Shopaholic Hunts for Deals

confessions_of_a_shopaholic_ver4It’s hard to believe when you look at my closet today, but I am actually a recovering Shopaholic. Hanging out at the mall was once my favorite way to spend an afternoon. Forget the fact that my retail therapy addiction resulted in a ridiculous amount of credit card debit–those banana clips, big belts, and acid washed jeans at Limited Express were just too cute to resist–I am probably personally responsible for the recent stock market dive since I gave up shopping as a hobby just about the same time that subprime mortgages came into vogue.

However, even in my daze of Shopaholic frenzy, I had certain boundaries that I wouldn’t cross. It was more than okay to spend $200 in an afternoon, but I would never spend $200 on a single item. As much as I loved to shop, there was a certain price point barrier that I just couldn’t overcome.

When it comes to shopping, my philosophy has always been that more is more. I’m sure I got that from my mother, who heads straight to the sale rack in every store she enters. I can’t tell you how many perfect pairs of boots or jeans I’ve passed up over the years (and still dream of sometimes) because I just couldn’t stomach the price tags.

I bit my tongue the other day when my sister-in-law told me she was buying my niece a $400 dress for a dance. The only dress I’ve ever owned that cost that much was my wedding dress.

Given my ambivalence about shopping, you can imagine my mixed feelings when I read about Sarah Palin’s $150,000 spree. Okay, technically the Republican National Committee’s $150,000 shopping spree FOR Sarah Palin.

My first reaction was, admittedly, incredible jealousy. What woman hasn’t dreamed of having a fairy godmother/personal shopper come and drop a stylish new wardrobe in her lap? It was the same kind of seething envy I felt years ago when lunching with an actress friend who let it slip out that now that she finally had a part on a TV show and could afford to shop to her heart’s content, designers were sending her free Wayfarer sunglasses and Reeboks in the hopes that “People Magazine” would take her picture while she was wearing them.

Ah, the irony of it all.

“Ah, the irony of it all” was my second reaction to the Palin fashion scandal too. While the $150,000 shopping spree price tag is eyebrow raising, if not jaw dropping, in and of itself, juxtaposing it with her winky winky Wasilla mom at Wal-mart shtick is the part that gets me hot under the collar of my Ross-Dress-For-Less sweatshirt.

While personally I consider Target (pronounced “Tarjay”) to be the Mecca of mom-approved fashion, the last time I checked they weren’t carrying Jimmy Choos or Valentino.

I actually considered that same style of Masunaga glasses that Palin wears when I was shopping for new frames last year, but my insurance wouldn’t cover enough of the $400 price tag. You’d think a woman who hunts for moose and wolves would be a little better at hunting for bargains.

But what do I know, really, about shopping. I’m just a soccer/flag football/basketball/chess club/baseball mom, who mostly works at home in her pajamas. I’m also a recovering Shopaholic who could apparently–talk about ironic–teach the Republican National Committee a few things about money management.

As Cindi Leive, the editor in chief of Glamour Magazine, told the “New York Times,” “My first reaction when I heard about this was, ‘Honey, I could have dressed you for a lot less than that.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Originally published in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on October 31, 2008.

Leslie Dinaberg Sits Down With Erika Carter

Artist Erika Carter (courtesy photo)

Artist Erika Carter (courtesy photo)

Downtown Santa Barbara’s 1st Thursday events have grown into a popular hive of art, music and wine, and few spots are buzzier than Erika Carter’s Studio 3 East gallery, ( located at 3 East De La Guerra Street above Starbuck’s. Here Carter, a Santa Barbara native, talks with Leslie Dinaberg about living an artful life.

Leslie Dinaberg: What are you working on now?

Erika Carter: It’s a holiday show. It will be the third annual show for Donna Asycough and myself … this one is “Arbol de Vida” which is the “Tree of Life.” … The paintings I do are all retablos; those are the little tin devotional paintings, folk art. …This year I’ll be doing 100 of them.

LD: Wow.

EC: Yeah, I know. It’s a lot of work. Donna and I are both just very passionate about Mexico. We can’t get enough of it.

LD: How do you psych up to do 100 paintings?

