The Ultimate Flaw of The Good Wife

Good Wife Slap.jpg
By Tara Cavanaugh
Well, that was a slap in the face.
Literally, yes. As has been lauded in many write-ups, The Good Wife’s series finale ending scene mirrors its pilot one, this time with Alicia herself getting slapped for a brutal, if strategic, transgression against her friend Diane, in a move that ultimately “won” Alicia her freedom.
It was a depressing ending to a tedious episode and increasingly tedious season. The finale, as many have pointed out, hideously failed the Bechdel test, as its entirety was about Peter’s trial, Peter’s cheating (again), Diane’s husband’s cheating (oh come on), Cary’s noble search for missing bullets and The Truth, and the waffling between Jason and Alicia that has gone from clever and sexy to downright annoying. How many times this episode did they “have a talk” that consisted of hemming and hawing and middle school fidgeting? I stopped counting.
I shouldn’t have had high hopes for the finale. I used to watch the show with rapt attention, endlessly amused by the intertwining of storylines and the wonderful, zany characters. But after Will left and then Kalinda, the show never fully regained its momentum. Sure, there were still some excellent episodes, but I started to wonder about, and then get completely distracted by, Alicia’s true aims: What does she want, really? What is she even doing all this for?
We still don’t know.
Alicia is a woman who, at first, was the victim. Her husband had a high-profile downfall and prison sentence resulting from soliciting prostitutes, on top of affairs with other women. Alicia was forced into the public eye, humiliated, standing by her man. And then she had to go back to work after a 15-year-hiatus and suffer the hazing of life at a law firm. But all that trauma made a formidable character: ambitious, ruthless, complex. We watched her struggle with defending less than laudable clients. We watched her fight falling in love with Will and then have a delicious affair of her own. We watched her complicated relationship with Peter balance contempt, duty and tenderness. We saw her stand tough, we saw her cry, we saw her throw plates at Eli.
But we never really figured out what she wants.
Did she want to start an all-women’s firm with Diane? Not really, that was Diane’s idea. Did she truly want to be State’s Attorney? That was Eli’s idea and he bullied her into it. Did she want to stay shackled to Peter? No, but her career and political aims necessitated staying the wife. The only thing she ever truly seemed to want was Will, and he died.
Back to that monumental episode of Eli and the plate-hurling: she found out that Eli, so long ago, had deleted a confessional voicemail from Will that professed his love and devotion. When Eli finally admitted this to Alicia, she was livid. But even if she had heard that voicemail back then, would she have done anything about it? Probably not. She probably would have stayed latched to Peter for her career, or his career, or for some other duty.
After all, the show was always about duty and desire. Alicia had a duty to her clients, to her children, her husband. And she fulfilled those duties, while sometimes giving into her desires, sometimes even getting consumed by them, but she always was interrupted by her phone—and she always answered the call.
But what was always apparent, and never fully answered, was the call of her own desires. Sure, there were some episodes in which she did exactly what she wanted. Those moments of stubbornness were few and strange. (Grace to Alicia on a tour bus ride during Peter’s presidential bid: “What are you reading?” “Jane Eyre.” Puzzled: “Why?” Pointed: “Because I want to.”) It was odd to see her selfish. A dutiful woman is never selfish because her duties are always to someone other than herself.
So in the final episode, we saw Alicia leave Jason a confessional voicemail, which eerily reminded me of Will’s ill-fated voicemail to Alicia. We saw her stand by Peter as he resigns, effectively ending his political career and his marriage, and then run off stage after the shadow of Jason. Only it isn’t Jason, he’s nowhere to be found. It’s just her, alone in the hallway, and then she gets the vicious and deserved slap from Diane.
Alicia winces, whelps, soothes herself and recovers, moving resolutely forward. To what? Jason? We know he’s not the answer—a lasting relationship with him is as likely as living on Mars. To another political race that Eli is planning without her input, and that he’ll bully her into? Running after Jason is a sign that maybe she knows now that she has a right to go after what she wants, but I can’t shake the feeling that for her, it’s just too late.
In one episode during her State’s Attorney campaign, a high-profile potential donor asked Alicia what she wanted. Alicia, surprised by the impromptu meeting and a little buzzed, said: “I want to be happy,” looking a little incredulous at herself. After the brief meeting ended, Alicia collapsed into a chair. No, that wasn’t the right thing to say at the time. But it is an okay thing to want—no, it’s an important thing to want. And an important thing to go after. Too bad Alicia never really did.

