Givenchy Gym Bag

PhotoCredit:myfashionmanual.blogspot.com

PhotoCredit:myfashionmanual.blogspot.com

Why do we sometimes feel that we have to defend our choices? Why are we embarrassed by some of those choices? Why are we being judged? Why do people give a rats ass about what someone else is wearing, eating or doing.

I admire those people that do and say whatever they wish because it makes them happy and they don’t care what anyone else thinks. Who are those people anyway?

It’s always more about the person casting the aspersions and lobbing judgements onto another, that has the problem. It’s almost always about them.

I rode the elevator with a lovely woman the other day, and I commented on her bag, which if you knew me, or know me, is not really something that I would comment on.

It was a cool looking bag. I had just taught a great Pilates class; great audience, responsive, laughing, feeling challenged, and I was feeling quite blissed and high, like I normally do.

I told her that I liked her bag, and I wanted to know what brand it was. Here’s where it’s always about the other person.

She told me that it was Givenchy. I smiled and said, “Oh, and you use it as a gym bag.” It was a statement. More like, oh, that’s so cool that you use it as a gym bag. No judgement. She smiled then like a knee jerk reaction, she started apologizing.

“Yeah, I know it’s a little self indulgent but I work for them, so I got a good deal and…” I think she said something else but I wanted to assuage her guilt or shame or whatever the hell else was running through her mind.

“I think it’s a great idea. We don’t judge here in the elevator and why not a gym bag, who cares, use it, enjoy it.” I had become my Grandmother in a matter of seconds.

I’m Buddha in Spandex.

I was curious, and googled Givenchy when I got home to see how much a bag like that could possibly be.

Oh, my Christ. That’s a pretty chi chi bag to be carting around your smelly sneakers, lady, n’est pas?!

Would You Go To A Matchmaker?

PhotoCredit:tumblr.com

PhotoCredit:tumblr.com

Would you go to a Matchmaker?

I jumped at the chance to interview a friend’s acquaintance, who happens to be a professional Matchmaker in the city of 8.4 million. What I don’t do for material.

I met Roxy (not her real name) in her office, which was a converted bedroom, in a two-bedroom apartment, that she shared with another business. The reception area was in the hallway separating the two offices (bedrooms).

Roxy was eccentric in her attire. Her eyewear reminded me of the female version of legendary Hollywood talent agent, Lew Wasserman. Lew Wasserman

We exchanged a few pleasantries, I went to the restroom, and we got down to business. This meant a deluge of questions, hurled at me at supersonic speed. It felt more like I was taking a test that was being timed.

Some of the questions stumped me like, “What would you say are your best qualities?” Uh, there are so many, how do I choose? “What are your top five must haves that you want in a match?” Uh, only 5? The whole thing was painful and exhausting.

She asked me what age group I preferred. I wasn’t really thinking, nor did I really care, so I said the first thing that came to my mind. “Breathing?”

She asked me what an acceptable minimum salary requirement for a potential match. This was a problem. I never thought in those terms. I was, and am, more concerned with what my acceptable minimum salary requirement for myself. I thought I’d have some fun with her, so I said, “$500,000.” I think she burped in her mouth. What? If she was the Millionaire Matchmaker, she would’ve laughed at half a million.

The questions continued and then she proceeded to tell me her rules for a first date. I wasn’t allowed to get drunk. This wasn’t a problem. The date had to be short, as in one drink or a cup of coffee. The shorter the better, I say. Don’t have sex on the first date. Now that may be a problem. She didn’t think that was funny.

She prefaced her next question with, “I’m not sure how to ask this but… is there any type of ethnicity that you wouldn’t date? African American? Asian?” Was this a test? Her Asian assistant was sitting right across from me. I didn’t think that telling her that I’d never been attracted to Asians was helpful. Besides, it don’t like to say never and I didn’t want Roxy putting me in a box. I shook my head in a some vague way.

She reviewed my responses and suggested that I have some wiggle room regarding my minimum salary preference. How else was I going to weed out the undesirables? I thought she would’ve appreciated my specificity.

