Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Untaken Road

For all travel updates I have a new website!! Please go to, a series of women's voices across the open road of America!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tricky Underwear

Why do we camouflage what we eventually reveal?

Andrew Christian, a celebrity designer recently featured on Bravo, recently came to San Francisco to promote his new line of goods. Smocks, frocks or pantsuits, you ask? Not exactly. Andrew Christian designs form fitting men's underwear. This was one fashion show I was not going to miss.

However, I soon realized that Andrew's products were not just for the well sculpted and even better endowed. Darn! Unlike most tight briefs that require an Adonis-like body to be flattering, Andrew designs a more "enhancing" version for the everyday male. Through innovative materials, Andrew's products firm the buttocks, hide love handles and promote the package. Although we may laugh at a new garment that mimics a sock in the pants, we also must acknowledge that men are becoming as vain as we are.

"Vain?!" my dear down-to-earth girlfriends exclaim indignantly. "Vain? Moi? I hike and bike! I don't try to change my appearance!"

I run to their bedroom and open up their top dresser drawer. "Aha - what is this we have here?" I say holding up two pairs of Spanx, the modern day girdle. The guilty Spanx were situated right by a series of cleverly padded bras.

I then run over to the bathroom and pull out multiple shades of under eye concealer, lip plumping lipsticks and expensive (yet strangely always ineffective) cellulite cream.

"And you say you do not want to change your appearance! Shame shame. And what is this?" I point to a 25 percent off tooth whitening coupon attached to the fridge by a magnet.

They all look shyly away, well knowing that we are all tempted to pay for the next trick to make us look less like we really are.

After booking my 3rd wax appointment for the month, I wondered if beauty has gotten the best of us. In this city of the slim and small pored, women and men alike are eternally on the hamster wheel trying to keep up. We go to all lengths to fool others into thinking we are a media image of perfection. But isn't it sometimes silly to pad and promote and suck it in when our main goal is just to get naked anyway? Should we stop false advertising and just be ourselves from the first date? For once the penis enhancing underwear is removed, all will know the true size of the member. And once my bra with its sci-fi industrial padding construction comes off, my date will discover that I am a far cry from Dolly Parton.

So on my next date I decide to forgo the accoutrements that add two cup sizes and force my stomach to twist inside itself. I may look less sculpted, but I will also be one step closer to being naked. And that is the real goal anyway.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wax on-Wax Off

Spring has more than sprung…May is San Francisco’s entry into summer.

The wind ceases, the fog holds back, and the sun bakes every hill and valley. We all know this warmth won’t last long so we San Franciscans shed our layers, slather ourselves with SPF and scantily clad, prance outdoors as if there were no tomorrow.

As the clothing comes off, we become more aware of our grooming habits. In this vain city, body hair is an unwelcome accessory. Upper lips are waxed, eyebrows plucked, and the “down there” is given new special consideration.

For the hot weather doesn’t just inspire bikinis and Speedos, it also makes us want to um, take full advantage of the hot summer nights. Who wants unruly hair to get in the way of sensuality?

However, although lips, eyebrows, and backs are easy to take care of, I realized that there is no standard protocol for the regions below the belt.

Challenged to look sleek in smaller swimsuits, women left the bushes long ago. My friends' nether region styling ranges from tiny landing strips to '12-year-old bare.' They know that that anything more puts them 15 years behind the sexual fashion curve. In fact, many men I know consider bushes a deal breaker.

“I am not using a flashlight to help me navigate,”
says one. “Wax all that off!”

“Just enough hair to show she’s a woman…that would be about eight of them.” says another.

“A strip to guide the way, anymore, I won’t play,”
rhymes a third.

Whew. Good thing I have my bikini waxer on retainer.

Although men are very opinionated when it comes to women’s waxing routines, they are just starting to figure out their own. ‘Manscaping’ has only been in the metrosexual male’s lexicon for a short amount of time. Each man has his own manscaping practice ranging from a weekly comb to Nair. Over brunch I ask the ladies what they have seen and what they prefer: bald eagle, trimmed hedge, or the full monty (of hair, that is)?

