was especially nervous. Thankfully, she was a doll.

But another secret reason that I was apprehensive about going to the doctor is that I know I’ve gained some weight, and I was afraid of being weighed. Yup, that’s something I’m ashamed to admit, but there you go. I told the nurse I didn’t want to know my weight, and she complied.

BUT THEN, I found out anyway, by mistake. I saw the number. And my heart sunk into my fat chest. This is the most I’ve ever weighed. It’s the highest that number has ever been. If it was a Donkey Kong score, I could be proud of that number. But it wasn’t. It was my weight.

How many times am I going to write about my body before I’m over it? I mean, really?

I don’t see men do this. In my entire life I have only once heard a dude say that he had to lose weight (and he totally didn’t, he looked great, honestly. I don’t mean “great” as in, “I don’t want to hurt this person’s feelings, so I’m going to use the word ‘great'” — I mean actually great.) Why am I so bothered by my weight?

I think a big reason is because I don’t understand why I gained weight. I exercise and I barely eat, because I take adderall, and it suppresses my appetite. (I want to go off the adderall, I hate it. I’m talking to my psychiatrist about how to do that, safely.) But it’s like, how is it just my luck to be the only person who GAINS weight while taking adderall?

I’m getting old, you guys. I think that’s the only thing that can explain it. When you get old, the weight is harder to come off than when you were a goddamn teenager. And it’s crazy, because when I was a teenager, I was also complaining about my weight. I was trying to remember when I first started to hate my body. It started in elementary school. I hated my body because I thought I wasn’t tall enough. Then in middle school, I hated my body because I thought my breasts weren’t big enough. Then in high school I hated my body because I didn’t think my stomach was flat enough.

Am I ever going to be done hating myself? How much more can I put myself through before I’m really, truly, done?

So I don’t know where to proceed from here. I can continue to hate my body or I can try loving it. I’m really good at helping others love themselves; I just can’t get myself to give in. I just did a photo shoot and I’m trying not to judge every single photo of me with unhelpful thoughts like, “Double chin here”, “Fat stomach here”, “Large thighs here.” I should instead be looking at the photos and thinking, “How cool that I did this photo shoot, I look awesome.” But it’s like Tom Petty said, “The weighing is the hardest part.” (Okay, fine, he actually says “waiting.” But I needed a pun, I need puns so badly.)

Has anyone on the planet successfully given up their body hate and welcomed the body love? I want you to tell me how you did it. Let’s just talk from our hearts.

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Depression Is Like An Elevator

depression elevator

I want to talk to you about depression. At first, I resisted writing this post, for a few reasons. After the sad and shocking death of Robin Williams, it seemed like everything about depression that could be said was said, and also, it’s scary and uncomfortable for me to come out and talk about my own struggles with depression. But then I realized, maybe that’s why it needs to be written. Because it’s scary, and because it takes a sad and shocking celebrity death for people to talk openly about depression, when the conversation should be ongoing. So here’s my contribution.

I’ve said that depression is like being stuck in an elevator in an empty building. You basically feel like you’re powerless, and that no one can save you, least of all yourself. I’ve also talked about struggling with anxiety. I’ve joked that anxiety is like forcing a cat to wear a costume. But really, having anxiety is awful, as is having depression.

The worst thing about struggling with mental afflictions like these, is the feeling of being trapped. You feel like you have no one to talk to about it, because if you tell someone, you’re afraid they’re going to say the worst possible thing they could say: “Oh stop, you’re being over dramatic.” Hearing the phrase “over dramatic” makes me flinch. I hate being accused of being “over dramatic” so I push all of my negative thoughts deep down, hoping that I’m doing my best at pretending to be a real, functioning person.

And yet, you know that if you have depression, you should talk to someone. (In the wake of Robin Williams’s death people have said over and over, “If you have depression, talk to someone”, as though it were that easy. I understand it isn’t that easy.) That’s why therapy is helpful, but I can’t call and text my therapist 24/7, even though she’s the only person who understands why I freak out at the idea of parking my car. Everyone else thinks I’m insane and ridiculous for freaking out over something so stupid, so why would I tell anyone?

I’m here to tell you that you can tell me. I understand. I understand that it’s the little things that build up inside that make us feel like we’re in that elevator. And I’m also here to tell you that it’s okay. It’s okay to have those scary, depressing, anxiety-ridden thoughts. It’s not okay to always give into them, but it’s okay if that happens, because you’re human, and sometimes, the thoughts win. Sometimes they don’t, and when they don’t, I give you the highest of fives. I want you to know, that you’re not over dramatic. You’re allowed to feel depressed even if you have what others consider an enviable life. They’re not “first world problems” — they’re real problems because they hinder your life, even if no one else thinks so. They don’t have to agree with you. They don’t have to understand. I’d like them to, but people won’t always understand.