EC: It’s insane. I get all the tins out; I prep them all at the same time. Most of them are collage transfers, so I take photographs, transfer them, and do some things. … This is all collage, this is all photo transfer, and then I paint on it too as well, so it’s a mixture. I’ll go and I’ll photograph like crazy and then I’ll come back and start looking at my images, start laying them out and then I get to a point where they all get started. They’ll all be to a point where there will be 100 of them sitting there and I’ll start cranking and it will be 10 hour days.

LD: And do you primarily paint here in the studio?

EC: This is it, so it will be a mess in November. It’s very sad for the artist (Melissa Gill) showing here in November.

LD: There’s something kind of cool about that because most gallery space isn’t studio space.

EC: No. This was originally a studio space, that’s all it was, and for me to survive and have a studio space which of course wasn’t as big as it is now, was to start doing shows to help pay the rent, which has been really great. I would do a show, have a few friends, and hang some artwork for the weekend. Then people started hearing about the gallery space and it grew and now I’m booked through 2009.

LD: Wow. That’s awesome.

EC: Well it’s awesome and it’s not awesome because it’s a lot of responsibility for the next year. It’s a little scary because of economic times. … We break even; no one is getting rich up here, it just pays for itself. When I have my shows I make money. I’m lucky because my stuff sells, but that’s when I make money because I keep my 50 percent. So I try to do two to three shows a year and that kind of pays me, then the rest of the year the shows that we have up pay for the space, and sometimes it does pay more.

LD: Do you also do events? It’s such a cool space.

EC: Yes, we’ve done lots of private birthday parties here and stuff like that, so that’s great. On 1st Thursdays we have a liquor license too, so we sell lots of wine–that helps.

LD: So have 1st Thursdays helped your business?

EC: Yes. I think it’s great exposure. It’s definitely daunting at times because you know how fast three weeks goes by. I’ve got to take down a show, put up a show, it’s really hectic. It gets really crazy. And I just signed up for another year of it.

LD: So you’re obligated to be open.

EC: Yes. We’re open Tuesday through Saturday 12 to 5 and obligated just to the artists that have shows here. They’re all painting right now for their upcoming shows. It’s kind of a scary time. It’s like wow, I hope we sell something.

LD: Maybe people should stop investing in the stock market and buy art.

EC: Well it’s funny; I was just talking to somebody about that. … It is where people should invest. I mean it’s a good investment compared to the stock market.

LD: The pieces are one of a kind.

EC: Yeah, exactly. It exists, it is what it is, and it usually almost always holds its value. And you’re enhancing your living space, or your attic. Whatever.

… (Running the gallery) it’s been great, what I’ve learned is invaluable. Every aspect, working with groups of artists, getting to know all of the artists in Santa Barbara, being part of that. That’s a hard thing to break into.

LD: But you’ve been an artist in Santa Barbara for a really long time.

EC: I have. But it’s really easy for me to just close my doors and sit in front of my canvas and not talk to anybody for weeks. Even though I’ve been painting here forever and ever, it’s very easy to get locked into your own little world and talk to maybe two artists. You know of all the other artists but you’re not really communicating. It’s much different when you actually have created a space and now you can actually show their work. They just come to you and it’s been great. I mean the art I’ve seen and the people, it’s all been really great.

LD: Prior to this did you have a studio somewhere else?

EC: No. I’ve been here almost 20 years. … When I moved in here this was lower State Street. Paseo Nuevo did not exist. When I moved in here everything was shut down around us, everything was boarded up, my rent was $250 and it was that little teeny room over there. … Nicole Strasburg ( ) was in the unit over there and Liz Brady ( ) was here too, she had my little space and some tattoo artist had been there. When I moved in the room was tattooed, the ceilings and beer cans, it was so hideous.

LD: It’s totally cool now and has a very different feel from most galleries.

EC: That was kind of the point too. I don’t like walking into galleries. I never have. I’ve always felt that they’re too reserved; it’s just a little too snooty or elitist. I don’t have that problem now, but when I was much younger I just felt really intimidated. For a long time I just used to show in coffee shops, which is still great. I still encourage people to do that. Just hang your art wherever you can in this town.

LD: Have you always wanted to be an artist?

EC: No. Isn’t that funny. I never thought I was talented enough to be an artist. I don’t even really call myself that now. It’s kind of a stretch. It’s not a stretch because that’s what people need to title you something, but it’s definitely something you’re always trying to achieve. You’re hopefully always getting better and getting more secure with your work. Some paintings you make and you’re like wow, I did that. I can’t believe I did that it’s amazing and then other stuff you can spend two weeks on something and go holy sh*t I can’t paint. What was I thinking?