Christi: (visiting from Europe): Men in Europe don’t even comb it. 'Au naturel'is the euro standard. Sadly, no one knows any different. 'Scaping' is considered gay. Although it would be nice to not have to bring dental floss on dates. …

Vicki: The less the better. I hate random hairs flying around. Seriously who wants to have to vacuum after sex? Plus, a solid shave makes their 'junk’ look bigger.

I am not a fan of no hair...that's just weird. But do I like a neat trim…it’s respectful. Otherwise I feel the guy doesn’t care. If you have people over for dinner, you have a clean house, right?

I do like a clean house. And a respectful male. Luckily right now I have both. If only it were hot in San Francisco all year round…

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Twitterpated—a quite odd behavior that overcomes humans as they become completely enamored with another human being. Victims of the Twitterpated bug describe it as an unmistakable feeling of becoming weak kneed, emotionally flighty, and prone to bouts of impromptu joy.

According to researchers on the subject, Twitterpated incidents usually occur in Springtime—the weather warms, dresses come out, flesh is revealed, and birds chirp romantically to newly budding flowers. Love is indeed in the air. Once they become Twitterpated, people are oblivious to the world around them and are often caught whistling “It’s a Beautiful World,” buying daisies and greetings strangers on the street citing random bits of poetry.

My dear friend Alexis is one of these people. She skips down the San Francisco streets with her arms in the air. She smiles and giggles and quite frankly, has lost her ability to appreciate anything dry or sarcastic. I have tried everything I can to bring her back down to earth with sobering tales of unromantic things. I mentioned the recent shooting in the Tenderloin, told her of the dire straits of Zimbabwe, and reminded her that our 401K plans were now 201Ks. Alas, nothing worked. Alexis had drunk the kool-aide of the hopelessly smitten and wore her perma-grin proudly. Hmmppfff……I cannot believe the Twitterpated epidemic has claimed one of my own.

Alexis is proof that yes, love is possible even among the alpha females and alpha males in this never-never land of a city.

I am happy for my dear friend yet also quite perplexed. This Twitterpated kool-aide frightens me. Although I once used to fall in love with anyone who had a foreign accent, I now have turned into a disbelieving curmudgeon (Down with Love is my favorite motto). I wonders if I will ever get there again.

It’s not I have not found someone Twitterpated worthy. In fact, the fabulous man I recently met is worthy of many poetic odes.

However, for some reason I am incapable of releasing and letting myself fall. Swooning, an act I used to perform on a regular basis just isn’t as easy a feat anymore. I am terrified throwing out my back. Or falling hard to the ground. Or making a mistake. Or losing my cool and collected composure and have that THING take over my body, weaken my knees and knock the wind out of me. Alpha females, after all, like to be in control.

My friends have three theories:

“Maybe he’s just not the right guy. I am a huge believer in ‘When you know, you know.’ Instantly. It should hit you over the head like a ton of bricks. Chemistry is unmistakable…and losing control inevitable. But trust me, it’s the best ride you will ever take!”

Mazz: "Hmmm…perhaps you are not allowing yourself to "twitterpate" because you are subconsciously attempting to protect youself? I think many women are so afraid of making a wrong choice or getting hurt that they don't allow themselves to fall for someone unless he is "perfect" or "their type." Juliet, "your type" in the past did write you love ballads and sail the isles, but he also turned out to be a manic depressive lunatic. Perhaps it's time to swap out a few "type" characteristics for some others? If you are sure to keep an open mind with this guy, you may be surprised at how quickly a non type twitterpates you."

Natalie: "Bah Humbug. Twitterpated is for the birds. It's a fleeting feeling that has no basis in reality. Getting to know (and fall in love with) someone takes time. Remember the time you flew across the world to end up with some crazy European that you came to despise? Rash does not equal love. Be patient. Do not force it, give it time, and nurture it to fruition..."

Which theory is correct? I guess time will tell. But one thing is for sure- even if it looks ridiculous, skipping down the street singing love songs sure does seem like fun!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I need a man...

