All Roads Lead to The Vagina

All Roads Lead To the Vagina

I was at my dermatologist recently for my semi-annual skin check—don’t judge, I’ve had things.

I waited in the room for the doctor, wearing my poly blend gown, and browsed through the many pamphlets that were prominently displayed on the countertop. It looked like a friggin’ library.

Suck this out, laser that, freeze those and fill this. I hadn’t seen my doctor in, yes, six months, (that is the definition of semi-annually after all), and when my lady doctor entered the room, it was clear that she had taken a page, or three, from her own library of procedures. She looked as if she personally tested the products, and had been sucked, frozen and filled. I had a completely new doctor.

I have written about shooting up Botox, and one day soon, (very soon I’m guessing) I might write about fillers. At the same time, I think cosmetic altering is getting a wee ridiculous. I am speaking solely aesthetics here.

I give you vulva cosmetic surgery; not to be confused with vaginal rejuvenation. Although maybe it’s the same thing, I’m still trying to figure out what the hell the vulva is.

Some women want to make their vulva’s pretty, so they seek out corrective surgery, as if there’s something wrong with their vulva. What, like it’s keeping them up at night, like a deviated septum, so they get rhinoplasty? Is there actually a gold standard for the vulva? Is it supposed to be symmetrical?

Is mine symmetrical? Now I have to contort my body into a pretzel to see if my vulva veers slightly off to the right, like my nose does. After dinner, I’m going to throw my legs up around my head, sit on the floor in front of the mirror in my boudoir, while I watch America Ninja Warrior. I don’t want to miss the qualifying round.

Didn’t we just learn about the Clitoris? Can we take a moment to process the 411, before we get into (pun intended) the Vulva? Can we please give the vagina a day off?

Medical reasons are one thing, but those that want some manufactured vulva ideal are probably the same people, and I’m just spit balling here, that would seek out anal bleaching and taint (perineum) tightening, if given half a chance.

Go ahead ladies, alter your coos, if it will make you happy. I just want to know when I’m going to see brochures in my doctor’s office on the latest advances in penis enlargement. Let’s give equally to the male gender, offering cosmetic surgery to straighten crooked cocks. And when is that surgeon from Oslo going to develop a procedure that lifts the ball sack, like a facelift. Better yet, what about a testicle job, to turn those B balls into double D’s.




Open Heart Surgery Opened My Heart

heart surgery

Nobody likes to see their parent’s lying in hospital beds, hooked up to blinking, ticking, and pumping machines, with a breathing tube down their esophagus.

Such was the scene this week when my daddio had open heart surgery; double bypass yo.

We had known about the surgery for a month, and my family went about their business, doing their work, and going to work, with little discussion about the impending surgery and what it would mean. Maybe it was a good thing- no time for dwelling, minds occupied and all that jazz (hands).

On D-day, I met my parents at the hospital at a very early 6:30AM. As we waited for my dad to be admitted, my mother played scrabble on her Kindle, and I engaged my dad in a conversation about potential stocks to buy and the latest comments made by the idiots running for President; neither subjects I was especially interested in, especially at the butt crack of dawn. I had to talk, and my dad had to make suggestions and offer his opinions. It’s what we do when we’re nervous.

After 45 minutes of listening to Little People, Big World, loudly play in the background, my father’s name was called and he was brought back to a room to change his clothes. In his absence, my mother and I discussed where we were going to eat lunch, once the procedure was in full bloom, and we had four or five hours to kill.

My brother arrived a little while later, and before he even sat down, he started complaining about the traffic on the Hutchinson Parkway, wondering why there were so many people having surgery, (evidenced by the crowded waiting room), and upset that my mother didn’t stop off for her coffee (that she was now jones-ing for) on their way into the hospital; like my brother had. That’s what he did when he was nervous.

Fifteen or so minutes later, the three of us were brought in to see my father. He was sitting in a large medical recliner, which my mother said would be great for the house– just cause. He was stylishly dressed in his hospital apparel; gown, robe and grippy socks. It was quite the ensemble.