How to heal your broken heart

Pixels art heart broken designs love concept

Ah, fuck. Love sucks. Because at some point or another you will be crushed. Whether you are the dumpee or the dumper, you will find yourself alone, mourning a loss that feels like death. And it is a death, really: the death of your hopes that you will not die unnoticed in a dark house, your fetid body pecked at by hungry vermin.
Anyway. Take heart, dear heart. There are many things that you must do! At once!

 

In the immediate future:

You must do this fast, when the dead relationship is a fresh piece of roadkill, its guts glinting in the sun. Before the birds get to it. You MUST:
-Clear your place of all of his shit
Or anything that reminds you of him. The special towel you bought just for him, the cute photo booth pic of you two on the fridge. The shitty beer you kept in the fridge, for him. Dump it, toss it, get it out.
-Delete his number from your phone
Because drunk texting him is never a good idea. And you know you’ll do it.
-AND delete his texts from your phone
What’s the point of re-reading the past?
-Cut all social media ties
Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Snapchat. ALL OF IT. You don’t need to peek at his life and compare it to yours. And you don’t need to be showing off for him either. If your profiles are public, of course he can see you if he chooses. But if you disconnect, at least you know that when you’re sharing parts of your life online, you’re not doing it for him.
Not doing these things sets you up for failure.
At any given time:
Now that that’s over and you’ve buried the corpse, now you need to deal with the grief. This next set of instructions is to be completed in no particular order or timeline.
-Mope
Be sad. Be blue. Baby yourself. Cry. Sleep. Eat. Watch shitty movies. Boycott showering if you’re too lazy, or take lavish 45-minute ones if you’re too lazy to get out. You can mope with your favorite friends or family, or you can do this alone. But you have to give yourself time to be sad. Be sad until you don’t want to be sad anymore and don’t feel bad for how long it takes. You’ll know when you’re tired of it.
-Make a list
Of all the things you hated about him. You know, those things you were really nice about and put up with and made yourself not hate so much? That he was boring in bed. His hairy feet. His beer belly. His unfortunate hairline. His snoring. When you’re feeling like reaching out to him, because you don’t want to be alone and what-if, what-if… read the list.
-Make a list
Of what you liked about him, and good times you had. It’s okay to recall the good things; after all, you were with this person for a reason. Remembering the happy moments helps you know this wasn’t a colossal waste of time. And this helps you know what you want and need in a relationship.
-Make a list
Of all the nice things people have ever said to you. The really good compliments. I read once that it takes 17 compliments to balance the effect of one negative comment. Write 17 nice things people have said to you. Even if it takes you an hour to remember, you have indeed heard at least 17 nice things about yourself. You don’t have to believe them (you’re a woman, why on Earth would you believe something flattering), but write them down. Validate their existence. Because people appreciated you. 17 times.
-Take in some kick-ass broads
You need some strong women in your life right now. Women who gave no fucks, did what they wanted, were joyous and gloriously un-boring. Women who didn’t need a man. I’ll tell you the women I need in my life, not just during a breakup, but when I’m feeling weak: Holly Golightly of Breakfast at Tiffany’s—the book is better than the movie, because in the book she (spoiler alert) escapes to her own wild desires. Veronica Mars—WATCH THIS SHOW. You will love her smarts, toughness and hilarious one-liners. The Good Wife. By God, The Good Wife is one of the best shows on TV, featuring a complicated and formidable main character and a host of endlessly entertaining supporting characters entangled in delicious, delicious plot lines. There are several strong female characters in this show, too, which you generally don’t see in TV.
-Exercise
Do whatever gets your heart pumping. Because you need a boost of endorphins, or just the pleasure of kicking/punching/throwing something. Sadness, despair and rage have a way of disappearing when your body is just plain tired.
-Watch the booze, k?
I’m all for a glass of wine (or two), but remember: alcohol is a depressant. Don’t overdo it. You’ll have a sadness hangover, in addition to a bodily hangover, and neither are fun.

