Category Archives: Chicago Tribune’s RedEye Columns

Opinion-based editorials that have appeared in the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye print edition which has a daily circulation of a quarter of a million units.

Why Must Spring Take Our Beards?

Chicago Tribune’s RedEye March 18, 2011

There are a lot of things I love about the men of Chicago. I love the way they proudly wear their Bears/Cubs/Sox/Blackhawks hats even when their team was crushed the night before. I love the steely eyed resolve they display on frigid mid-January nights waiting for an “L” train. But there’s nothing I love more about Chicago men than the beards they sport.

Chicago is a city of beards, at least in the winter. Men grow thick, undeniably sexy beards to shield them from developing hypothermia every time they step outside. Warmer than a scarf and way less creepy than a ski mask, seasonable beards have become a staple to Chicago men. And I couldn’t be happier about it!

Give me a guy with a beard and I’m fanning myself like a fading Southern belle in a Tennessee Williams play. Continue reading Why Must Spring Take Our Beards?

Guys: Welcome to Our World

Chicago Tribune’s RedEye, December 8, 2010
The average male ego is taking a beating.
From “Jersey Shore” to the Quileute Nation in the “Twilight” novels, it seems like everyone and his werewolf best friend has a set of six-pack abs and Adonis-like delts.
Even the average guy selling deodorant in commercials or reading lame punch lines in sitcoms no longer favors a slight paunch underneath his grungy T-shirt. The new standard male we’re presented with is a constantly shirtless, white-teethed, GNC-preferred-customer, Men’s Health cover boy.
And guess what? I don’t feel sorry for you guys at all. Continue reading Guys: Welcome to Our World

Couples Dating: A Delicate Dance

Chicago Tribune’s RedEye November 10, 2010

When my husband and I moved to Chicago from Boston, I felt as if I had been transported into a magical new universe–a place where restaurants put bacon on everything and buses actually stopped to pick up passengers.

But one thing (besides an endless selection of seafood joints) was missing: friendship.

That’s where things get complicated for couples.

Continue reading Couples Dating: A Delicate Dance

A Feminine Formula for Teen Sex Comedies

Chicago Tribune’s RedEye September 23, 2010

Last week I saw “The Virginity Hit,” which is the latest movie within the tiny Hollywood genre featuring sex-crazed high school kids on a quest to lose their virginity (see also: “Porky’s,” “American Pie” and “Superbad”).

The problem with these movies is that they always star guys. Between the wacky high jinx and underage drinking, it’s always the nerdy and chubby boys who are ready to turn in their v-cards, and never the girls.

Oh sure, there are plenty of wacky teen comedies featuring a female lead cast, but they’re always are about a group of girls obsessing over fantasy prom dates and popularity makeovers. These caricatured girls have madcap shopping montages and talk about first kisses as if they’re as important and insurmountable as the summit of Mount Everest.

This might be a totally outlandish concept for some people, but by senior year of high school some girls are ready to lose their virginity. In fact, some girls are just as ready as their horn-dog male counterparts. These are not mythical creatures like unicorns or Cubs pennants–these are the mature, unashamed girls who I went to high school with.

When will there be a teen comedy about these girls? Continue reading A Feminine Formula for Teen Sex Comedies

Dog Adoption Worth Jumping Through all the Hoops

Chicago Tribune’s RedEye August 12, 2010

For weeks I waded through paperwork, fielded phone calls involving demanding questions and arranged home visits so strangers with clipboards could stalk around my apartment clicking their tongues. No, I wasn’t applying for an internship with Mayor Daley, I wasn’t being approved for G-13 clearance with the FBI and I wasn’t taking a ring back to Mordor. I was adopting a dog.
Continue reading Dog Adoption Worth Jumping Through all the Hoops

True Love is Great; Wedding Excess Isn’t

Chicago Tribune’s RedEye May 26, 2010

Wedding season is officially upon us. I can tell because I no longer have a spare summer weekend to myself. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, almost every weekend has been booked thanks to the cheerful “Save the Date!” postcards that have been filling up my mailbox.

But it isn’t just the ceremony and the drink-filled party afterward that are crowding my calendar. It’s also the bridal showers, the bachelorette parties, the bridesmaids tea, the farewell brunches and the rehearsal dinners that are putting a dent in my vacation time.

The endless list of pre- and post-wedding events isn’t the only thing that has become excessive about getting married. Guests lists have been supersized, budgets sometimes climb into the millions of dollars and receptions are clocking in with the sort of opulence that would make Marie Antoinette blush. Like a vampire at a blood drive, weddings have become bloated.
Continue reading True Love is Great; Wedding Excess Isn’t

Attack of the Mega-Strollers

Chicago Tribune’s RedEye April 22, 2010

The sun is shining, the trees are budding, Chicagoans everywhere are shedding their winter coats and coming out of hibernation. Spring is (timidly) coming into focus and the sidewalks are suddenly thick with a plague more plentiful than a zombie outbreak and more annoying than Rod Blagojevich: enormous strollers. It seems that, overnight, parents ditched streamlined, fold-able strollers for baby buggies so obnoxiously huge they rival SUVs.
Like an ant that wandered into a radioactive lab in a ’50s movie, strollers have blown up to monstrous proportions. There’s a war out there. It’s being fought on sidewalks, in crowded “L” cars and in malls with even the widest of aisles. Baby carriages have been supersized– and you had better get out of the way.