Secret Summers

Pornography: Boys Are Naughty

BEVERLY HILLS—Why is it that men are ashamed of their internet movie addiction? Hint: I’m not talking about YouTube or Netflix. Why do some say the habit creates violence, rape, and even murder, yet some cannot live without it? What makes women so mad at their boyfriends for viewing it? What is it about the word pornography that makes everyone momentarily freeze? You...

Are You Too Old To Venmo?

BEVERLY HILLS—A few nights ago, someone asked me the age of my readership. Of course, being a newer columnist to the paper, I didn't have an answer. When I asked my friend why, she told me I should discuss my secret money-sharing application unless my readers were too old to Venmo. Before I tell you anything about why age matters, I must ask you: have...

Cultural Secret #3: Girls Should Stay Pure

BEVERLY HILLS—My mother once said, "When you keep your heart and thoughts pure, God will protect you from temptation." She was right. Some might criticize her parenting as harsh, strict, or even inhumane, but this was part of my cultural conditioning. Without these lessons, experiences, and boundaries, I wouldn't be as secure as I am with my sexuality. It started...

Cultural Secret: Girls Should Be Pure

BEL AIR—It started on a sunny afternoon in our Los Angeles home when I was four. My dad, brother and I went outside to play basketball. Mid-game, my dad took off his shirt. My brother, copying my dad to be as cool as him, took off his. Finally, to act cool like both of them, I took off mine. My...

Cultural Secret #2 Boys Are Better

LOS ANGELES—Freedom and opportunity led my parents to America. Once they arrived, they built an American Dream upon a foundation of their native cultural beliefs and ideals, loads of love, and a sense of liberal freedom. My mother valued the freedom she never experienced in Lebanon. And yet, she remained tied to her cultural secrets. She firmly believed the...

Cultural Secret #1: What’s My Identity?

What trials face the young Lebanese woman and strapping Irish lad who find themselves in love in the heart of Los Angeles? Born the youngest of four first-generation American children, my siblings and I shared parents with strong, independent cultural values. But in spite of our biracial heritage, my mother's Lebanese values reigned supreme in our upbringing. Cultural clash was commonplace,...

Cultural Secret: Boys Are Better

BEL AIR—Freedom and opportunity led my parents to America. Once they arrived, they built an American Dream upon a foundation of their native cultural beliefs and ideals, loads of love, and a sense of liberal freedom. My mother valued the freedom she never experienced in Lebanon. And yet, she remained tied to her cultural secrets. She firmly believed the...

Cultural Secret: What’s My Identity?

BEL AIR—What happens when a pretty Lebanese immigrant falls in love with a handsome Irish immigrant in Los Angeles? .... a slightly confused me! Born the youngest of four first-generation American children, my siblings and I shared parents with strong, independent cultural values. But in spite of our biracial heritage, my mother's Lebanese values reigned supreme in our upbringing. Cultural clash...

The Four Stages Of Dating Theory

BEVERLY HILLS—Of my eleven closest girlfriends, I had the fewest relationship problems. My ongoing examination of why they were continuously crushed by their short-lived relationships helped me discover my secrets of dating theory. I wasn't the hottest of my clan, but you'd think I was considering my dating success. They would attract good catches, but only for a limited time. I learned...

Nexxus Blew My Curly Secret

BEVERLY HILLS—What do you tell your plump-lipped, chubby-cheeked daughter with curls down to her bum? Her peers are stick-thin and tight-lipped, boasting perfectly straight shoulder-length hair. They are the standard of beauty, she's not. You do the only thing you can for your distraught princess. You appease her, finding the best hair product to relax her nagging curls. You buy...
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