Head Bitch in Charge: Why this Millennial Woman is Voting for Hillary

 

–By Tara Cavanaugh
Let me be clear: Hillary does not have a millennial woman problem. Hillary has a millennial problem.
Millennials want change, real change, in a system that’s disenfranchised us. Our whole lives we’ve been told we’re special snowflakes—the Participation Award is the icon of my generation—and that we can be anything we want to be, provided we got a good education. So all the special snowflakes grew up, went to college at a time when it was more expensive than ever, and graduated as the world economy crashed thanks to a bunch of crooked bankers gambling recklessly on bad mortgages. We are saddled with debt, wages are stuck, and a lot of us are still under or unemployed. We don’t trust the system, the system screwed us, and when it comes to having a choice in an elected official, we want someone who’s as outside the system as possible.
Enter: Bernie Sanders.
The “walking Che Guevarra t-shirt” (thank you for that one, Samantha Bee) looks GREAT. Earnest af. The messy hair, the ever-outraged gesticulations, the suit that is always too big on him and makes him look like an emphatic turtle. His record is steadfastly liberal, even when it wasn’t politically convenient for him. He supports free college, free universal healthcare, $15 minimum wage, and legal pot. If you’re a bitter, broke 20- or 30-something, all of this sounds fantastic.
Is he competent? I think so.
Is he admirable? Definitely.
Can he single-handedly change a completely corrupt political system, full of Congress members that are paid for by special interests and Republicans that have become booger-eating schoolyard bullies who are super successful at preventing national needs from being met? …Not sure about that one.
I still have some Barack Obama PTSD, ok? I saw him on Mizzou’s campus in 2008, and he was magic. I voted for him in 2008 and 2012 and I would vote for him again if I could. I like him. I think he’s competent and brilliant and true. But at the moment he’s got a bunch of lawmakers shitting on him and he can’t do a damn thing about it. And that’s been one of the biggest issues of his presidency: he can’t get some things done. He muscled through health care, which was amazing. But he has an incredible amount of stubbornness and inaction against him, and he has neither the connections nor the power nor the respect to make lawmakers simply do their jobs. The most recent example of this is their blatant refusal to hold hearings on his Supreme Court nomination before a nominee has even been announced. This is insanity.
And this is where I think about what I want in the next president: someone who is powerful.
I want someone who commands respect. Who has the connections, the power, who has played the game and who will grab Republicans by the balls and bring them to their knees. And I can think of a total bitch who can do it who happens to be running for president: Hillary Clinton.
Listen. I don’t like her. NO ONE likes her. She is not likable. She is a political machine. She comes off like a robot, shrill, programmable. If Berine is earnest af, Hill is uptight af. It’s all over her face like a big stain. It’s never going away.
It’s probably a result of spending her whole life in politics, muscling through and succeeding in a boy’s club, of being treated like shit because she’s a woman, and her husband’s affair that was a national disgrace. Wouldn’t you be a bitch too?
We have this problem, I think, where we want important people to be likable, approachable. We want our celebrities to be “just like us” and we want to have a beer with the president. Which is ridiculous. We ask—demand, need—that the president be competent and intelligent and powerful enough to lead the free world. That would make someone an extraordinary human being. That person doesn’t have time for a beer, ok? They’re busy keeping us safe and strategizing about the nuclear mess in the Middle East and stopping North Korea from bombing the globe to bits. I can kick back with a beer at the end of a long day; the president can not.
But we want a likable president. Likability is perhaps the American woman’s biggest handicap. And I think it’s Hillary’s handicap in this campaign.
We women all want to be liked. We worry incessantly about being nice. We’re supposed to be unthreatening and accommodating and above all, pretty. The worst thing of all is to be disliked—to be called (gasp) a bitch. And “bitch” is a label that’s dogged Hillary ever since she was First Lady. I’m willing to bet good money that her disastrous run as First Lady, in which she was criticized for being too involved in politics and not ladylike enough, was the impetus for Michelle Obama’s First Lady plans. Michelle is a crazy powerful, competent and commandeering bitch too, and her handlers have done an excellent job of making her look nice, pretty, purely feminine and completely non-threatening in the press.
Hillary is not likable. Hillary is a bitch. And I’m fine with that. Because I think it’s what will make her a great president.
I admit: I am concerned about her email scandal and her speeches to Wall Street. I really am. But I’m going to get a little Machiavellian here and say that even if she is truly corrupt, she’s just as corrupt as any other politician, and she’s going to be the one to actually get things done. And she’s on the side of women, make no mistake. She won’t let things get worse for us. As Republicans across the country are working their hardest to roll back women’s rights, we need a leader who’s always going to be on our side. And she is.
Bernie, even if his schtick is Mr. Earnestly Outraged, won’t be able to fix the deeply indelible, money-driven political system of power that we have. He won’t fix it and I’m very doubtful of his ability to get anything done within it. No matter all our adoration of outsiders and underdogs, we need someone who can work the system, who intimately knows the system and can calibrate it and tweak it and change it from the inside.
This is why I’m Team Hill. Now if she could just get an endorsement from Beyonce, she’d have this election in the bag.

