Secret Summers

Good Enough

BEVERLY HILLS—It’s 6:00 a.m. as I sit here in a cold, dark, lonely flat with my heart shattered into countless pieces. They tell me I’ve checked-out again. I’d have to agree that is the best phrase to use for my disconnection from the world. I think I’m back, at least temporarily, thanks to waking up to my fluffy-faced German Shepherd...

Suicide Is Contagious

LAUREL CANYON—My mum used to say, "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?" Of course, she was being facetious. Her intention was to get me to think for myself and not follow my friends’ poor choices, or more specifically, the modern American culture. People thought I copied everything Tara did. She had a tattoo on her wrist. My mum...

My Secret Was Her Suicide

Editor's Note: This is Part Two of a Three-Part Series. Click here to read Part One. LAUREL CANYON—As expected, Tara's mother contacted me that Saturday morning, but our conversation didn't go as expected. She asked if I was with Tara and I told her that I wasn't but had been expecting her call. We were both confused, as it was Tara had...

A Statin-Induced Nightmare

Editor's Note: This is Part Two of a four-part series chronicling the medical history of Hazel's father and the complications of his prescribed choleserol treatment. To properly orient yourself within the story you may read Part One Here. MALIBU—My beloved, once-healthy father was withering away. It broke my heart. I channeled my despair into determination. Fueled by a desire to...

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 #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...
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