Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dagmar's Advice Column: poverty, trauma, and men edition

In this part of the blog readers ask me what ingredients are needed for their own My Time, and I provide a prescription that must be followed to the ends of the night.

I was sent this from a reader, recently:

"Dear Dagmar, I know you are not writing an advice column, but I am wondering how to turn insomnia into My Time.  Although I am warm in bed and all alone, my head gets filled with all the shit I need to do to please others, mostly men. If you can squeeze it in naturally, please suggest how a woman of distinction takes for herself those restless hours. Sign, Restless For Men."

Of course this is an advice column! I just thought I was advising myself and the world to understand the elegance of women. I had no idea that I could advise an individual. Or that I should (I probably shouldn't). In fact, I was told the other day by the homeless man I occasionally wake up next to under the overpass that I'm clearly "losing myself" and that makes him "sad," and want to "get together and talk," which makes it sound more like I shouldn't be advising someone, because I've lost my self somewhere, who knows where? I thought I was under the overpass but apparently I'm not even here, therefore I have no authority to speak my own mind let alone speak authoritatively to someone else. I'm a fun ghost! And, Honies, if a man really wants to talk to you, he doesn't start his reasoning with the fact that you are losing yourself. Although the experience of being able to be a non-person engaged in a conversation sounds ripe with possibilities...of course, in the end, I have avoided his underpass, and that's probably a mistake I'll regret in the future. Despite that, I've set up an email address that you can contact me at if you too would like to ask me a question:

Now on to answering.

Dear Restless For Men,
                 Wait. There are men around worthy of pleasing? Where? Can I come with you next time?  Where have you found all these "men" one might "please?" Can you please advise me? Oh, I forgot, I'm pretending to care that this is about you. Ok, back to it. Poor Restless! A woman's work is never done, nor are her cliches. I'm shocked that you've found a way to have all this My Time that you're not using for personal gain--it just seems so natural that when one can't sleep, one would drink, shop online, or at least study ambiguous sex toys in order to confuse oneself long enough to stop thinking about pleasing other human beings and instead think about how they seem to pleasure themselves with things that look like Ikea table decorations. Now I don't want to be hard on you. It's clear that you weren't raised in the upper echelons of society, like I was, so you have the ability to empathize and speak from your own mouth phrases that don't begin, "I'm proud of myself for..." or "It's not my job to...". Even when asking me for advice you qualify yourself into not asking me what you need, but instead ask me to examine what I can do and then maybe, only if it's natural, address your needs and feelings. Qualifying is something women are taught to do from an early age by these men who need us to be their mothers and lovers and then fuck us over because its not in their life-job description to not fuck anyone over. Women, and especially women who have been traumatized, start apologizing as their go-to when they are feeling attacked. Of course I don't know what that's like because I hire people to apologize for me, called "lobbyists."

Oh, don't I sound like a bitter, salty, hostile vagina, something women, and more often women of color, are accused of feeling, THEREFORE APPARENTLY, being. Well, sometimes the truth is bitter, not the vagina. It seems like your want to be in proximity to a population of a species that you are inherently drawn to as a straightish woman (men: duh) makes you feel shame about wanting to do what people who were raised poor and traumatized are better at doing: adapting to situations that are out of their control, seeing others' needs and wants, and feeling your own feelings along with others. I wouldn't know what that's like because I have other things that are far more important to me, like top shelf vodka, pride, my self actualization/repression (how they can conflate!), and sophistication. It seems like you've been burned, and are aware of what loss is--not something to be proud of, but something to feel, whether that makes you look "bitter" or "crazy" to men or not, and THEREFORE wondering if you're actually crazy, believing your wondering about this until you can't sleep confirms something about who you are, absolutely. The scary part about thinking that way is that is cuts two ways--being called something, like "hostile," "volatile," OR "loving" "beautiful" makes it easier to feel that oneself is that thing, and then be that thing. In fact, it seems like you know that actually experiencing suffering makes you a better person, one that has been traumatized in the past but is currently in her warm bed knowing that she is safe in her post-traumatic growth. What a wonderful thing to know, isn't it? You are warm, safe, capable of feeling, capable of empathizing, capable of shame, capable of intimacy, capable of desire. You sound like an incredibly wonderful (remember, when we are called IT, it's easier to call ourselves IT, and then BE IT, so read "wonderful" and try to neglect the other things you've been called) human being, so give yourself a break. Oh, Honey, do it.