Sometimes, the thoughts that win are the thoughts that make people choose suicide. “Why would anyone commit suicide?” people say. “That’s so selfish.” And that’s another word that makes me flinch, because there’s nothing selfish about depression. It’s a disease, like any other, but unlike any other, you get accused of being over dramatic. And these are negative words, and when negative words accompany negative thoughts, bad things happen. I want to tell anyone thinking of suicide that I don’t think you’re selfish, or a bad person.

What I’d like you to do though is think of the story about a man who jumped off the Golden Gate bridge. On his way down, his only thought was, and I’m paraphrasing, “There’s nothing in my life that can’t be fixed other than the fact that I just jumped off a bridge.” In that one moment, he would take it all back. He survived. There’s nothing sadder to me than the idea of someone having that moment and being unable to take it back; of realizing that they made a decision that they can’t change, and wishing they could. Of having the fleeting thought of survival and watching it get sucked away. Please think about that.

I’m not a doctor, and I can’t fix all your problems, but I can let you know that I’m here, if you want to use this post to vent. This is a safe space. I won’t think you’re over dramatic. I won’t think you’re selfish. I won’t think anything other than I’m glad you’re here to add your thoughts to this world. Let’s be good to each other. Let’s break in the building and bust open the elevator door.


CC Image, “Help is on the way, elevator, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL”, courtesy of Cory Doctorow via Flickr.


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The Summer Fling I Never Had

summer fling

I’ve never had a summer fling. Those kids from Grease make it sound like such fun! If I had a summer fling, I imagine his name would be Jacques and his hair would be as dark as a David Lynch film. We’d meet in a hilarious and adorable way, like perhaps he accidentally took my drink at Starbucks, and I would tease him for thinking my name was anything like his, and he’d have a fiery French temper but an English wit, and he’d say something like, “I deeply apologize for the horror I caused; let me make it up to you.”

And he’d make it up to me by picking me up at my hotel (yes, I’m suddenly on vacation, it’s summer, where else would I be) on his Vespa, and I’d be very nervous at the prospect of riding on a Vespa, and he would say, “Shhh, I steer her well.” And I’d trust him, because that’s what you do when you’re on vacation in a fantasyland. You trust the guy with the Vespa.

I’d cling to him as we’d zip throughout the city, all the way out to the beach, where he’d procure wine and cheese from his Vespa. Oh, and there’s a blanket, somehow. Somehow he fit a blanket, because he’s magical Jacques. We’d sit on the blanket and drink wine and he wouldn’t ask me even once, “So what do you do for a living” because he knows such questions are mundane and boring and make me fret about my future. We’d exchange rapid-fire banter like we were in a Nora Ephron film, or hell, an episode of Gilmore Girls. It would be the exact mental stimulation I’d need. He’d keep me on my pedicured toes and then we’d dive in to the water, together, and I wouldn’t feel self conscious about my “bikini body” because he’s already make it clear that he thinks I am the most beautiful woman on Earth. I’d point out that Charlize Theron is also on planet Earth, and he’d say, “Shhhh” and then blow confetti out of his palm.

Because whimsy.

After the beach he’d drop me off at my hotel, always the gentleman, so that I could change for dinner. We’d go somewhere where men are required to wear a jacket and tie — that’s how you know this is a fantasy, as such places don’t exist anymore. But we’d find it and we’d go there, and I would eat and eat and drink and drink and dinner would feel like our own little Disneyland; a place where we can have fun and be indulgent and no one can judge us. He would insist on ordering one dessert with two forks, and the most magical thing about this meal is that at no point during the meal do we ever check our phones, not even once.

I suppose we’d make love that night, and I say “make love” because that’s what he would say, and the best part is, it wouldn’t sound cheesy or creepy or weird. He’d have that uncanny ability to utter the phrase, “shall we make love” and have it sound as though it were a brilliant and novel idea.

And we’d repeat this every day, sometimes changing it up and going to wine tastings, sometimes just spending the whole day in bed, sometimes just wandering around whatever made up city we’re in, and I would never have to plan anything and he’d insist on paying for almost everything, because he’s old school. He’s so old school he’d drape his jacket over a puddle and insist I walk upon it, and I wouldn’t at first, but he’d beg, and I’d say, “C’est la vie” and he’d roll his eyes and call me a “typical American” and we’d bicker but there’s so much passion there that we’d probably wind up eloping by the end of my vacation and we’d realize it was a very very bad mistake but neither of us would want to admit it, so we’d stayed married for 10 years while he had numerous affairs and I pretended not to notice.

Ah, don’t you just love summer flings?!


Originally posted on The Gaggle, by me. Photo by Gordon Parks via LIFE photo archives for Google.


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