Blog: Role/Reboot

With Age Comes Wisdom And Authenticity, So Why Does No One Want To Get Older?

role reboot

Sometimes I feel smarter than I was 30-something years ago. I don’t remember how to do Algebra or how to diagram a sentence, but I can read several newspaper articles about seemingly disparate issues and immediately see how they are connected. Like David Foster Wallace on a cruise ship, I can walk into complex social situations and quickly discern intricate hierarchies and relationships. When I was younger, I sometimes intuitively understood these things but I lacked the vocabulary and the confidence to articulate what I observed and felt. Read more…

If You Want My Professional Advice, You Have To Pay Me For It

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 10.34.31 AM

My brain has been picked over like a dead gazelle. Dear God, the flies! Get them off me.

Who can relate? Complete strangers on the Internet feel entitled to free professional advice because they have read some article I’ve written, or one where I am quoted. The Facebook private messages may have different content, but are always the same. Read more…

An Open Letter To The Media: Athleticism Is Not Gendered


Dear Media,

Heads-up: Athleticism is not gendered.

Did I really just read this sentence by HuffPost sportswriter Justin Block, in an article titled “This is What a Woman Looks Like?” This one right here: “Holding her trophy while in a jewel-encrusted dress, Serena reminded us that no one should ever think femininity and athleticism are mutually exclusive.”

Right. And…who cares? Read more…

Finding New Friends After 50 Is The Holy Grail

Holy Grail

I think I’m getting ruminative in my menopausal fugue—solidly on the other side of divorce, career reinvention, and starting over in a new place with a new love. I have almost all new friends now, at 51.

The ones I spent so many years with—bound together by our children’s friendships and lots of school potlucks—scattered like dandelion seeds to the wind when my first marriage ended. Only Ebola instills more fear of contagion than the divorce of a friend whose marriage seemed perfect. Read more…

Aging While Female Is Not Your Worst Nightmare

Role Reboot

I’m going to tell you a story that is so common and so troubling it is effectively split off from the emotional lives of young women, tucked away into whatever neural recesses exist for the purpose of shelving information that feels irrelevant yet distantly threatening. I wonder if young women will read this? The irony is that they probably won’t, and the silently nodding heads will be ones that are graying, like mine. Read more…

If Our Sons Were Treated Like Our Daughters

Role Reboot

Come with me. Let’s open the door to a parallel universe. You unlock this door with a key of imagination, just like on The Twilight Zone. Here in this parallel world, the rules are different because gender roles are flipped. Loving parents and teachers accept this strange culture as if it’s not so bad, or perhaps even good. As if the reverse of this culture could exist only in the minds of fiction writers or lunatics.

As we travel together, let’s observe the childhood of one baby boy, born into this alternate reality, as seen through the eyes of his mother. Read more…

Why Do Articles About Middle-Aged Relationships Use Photos Of Middle-Aged Men With Younger Women?

Rolle Reboot

His hair is always gray. Hers is usually blonde, or any other color but gray. He’s got some road behind him—you can tell by a few telltale wrinkles. She looks like a slim, youthful 35.

If these stock photos were used for generic articles about sex and relationships, I’d think, Yeah yeah yeah…older man, younger woman…blah blah blah. But when they are used as the lead image within the article or on social media for essays about marriage, dating, or sex during middle age, I object. And oh do I cringe. Read more…

Post-Holiday Fat Talk: Let’s Not Do It

Fat talk

Tis the season to bash our bodies in front of our daughters, talking obsessively about how many pounds we’ve gained over the holidays and the urgent need to shed them.

Weight loss is the number one New Year’s resolution, and one that receives much public discussion. Here’s an idea: Let’s not do that. If we decide to diet and ramp up our exercise regime, we can just do it but not talk about it around the house. Read more…

Why I’m Boycotting Movies About Men


I’ve obviously gotten radical, stubborn, inflexible, and up-to-my-eyeballs-fed-up with this obscene stage hogging, and am in desperate need of a shepherd’s crook to remove superfluous male bodies from the world’s movie sets. I’ve spent half a century watching films that are by, for, and about men. I’ve paid too much of my hard-earned money supporting a fantasy world where half the human population has gone missing. Read more…

The Problem With Saying ‘All Women Are Beautiful’

bunch of women

Women of all ages, races, body types, and occupations can now show society that they are equally deserving of being objectified—not just the young, thin, white hotties who typically get that special honor. Today, if you’re female, you’re never too old, too large, or too anything to be photographed or painted while naked or scantily clad, and duly lauded for your physical attributes. Hooray! Read more…

Why I’m Embracing My Inner Pessimist


Coming back from vacation in northern Vermont a few weeks ago, my husband and I fantasized about buying a piece of land up there and building a cottage off the grid. The land would have to be in some utopian mountaintop location that is simultaneously extremely remote and near a community of people with skills we don’t have. The cottage would have geothermal or solar power, a productive well, a large vegetable garden, a hen house, and somehow, we don’t know how, a cloak of invisibility. Short of that, there would be a key to the deadbolt that we’d one day give to our daughter when we’re very old and say, “Go there. If things get really bad, just go there. It’s yours.” Read more…

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