Vital Stats: Erika Carter

Born: Santa Barbara (St. Francis Hospital) on October 25, 1962.

Family: Husband Dr. David Dart; son Carter, age 20; five adult stepchildren and their six children.

Civic Involvement: ” I look at it as my civic duty is that I am showing local artists and allowing them to either start their careers or continue them.”

Professional Accomplishments: Artist, owner of Studio 3 East gallery.

Little-Known Fact: “I’m not high energy at all (laughs). A lot of people think that I am. They think that I’ve just got tons of energy and I’m not. I fight for my energy, definitely. I love a good nap in the middle of the day.”

Originally published in Noozhawk in October 2008. Click here to read the story on that site.

No rest in restroom



Among the many mysteries of womanhood, men often wonder why we take so long in the bathroom. My husband once told me that he assumed women’s bathroom were full of shoe catalogs, chocolate samples, rose gardens, and string quartets, since that was the only possible explanation he could come up with to explain why women would go into the restroom in pairs and stay in there for so long.

My son–who thankfully did not inherit an amazing mini bladderini from my side of the family–claims that all women’s bathrooms must have plasma screen TVs and an endless supply of video games in them, since the only times he’s ever seen his mom, aunt or grandmother run is to get out of the car and run to the bathroom.

Unfortunately, like most of their ideas about my life, their fantasies have no relationship to the restroom reality.

So I am going to clear up the mystery of women’s restrooms, once and for all, by sharing my recent adventure into the public bathroom at a concert. But consider yourselves warned and another myth shattered: not only was there no chocolate, plasma or toilet paper in sight, I actually burned more calories in this “rest” room venture than I typically do at the gym.

Not wanting to waste a drop of my $8 beer, or miss a minute of my $200 concert, I waited until the band took a break to visit the restroom.

Unfortunately, so did every other woman at the show.

It doesn’t matter what time of day or night, or what the event is, even in an otherwise completely empty venue, there is always a line of women assembled to use a public bathroom. Usually I just smile politely and take my place, using the opportunity to check my email, fix my lipstick or just stare into space.

This time I had to pee so badly I got some aerobic exercise in (257 extra steps according to my pedometer) while waiting, including some power crunches as I checked for feet under the stall doors every three minutes, figuring that no one could actually be taking this long while I was waiting so anxiously.

When the door finally opened my bladder was ready to burst. I nearly knocked down the woman leaving the stall, then earned a few more crunches while helping her pick up her belongings from the floor. Who knew you could fit so many cosmetics into a teeny little clutch purse. Sorry!

Then I had to wrestle two drunk teenagers for the privilege of getting into my stall, burning approximately 239 calories in the process. A few deep breaths, then the door wouldn’t latch but I was about to wet my pants, so that was the least of my problems. The seat cover dispenser was empty and the door hook was missing, so I carefully hung my 400-pound purse around my neck, yanked down my jeans and assumed the “universal restroom position,” otherwise known as the URP.

In the URP my thigh muscles began to shake, rattle and roll. Of course I’d love to actually sit down and rest them, but there were no seat covers and I had to pee too badly to wipe the seat and lay toilet paper on it, hence, the URP.

As my thighs were shaking, and my head was aching, I reached for what turned out to be an empty toilet paper dispenser. Thank goodness I carry Kleenex pocket packs in my purse, the 400-pound purse that was precariously hanging around my neck.

As I tried to search the enormous black caverns of my bag for the five packs of Kleenex I know were in there somewhere, the sensor on the toilet flushed, scaring me to death, while propelling a fine mist of water onto the edges of my still URP-ing thighs. I shook them double time, burning at least 745 calories trying to dry off the mist while still searching for Kleenex and hand sanitizer that I now needed to wash off my legs.

The band was on its third encore by the time I returned to my seat, exhausted from my intermission workout. “What took you so long?” asked my husband, between bites of a truffle sampler he said he got in the men’s restroom.

Unbelievable, I thought, grabbing the candy from him. For once I gulped it down guilt-free. After all, I had already gotten my workout in the restroom.

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Originally published in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on October 17, 2008.

The Great Schlep

No one in Hollywood could resist the pitch.