My prescription for Your My Time: a glass of Bourdeaux in bed, reading all the links I gave you when you can't sleep, cutting yourself some slack, and calling a girlfriend when you need to be reminded how amazing you really are. And you are your best girlfriend, Honey.

But don't call me. I'll be passed out drunk or have company known as "ambiguity" or "Rodrigo" without the shame, bitterness, self-humor, cadence, emotional freakouts, or recollection that only come with being a good person. Give yourself a pat on the back, and plan on taking care of me when I'm too old or broken to reach my own vodka bottles. Cuz once I get "found," we all know I'm headed toward an upper class sociopathy that is elegantly tragic (see: Joan Crawford).

Sincerely (just kidding, I'm not real, so I can't be sincere. But seriously, if anyone finds me can you please let me know?),

When A Stabbing Prevents "My Time"

Ingredients for this My Time: a variety pill pack, a cell phone, a fear that others think "it's all in your head."

Sometimes you have your whole week planned out for some necessary, calming, agoraphobic, distrustful-of-the-world My Time.
Then upon elegantly crossing one leg over next in your 'UAR (That's my Jaguar. Most call it a "Jag," but that sounds too much like the one-syllable-named men my mother dated in the 90s, or like my favorite man of all time, GAR, from Mask):
Come to think of it, maybe my 'UAR can be called from now on my GAR, which is close enough to CAR that people won't notice, and when/if they do, they will simply be delighted.

I digress. So you're elegantly crossing one leg over your leg's companion (that's your other leg) in your car after taking a couple of "clouds" to calm the appearance of an old flame in public (lesson one: going into public has consequences) in front of the furniture store you plan to go into once you feel the "blue calm" of your "clouds" kick in so you can spend, spend, spend away that pain by purchasing large, fake branch coral mounted on plastic and scream that you'll take ANYTHING THAT IS FREE TRADE BECAUSE YOU'RE ETHICAL OH LIKE THAT GREAT PLASTIC RUG. Then your phone rings (lesson two: having a cell phone has consequences). It has been so long since it rang that you've forgotten what that sound was, so after first being alarmed that you took the wrong "clouds" you laugh quietly (good, they're working) and answer the phone which has an unknown number on it (excitement! who could be calling little ol' crazy me?! is it my dream man? is it Publisher's Clearinghouse? is it GAR?). And you get told that your sibling got stabbed by his girlfriend, in the jugular vein, with a ball-point pen. That little philly who manages a Southern California Forever 21 has got some real need for My Time, clearly. And yours has been ruined! For shame. Better call your doctor in Juarez who gets those great deals, because this is going to require immediate Botox to hide the terror, worry, shame for not stealing your sibling while he was a child, and love for men from your face.

Well, that was a waste of xanax, wasn't it? I mean, CLOUDS. So now what? Well, you listen to your mother.
She explains that he survived but has refused a hospital stay, that the police and EMTs arrived immediately, and after caring for him, even one officer felt comfortable enough with his not-gonna-die-today-so-suck-it-jugular-vein to joke, "do you like to write on yourself?" because of all the pen marks on your sibling's neck. The only thing more hilarious is their polyblend uniforms. Oh, Honey. You mother takes a long drag off of her Capri Lightl, adjusts her diamond earrings that you hear scratching her diamon-encrusted Iphone, and seeks to calm you, her only daughter, her beloved child, by reminding you of her moral center, remarking that she even told your sibling that "love and violence don't go together." As you pour some CALM SPIRIT Chinese supplements down your throat, there we go, that's nice, and attempt to repress some memories in your' UAR, you hang up the phone with her after she tells you that he is staying at a woman named Paris's house and has memorized your phone number, so will call after some much-needed healing. It's true, her moral center. Love and violence don't go together, hooray for moral truths! Which is why she doesn't remember having an axe in her head, preferring to call that time "when I fell on a lamp," as most women, tall as trees, are physically capable of.

But who knows what you remember? There is a difference between truth and fact, and since you've been feeling like no one thinks you're sane anyway, maybe she's right. She is Mother, after all, your first authority figure. Oh, while that occurs to you, take another pill. Maybe nothing has ever happened as you remember, or as Mother says, "Dagmar, why do you remember your life so wrong?" and maybe the actual words that you've heard that hurt the most, that make your neck throb not out of sympathy, but out of a wish that you had been stabbed instead of him, that you could protect him, (and secretly) that you would have physical, factual evidence of being fucked with instead of anecdotal references to what ails you (that anecdote being your own words, for what facts do they represent besides the fact that you are talking?). Your mother sounds so calm on the phone. She is comfortable with these kinds of situations, for they are usually her own--that is, if you trust yourself, your own memory, and your own ability to remember the actual events of your life and the actual words that have been spoken to you. And this is where the My Time is needed. You think it matters what other people think about you, your words, if what you say happened is true, but it doesn't matter, Honey. (lesson three: Oh Honey, staying alive, loving, breathing, speaking, they all have consequences, and the other option, well, it's so final for a girl like you who is still deciding what to call her Jaguar and what pills to take.)