Why I Vote (and why you should too)

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Once upon a time, in a place called the United States of America….

By Lindsay Patton-Carson

As an American, there are many reasons why I hit the polls. I want marriage equality, I want women to get paid as much as men for the same job, I want General Electric to pay their fricken’ taxes, I could go on…

But there’s one basic reason why I vote and why I’ll continue to do so until I die:

I’m a woman, and I CAN vote.

On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified – allowing women the right to vote. That’s not even 100 years ago. To put things in perspective: George Washington was elected as our first president in 1789. Women gained the right to vote 131 years later.

To be succinct, American women have spent more time not voting than voting.

And to get women’s right to vote? It took more than 40 years. Forty years to allow someone like me to participate in the choices that make up our country, my country.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony drafted the 19th Amendment in 1878 and both died more than a decade before it was ratified in 1920. These two women fought their whole adult lives for something they never got the chance to be part of. Can you think of something you’d fight until your death for? Hard, isn’t it?

So, ladies, vote or not; it’s your choice as an American. But don’t forget about the countless women before you who were forbidden from doing what you choose not to do.

Aren’t these shoes a-peel-ing?

So I’m an admitted shoe-lover. They’re kind of overflowing out of my closet at present. I have more shoes than reasonable amounts of space. Admittedly, I need to get rid of some (my fave pair of boots has sadly bit the dust) to make room for some new ones. And while I tend to be practical in my own shoe-shopping habits, there’s always something attractive about that quirky-one-of-a-kind heel that no one else has. For example, the nerd within me that had a little girl crush on Han Solo (and still sort of does) definitely wants these shoes. And they’re definitely a conversation starter. Think of the endless debates you could have about who shot first and you could finally have inspiration to perfect your wookie call.

And then there are shoes that are essentially works of art. Israeli designer Kobi Levi’s designs are just so clever and pun-ny. For example, they give new meaning to “Let me ‘slide’ on a pair of shoes” or “slip-on a banana peel.” I sort of want the banana shoes, just so I can keep cracking “There’s always money in the banana stand” jokes. Besides who wouldn’t want to own a wearable optical illusion?


–By Lindsay Ray

Our favorite fashion blogs

Painfully Hip: I pride myself on staying fashionable with today’s equivalent of a 19th century scullery maid’s paycheck. Yet, when I discovered Painfully Hip, I realized I could learn a lot from creator Amber Mortensen’s posts and About.com links, if that says anything. Not only is her blog chock full of useful advice and adorable pieces, Mortensen’s writing style is fresh, witty, and will really make you “lol.”

What I Wore: One of our fave fashion bloggers makes style accessible.

Glitter N Glue: Do you like DIY fashion, but don’t want your pieces to look like Girl Scout memorabilia? Or do you want to explore DIY fashion, but don’t have crazy crafting skills? Then I suggest checking out Glitter N Glue. Their latest DIY how-tos–button statement rings and snakeskin handbags–are easy to make, much cheaper than buying the real deals, and perfect fall fashion accessories.

Sally Jane Vintage: The pieces featured on Sally Jane Vintage inspire all kinds of…feelings. Envy. Covetousness. Despair (that I can’t reach through the computer and magically snag every cute thing I see). Ahem. Anyway, if you like vintage with a clean, classy Middleton-twist, Sally Jane Vintage is full of eye candy. Plus, she has an Etsy shop with plenty of sale items that cost less than $15 (and that includes dresses…wow…).