Topics were bandied about, jokes told, sarcasm, critiques and judgements about this or that, and this one and that one. My mother plucked my brother’s ear hair with tweezers that she pulled from her purse, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat. I snapped photos for posterity (or blackmail) and we laughed. Hard.

That was until my father brought up what I had dreaded ever hearing from him. “If anything happens, please take care of your mother, and please be kind to each another.”

My brother and my mother brushed it off, not wanting to entertain his directive; but I was different. I wanted him to have peace of mind before his chest was cracked open. I’m funny that way. I assured him that we would all be okay, and that he didn’t have anything to worry about.

Of course my brother and I would take care of our mother. In some ways, that had already begun. And as much as my brother and I never got along, and don’t have much of a relationship today, I know that I can count on him, and I hope that he feels the same about me.

There was a brief moment, lasting less than a minute, when silence permeated the room. This was it. The four of us. This was how we started, before the extended family, husbands, wives, friends, and grandchildren; and this could potentially be where it ended. And something about that calmed me. This was how it was supposed to be.

These three people, with their many, many, many, flaws, were my family… god help me.



A MILF Moment

I went out to dinner with my Girlfriend Mom daughter the other night. When we were done, we strolled to the front door, and exited onto the rained soaked sidewalk.

She suddenly turned to me aghast, “Did you hear what that guy said?” I didn’t know what she was talking about. “What guy?” Displeased, she continued, “The guy we passed by the door said, ‘I’d fu-k that mom.’ ” I assumed that this person was referring to me, but then again, it was New York City and you never know.

How could I not have heard that? Sometimes I’m simply oblivious to my surroundings, because I’m hanging out with the deep thoughts swirling around in my head— on this occasion, I was thinking about what a great time I just had with my dinner date.

She continued, slightly annoyed, “Geez, at least he could have waited until we were outside.” I adored her bow to respectful behavior and class.

I focused on the mom part of this stranger’s shout out. Someone thought I was a mom— her mom? The word touched me more than hearing that he would fu-k me. I suppose it might sound odd coming from someone who is child-free by choice, but am I really child-free?

This is the beauty of being a Girlfriend Mom, or any other type of mom. There isn’t one way to label, or define us; neither with generalizations nor societal conventions.

I’m still untangling, and in the process, I try not to forget, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”

I hugged my GM daughter good-bye, strapped on my bike helmut, saddled up and pedaled off down tenth avenue. At twenty-third street, I crossed over to the West Side Highway, turned onto the bike path, and said to no one in particular— mom, and smiled.

Happy Father’s Day



Not only is this a repost, but it’s friggin’ late.


When I was a little Dani, about four or five years old, my father invented a character called, the Tickle Monster, long before Josie Bissett’s, Tickle Monster Laughter Kit, which included cuddly tickling mitts. I’m not sure why you would need a kit to tickle someone, but whatever. My dad was the original.

My brother and I used to share a bedroom in a cozy two bedroom apartment in Yonkers, New York. When my parents were home, and not behaving like the 25 year-old’s that they were; that is, partying with the downstairs neighbors, and nursing Sunday morning hangovers, my dad would don a random piece of clothing to mask his true identity, and he’d become, the Tickle Monster.

We’d hear growling, monster-like noises outside of our bedroom, and as the sounds grew louder, we knew that the monster was getting close. My body would tense in anticipation of the monster’s entrance.

Our bedroom door would fly open and my dad would come barreling in, often tripping over a Tonka truck or a Dr. Seuss book, that my brother or I left in the middle of the room. With his arms flailing, and his back hunched over, he pretended to look for us, even though we were right in front of him, jumping up and down on our beds, screaming, “No, no, go away,” as we laughed. He took his time, relishing the sound of our little kid squeals.

The Tickle Monster went to my brother first because he was an easy target. The kid would freak out, at the mere suggestion of being tickled. He screamed so loud that he’d gasp for air. Watching my brother squirm and shriek like a little girl, always made me giggle.