“It’s Fiddler on the Roof meets Hello Dolly meets Emma, The Matchmaker and Clueless for the Internet age,” says Papa Herman.

“Oh and Sarah Silverman looks adorable and cusses a lot,” adds Bubbie Essie.

“It’ll be bigger than “The Bachelor” and “Love Connection” were combined,” promises Cousin Stewey, whose great Uncle Al plays golf with Zadie Frank, who lives next door to Bubbie Essie.

You may think that this weekend’s celebration of the “Great Schlep“–in which hundreds of young, young-ish, and the-biological-clock-is-ticking-so-loudly-it’s-keeping-me-up-at-night Jews will travel to Florida to visit their grandparents, organize political discussions in Leisure World community rooms, and “have just a few more bites” of homemade rugelah–is all about supporting Barack Obama’s candidacy for president. After all, the “Great Schlep” is organized by the Jewish Council for Education and Research, a pro-Obama political action committee.

But really it’s all a just brilliant ruse designed by the Bubbies and the Zadies and the Nanas and the Papas and the Grammies and the Grandpas to get their grandchildren to stop messing around and meet and marry that nice Jewish boy/girl already.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” winks Bubbie Essie, whose up-do isn’t all that different from that of a certain vice presidential candidate. If we play our cards right, the “Great Schlep” might actually do more to repopulate the world’s Jewish population than the Barmitzah industry has.”

I agree. This has got to be the most brilliant Jewish matchmaking scheme ever. Not only will Jews be flocking to Florida this weekend, there are also “Great Schlep” events scheduled in Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Akron. It’s amazing how this thing is catching on.

“Things must have been pretty bad to motivate you to take this dramatic type of action,” I say.

“You have no idea,” says Bubbie Essie.

“We tried investing in J-Date, J-Singles, Jewish Cafe, Jewish Love Connection, even Saw You at, but my beautiful Rachael kept coming home with goys,” says Papa Herman.

“And my Steven, oy vey, that boy. So smart, yet so stupid! Blonde shiksas up the wazoo,” says Bubbie Essie.

“But then I heard Sarah Silverman talking on TV about Barack Obama, and this idea began to gel,” says Papa Herman. Now it’s his turn to wink. “We figure it’s a win-win-win. Worst case, we get a visit from our grandkids. That’s not so bad, eh?”

“It’s gonna work. Sarah Silverman’s so adorable. She’s just what we need. Though she cusses a lot, but I think that actually helps to get the kids’ attention, especially when she talks about all the things that old Jews and Blacks have in common,” says Bubbie Essie. “Sarah says, ‘they both wear track suits, they both love bling, and everyone they know is dying,’ and she’s so right!”

Bubbie is referring, of course, to the irreverent Internet video from Sarah Silverman promoting the “Great Schlep,” the theme of which is basically, “If Barack Obama doesn’t win this election, I am going to blame the Jews, so get your fat Jewish asses on a plane to Florida.” (

If at least 33 of your friends have forward this video to you, then you must be Jewish. And if at least 75 of your mother’s friends have forwarded this video to you, then you must be Jewish and single, in which case, have fun this weekend and don’t forget to wear protection–I mean sunscreen–of course.

Now it’s my turn to wink.

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Originally published in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on October 10, 2008.

Leslie Dinaberg Sits Down With Jamie Allison

Jamie Allison (photo by Lesley Hall)

Jamie Allison (photo by Lesley Hall)

Finding a way to combine fun, fitness and philanthropy was Jamie Allison’s goal when she founded Moms in Motion in Santa Barbara in 1999. Now she’s taking the show on the road, with 5,244 members in 140 cities, 45 states and four countries.

Leslie Dinaberg: How did Moms in Motion get started?

Jamie Allison: It was a hobby. We started with friends and family, there were14 of us who did the Triathlon team … For me it was about feeling overwhelmed with wanting to belong to a few charities, wanting to belong to a few social groups, wanting to belong to a few fitness teams that were already organized out there, and then feeling totally stressed out with the idea of how am I going to do that and be a mom and be a good wife and do it all.

… I started looking around for mommy/baby groups but that wasn’t really what I wanted either. I think there’s a really great purpose for that, especially for brand new moms to meet at the park with their babies, but after a while I wanted to move and get my fitness in and meet other women in the community that had those same interests. Yet at the same time I really wanted to be able to get everything in one place so I didn’t feel so maxed out and spread thin, and that’s when I thought about incorporating the charity part and then the social part.