–By Jenna Cooper

I don’t know how I first found Go Fug Yourself. Did I hear about it by word of mouth? Or did I stumble on it as a bored undergrad sitting in another endless lecture? All I know is that I knew immediately I had come across a hilarious goldmine of fashion commentary. The Fug Girls (as they’re affectionately known to fans) are snarky, thrive on Diet Coke, love young adult literature—especially Harry Potter—and vehemently advocate for the tights-are-not-pants movement. It was love at first blog post.

GFY is celebrity fashion with a side of sass. If they look bad, the girls will call them out, all while referencing Joan Collins, Pringles, 90210, Barbie and whatever other obscure pop culture reference you can think of. Generally, I have to stifle my laughter while reading the blog in public places lest anyone think I was deranged (because laughing uncontrollably can give that impression). GFY introduced me to SWINTON and the alternative to March Madness, Fug Madness, which is the ultimate bad fashion throw down. I also can’t look at Jennifer Lopez anymore without hearing her say, “Hello lovers!” in my head. And the best part? None of it is mean spirited and it’s all in good sarcastic fun, my favorite kind.

–By Lindsay Ray

If you’ve read my bio, you’ll see that I don’t consider myself terribly fashionable. If you’ve seen me in person ever, you’ll agree. My daily uniform: v neck, jeans, flats or boots, plus a scarf and a cardigan in the colder months. While I love Tavi’s style blog, I can’t relate. I feel like an alien when I’m looking at it.

That being said, I prefer the blogs of Everygirl USA, those “how I wore it” or “what I wore today” blogs. They give me a sense of peace; these are women that live on the same planet as my v-neck loving self. Of course, these gals are still more stylish, and have better jobs and cameras, but there’s an element to these blogs that I can grasp more easily.

What I Wore 2Day:  a Cincinnati woman into theater, cats, thrifting, and wearing brights.

What I Wore:  a woman with a fashion designer past living in Bloomington, Indiana, with an eye for classic and fun fashion. Her blog is so successful that it became her full time job and led to a book.

Two bonuses are segments on the against-the-grain and against-boys-club-entertainment-blogs frisky.com and hellogiggles.com. While fashion isn’t their singular focus, Frisky frequently hosts “what are we wearing today?”  segments where the fabulous ladies explain their outfits, and where they are from. Hellogiggles has a recurring series called “Style me Grasie” where Grasie Mercedes answers reader questions about everyday fashion conundrums like how to make a t-shirt and jeans look a little more hip or how to dress in a business casual office.

These blogs attempt to save me from my boring, fashion-backward self, and I can’t say they always succeed, but I appreciate the help.

–By Samantha Howard

Dear Tim Gunn: Stick to what you know.

From zazzle.com


OK. I usually love Tim Gunn. I think he’s smart and savvy and one of the kinder, more reasonable souls on Project Runway.
But Tim Gunn is getting some heat for commenting on Hillary Clinton’s fashion sense. And he deserves it.
On a recent episode of Lopez Tonight, he really lit into Hillary, saying that she “must be confused about her gender” for wearing so many pantsuits.

This isn’t new criticism. People have cut up Hillary since the second she stepped on the scene as First Lady. She wasn’t girly enough, she wasn’t pretty enough, she was too loud, people called her a bitch. And now that girlfriend is one of the most important leaders of the free world as we know it, she still can’t get any respect.

Men like to chastise women for being obsessed about their appearance. But as Hillary’s plight shows, how could we not be? Whether you’re the Secretary of State or a starlet whose stomach is magnified on a tabloid cover, the message is crystal clear: no matter how impressive your credentials, if you’re a woman you will ALWAYS be judge first and foremost on your looks.

Meanwhile, bimbos like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin get lots of attention and speaking time – often on matters they clearly know next to nothing about – largely because they’re “pretty.” How many times have we heard about Palin’s short skirts? About Bachmann’s “sexy librarian” look? Somehow these women are taken seriously, despite representing extremist beliefs and being incoherent or incorrect. Sure, Hillary is taken pretty seriously, but her wardrobe is also somehow a legitimate topic of conversation.

Listen, Mr. Gunn: I like you. I really do. So don’t go mouthing off on matters on which you know nothing about. Hillary’s job involves representing the world’s most powerful country among other foreign leaders. It’s a job that demands the lady carry some big cajones. And as any man would tell you, cajones need a nice pantsuit to nestle in.