I was never ticklish. Seeing his two kids laughing together in the same room, instead of beating the crap out of each other, was pure joy for my father. Even at the tender age of four, I was like the character Morales in, A Chorus Line, “I felt nothing.” My dad loved playing the part, so I smiled and pretended to. (best acting job to date)

This particular brand of play was out of my father’s comfort zone. He was the reading and writing type; the parent that supervised homework, exposed me to Miles Davis, quoted Rolling Stones lyrics, and read Crime and Punishment to me at bedtime. He wasn’t so much into kid games, or child-like make-believe, but he put his heart and soul into the Tickle Monster and I couldn’t bing myself to tell him that I felt nothing.

From the time that I was twelve or thirteen, my dad knew exactly who I was, and thirty years later, little has changed. I recently reread a letter that he wrote to me when I graduated from high school. At the time, I passed it off as a father being a fearful parent, but how wise that Tickle Monster was.

“Firstly, you seem to be an anxious young bird who has learned how to fly, and now is trying to examine every tree in the forest. I can assure you that you will do that but racing to them will defeat your purpose and you will not maximize your enjoyment of them. Like constructing a building with blocks, a foundation must be laid before the spire can be placed on top.

Unless you have certain experiences to call upon, you may miss out on some wonderful fun. You know that I have never stopped you from exploring some very dark places; yet I am fearful of you missing something because of a lack of patience. Sometimes it is better to sit by the ocean and look at the sea, sense it and slowly feel it come over you, slowly and with all of its feeling, comfort and awe. Oh, yes, it is great fun to dive in, but how many people who do that could tell you the color of the sea and how beautiful it smells. Most times the short term is not as fulfilling.

And yes, each day is a challenge to your moral sense. Each day you will have to make up your own mind as to what to do- (unless you want to call us). You know how much I love you as my daughter, but now as you begin to leave the nest and start to fly, I relish in the fact of how much I like you. And remember our telephone number is 238…. Love, Dad.”

Then when I graduated college, my father wrote me a poem. I returned the favor, by turning it into a song, for Father’s Day years (and years) later, mainly because I couldn’t bear to buy him one more art book, or golf shirt.


A Letter To My College Graduate

A letter


A letter to my Girlfriend Mom daughter, in celebration of graduating college—

It’s hackneyed and cliche but, where did the time go? Where is that seemingly surefooted, 13-year old dark haired girl, who sat in the passenger seat of her mother’s car in the driveway, craning her neck to catch a glimpse of her father’s new girlfriend?

I am so glad that I was that girlfriend because you have changed my life. You’ve enriched it, and my heart has expanded, in a way that I never knew possible. Watching you grow, and evolve, into a funny, smart, stunning, and curious, young woman, has been a crazy cool ride.

My dear graduate, this is an exciting time, with all that is in front of you; endless possibilities, and just as many opportunities, waiting for you to grab hold. It can be scary— uncertainty, confusion, and choruses of, “What do I do now?” will surely ring in your ears from time to time. What I can tell you is this; just do— simple, not always easy.

In case you hit a pothole and have trouble doing, perhaps these gems will comfort you and get you moving on your life’s journey.


Learn the art of listening.

Only when we do things that hurt a little, or make us a little uncomfortable, do we receive the good juju.

Keep moving your body.

Know when being selfish is healthy.

Fiber is your friend.

You will not learn by taking the easy way out— of anything.

Be tolerant.

Be kind to yourself and kill the naysayers with kindness.

Never stop learning.

Your words have meaning, choose them wisely.

A sexy mind is a sexy woman.

Unplug, unwind and quiet the chatter.

Think outside of the box. On second thought, don’t put yourself in a box in the first place.

No tanning beds.


Forgive because you won’t ever forget.

Remember the old folks; respect them, for you too, my beauty, will be old one day.

Be compassionate.

Nobody can tell you what is right for you. That burden, and yes, at times it will feel like a  burden, lies within you alone. Suggestions will be made, opinions offered, but it will always be up to you.

Ask for help. People will show up, as will the universe. Pretending doesn’t make you smarter.

Don’t accept explanations as whole truths from people just because they have a business card. Question everything and do your own vetting.