Roxy saved the best for last. Her nebulous services came with a $7,500 price tag. And that was just for 3 months. Now some may see it as a bargain; we’re talking about finding love after all, but from where I was sitting, that $7,500 could pay for a lot of Pole classes.

Thanks anyway Roxy. I’m more of an organic gal when it comes to love.

 

Twerking in Dubai

PhotoCredit"loumoore-fitness.com

PhotoCredit”loumoore-fitness.com

Twerking is a fitness class now being offered in Dubai.

They’ve come a long way since I taught Pilates there, several years ago. It’s hard to imagine such a class, with it’s booty shorts, and pop and locking. All I remember was that, during Ramadan, one could get arrested for drinking water in their car.

Today there was a confluence of events; Dubai and texting with my ex-boyfriend’s son. I was again reminded of how much I miss and love him. I thought about how he melted my heart and made me feel like a true Girlfriend Mom, before I left for Dubai.

Originally posted in Stepmom Magazine, October, 2011

Leaving the Kids and Heading to Dubai

I recently left America and traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates to live for two months. 

Saying goodbye to my boyfriend’s daughter the night before I left was all very normal and without tears—just a promise that I’d bring her back something cool that a 17-year-old fashion junky would like. However, my boyfriend’s son was another other story.

I had an early flight, so we had to leave the house at the butt crack of dawn. It was decided that his son would stay asleep, while my boyfriend drove me to the airport. If all went well, and there wasn’t any traffic, he’d be back in less than two hours. I said a preliminary goodbye the night before, and my boyfriend’s son said he’d be up in the morning so we could say our goodbyes.

It was a restless sleep, full of nerves, excitement and don’t-forget-to-pack-the hardboiled-eggs, reminders. I never travel without my eggs. I shot out of bed as soon as the alarm went off and went into final preparation mode. Passport, check. Visa, check. Money, license, boarding pass, protein bars, phone, camera, eggs. Check! I was ready.

While my boyfriend was kind enough to drag my, I-know-this-is-going-to-be-over-the-weight limit suitcase, to the car, I walked over to his son, who was sleeping on the couch. I bent down over him, whispered his name and told him I was leaving.  

He extended his 12-year-old arms out and threw them around my neck in a tight hug, bringing us cheek to cheek. He started to cry. Oh, shit. I felt sad, lost, found, and more like a girlfriend mom than I ever had. It all took me by surprise. A pleasant surprise. He said he didn’t want me to go and that he was going to miss me. Double shit. He pierced my heart in the most beautiful of ways.

I assured him that two months was going to fly by and that I’d miss him as well. I told him to do lots of things over the summer so he could tell me all about them when I got back. I said I’d bring back presents. Parents say that all the time, right? I tried to lighten it up by promising to follow him on Facebook, so he’d better be good.

I kissed his cheek and the top of his head, as I brushed his long, wavy hair back behind his ears, comforting him like my parents did to me when I was sad. I’ve always felt deep in my soul that I’d be a natural at parenting but this beautiful outward display of emotion—toward me—somehow validated those feelings. Up to that moment, nothing had felt more authentic than soothing this sensitive little boy, in his half sleep state.

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Pure Movie Magic

PURE MOVIE MAGIC

PhotoCredit:DnA

PhotoCredit:DnA

It’s pure movie magic and it’s on Funny or Die, so I decided to repost.

WATCH how Dani turned her liabilities into assets.

A parody of Lifetime Television’s Intimate Portrait series. A real look at the frivolous, and marginal accomplishments of a nobody, who, by the end of the show, will look like a somebody.

A Really Intimate Portrait … Of a Complete Unknown, poses the question: How can you be a has-been if you’ve never been?

Lifetime Television’s Intimate Portrait is a landmark series that  provides the viewer with a close look at amazing women who have changed our lives.

This groundbreaking show has spotlighted everyone from Golda Meir and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Loni Anderson. But the day Lauralee Bell received an Intimate Portrait, somebody stood up, and shouted, “Who the hell is Lauralee Bell, and why does she get an Intimate Portrait?” That person was Dani.