The real ingredients for this My Time: do what the expensive, ambiguously European shrinks you pay just to be able to provide the world a totem of your sanity tell you to do: breathe deeply, Honey, you're safe. Give 'em Hell because you know what that is. And it's a gift being able to actually know the truth of Hell instead of speculating what could create it and how you might be involved.

As your favorite "martini mornings" advice column, Dear Sugar, tells you:

"You have my deepest sympathy and my most sincere understanding, but you’re not thinking clearly on this. You’re granting the crazy lady [in your head] way too much power. Your sorrow and fear has clouded your ability to be reasonable about your mortality. And if you continue in this vein it’s going to rob you of the life you deserve—the one in which your invisible inner terrible someone finally shuts her trap."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Looking Elegant for your country

Ingredients for this My Time: vinyl clothing, a small town, being "still in my 20s"

At My Time we believe in a lady's prerogative to have personal space. But, when a lady goes out in public, she must comply with societal standards, and that means looking elegant. As you can see, men prefer and flock to elegance, the cameras come out, suddenly you are the commissioner of some important organization, suddenly swarthy and translucent men alike want to be near you, the world is yours, the world, the world is saying, "Dagmer, remember your 20s? Remember when your power source (vagina) was the flag of a small company of 100-200 members? Remember the elegance, the photo shoots, the swarthdom and see-through skin of men always posing or looking on at you:"

The right amount of alcohol splash on a bra really brings them calling. We women know about "perfumes," just as we know in our 20s to place the "attention ring" on the finger of the left hand just right to the MARRIAGE FINGER to add an elegance that men read as intrigue, or what they might say as "I better hit that before it done got hit for good. I like girl, girl good" before they leave you, saying something like, "I just can't be in a relationship right now. I need to work on me" and marry the next woman they meet. Oh, the romping of one's 20s! Now, in other decades, if still with a gloriously winter wonderland womb and the name of our fathers--the names of ghosts--men who don't even exist anymore, we move that ring one place left to the ACTUAL FINGER to subconsciously impress upon the men the possibilities they are missing. My recently made couture ring sends dolphin sonic waves and flashes once every 3.5 seconds. Not enough to make a man have a seizure, but enough to hypnotize his hilarious, privileged discomfort enough to turn his eyes downward where the left hand rests on the crossed knee, ever so close to the Arctic Circle For Children of my body. Oh, Honey, they are ever so easy to poke and see in their subconscious, aren't they? Hold on...pouring some of mommy's special medicine (yes I'm a mother, I HAVE SEVERAL FELINES)...

Remembering these important girlish charms of my 20s made me devastated to read that a fine, elegant woman who is only 28 (seriously, she says she's 28. Compare a picture of your much older self to hers) is being left out of important clubbing events that could lead to her owning a small company whose emblem is a vinyl-laden sex organ of a woman in her 20s only because she wishes to dress in a way that shows the world that, indeed, her father is long gone, and it's time to take another man's name, for without a living man's name, who are we women? (well, obviously we are a lot more. Review the blog post on "lying" if you've forgotten. But a powerful woman must always refrain from baring her real wounds to the world and only show the world the one part of herself that men identify subconsciously as "the wound.") Sadly, this woman has four children to take care of, also. With such elegance and evidence of a non-icy mid-section, this woman should be the mayor! How dare a nation deny her the power of her own elegance? Dear readers, I'm sure after reading the terrifying article on this elegant specimen of womanhood, allowing herself more than all of us a little My Time, I sincerely hope you contact the country of Europia and tell them that World War IV is over. Simply comment on this article online to let Europia know what you think of them! Or...It!--let this woman be her power, elegant, in her 20s self.

Remember, take a close look at her face and remind yourself, this woman is telling the world simply the truth. She is in her 20s.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Your (Crafting) Time: Put A Horn On It

Ingredients for this My Time: an elk horn, a whale abalone, 3 shaken vodka martinis, super glue, a hammer, shells (pref abalone).