So lay off, pal. Stick to the stuff you know, like fabric. Leave the international negotiations to the woman who can handle it.

–By Tara Cavanaugh

Romance, deconstructed

Ever wondered what’s inside the pages of a romance novel? Pick up any one, and you’ll find some variation of this:

Our heroine (let’s call her Lily) is a spunky, smoking-hot career woman that leads an average life. One day, she gets laid off of her job and comes home to find her boyfriend cheating on her. This spawns a quarter-life crisis, and now Lily must “find herself” by going AWOL. Conveniently, Lily’s uncle Ron owns a vineyard and winery in Napa Valley, which is an ideal place for doing new-agey soul seeking. (Romance heroines always find the means to go on expensive vacays to find themselves.)

A few days before Lily leaves for her uncle’s estate, Lily’s friends throw her a going-away party. While Lily tries to keep wannabe suitors at bay, someone bumps into her and Lily spills her drink all  over herself. She turns around and sees that a Mr. Darcy clone is the perpetrator. Oh, and he’s 6’4”, chiseled in every way imaginable, and has dark, penetrating eyes.

After initially reeling over “Darcy’s” hotness, Lily realizes she recognizes him. He went out with her roommate back in college and cheated on her. Ugh, that manwhore. Lily gives him a cold look and accepts a pile of napkins from an admirer. After doing a double take, Darcy apologizes and walks away. For the remainder of the party, Darcy and Lily obsess over each other instead of enjoying all the free booze.

As the party dies down, Lily steps out for some air and comes across Darcy while he’s smoking a cigarette alone on the balcony. He’s alone because deep down he’s a misanthrope, and she’s alone because she doesn’t need a girl posse. Darcy, drunk, comes on to Lily, but she doesn’t go for it. Lily slaps him and says something profoundly witty as she storms away. Cut to the next scene.

It’s a week later, and Lily is in Napa, still obsessing over Darcy’s piercing eyes, broad chest, and animal magnetism. Darcy is thinking about how Lily’s special, not like all the other girls. Basically, not a slut. They all said “yes” to him. But this girl is feisty, has an intellect, and the body of a “goddess.” (Romance heroes think the cheesiest things when they think they’re in love.)

Now, romance novelists rely on serendipity―it’s their favorite form of deux ex machina. Coincidentally, Darcy co-owns a vineyard and winery in Napa. Lucy discovers this while strolling through her uncle’s vineyard when she meets―surprise―Darcy!

Darcy is an old friend of Lily’s uncle, who invited him to his estate for a weekend.
Now Lily feels obliged to her uncle to get along with Darcy. Uncle Ron, scheming matchmaker that he is, invites them to a picnic in some idyllic meadow. They go, and after an afternoon in the sun picnicking, Lily and Darcy go for a stroll through the meadow. On their way, they accidentally bump hands. Because they’re harboring waaay too much sexual tension, it feels like an “electric shock.” They stop and speak openly about their attraction. Darcy reveals that he only cheated on Lily’s roommate after she cheated on him. Hmmm, Lily thinks, he’s not as bad as I thought he was…

After that poignant conciliation―that’s when it happens. They finally………kiss! On average, readers have to wait 120 pages for that to happen. Meager compared to the Twilight series. It took four books for Edward and Bella to have a sex scene.

Okay, so back to the kiss. It starts out gentle and gradually gets pretty steamy. Afraid of her own urges, Lily pushes Darcy away and runs back to the picnic site. Darcy, stunned, follows her. They pretend like nothing happened and return to Ron’s estate.

Do they finally consummate their…er…passionate acquaintanceship that night? Hardly. A good romance novelist knows to hold off on the sex scene to build tension, but we can fast forward 60 pages. It’s all meaningful looks and holding hands until that point. Now, be prepared for two things: first, Lily is a virgin by choice. (Romance heroines are almost always sexually inexperienced.) Second, I’m not going to get graphic. Then I’d have to go on about Darcy’s “pulsating member” or Lily’s “glistening mound.”