Our whole foundation, our principles are fun, fitness, and philanthropy and in all of our groups locally and nationally those are the three principles they have to integrate into their programs. What I’m finding is that has set us apart as a unique niche. … It simplifies your life if you choose to just get everything in that one place.

LD: And the team leaders choose which nonprofits to support?

JA: Yes, it’s up to them. We’re kind of unique in Santa Barbara because we have multiple leaders here (Amanda Nicolato leads a bootcamp and weight training, Emily Watson leads a hiking team, Laura Francis leads the stand up paddle board team, Sean English leads the cycling team, Chrissy Lombardi leads the core conditioning and half marathon training teams, Ernesto Paredes leads the triathlon training team, and Mandy Burgess leads the surfing and conditioning team). … We meet every other month and talk about the different charities. Some leaders like to continue with the same charity year after year, some leaders like to mix it up, some leaders are getting new information about what’s out there each season but it’s their choice and the whole purpose is to constantly educate our members on what’s out there. So we give them a little taste of that charity and we either volunteer or we piggyback a fundraiser, or we create our own fundraiser and collectively we kind of do what we can to help that charity. So we invite the director to come and speak to us and kind of bring their wish list of wants and needs and then we as a group decide what we can do.

LD: It’s great to offer that opportunity because it’s hard to volunteer when you have young kids at home.

JA: Especially when your kids are little. Some members are so tapped out they can’t do anything and that’s okay, at least they’re getting the information about that charity. And there are others that are gung ho and are amazing with what they’re doing. A lot of those members, I’m thinking of Domestic Violence Solutions, have stayed on as independent volunteers and that’s when we really feel like we’ve contributed because yes, we’re adopted that charity for the season but when people continue on and that’s pretty awesome. And the triathlon team just raised money for Village Properties’ Teacher’s Fund and Computers for Families and so many of our members weren’t aware of those two opportunities, so it was pretty awesome.

LD: Do you train with one of the teams?

JA: I stepped out of the coaching arena, so yes now I get to enjoy doing that. And you know it’s hard to always take off that coaching hat completely. …Right now I’m running with Chrissy’s running group.

LD: really liked your blog just talking about training with the group from San Luis Obispo. There’s something really nice about being able to do that.

JA: The instant connection of it was so surreal for me because it was like closing your eyes and hearing the conversations I could have been here with our group, and it’s just connecting women and you’re at a kind of similar stage of life. I mean not everybody because we have 60 year olds running with us, we have mother-daughter duos, but for the most part where we are at this stage in life.

… When I was in San Luis we were talking to one of the moms who was a four-time marathon finisher, she was going through the empty nest syndrome. So she was talking to me about her kids had just left for college and it was really kind of fun because they kind of had a need to share why participating in Moms in Motion was nice for them.

I was feeling like I didn’t want to interrupt their practice but it was really wonderful to hear all of the different perspectives about why this is important to them, it’s fulfilling. That part of it is so great; it’s really what’s keeping me excited.

…When I was up in San Luis they wanted me to talk about how this all came to be and I was just talking about how important it is at this stage of life, I mean for me, to continue making friends along these lines that lift every body up. It’s a group that gets together to support each other and I was talking about all that, and I was saying how cool that is … how we’re building community and really that to me is what this is all about, building a sense of community and one of the members piped in she said, “but you forgot something think it’s like one of the most important things.” I was like what is it, what is it?

And she said “you know, when I leave for practice my girls are running around the house playing Moms in Motion.” And I thought wow. That gave me chills. This is really important for our kids to see mom taking care of herself because when she takes care of herself she’s taking care of the whole family.

LD: Is it hard for you to step out of the coaching and let local teams do their thing? Is that challenging for you at all?

JA: No, it’s not. … When I worked for the school district, my boss, Mike Couch, he was assistant superintendent and he brought me in as a reading coordinator for junior and senior high schools, to implement reading programs for kids who couldn’t read. I’ll never forget the way he led me. He said, “Jamie this is the program, you need to implement it. You just check in every week and tell me how it’s going.” And I thrived on that because I got to be creative, I got to make it my program, I didn’t have someone who was micro-managing me. I always thought gosh, that’s the way to lead. I mean obviously you’re going to have setbacks with people who try to take advantage of the situation and then you have to deal obviously with that, but for the most part I think with this I feel like if you set the structure and the model up and you provide that and you’re there for support and you have a pretty good sense of people that you bring in, my deal has always been let them lead. Get out of the way.

