Saying No

Going against the advice of every single person I’ve spoken to (maybe 20), I am saying NO. I don’t give a sh*t that these are hard economic times and beggars can’t be choosers—and believe me, I can’t afford to say no—but I absolutely refuse to take two steps back when I’ve taken one step forward. It’s not so much pride or proving something, it’s simply that that chapter of my life is over.

I lived it, I loved it, but that was the past, and I don’t go back. So today I called my former CEO and said, “No. Thank you, but no thanks.”

It is frightening, but it is liberating. When push comes to shove and nothing has happened with my standing and future applications in the one month I have left to monetarily survive, that is fine with me. I’d rather work for my neighborhood shops until I either create my new career or find it within a new corporation.

I talked to my family of five other people, who were all initially negative, but after we spoke, 1/2 of them are in support of this crazy decision. (Let me note here that I have a fabulous family, but they cannot financially help me out, nor would I ever want them to.)

I have always played it safe; I have always played by the rules and done what’s been expected of me, but I just feel so against playing by the rules right now. I am getting old and I’m going to live my life by my rules, on my terms. So, as scary as it is to say “No” to the old company, I am saying “Yes” to me.

I’ve taken no one’s advice but my own on this one, but sometimes you have to take a sizeable risk that no one agrees with to get to that point where you are truly serving your purpose on this planet.


A Break-Up Means We’re Broken, No?

Your former boss asks you to come back to work. Is this akin to your ex-boyfriend asking you to give the relationship another shot? You know, the one that didn’t work out, hence the “ex.”

This morning I got a call from my former CEO, asking me if I’d be interested in working at my old company again. A million things were running through my mind, such as: If you let me go then, why do you want me now?

First of all, he had recently taken over before deciding to fold all of the magazines, except one, which I was not the editor-in-chief of, so I only worked for him about three months. He barely even knows me or anything about my work and everything I’ve done for the women’s mag group.

All of the big business guys that took over could only be in the office here and there to chat big business stuff—in between talks of skiing in the Alps, of course. They were always running away, always too busy, always on their cell phones. I was busy too, yet on site all of the time actually making the product, but I guess since they didn’t ask, I didn’t tell.

The best was the ad guy the new suits hired. He must’ve had a small one or something; all he could talk about was this or that sale he did. (Actually, all of these men just liked to talk about themselves and how great they were.)  Ad Guy didn’t need to sell himself to me when we were first being introduced. Talk is cheap; I judge on performance. His credibility or his abilities had nothing to do with me; I wasn’t the one buying, nor did I hire him.

Even better was hearing Ad Guy talk on the phone to his contacts trying to sell ads for my magazines, all the while degrading and insulting our readership. That is such great salesmanship! Needless to say, he did not sell one ad. Oh well.

So the main new CEO, the one who called me, I think he made an appearance in the office two days a week, and since there were much bigger financial issues at hand for the big guys, there was absolutely no time to learn about the industry (none of them had any experience with magazine publishing), or to ask those who truly knew what they were doing on creative to give their input when it came to big business. No; these big shots knew it all. So much so that they were confident they could sell the media side in 60 days to avoid bankruptcy. It has been 90. They haven’t sold, stopped printing all but one magazine, and laid off all but the two people needed to get that magazine out.

You didn’t seem to need me then, but you need me now? And more importantly, I couldn’t trust you then, so why should I trust you now? I’m sorry that you’ve only learned how truly invaluable I am now, but that relationship is over.

I’m two months out and what is the worth of going back? I’ve always known my value; I’m sorry you didn’t recognize it sooner and jumped the gun with folding all of the magazines and laying me off—but not my problem now. Yours. I’m sorry you made a mistake. I make none of those before I put something to print. That’s why I am an editor. I will not help you edit your mistakes.

I am a liberated woman. You may not know that—that I don’t need you, that I am even more terrific than before, but that is exactly why you want me back. Just like an ex-boyfriend who can’t take seeing your newly single fabulous self and tries to undo the mistake he made. It’s a little too late. Been there, done that. Not going back.

And so to all ex-boyfriends who’ve tried to get back together, or even ex-lovers—and now, ex-CEOs: If we didn’t work out then, why in the world would we ever work out now? Please stop calling.

A Room of One’s Own

My boyfriend in college accused me of being a feminist. I have no desire to get into the politics of women’s issues. I simply don’t care. Because the truth is: We all have way more power than men.

However, we have way more compassion, being of the fairer sex, and that really limits us. Even if you are not already a wife or mother, you still can’t do you. We naturally put other people first—to our own detriment.

Since before I even had my first boyfriend or thought about this or even read Virginia Woolf, I have wanted a room of my own. I always had a bedroom of my own growing up, but even then, I had to defend it.

My little brothers went in there freely and destroyed my custom-made dollhouse. They colored with crayons on the outside walls, ripped out the electricity (yes, my dollhouse had beautiful light fixtures in every room! with dimmers!), broke the porcelein bathroom furniture and tore out the tiles and rugs—probably in five minutes, because I guard my possessions like a hawk. But you can only do so much defending when you are in school for full days while the rugrats are at home with the nanny who left them alone for two seconds.

These ugggh boys take over your things! My American Girl dolls all suffered greatly, as did their accessories. They were rejected by the doll hospital. (Pleasant Company actually said, “You should buy new dolls; yours are beyond repair.”)

What’s mine is NOT yours. We women have a much harder job enforcing these rules because we are too busy accommodating everyone else, and then before you know it, we are in yet another decade of not being in control of as much as we should be in terms of the world at large. We are the masters of multitasking, we are pretty brilliant, and pretty pretty, but we get in our own way because we “care.” That is such BS. I go to bed every night hoping that I will be more heartless than I am today.

Things I Learned from the “Real” Housewives of New Jersey Last Night

A. Albie secured an apartment in Hoboken. Now it’s even easier for me to try to hit that than when I tried to get my cousin to introduce me to him.

B. Triple knuckle rings exist! I am behind the times with my double-knuckles. I also feel a lot less bad about losing my zebra double on Friday. So winter season, apparently.

C. No matter what, you can never buy class (so unfortunate for oh so many; I pity you), and this is proven most obviously when you cannot speak properly, even if you’re on a popular show where you would hope publicists or other people making a dime off of your back would be watching out for your public image. The editor in me cries myself to sleep thinking about how I could triple your profits.

Garlic-Parmesan Asparagus

A guy friend of mine asked me what my favorite vegetable was. “Asparagus,” I said. He replied, “But asparagus makes your pee smell.” I hadn’t noticed that before. (It’s not really offensive, so don’t worry!) This is my favorite always-a-hit asparagus dish. It’s super simple, will help you fill your daily vegetable quota, and will definitely turn you on to the green veggie if you didn’t like it already. Trust.

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The World Is Getting Small

The other day I found myself in a weird place. I was having a conversation with an ex-lover about an ex-lover outside of another ex-lover’s apartment. Ex-lover #1 and I just happened to run into each other right outside Ex-lover #3’s apt., and Ex-lover #1 brought up Ex-lover #2 in conversation, not knowing anything about my thing with #2, and definitely not knowing about #3. Oh the world is small.

The older you get, the more people you know, and the longer you stay in a particular area, the more likely you will run into people you know now and again.  There are some people you run into frequently because you live or work near them, or you run in the same social circles. However, even the odds of bumping into those geographically close to you can be quite low.

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