Explore, and travel. These will be the experiences that mold you, influence you and identify you. “Traveling reminds us who we forgot to be.” —Anonymous, on a bathroom wall in Berlin, Germany.

Indulge in any idea, peoples, culture, gadget, or philosophy, that even remotely interests you. It will broaden you in ways that you cannot imagine.

Take chances and risks. Have certainty that there will be someone, (it just might be you) or something, to catch you. I’ll always be on call.

Don’t ignore the quiet voice that emanates from your gut. It holds great power and it will never let you down. It’s your intuition and instinct. It may not be what you want to hear, but be courageous and listen to what it is saying.

Don’t let fear paralyze you. Bravery is acting in the face of fear, making friends with it and moving past it.

Share yourself, and your talents, with others. Give back and give often.

Don’t spend too much time worrying, or contemplating your navel. It goes by too fast.

It’s okay to change your mind. Walk a road that you hadn’t envisioned, and then, when you are ready, make a sharp left, and take that road.

Keep your heart and mind open. You will find it, although it may not look like what you had pictured in your mind. You may find that there’s more than one it.

The quicker you can distinguish between what you can control, and what you cannot, the happier and lighter you will feel.

Surround yourself with positive people and let the others gently fall away. Don’t count people out. Sometimes they will surprise you. Gather those around you that will assist you on your path; those that support and encourage need only apply.

Life is messy, complicated, unfair, and it owes you nothing. You will falter, fail and flail. You’ll make questionable choices. Your mettle will be tested. It’s what you do afterwards that matters. Remember, it’s only a test and it can’t hurt you.

Never excuse rudeness, disrespect, or bad behavior.

Don’t save things for a rainy day, or the perfect time. They don’t exist. Wear the new dress, tell someone that you love them, answer the email. I love you.

You have to look at yourself in the mirror every day. Be sure that you can smile at the person looking back at you.

People are doing the best that they can (most of them anyway), be patient with those that aren’t as capable as you are.

It will always be more challenging, the closer you are to your goal; to your light, to your truth. The universe wants to be sure you are ready. I have no doubt that you will be.


And if you still can’t do, I’ve carried these quotes with me for most of my adult life. They’ve always brought me a certain peace. My desire is that they do the same for you.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. —Joseph Campbell

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get. —Dale Carnegie

I am safe; it’s only change. I cross all bridges with joy and ease. The ‘old’ unfolds into wonderful new experiences. My life gets better all the time.  — Louise Hays

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. — Hilary Cooper

Neglect nothing that can make you great. (Eugene Delacroix)

Nobody is going to save you, that’s your job. Save yourself. If you don’t like where you are, get out of there. The object is not for them to like you, the object is for them to listen to you. Nobody knows what you want expect you and nobody will be as sorry as you if you don’t get it. Wanting some other way to live is proof enough of deserving it. Having it is hard work, but not having it is sheer hell. —Lillian Hellman (partial)

A relationship is an expression of the soul’s yearning to unify forces to push us forward in our spiritual understanding and mutual assistance in paying the debts of our tikune. (correction)—Kabbalah

When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don’t even understand the language the people speak. So you are like a child just out of the womb. You begin to attach much more importance to the things around you because your survival depends upon them. You begin to be more accessible to others because they may be able to hep you in difficult situations. And you accept any small favor from the gods with great delight, as if it were an episode you would remember for the rest of your life.— The Pilgrimage, Paulo Coehlo

T- is it TRUE

H- is it HELPFUL



K- is it KIND

—Unknown original source

My adorable beauty, I only wish that I could spare you the heartache, tears, and bad juju, that intrinsically comes with this thing called life. But alas I cannot. It is the only way for you to become a self realized and authentic individual.

Don’t ever lose your silliness, vulnerability or innocence. They can co-exist happily alongside your strength, resilience and maturity.

Have wondrous adventures with the knowledge that you are so very loved.

Always, Your GM xoxxo

Anne Frank Made Me Throw Up


I looked forward to Amsterdam; meeting up with my friend Laura, and attending to unfinished business.