LD: You are sort of conspicuously absent from the Moms in Motion website. Is that intentional?

JA: Well sort of. I’ve always been a behind the scenes worker. It’s not really about me, it’s about them, and so I kind of put myself to the side. I’m there, if you want to find me you go to history and then there’s a place for me talking about all the little awards and all that good stuff, but I kind of feel that that’s not what Moms in Motion is really about–it’s really about connecting women to each other and developing that community.

LD: If you could be invisible anywhere in Santa Barbara, where would you go and what would you do?

JA: Onstage at the bowl with some of the musicians. I could be a backup singer and they wouldn’t even know it.

Vital Stats: Jamie Allison

Born: Santa Rosa, CA, January 21

Family: Husband Michael; daughters Kate (age 7) and Samantha (age 3).

Civic Involvement: “I really do that through my Moms in Motion groups.”

Professional Accomplishments: Teacher, Masters in Education from UCSB, Santa School Districts’ Secondary Reading Coordinator; Founder/CEO of Moms in Motion

Best Book You’ve Read Recently: A Map of the World, by Jane Hamilton

Little-Known Fact: “I studied with a Shaman in Peru for a few weeks.”

Originally published in Noozhawk on October 20, 2008. Click here to read it on that site.

Battle of the blab is a draw

51tKTrr+gaLConventional wisdom says that women talk more than men, and up until recently there was relatively conclusive research to back that up. Women use 55 percent more words per day than men do, according to a book called The Female Brain.

I don’t know about their findings, but in my own extremely scientific, highly controlled experiment, I found that women use 100 percent more words per day than men do.

I told my husband about this very exciting scientific breakthrough.

Me: ” I think women talk about talk twice as much as men. What do you think?”

Husband: “Huh?”

Me: “See. I have to repeat everything I say.”

Husband: “What?”

Nothing like a true-life example to prove my theory.

But that was last week. It’s even quieter at my house this week. My husband is away on business, and my son’s at school, then soccer, then homework, and then he’s too exhausted to be much of a conversationalist. So Chatty Cathy (a.k.a. Loony Leslie) has mainly been chatting with herself.

With no one to talk to at home, I was trolling around the Internet for entertainment (not that kind of entertainment, get your minds out of the gutter) when I came across a University of Arizona study that found–unbelievably–that women don’t talk more than men, after all.


In tracking the number of words used by male and female college students by equipping them with digital voice recorders, researchers found that statistically, men and women were just about even.

So the battle of the blab is a draw. I can hardly believe it. I’m practically speechless. You would think we’d hear more about the death of another enduring male-female stereotype. I’m guessing it’s because these were college students. The guys hadn’t gotten married yet, so they were in courtship mode and had to at least pretend that they would continue speaking after the wedding– kind of like women and sex.

But even if you buy into the research that men and women speak about the same number of words–which certainly wasn’t done at my house–they definitely don’t speak the same words.

Based on my own carefully documented research, men rarely utter the words “accessorize,” “size zero,” “cellulite” or “Botox,” unless they happen to be actors. Nor do you hear them describe someone as “unconventionally attractive,” or having “emotional intelligence.” “Grocery store,” “laundry” and “birthday card” also seem to be off limits.

On the other hand, men are 77 times more likely to use the word “fine” than women are. As in, “Okay, fine” to end an argument, when he really means, “You’re wrong but I’m tired and don’t want to talk about it anymore.” Or “You look fine,” when you’ve finally accessorized the 17th outfit you’ve tried on and he’s showing his emotional IQ by urging you to get out of the house.

Men will also say, “I’m fine,” rather than reveal weakness, say, when being tortured or held up at gunpoint.

Just the other day I came home and asked my husband how his day was. He said, “Fine.” But I know darn well what he really meant was “I know you want to talk about my day and all my relationships with my colleagues and boss (if I actually had relationships with any of them) but I just want to drink a beer, eat a bag of chips and zone out on CNN.”

At least we understand each other.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on October 3, 2008.

When Leslie’s not repeating herself, talking to herself, or changing her clothes, she’s usually on her computer, answering emails at email. For more columns visit