 Every elegant lady knows how to make a lot out of a little, but it's finding that time to show such class in one's home that is hard to learn how to do. This is why multi-tasking was invented in the 1970s (along with a widespread use of cocaine combined with a pre-AIDS/post-BirthControl era; indeed, there was much multi-tasking).

 One of a lady's secrets is how she manages to reveal her body to the world with nay a hair on her body below the eyelashes, and this takes time. However, the time is more sitting with items on one's face/body or recovering from ripping items from one's face/body, and thus is a perfect time for crafting, or what I like to call, for Gothic flair, "cocktail hour with dead parts of the earth." First, brutalize your body with a hair removal method that leaves a part of your skin so red that you can't go out in public, like the space between your eyes. This will ensure that you're in the mood to get crafty with death!

Then, pour yourself martini number one. Look, it's a vertebrae! Let's do something with it!

What any 6,000 count cotton sheets need is a sharp accent to arouse one from a state of "deep sleep." In fact, sometimes a "sleep" can be so "deep" with dreams of blue pills, no more bills, and avoiding window sills that you should probably put a larger "accent" on the bed. Look, an elk horn!

Now we're really crafting here. Pour martini number two and grab your hammer, ladies. This is a great time to get some light cardio in as you craft, and also to weed out some pesky anger that is not comfortable for the world to see on women's faces as they wander the streets at night, alone, AGAIN. Smash some things. I happened to have a bunch of shells, so I smashed them. Now, here's where the crafting magic comes in. You can make *broken things* become *fixed things* in a snap. While a lady wishes she could fix so many of the more important issues in life, like the fashion industry, Ron Paul, kalishnokavs, men's behavior, and irony (I've heard this thing is most important in the Pacific Northwest, where irony and sincerity suddenly cancel each other out in a single phrase: put a bird on it). Alas, you can't fix that stuff, Honey. But you can put back together the pieces of everything you've broken WITH SUPER GLUE. Look, it's a whole new high fashion shelf!

You've done so well putting your life back together. I mean, your items--your items--back together. You deserve a drink. So, instead of putting a horn on it, let's put it in a horn and drink it! Crafting and drinking multi-tasking madness!

Pour martini number 3. Or 4. Whatever. Now, it has been a festive couple of hours of hair removal and crafting, and you didn't even have to go to one of those knitting circles that women of the Pacific Northwest attend as ever-single-yet-still-boring-housewives-just-sexless-too-that's-a-shame but with cute Anthropologie ideas and short hair, IRONICALLY, that they claim to fight against! I believe they are called Stitch N Bitches, and my Hungarian oracle, Sverkienk, told me they were originally created by straight men who began something called "dot com careers" and made a bunch of money, but still couldn't talk to women, thus created such venues to herd them together like knitting cattle.

Now, what good craft is complete without testing out its effectiveness and craftiness? Since the asprin isn't helping the place where you ripped the hair from your body, take something stronger, delicately pour the last of your drink down your little bird throat, and let the crafting do its work. You are so crafty, Honey. You can break and fix anything, and you will.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Time: Rules for the Heart, or "getting your tube top back ON THE INSIDE"

Ingredients for this My Time:

Selenite sword under a pillow. A true lady never knows when she'll need to combat the dreams that plague her modern existence of high heels, online dating where one unsuccessfully tries to weed out the night janitors, full moons (I've read in recent novels that there are 2 moons coming; of course these novels are written by men who don't have cycles, unless they're sensitive men who like to claim they too have cycles just to take one more thing away from us), and the past. A lady always has a past and selenite has a magical gift to suck from the heart the pasts that plague. I prefer my selenite under alternative organic down, because I'm classy. I prefer it in a wand or sword shape so that my magical totem may also be a weapon of violence if someone breaks into my house in the middle of the night. I keep other items around my pillows that double as magic/violence such as my friend Mr. Knife (men generally don't like to meet him, and isn't it just like them to want to be the ONLY man in a lady's room at once) and a selenite orb whom I haven't named yet. I hold it in my left hand when I sleep, THE MARRIAGE FINGER HAND, but it also seems like a nice hard thing to throw in someone's eye who breaks in my home to steal my wine. I'm sure there's a metaphor about an object of the marriage hand being good for assault, but the metaphor seems lost on me for the literal sense it makes for such an item to be both things. So here's our sword, ladies:

An alternative down comforter, preferably by Hotel Collection

A bag of organic LOWER CALORIE Cheeto-like product and chopsticks to eat with, as to avoid getting your delicate lady's hands dirty