Anyway, they have sex after Darcy lets Lily cry on his shoulder about her ex. They start making out, things get heavy, and Darcy begins to explores Lily’s perfect virgin body. Lots of writing about nipples, quivering flesh, and warm entrances. Also, despite her inexperience, Lily appears to have a knack for pleasing Darcy. Finally, after three pages of elaborately written foreplay, the plot’s climax occurs―at the climax.

Of course, you can’t end the novel at the “monumental eruption” or spasm of release.” That would be bad form cause this is romance, not erotica. All you need to know is that Darcy and Lily are 100% enamored with each other for the next fifty pages. It’s all rose petals and delusions until they have a Big Misunderstanding.

Lily discovers that Darcy is still in touch with his ex/her ex-roommate by accidentally snooping through his call history. She tells Darcy he’s a compulsive liar and that she never wants to see him again. Of course, she doesn’t let him get two words in because if she did, she would know Ex-Roommate and Darcy still talk because they had a child together and share custody. After months of estrangement, Lily’s uncle mentions Darcy’s child in a conversation and Lily realizes she was wrong about Darcy.

Lily’s uncle Ron also tells her that Darcy started seeing someone else, and that they’re engaged. Paranoid that he’ll be married before she gets to see him again, Lily Internet stalks Darcy and finds his address. She takes a last minute flight and shows up the next morning at his doorstep. It turns out she showed up just in time―Darcy is about to leave for his wedding. Not anymore, though. Darcy knew Lily was The One from the very beginning, so he ditches the wedding and elopes with Lily. The novel ends with Darcy and Lily cozying up on an exotic beach, happy-ever-after-the-end.
–By Jenna Cooper

The nasty 90s (part 2)

Floral Dresses

I’m not attacking all floral dresses—just the ones worn in the ‘90s that looked like textile versions of floral wallpaper or adult versions of little girls’ Sunday bests.  Not only could the patterns serve as camouflage in your great-aunt’s bathroom, the color schemes designers used could make you look like an Easter egg or a sedate chintz couch.  Elaine Benes from Seinfeld often sported gauche floral dresses along with clunky shoes or sneakers.  Like scrunchies, you can find these dresses making a comeback in stores like American Apparel or on Etsy.

Caption: I loved Elaine’s quirkiness, but her fashion sense?  Well, it was kind of endearing…

Flower-Power Revival

The mid to late ‘90s had a fling with the love child of hippie and disco fashion—the flower-power revival.  The ‘90s version of “flower-power” had nothing to do with a political stance or a dance craze and everything to do with mainstream culture.  The ‘90s interpretation of those two looks, however, only augmented the garish elements of those periods and added a plastic, dime-store twist.

Before Posh earned her stage name

Spinsters, Junkies, and Trailer Trash

Back in the ‘90s, so many of us looked like we could have used a tailor.  Many popular silhouettes made women look boxy (remember the ‘80s holdover, the power suit?) or shapeless (grunge fashion).   Suddenly, looking like a corporate spinster or a junkie became cool.  At the same time, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera inspired my generation, preteens and teenagers in the ‘90s, to squeeze into jeans a size too small (I saw many a muffin top in my day) and sleazy spandex crop tops.  This trailer park pop princess look could’ve come straight out of a Jerry Springer episode.

Caption: ‘90s Pop stars like Christina Aguilera have inspired so many of looks seen on the People of Walmart website today

Not MILF Material

I can’t think of a single person I know or that’s in the media who I can envision rocking mom jeans.  High waist + tapered = very, very bad.  They make your lower abdomen look bloated and your butt look as shapely as a bean bag.  Moreover, mom jeans don’t even make your legs look long or lean—on the contrary, they make a lot of women look stumpy and pudgy.

Beverly Hills 90210 at its frumpiest

Please, feel free to stay in the ‘90s…

And last but not least, my leastfavorite ‘90s trend: cartoon character shirts—i.e. the ones with big Tweety Birds and some sassy phrase that ran about two sizes too large.  How could this be worse than mom jeans you might ask?  In this case, it’s pure personal bias.  The sayings on the t-shirts scream “I need to be loud and proud about how AWESOME I think I am and I need a gigantic Bugs Bunny giving attitude to get my point across .”  These shirts were big and obnoxious, enough said.

Caption: Wannabe hip-hop Tweety. The only thing this shirt is missing is Tweety making us “talk to the hand.”