Apparently, all it takes is a couple of credits to be the subject of an Intimate Portrait. That being the case, Dani didn’t see any reason why she didn’t have one. She’d done stuff. The only problem was convincing Lifetime. Dani decided not to bother.

She would write, shoot, star, and edit her Intimate Portrait herself. She had some concerns along the way. Would her accomplishments, obstacles and pitfalls, be less interesting to viewers than if she was actually known? She didn’t know, nor did she care. She’d let the people decide.

If Lifetime was going to persist in producing Intimate Portraits of lesser knowns, then Dani was going to take it a step further, and produce an Intimate Portrait of a complete unknown.

The subject of an Intimate Portrait should have to earn their portrait. Meaning and significance is lost if portraits are handed out willy nilly. Case in point, Britney Spears getting a star on the Hollywood walk of Fame.

There are artists who spend lifetimes working in the business before they’re honored with a star, if they’re honored at all. They aren’t 19 and wearing a thong.

If there aren’t standards, then women like Dani, who have done some stuff- and things- are qualified to be the subject of an Intimate Portrait.

________________________________________________

The year was 1998. Dani was watching Lifetime Television’s Intimate Portrait series in her West Hollywood Spanish duplex. She’d settled into her Shabby Chic couch, cradling a bowl of Newman’s Own lightly buttered popcorn, and a caffeine-free Diet Coke at the ready.

It took only a few minutes to notice that the celebrity being spotlighted was a B-rate actress with only a handful of credits to her name.

She recognized the actress but that was only because she watched a stupid amount of television. The average person, who watched an average amount of television, wouldn’t have a clue.

She grew increasingly incensed. Where was Meryl Streep? Glenn Close? Valerie Bertinelli? Was there nobody else?

Was Lifetime scraping the bottom of the famous women barrel? Had they run out of interesting women, whose resumes were longer than Dani’s? She hoped with every inch of her being that it wasn’t true.

Over the next couple of weeks, she watched Lifetime’s Intimate Portrait to see if, perhaps, it was a fluke. It wasn’t. There was a two bit commercial actress one week, and a model, not even an uber model, the following week. Her claim to fame was growing up with an alcoholic father.

That’s when she decided that there wasn’t any reason why she shouldn’t have an Intimate Portrait. She’d done stuff. And her father was an alcoholic. Perfect.

A Really Intimate Portrait… Of a Complete Unknown was born. Watch Here.

Festivals and Screenings

Official Selection

Women’s International Film Festival
Miami, Florida

Official Selection
Sunscreen Film Festival
Clearwater, FL

Official Selection
Delray Beach Film Festival
Finalist

Through Women’s Eyes Festival
Sarasota, Florida

Official Selection
Baltimore Women’s Film Festival
Official Selection

Cafeshorts
Maitland, Florida
Official Selection

Tacoma Film Festival
Official Selection
Los Angeles International Short Film Festival

Official Selection
New Filmmakers Series
NY NY

Broad Humor Festival
Venice, CA

 

The Girlfriend Mom Speaking at The NotMom Summit

PhotoCredit:KarenMaloneWright

PhotoCredit:KarenMaloneWright

THE NOT MOM SUMMIT is the first major conference for and about women without children, by choice, or by chance. Friday and Saturday, October 9 & 10, 2015 – Cleveland, OH, and The Girlfriend Mom is on the bill.

Founding Voice and Executive Editor, Karen Malone Wright, introduced me to a whole new group of women on her site, and I am honored to be speaking at her summit.

This is what Karen had to say about me.

“I’d never thought about NotMom Moms until I met Dani Alpert last year at a conference. She’s the woman behind TheGirlfriendMom blog. Its title tells her story: Dani was decidedly childfree by choice when she fell in love. Now, she says, she’s in a committed relationship and living with a divorced father of two.

A professional comedian, Dani instantly saw the humor in her situation and turned it into what’s now a very popular website. Everything, however, was decidedly not funny, especially in the beginning. She wrote about those early days:

“’This wasn’t the life I wanted.’ I repeated this daily. I had uprooted myself from all that I knew, to begin a life I knew nothing about. I looked for appreciation and acknowledgement from my boyfriend, for the sacrifices that I had made. I resented him for not having to make any compromises. I was lost, living outside of my comfort zone and not entirely sure that I had made the right decision.”

