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Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 11.35.02 AM“Two teachers and a lawyer walk into a bar. A man offers to buy the trio some drinks. Security intervenes, accusing the women of being sex workers. Guess who were the only black people present at the establishment?”

This story, featured in New York Magazine, involves a friend of mine which is how I found myself reading it this morning. I didn’t expect that within the breadth of a second, I’d find myself transported back in time, almost exactly 10 years.

I was on a date with a beautiful woman in the lounge at 60 Thompson Hotel – back when it was the place to be.  Over the course of roughly two hours, we probably turned down three or four rounds of drinks sent over by men. I didn’t want to accept the drinks because I didn’t want to engage in the obligatory conversation that would come with the acceptance. Furthermore, I had my own money. I didn’t need anyone to buy me anything. I used to book a room in that hotel when I needed a nap in between classes in PhD school. In the credit card equivalent of rock-paper-scissors, my titanium could cover those silly men’s platinum. And apparently, that really pissed them off.

I’ll call her Elina – we were deep in conversation, trying to figure out where to go next – when a man the size of a wall tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to follow him. Stunned, I asked him who he was and he informed me that he was hotel security. Elina, a little drunk, began mouthing off to the wall of testosterone, to which I responded, “We’ll sort this out outside – don’t worry about it.”

In the lobby of the hotel, the security officer informed me that we were being asked to leave because we were causing a ruckus among the men. He didn’t use the word prostitute, but his implication was clear and it left me feeling dirty. Infuriated, I called my then publicist who, in coming years, would have her own show on MTV. She asked to speak with the security guard and when he handed the phone back to me she said, “there’s nothing to be done. It was the owner who asked to have you removed. I’ll speak with him tomorrow.”

In coming days, I would disclose my humiliating experience to friends, and it would be determined that if I had had a man with me on that date, I would have been insulated from that degradation.  Up went an ad on Craigslist for personal security and within a few days, Victor walked into my life, accompanying me on virtually every date from that point forward.

Victor had a smooth style. He spoke guy, never embarrassing the men who attempted to weasel their way into a 3-way with me and whoever I was on a date with. Often Victor would buy the man a drink, talk sports or politics, and then redirect him to the masses of available straight women. He did it with class, and I never had that experience again.

That any woman needs the protection of a man in order to avoid being accused (overtly or otherwise) of being a sex worker – or to go out with the assurance that she’s not going to have her personal space invaded by horny men – speaks to the civility (or lack thereof) of our society. This needs to be discussed. It needs to be exposed. I have no doubt that what happened to my friend was likely fueled by racial profiling, but I contend that there may be another issue as well. Because her story reminded me of my own – and for me, it was sexism.  It was hostility directed towards a woman who didn’t need or want the attention of men. And what about these disgusting fucking venues in New York City that dare to treat women this way? I wonder how successful they’d be if the women of New York decided to boycott them. What do you think?

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photo (53)It’s my birthday and I’ll boast if I want to. Actually, it’s less of a boast and more a combination of false bravado (if I scream it till my throat is raw it won’t seem as scary) and some moral imperative to be a role model (we can’t exclusively expect the Gloria Steinem’s of the world to be the ones willing to announce This Is What [enter age here] Looks Like).  

I’ve lived through enough decades at this point to know that in my 50’s, this post and it’s intended effect will seem cute, if not naïve.

I remember being in my 20’s – my unilateral focus on landing a husband to provide me with the family stability I lacked growing up, lest I reach the critical age of 30 when I was certain that a) Age would make me look as though a train had hit me, and b) Said train would render me so desperate to marry that my husband would be in depends by the time I was middle-aged.

I spent my 30’s eagerly examining my life in that thing called therapy, mostly with therapists who validated me into a victim until I was so filled with self-pity and anger that it’s a wonder I speak to any family members today (for the record, I speak to more than half). I also divorced that guy and married a woman.

Now I’m smack in the middle of my 40’s, and let me tell you: It’s nothing like what I expected. I don’t think I look very different. My brain works a whole lot better than it used to (I credit physical exercise, meditation and Lumosity for this – in that order). My career is more fulfilling than I ever dreamed. I wake up every day grateful for the series of personal mistakes that resulted in derailing me from my chosen career and led me on this journey to be a shrink. I don’t hurt. Not physically and not so much emotionally. And that’s really fucking different. I had enough pain in me to fill a psych ward at times. And I dance. I mean, really dance. I’m honored to train with 20-somethings, many of whom are professional dancers, most of which probably don’t know how old I am. It’s for them and for my young adult clients that I’m writing this post.

 Here’s the skinny on your 40’s:

You’re going to be able to breathe in your pores. Maybe not perfectly, but a hell of a lot better than you do now. You have no idea how this one difference is going to change your life, because you’ve spent your life suffocating in your skin. You’re not going to give a shit what other people think of you, because you’ll realize how infrequently they do. So all that energy that you expend trying to get people to like you or to view you through a certain lens is energy that you’ll be able to use in other parts of your life.

You’re not going to look half as bad as you think. Most of how you’ll look will be contingent on your lifestyle. Eat clean today. Sleep a lot now. Find some type of physical exercise that lights you on fire and never stop doing it. I only recently stopped getting carded – and most of my friends who are in their late 30’s still do. And every month I’m a stronger dancer than the month before.

You’ll have a tribe – a family of choice – and that tribe will show up for you in ways that will alternately bring tears to your eyes and blot the tears from your eyes. They’ll fill your table on holidays and on rainy days. They’ll call you out on your bullshit when you ask and they’ll keep quiet (mostly) when you need.

You’ll realize how little space you need and how unimportant things really are. This goes back to the first point: When you can breathe better in your pores, when you care less about what others think, you don’t spend money on stupid shit. And when you don’t spend money on stupid shit, you have money to spend on important shit – like donating to charity when there’s a crisis or like flying out to see your sister just because.

There you have it folks. I’m signing off now to go enjoy my birthday. Wishing you a happy September 16th.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 11.23.53 AMGood day Dr Darcy: 

I got myself into a tricky situation. 3 years ago I met a woman whom I believed was my soul mate. I knew she was in a relationship but when she asked me out, I said yes and we soon started dating. Eventually she left the other woman. 6 glorious months later in a classic case of karma, she cheated on me. I was shattered, picked up what was left of my heart and left her.

Around April this year she called me to say her son has been asking about me, so I agreed to meet with them. One of the things that drew me to her was her intelligence… We ended up talking about all kinds of things, and she mentioned to me that she is looking for investors for her business and I was looking for an investment opportunity. Sounded perfect.

I looked over her plan, and the prospects look good. But, the more time I spend with her, the more I realise that I am not over her. And I realise that for my own good, I need to remove myself from the agreement, but part of me is hoping for a reunion. My brain is telling me I need to revoke my offer to invest.

Advice please.


There can be no reunion because you already know the end of the story: She cheated for you, she cheated on you, and she’ll cheat on you again.

I want you to call her (do not see her in person again) and tell her that although you feel it might be a profitable investment, you cannot involve yourself for personal reasons. If she pushes the issue and requires you to explain, tell her this: Being a business partner is akin to marriage, and since we did not work out personally, I do not want to be in a committed relationship with you – professional or otherwise.

Moving forward, if her son wishes to see you, let her drop him off for an afternoon (the way divorced people do) and pick him up in the evening. Do not invite her in. Set boundaries. You have to protect yourself. If you don’t, know one else will.

Writer’s Stats:  I am a lesbian woman from Namibia.

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