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Oct 18

The lesson of Sara Leal

Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 in Celebrities, dating, Men, Parenting, Relationships, Sex/sexuality, Singles, Women

“Do you think Sara Leal’s attractive?” I asked Sean as we snuggled on a lazy Sunday morning.

“Who’s that?”

Sean’s a smart guy, but he’s not too hip when it comes to the latest celebrity or celeb scandal — thankfully!

“The young blond party girl who had sex with Ashton.”

“Why do you pay attention to that stuff?”

Good question. I really don’t because I just can’t stand our celeb-obsessed culture. But as someone who likes to observe people — and as a mom —a Sara Leal is someone to pay attention to.    

Why? She’s pretty, young, has a great bod and can party with best of them — the kind of girl a lot of guys like to sleep with.

Now, I never would have heard about Sara and I’ll bet neither would have any one else if she hadn’t had unprotected sex — twice — with Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore’s husband.

So why do I know about the 22-year-old? Because after first asking for $250,000 to shut up about it, which obviously didn’t happen, she then blabbed about it to anyone who would listen (which, sadly, is a huge portion of the population) — presumably for cash — saying that sleeping with him has messed up her life.

No, Sara, the truth is, you messed up your life. Sleeping with a married man (OK, he allegedly told her he was separated, but still) is bad enough but I won’t judge other people’s actions. But sleeping with him and then selling your story and all the details (“He had great endurance. We were up for a while. It was about two hours.”) to magazines isn’t going to help you move past your part-time modeling gig.

Except, of course, it probably will. I imagine Sara’s already entertaining offers to pose naked in Playboy, and I wouldn’t doubt that we’ll soon see her on reality TV. To get your 15 minutes of fame nowadays all you have to do is sleep with a high-profile guy once or twice, sell your story or pictures of it, or both, and you’ll pocket a few thousand to ease your heartbreak.

If I were a mom of a daughter, we’d probably be having a long discussion about how not to get famous by going the Sara Leal route. Being naive and stupid (unprotected sex?) and then opportunistic is a very ugly combination, no matter how pretty you are.

Then there are all the topless picture of her circulating on the Internet and descriptions by friends that she “parties a lot” and would “go out with her best friends, and she’d get drunk and be the fun girl.” This is not something to be known for. Being a party girl ages you pretty quickly.

And her 15 minutes of fame from all of this will blow away quickly, and she’ll spend many more years trying to get people to forget about it than being able to capitalize on it. Need proof? Look at Monica Lewinsky, who didn’t seek fame but who got it anyway.

Reading some of the comments on the online stories about the Sara-Ashton “event,” guys are calling her skanky but in the same breath saying, “but I’d still f@*k her.” Because that’s how people will see her now. I have to wonder — was it worth it?

Knowing that about some guys, and I’m mom to a guy, I’ll be talking about Sara Leal to The Kid, too. While Ashton may have been a relatively safe bet for having unprotected sex with since he’s been married for the past six years, Sara is a party girl. If she’s having sex on the first hookup with no protection, you can pretty much bet she doesn’t use protection, period, and the consequences of that could be disastrous — STDs, AIDs, a baby. I really want my kid to think about that.

Beyond the sex part, I’d want to explore with him why guys find someone like Sara Leal — with her heavy makeup and boozy partying — attractive? OK, that was a stupid question — I know why guys find someone like Sara Leal attractive. Which makes me think we have a very skewed idea of what’s attractive.

When I explained to Sean why, as a mom, I feel a need to talk about Sara Leal, I asked him again if he thought she was attractive. “No,” he said, “but I’d still f@*k her.”

  • Is there a message for kids in the Sara Leal saga?
  • Is there a message for all of us in the Sara Leal saga?


Aug 8

Dealing with the ex for better or worse

Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 in dating, Divorce, Happiness, Honesty, Parenting, Relationships, single dads, single moms

“You won’t believe who I ran into the other day,” Sara said as we stood in line to board the ferry to the Giants game.

“I hope someone worth running into, like Lincecum or whatever actor’s filming somewhere around here.”

“No, someone much more interesting — Todd’s ex.”

Todd’s the OkCupid guy Sara’s still sweet on and vice versa.

“Oooh, what’s she like?”

“Nothing like I thought she’d be like, which, of course, is all based on what Todd told me about her. She’s not at all psycho. She actually seemed like she could kick back a cosmo or two with us, you know? I like her.” 

There are a few weird experiences when you’re divorced — meeting your ex’s new love, having your new love meet your kids, meeting your new love’s kids, and meeting your new love’s ex.