A red wine spritzer in a spill-proof cup

A cell phone with which to call people between 2-7 am when you naturally consider that you're never having sex again and feel anxious about which one of your married couple friends will allow you to live with your cat(s) in a yurt in their backyard as you age into cronedom

And finally, a knowledge that time is not linear, that something you had years ago is something you have now, even though it came before digital cameras so you can't show anyone what you mean, so when people talk about the importance of the change of perception during the invention of film, they can't know that you are only thinking about the change of the 21st century with memorial pictures you keep in a box as they grow mold and no one knows that these memories of yours are put in one physical location, the artifacts of being always already lost to that physical landscape tucked away. With chopsticks in hand, sippy cup propped between your breasts, and Law And Order reruns on your computer, you put your tube top on ON THE INSIDE and cheers to the morning light coming up which you've seen all over the world, by yourself, safe by yourself, because you can and will continue to wear your soul's tube top, ladies. My Time is about knowing that your time is yours, that is, that your life is yours, and what a simple thing we often forget that can be brought back by eating and drinking in bed AGAIN as the light comes up and our tops come down. There are two opportunities for perception here, ladies. And we can have them both (although one looks kind of painful...certainly more painful than any heartbreak could be...yikes).

Eating from bowls for maximum calorie satisfaction. Or: Courtney Love

 Ingredients for this My Time: food in a bowl, Behind the Music Courtney Love, a bottle of red, Chinese "calm soul" pills, and 4 pillows.

There are some women who are disdained no matter what they do, often women I like to think of as the "ten pound flip-floppers." I mean, one look at Brittany Spears' neck when she was a teenager told you that her body wanted some cheetos. She looked hot, but her body clearly wanted to be bigger. A part of enjoying My Time is knowing that when one needs to make a "Run For The Border" that it is indeed something to be proud of as you shout EXTRA LETTUCE on your double-layer nacho supreme Doritos taco bowl. If it comes in a bowl (or a bowl-like object), America teaches us, it is less calories. After Courtney's husband killed himself and left her with the ability to have much less My Time, seeing as how she had a child, drug addiction, money managers, and the paps, America still has never seemed to ease up on her. While watching the "documentary" (really, can any woman be fairly represented by a television channel that chooses to be known by a short letter-number combo that doesn't even equal an acronym?) and eating a frozen pizza out of a bowl while an orange sat nearby in a smaller bowl, lonely and surely to be uneaten, I realized (not in a Carrie Bradshaw way, but in a "there are no good answers" way) that this woman named her band Hole, not Whole, and has a sense of humor about herself that is witty and undebatable. When Dave Chappelle  lost his ability to experience My Time in private, he went to a magical place he calls "Africa" which is apparently a country where everyone understands roots and coming back to them. That's right. Africa is one place. It's a country. Courtney, on the other hand, enjoyed Rohyphnol and made where ever she went the Country Of My Time. This is a perfect opportunity to comment on Fredric Jameson, a man I met at the Sorbonne in the 70s, who became my lover. I explained to him the importance of a woman's hole as one that can, through material reality, paradoxically defy any conception of nationhood as material. Indeed, any hole is surrounded by physicality, but as we all know, it is how to fill the spaces in those holes that matter most to people, whether they are seeking a material experience or a mystical one. No one knows what awaits you when you enter any place that can be described as a hole, an absence surrounded by non-absence, and like the Soviet Union, when being inside the hole, or being the surrounding non-absence of said absence, nationhood becomes imaginary. No Estonian I've known has forgotten the material world they knew existing as a hole, an absence of physicality, at the same time. This all relates back to calories of course, where the struggle with desires about what holes to fill and with what items becomes a philisophical conflict. Which brings up back to the bowl, a physical hole, really.  Oh, Dagmar, you do digress when speaking about old lovers. Don't even get me started on Sam Elliot.

As the sun began to rise in a Missouri winter, I went to my freezer and looked for more food that I could microwave in a bowl and opened another bottle of wine. What's the point of breaking down if you can't do it in an Anthropologie piece of ceramic?

And I choose to follow Courtney's path. Get the money and understand there is no return. There is no motherland because, honey, the motherland is full of fucking wars, and your Anthropologie Senegalese sweetgrass basket ain't changing your broken heart at 4 am nor what Senegal will be called ten years from now. This bitch looks fabulous. I believe the reverence in her eyes are focused on the lit-up mecca of Taco Bell after the show. Fill your holes any way you can, Honey, because the absence they exist as are easy metaphors for all the material beauty you can surround yourself with and in.

