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Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen

Sara is a journalist and editor.

1. Gotta Keep Moving: Why drive two blocks? Walk there, if it's safe. Crowded parking lot? Forget it...park on the far end, and walk - if it's light outside. Talking on the phone? Walk around. Clean your room as you analyze what everyone said at the party. (Productive gossip, I call it.) CAUTION: Do get plenty of sleep at night, and DO NOT EVER EXERCISE OR "KEEP MOVING" TO THE POINT OF EXHAUSTION! 2. No Couch Potatoes, Please: Watching TV? Surfing and Chatting? Are you accompanied by a bag of chips? Watch out! Sitting and vegging occasionally is great - - but for many hours a day, it's no good.
Imagine your parents gave you a car for your 16th birthday. It's not new or anything, but it doesn't have too many miles on it. It's an OK color, not your favorite, but OK. It's got two or three nicks or scratches, but it's pretty cool, and it moves like crazy. Now imagine that you looked at that car, the one that takes you to school every morning, the one that takes you to the mall every weekend, the one that feels so good on the highway, with the windows rolled down, imagine that you looked at that car, and saw every bump and every scratch and the wrong color and the wrong upholstery and you hated it.
(Written for Chics, Guys Welcome.) All the advice that I've seen to teens regarding healthy body image (this site included, even some of my stuff) decries the media. The media that feeds us image after image of skinny until we hate ourselves for having fat molecules within five miles of us. We have to accept ourselves, this advice says, for who we are. We are not Pamela, not Jennifer, nor Kate, nor Heidi. We are real people with real curves and real muscles underneath. Celebrate your authentic sexy humanness!! OK. So who's partying? After many a sermon like this that I have listened to or read, (not that there's anything WRONG with that, mind you), I do not see throngs of girls burning pictures of Calista Flockhart outside of Spa Lady.
So there I am, at 1 a.m., relaxing in front of a mind-numbing - but somehow intoxicating - fashion show on cable. The girls look dead and fiercely alive all at once, and I am reminded of caged panthers at the zoo, sleek and nonchalant, pacing and intent, angry and on display. And I look at these mile high stick people and I can't decide what I think about them. Part of me is jealous and admiring, still, after all these years. Grow up! I admonish myself. Get with it.

My five-year-old son is like a thoroughbred: bright, quick, talented -- and explosive. He has always been this way, since birth. He can be the most charming, mature, and productive human being within a few miles. Rubbed wrong, however, he can go off like a rocket. We have been working on controlling his temper for a few years now, and it's coming along. Slowly. When he was three, I taught him the nursery rhyme about the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead. (When she was good, she was very, very good. And when she was bad, she was horrid.) After I recited the poem, I turned to him and asked if it reminded him of anyone.

When I first heard about the institution of time out, as a very young mother, the concept confused me. "You mean," I asked whoever it was who had told me about it, "that my three-year-old child is supposed to sit in one place -- and not get up -- for over ten seconds?" Like many small children, my son was not inherently capable of sitting still, what with so much to climb and touch and jump on in this world of ours. I am not a fan of many of the more conventional models of kinder-government. Instead, I was searching for a discipline method that best suited my individual child, a very bright and philosophical person for someone who was less than three feet tall.

Recently, I asked my five-year-old to get me something from upstairs. "Yes, your majesty," was his reply. The day before that, it was "Certainly, Miss Mommy". Last week? "Sir, yes, sir" and "Whatever you say, Lady." I can't decide whether this lack of respect upsets me or not. On one hand, he is being what my mother would have called "fresh." On the other hand, the atmosphere in the house is convivial and open. He talks to me, and tells me everything - things I'd have been afraid to tell my parents. I figure: I can deal with the insolence if it buys me honesty. Don't get me wrong; I am not one of these parents who will do anything to be popular with my kids. That is not my goal.

I am - was - a huge George Clooney fan. I used to call my husband in to watch Dr. Ross, because something this perfect had to be shared with a loved one. Until one day last year, when Jay Leno hosted Clooney on his show. Some of you may remember the episode. George was featured right before a group of quadruplet six-year-old girls. During the girls' interview, Clooney, as leading guest, remained onstage. I will never forget what he did when the giggly pink sisters first scrambled to sit themselves down: he very purposefully moved his chair WAY over, eyeing the noisy children suspiciously.

Erica Jong once said, "Advice is what you ask for when you know the answer, but wish you didn't." Here, then, is some advice for young couples wondering if he/she is "the one." You probably already know the answer to this, but it's difficult to swallow whole. So here's the question back at you, in nice, bite-size pieces (ask yourself one a day): 1. Do I feel trapped or liberated at the thought of living with him forever? 2.

Last October, I Was Sexually Assaulted by a Guy At School‚ Help!
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