We met at Schiphol Airport, or shit pool, as she called it. It was a relief to see Laura. The last five weeks of traveling had been challenging, and I longed for familiarity, and people who spoke English.

Before I left for Amsterdam, I got an email from my mother. “Dani, have fun and don’t smoke too much dope.” Where do I begin with that?

I first visited Amsterdam when I spent a semester abroad studying in Paris, when I was in college. School was a breeze, and it didn’t require a great deal of studying, so I was able to travel every weekend. For six months I took full advantage of my time in Europe. One weekend I decided to go to Amsterdam.

I arrived at the architecturally impressive train station in the city of legal drugs, legal prostitution and cheese. I stayed at Bob’s Youth Hostel, which at the time was a popular backpacker hangout. By coincidence, I ran into a couple of girls from my program back in Paris. They invited me to hang out with them, or I invited myself, I can’t remember. They were partiers. I was not. They wanted to lounge in coffee shops, and smoke dope. I did not. I wanted to go to the Van Gogh Museum and to The Anne Frank House—they did not.

Actually, I didn’t either but my father sent me off to Europe with a list of recommended places to see, and I didn’t want to disappoint  him, so I made sure that I ticked each and every one off the list before I returned home. Taking the list literally dispels any mystery as to why I spent a good part of my entire adult life in therapy.

I went out to dinner with the girls, and ate a space cake. The details are foggy at best, but suffice it to say that the girls continued on to other coffee shops, and I went back to Bob’s to throw up. I hurled all through the night, which must have been a real treat for the forty other fellow travelers sharing the room with me.

I felt better in the morning, so I went to the Van Gogh museum. When one acts for the sole purpose of checking off a list, chances are, one is not going to remember much, as it was in my case. I have zero recollection of what was in the museum; I assume Van Gogh pieces.

I was still feeling okay, so I walked over to the Anne Frank house. I waited in line, bought my ticket and went inside. Just as I was midway up the attic staircase, a sudden wave of nausea washed over me. Please, no. Any place but the attic. I quickly made an about face, and bolted down the one-way staircase the wrong way. It was too late. There wasn’t time to find the actual exit.

I sprinted outside, ran across the street, and heaved the last few remnants of that evil space cake into the canal. Moments later I found my way back to Shit Pool Airport, and caught the next flight back to Paris.

Eighteen years later, I was back at the Anne Frank house with Laura. I had to make it up to the attic. And I did. Anne’s story was indeed an incredible example of a triumphant spirit. I only wish that I didn’t see two young guys running through the house laughing and carrying on as if they were at a keg party.

The other part of Amsterdam that I missed all those years ago, due to my drug induced state, was the Red Light District, which, inappropriately enough, was also on my father’s list. Laura and I walked the streets. It was both sad and fascinating. Women were on display like ducks hanging in a Chinatown food stall. They peered out of their tiny windows at throngs of passerby’s. There was a fine line between giving an innocent look and staring. I didn’t want to be impolite and not look, but I also didn’t want them to think that I was in the market, and get their hopes up.

The rows of windows looked like the shoe box dioramas that I used to make in grade school. I think I expected the girls to be naked. They weren’t. Most of them looked despondent, hot and bothered. I expected them to be a bit more proactive. They could’ve tap danced or juggled, something to get the people’s attention. I’m sure it was a competitive business.

I saw one man writing a woman a check. Huh? Most grocery stores don’t take personal checks. One woman was watching television; that would’ve been me. Two girls sat in one window. I think one was visiting because she was fully clothed and holding the local Multiplex schedule under her arm.

Laura and I entertained the idea of knocking on one adorable Asian girl’s window so we could have a chat. I had a lot of questions, and as hard as she tried, Laura didn’t have answers. Do you have to pay for your window space? How come you’re not naked? Do you take Traveler’s Checks and credit cards too? Do you ride a bike to work? Is there central air and heat in the room?

As we were leaving, I saw a man walking into one of the shoe boxes with a smile on his face and dream in his heart. I ticked both The Anne Frank House and the Red Light District off of my list.