Although my reader’s comments have been helpful, I was still feeling particularly perplexed by the blurred lines of gender roles in dating. Forgot splitting the check—there are far more important etiquette questions such as indicating interest, playing hard-to-get, and my personal challenge- remaining flirtatiously feminine after I sprained my ankle in boxing. Ack---I wish I could revert to 2nd grade and just pass the guy a note. “I like you, do you like me? Check box yes or no…”

Sadly I am no longer 7. At 30, dating is full of baggage, complications, and some defensive desire to remain cool and aloof. We hate games, yet everyone seems to tell us to play them. There is no knowing how much to hold back, how much information to give, and how independent we remain.

I had been seeing someone and had no clue how interested he was in me NOR if I should act interested in him. If we were 7 we would have sealed our love in a backyard game of catch-and-kiss. Instead we were both overanalyzing text messages trying to decipher the hidden meaning in poor punctuation. In taking the relationship forward is ‘less more’ or is ‘more more’? And in terms of 'the game' are my chances of winning better if I play coy or act smitten?

Looking for answers I went out with the boys and decided to take advantage of varying male opinions over good quality scotch. “Tell me boys, when newly dating, how much love should a gal show?” I got three different viewpoints from three different men.

Angelo: If I like a girl I am in her sh** all the time. There is no way I am going to give an opportunity for another dude to get in there and take what is rightfully mine. So Juliet, trust me, if he likes you, you will be overwhelmed with attention. I am talkin’ poetry at your window, love ballads played on your voicemail, etc. Stay coy-it’s enticing and will weed out the good from the bad. You do not need to do nothing, honey. In fact, do less.

Max: Well…the poetry may indeed come but only if the poor guy gets some buy-in. With the exception of Mr. Angelo here, many of us don’t have the mojo we once did. I mean ,women can easily substitute us for a piece of plastic in their nightstand drawer! We need to know that she’s into the real deal. You don't want to be the over eager beaver, but at least give us a hint. Not make us guess lest we guess wrong. That fragile male ego---we need cheerleaders to convince us to keep playing.

Charles: Juliet, I have known you for a long time. Honestly, I would hate to date you and your alpha female gang. You girls go beyond coy and star in this little intimidating one act show. “Look at me-I am in MENSA, I rock climb without a rope, I change my own energy saving light bulbs. ” Are you dating, Juliet, or just out to prove that you do not need a man? The men I know are not pompous jerks and frankly need more cheerleading along with that wonderful feeling that you NEED them. You do not seem to need anyone. Can’t you at least ask him to assemble a shoe rack for you?”

I was taken aback. I mean of course we don’t NEED a man. Or do we? I am lousy at assembling anything in my life and last time I tried to change a light bulb I fell off the chair and bruised my hip. I guess I need to stop pretending otherwise and let my guard down?

From boxer to Damsel here I go...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Are we becoming the men we want to marry...

Tuesday evening my friend Alexis noticed a particularly interesting "thought" on her 'Deep Thoughts' daily calendar. She immediately emailed her closest friends a thought-provoking email with the deep thought du jour in the subject header. It was: “We are becoming the men we want to marry.”

A man? Moi? But I had little time to think about it as I was running late to boxing class. I picked up my sweaty 12 oz. gloves and felt my stomach to happily acknowledge the progress of my six pack. Hot—I was almost as tight at Matthew McConaughey. It never dawned on me to think of this as masculine. Can't muscles and dripping sweat be sexy on a woman in a Charlie’s Angels kind of way? Or did I resemble a testosterone infused beefcake?

Across town a much more femininely attired Mazz was debating restaurants. She was on date numero dos with Mac, and wanted to pick a place with the right ambiance and cuisine. It never occurred to her that HE should be the one picking the restaurant. In fact, given her Napa and Sonoma IQ, she expected the waiter to hand her the wine list as well. However, although Mazz was sure of her ordering savvy, she wasn’t sure what the new rules were for paying the bill. If we are assertive on the Syrah selection are we expected to be equally aggressive at grabbing the check? Are the days of females being romantically wined and dined coming to an end?

And somewhere between Mazz and myself, Eva was celebrating closing another big business deal that rivaled her husband’s. When they had children, would it make more sense for the family to have a stay-at-home dad or a stay-at-home mom?