It’s an interesting coincidence that both Dani and Kim make others laugh for a living. They each have loads of love for the kids they’ve found themselves parenting, but without finding some laughter, too, things might not have worked out so well.”

Things have changed since then but I’m proud to be on the panel and speaking about my life as The Girlfriend Mom.

Twitter link- retweet

Read more about the Summit.

Straddle The Pole Like A Master

Straddle The Pole Like A Master

PhotoCredit:DnA

In her autobiography, Good Morning, I’m Joan Lunden, Joan writes, “4:30am comes around very early.” I couldn’t agree with her more.

I was up at the butt crack of dawn, for I was about to compete in my first Pole fitness event. Go big or get off the pole, I say.

I rode my bicycle to the theater, as a feint drizzle fell onto the city streets, and onto my flat ironed hair. I wondered if rain was good luck on competition days like it is on wedding days.

___________________________________________________

I started pole fitness at Body & Pole a year ago. Straddling a 45mm chrome pole agreed with me. The world outside, with its stresses and noise, disappeared and my focus was on squeezing the bejesus out of a pole without falling on my head.

My inner thighs were bruised, my knees looked like I’d been whacked by the mob, the tops of my feet were scratched and I was in love.

My romantic relationship had ended and I trotted out my ‘things I must do’ list, which included activities that I’d been meaning to explore but hadn’t. Why does it take a dramatical life shift before we visit that list? Why do we set aside the potential joy?

When I was learning how to climb, it was impossible for me. I’d get frustrated and I couldn’t wait for the class to end. I shrugged it off, murmuring, “I don’t need this.”

Often, such challenges had me quitting if things got too tough; a dance move, a sport, a math problem. I wanted the first draft to be the final draft and I wanted to climb to the top of the pole on my first try.

As a Pilates instructor, do I tell my clients struggling with a particular exercise that they suck and that they should quit and try Yoga? No. No, I don’t. Then why expect that from myself? It’s called work, and practice, and then more work and more practice.

When I learned that there was a pole competition that had an over 40 category, called Masters, I knew that this would be the perfect way to break some old habits.

____________________________________________________

While I waited in line to check in, I nervously watched women, wearing leg warmers, (and not much else) stretch, kick, bend and twist, as they warmed up. Am I really going to dance on a pole, half naked, on stage, in front of strangers?

I ran my routine, humming the music in my head, and when I finished, I went to the end of the line. I was growing increasingly nervous, and anxious. I wanted to bolt.

I told myself that it was okay if I didn’t run it a second time. Then, if I did poorly, I could tell myself that it was because I didn’t have enough practice time. What kind of crack ass lame logic was that? And who exactly would I be hurting?

But this was the year of doing the opposite of what I might have done in the past. I waited in line and took another spin. Why, oh, why, wouldn’t I do whatever it took to ensure the best possible performance? Hey Jung, you’re needed backstage.

I was putting too much pressure on myself. I had to remember that Pole wasn’t a career move, as sad and as disappointing as that was. Oh, sweet lost potential. Doing something for the pure joy of it had to be enough. I think it’s called a hobby.

This mental masturbation all happened before 8AM.

_________________________________________________

I looked at the pole and I took a deep breath. My only job was to have fun, and not fall.

I took the stage and danced my Masters ass off. My body switched to auto pilot and I couldn’t tell if I was in the moment or I’d blacked out.

When I finished, I skipped offstage, adrenalin pumping, my youthful grin grinning, and I heard the Stage Manager say, “Keep doing this.” Yes, I think I will.

Later, when I got home and changed clothes, I noticed that my shorts had been on backwards. I suppose the up side was that they weren’t inside out.

To my humble surprise, I placed second. It was the icing on a very informative and revelatory cake.

As evidenced by pole dancing in shorts worn backwards, I’ve opened my heart, my mind, and my legs, and will see where this hobby takes me.