Guest Bloggers

Ingredients for My Time: girlfriends.

This blog has invited girlfriends, some divorced, some married with children, some married on the beach of a small Caribbean island by a Rasti and unclear if the marriage is at all legal, some alone, some with rooms dedicated to unicorns, some without any problems, and all with bottles of vodka in their past or future. Look forward to the loving advice of women who elegantly wear shoulder pads as they pass out in bed--something a model aspires to be able to make look as elegant as some of the women I know--who will share with you new ways to experience your own time as My Time. Signed your ever faithful adviser in a Gucci hat, Dagmar, from a cruise boat with a swarthy captain who I will save for another post about the importance of swarthy men in My Time.

Lying is My Time

Ingredients for this My Time: lying, a computer, working out.

Oh Honey, you're so hilarious. You read my first post and thought, what a racist stuck-up white woman.

The truth is, I'm not married and I actually know what a virologist does, and I presume it has nothing to do with cave crickets or Muslims, although if you know otherwise, please let me know, as I'd be interested in pretending that I'm interested in your point of view. I do live in Missouri, but it's none of your concern why. It has been said that a woman's way to kill is poison, while a man's is blunt force. This is one of the many tales weaved during women's joint My Time. We enjoy a pick-axe as much as the next penis, but that doesn't mean we need to advertise our plans for your future. Instead, we take that hour of typing on the computer as a light cardio workout that cancels out the Cheetos we eat in bed with chopsticks (nay a finger will be stained orange) and our wine spritzers (red: less calories) that we casually test from our sippy cups (it's a spill-free zone, here, darling). The computer it a perfect device for women's My Time as it allows much lying. We all have that larger friend who posts pictures to their social networking sites that are extreme close-ups of their lips, eyes, and nose, as to avoid exposing the actual amount of skin that is taken up by their frame. This isn't lying as much as a form of not knowing that a big girl can get it just as much as a tiny one. For example, examine the stomach rolls on this woman as she gracefully releases a child into the arms of someone who will actually not expose the child to harm, so that she may return to the kitchen bar for more My Time:
The smile says, "oh child, look at you walk like a genius! I love you! I'm so proud of you!" But the stomach rolls and body suit says "I'm ready to sit down for the rest of my life because my life is My Time." Thus, lying can, paradoxically, become a form of light cardio. Yes, that makes complete sense.

It's My Time. And It's Your Time, Too. Welcome to Us.

This blog has been created to encourage what we all need a little more of: My Time. As a decadent lady who was raised in the upper echelons of society in Manhattan, Barcelona, and Tallinna, I learned a long time ago that being a woman in and of society isn't easy. Sometimes it's enough to not rip off your control top stockings and throw them at your doorman as he wishes you a good morning.

Recently, my husband, Astor, a virologist (for those of you not raised around such professions, a "virologist" is someone who invents new viruses to combat creatures that wish to overtake humanity, such as badgers and mosquitos and Muslims. Or something like that. Anyway), received the Mel Gibsoner Grant in the Sciences to study the creatures that populate a state in America I had never heard of before, "Missouri," and gracefully destroy the lesser creatures of the world that aim to take control of our planet. Ever heard of a "cave cricket?"

No? I hadn't either. Astor told me it's like the women of the southern states who kill their children slowly through something called "beauty pageants." Hilarious, I told him, over a glass of red blend from Campagnia. I just love it when mothers are willing to ruin their "gateways to pleasure" by spawning and only afterward punishing their children for such bodily abuse. Why even start? That's why we adopted. I like to think of our family as a rainbow of beige with two triumphant white clouds on the ends (that's me and Astor).

Anyway, so I'm in Missouri for perhaps 2 years. It is more important than ever to enjoy My Time. Lesson Number One to All You: When Consuela takes your children out to enjoy something called "fried catfish" while you sleep off one of "mommy's colds," this is the perfect moment for My Time. So for our first lesson on such an occasion, simply follow these instructions: Look in your mirror, hopefully a long, long mirror, as to accentuate the thinnest moment you'll have all day (the morning), and repeat 23 times, "I deserve this." Because you do. You deserve this. You deserve this. And a martini is your morning reward. Low in calories and high in sacred geometry, "you deserve this." And I should know, my husband is a scientolomagist.

To begin this important journalism endeavor I need to know what you think. How do you spend My Time in the early hours before sunset? I want to know what is most important to you, so I can in turn learn, like every good woman does, how to become a chameleon to meet your needs and then secretly practice My Time.