I realized that somewhere the tables had turned-women were taking on roles traditionally reserved for men and doing a damn good job at them. Do we do this because we cannot find a man to do this for us? Or do we actually enjoy (the once deemed) masculine roles? And if we do, does this make us less feminine?

"I still want to be the girl," protested Mazz.

"And I can't help but act like a girl, even when it annoys me," responded Alexis. Indeed, I noted that even my most sure and powerful female friends still get girly and estrogen induced needy at times.

No matter how assertive we may be on selecting the venue for a date, we still turn into a quivering mass of pathetic-ness of the guy doesn’t call us the next day.

And no matter how strong our muscles are, we would be traumatized if they were larger than the those of the men we were dating. “I shouldn’t be able to beat up my boyfriend,” one girl commented, "he needs to protect me from the dangers of the world."

And although women like Eva gain glory from career success, they still are hesitant to take on the bread winner role in the family. “Is it wrong that I want to conquer the world yet still have someone take care of me?” another girl chimed in.

How do we balance our new-found Type A achiever goals with the pleasure of remaining feminine and nurturing? After all, romance is based upon deep sighs, wistful stares, and the feeling that we are beautiful and worth protecting. Romeo’s lines were NOT

“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the alpha female dominatrix
Arise, fair alpha, and kill the envious moon with your boxing and powerpoints….”

No no…..Romeo was inspired by a fair maiden with eyes like the stars….and deep down we all want to be that type of inspiration to a man… while conquering the world at the same time!

Friday, March 6, 2009

When to Do the Deed

I was having a typical Friday happy hour in San Francisco—sipping overpriced bubbly and talking to well-heeled girls about dating wows and woes.

Jackie was perplexed. “I really like Alex,” she said. “We have been out several times laughing and smiling…but I am very hesitant to spend the night with him. I am fearful that once we sleep together he will lose interest.”

What?! Even though Jackie’s loins were aching to give Alex more, her carefully guarded mind wouldn’t let her for fear of being regarded as an “easy target” and immediately dismissed from relationship status.

But why? If two people are having fun, why wouldn’t the man want that to continue after sex? And if the sex is good wouldn’t that be all the more reason to come back for more?

Why is sex a trump card that can potentially end the game?

Alexis told her, “Jackie, I think you need to stop worrying. It seems like he genuinely likes you. And if you are aching to get naked, by all means give in to the seduction of the moment! I bet he’ll want MORE of you.”

I chimed in, “Yes, we shouldn’t have to deprive ourselves just because some an old fashioned woman with cobwebby loins wrote the book 'The Rules' and frightened us to frigidity.”

But I later realized that my words were only vacant mutterings.

With all our bags of experiences, giving in to the moment is increasingly challenging.

My 3rd encounter with an unnamed young man ended at my place at 2 in the morning. I was very excited to get this hot specimen all to myself. Now exactly what to do? Plan A: Show him my shoe collection. Plan B: Attack.

Plan B was initiated before we even closed the door. After all, weren’t walls invented to be slammed up against? However, executing the plan beyond the wall slam maneuver was easier said then done. Sometime during the bedroom tussle, my sex savvy faltered as Jackie’s words entered my mind. I was trapped in a scene from the movie “Love Actually” where the neurotic woman finally gets the hot guy (Carl) in her bedroom…only to be overly distracted from lovemaking by the constant chime of her phone ringing.

I had my own phone ringing—the crazy wheels of my mind. Although I appeared to be kissing I was really writing a list of profound questions in my brain.

1-What would happen the next morning? Would I still be able to make my morning spin class? Or would there be lingering? Is there a breakfast obligation?

2-Was I giving in too soon? Is a hot 2am hookup really saying sayonara to any form of relationship? But did I even want a relationship?

3-And regardless of relationship, if I were going to "do the deed" what was my assurance that it would be any good? What if he was a “wham bam thank you ma’am” type of guy? I certainly didn’t want to add another notch to my bedpost for a one-time 4 minute encounter.

Sigh. I certainly wasn’t going to solve the world’s problems that night. But the next day I made a new commitment to myself. Shut off the brain. Enjoy the moment. And pretend you are in love—even if it’s just for a few hours. If the man still leaves after an evening of sordid seduction, he wasn’t going to stay in the first place.