I always listen to a guy talk about his ex with a grain of salt — there’s his version of the truth, her version and then “the truth,” which is likely some mash-up of his truth and hers.

Of course, some exes truly are total nightmares and they can ruin a budding love affair, as Sara discovered when she fell in love with Jeff many months ago but ended it because she couldn’t imagine a future with Jeff and his psycho ex. What happens, though, if you kind of like his ex and he still feels negatively toward her; can you be a positive thing in their relationship — especially if kids are involved.

And at what point do you ask to meet the new love — if you even should ask, that is. If you know your ex has a serious squeeze, one who’s spending time with your kids and developing a relationship with them, do you have a right to ask to meet her? Do you hang around places you know you might accidentally on purpose bump into her, or do you just let it go? And, do you make sure your ex meets you new sweetie?

None of these are questions we even think off when we’re divorcing — there are bigger issues then, right? Funny, but then they start to play a role in our new life, and now we’re forced to think about them whether we want to or not.

I’m not saying it’s better to stay married, but it sure can be less complicated!

  • What has been your experience with either past or present exes?
  • What has been your new love’s — past or present — of your ex?
  • Do you believe you should meet your ex’s new love if it looks serious and you have kids?


Photos © Angelika Bentin –


May 9

You can’t blame your parents forever

Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011 in Happiness, Honesty, Kat, Parenting, Relationships, Self image

As I was enjoying The Kid’s Mother’s Day breakfast-in-bed he whipped up for me — well, more like lunch-in-bed considering how late he gets up — I suddenly thought how tough the day was going to be for Mia; her mom had passed away last summer, and this was the first Mother’s Day she wouldn’t have her mom around.

So I called Sara and we talked Mia into going on a late afternoon hike with us. She was appreciative, but unusually — and understandably — somber. In every other sentence she was beating herself up for all the things she wished she’d done differently with her mom.

After a few minutes, I stopped her. “Mia, you can’t undo what’s been done. I’m sure your mom knew you loved her. Give yourself a break.”  

“Maybe,” she said, her voice trailing off. “But, I was so angry at her for so long.”

And who hasn’t felt that about his or her parents?

I don’t know about you, but just about every one I know has some sort of a complicated relationship with his or her mom or dad or both. Having parents isn’t for babies! And no matter how much we spent on flowers or brunch — or, in Dad’s case, ties and barbecue utensils; go figure! — on their “day,” we still often wrestle with the ways in which they “failed” us.

Which makes me really nervous because I would hate to think that The Kid will be feeling that way about me 10 or 20 years down the road.  I feel like Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) in the movie “Apollo 13”: “Failure is not an option!

Yeah, right!!!

We parents “fail” all the time because we’re human, and thus make mistakes, and we have to make the tough decisions, ones our kids often don’t like. Sorry, but …

And since you know your kids are going to blame you no matter what you do, just do the right thing and stop obsessing about parenting!

It’s easy to blame our parents for keeping us back or somehow messing up our lives. But, shouldn’t there be a statute of limitations on that? Like, once you hit 30 — give of take — you can’t blame your parents for every failure in your life? You have to own up to the fact that you’ve created your own messes now; the past is over.

OK; some parents really are toxic. So those who grew up with severe cases of childhood dysfunction, like abuse of any kind or alcoholism/addictions, get a buy — but only for so long. At some point, you have to come to a place of forgiveness and compassion and move on.

Most of us have been hurt one way or the other, to varying degrees, whether physically, emotionally or psychologically — or if you had really horrific parents, all three. It may not be easy to get past that, but shouldn’t we try — and keep trying until we can? And at some point, having an a awareness of how our childhood has affected our choices as an adult is important — can’t change what you don’t even know.

We can’t change other people or the past; all we can do is change is how we let it affect us.

Best advice I ever got.

And owning your own bad behavior goes for exes, too; you can’t point your finger at the ex and say it’s all his or her fault if things went bad. Because, would you give him or her all the credit if things were going great? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

If you spent Mother’s Day just sending the obligatory card or phone call because you don’t get along with your mom, please — do some soul searching today and find compassion and forgiveness. You don’t want to be like Mia — regretting that you didn’t make peace with her while you still could.

  • In what ways did your childhood effect your relationships?
  • Do you still blame your parent(s) for your behavior today?
  • If not, how did you work past it?
  • Do you worry about what your kid(s) might blame you for? Do you have idea what it might be?

Photo © Nathalie P –