Friday BARB UP November 17, 2017: My One Year BARBAVERSARY

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My daughter Ruby Karp wrote a book, Earth Hates Me. Order it here. Please.

I have been blogging here at BARB for one year, today. Officially. In the year that I have been blogging, I have broken up with dating apps, struggled to find employment/confronted rampant ageism, fallen in love with brilliant women who have become my closest friends, reconnected with people I’ve always liked, seen and enjoyed the movie Thor and continue to find new realms of depth with my daughter. It’s been a tumultuous year for me personally, and it’s been a year of becoming woke politically. I’ve experimented with BARB and I’m honored to have had writers bring their ideas to it: Corinna Barsan’s author series, BARB Turning Pages, Leslie Columbale’s film series, Cinema Siren and Stacey Conde’s beauty series, Lady Parts. (If you’d like to write, email me!) We’ve had vibrator reviews and cosmetic reviews and interviews with women I admire as well as my Transitions series. Thank you for coming back day after day. I hope you continue to do so. So in honor of my BARBAVERSARY, I’m re-posting that initial post. Have a great weekend!


photo credit: william ross

Here we are. November 2016. Fresh into our New World Order.

I mean. Okay now. Okay. I’m not going to talk about it. I just don’t have the vocabulary. I am going to talk about why I am doing BARB. Because BARB is what I’m about right now.

Last summer, the summer of Obama’s 2015, stuck in a go-nowhere corporate job, surrounded by suits and guffaws, I realized I wasn’t actually doing anything with my professional life that was fulfilling. Not anymore. Whereas, once I was. For a solid decade, I had the Best Job Ever. I was surrounded by creative people that I managed, I curated inspiring artists to be a part of my tiny world, I was actually and truly happy coming to work every day. And then, I lost the job. Found myself in that rut. And while trapped in that rut, I found myself reminiscing.

About the past. In particular the ’90s. Fueled by my restlessness and my sense of being trapped by my need to pay my rent, I partnered with a likeminded feminist and start BUST. A zine. And I found my outlet. For seven years, I spent my days working as a freelancer promo producer, my nights seeing Pavement and myriad other bands, and somewhere in between, publishing a feminist zine that filled the white space of female-generated content during the ground swell of third wave feminism. By far, the most inspiring period of my professional life.

In my current life, I am so romantic about my BUST days. About the long nights we spent printing out every page and laying them out on the floor, moving the pages around as we tried to place the order of each issue in such a way that would make the zine read seamlessly. About the long walks to the post office box on Hudson Street where I collected the CDs and videos and stories our readers sent to us every week. About the long talks I had with women I met along the way, of what feminism was to each other us, and how if we closed our eyes, this is what our future as feminists could look like.

In my current life, I was living my feminist future-past. Except, I was in a holding pattern. Over dinner, one September night, I told my daughter about my BARB idea. How I wanted to create a website for women over 35, women approaching the next chapter of their lives, women who may or may not be married, woman who may or may not have children, women who may or may not be working, but certainly women who, when they looked in their mirror, still connected with that 25 year old self of hers. Women who enter middle age enter a world of an unknown, a world not laid out to them by their mothers and older friends. Our bodies start to change, our ideas evolve, our health becomes elastic. We start to think in acronyms and numbers: IRA’s, 401k’s, 529C’s. Having health insurance becomes key to survival. Our friends start to develop the lady cancers. Our lives become the Once In A Lifetime Talking Heads song, and we do wonder, Well How Did We Get Here. We also start to feel a certain confidence we didn’t have in our youth, particularly sexually. We know what we need to do to get off. And we aren’t embarrassed about it. We have dating apps where we can shop for humans, and if we want, have a 25 year old one night for kicks, and Mr. Right the next for soul-kissing. Being in your 40’s and 50’s and 60’s and beyond is a trip.

And I want BARB to be a place for your journey. For Ladies Like Us.  So that’s what I want to talk about. And I want you to contribute. Because I want to hear what your life is like. I want to know how fuckable you feel and what menopause is like for you and whether you have a vibrator. I want to see what you look like today. I want you to know that I know how you feel. And I want you to have a place to go to, every day, where you can see some version of yourself, and go hell yeah.

That’s what I want for BARB. So please. Subscribe. Follow BARB on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter. And let’s start talking.


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