An interesting, slightly cynical look at what really drives that feeling of “knowing it’s right’ when we meet Mr. or Mrs. Right…“But though we believe ourselves to be seeking happiness in marriage, it isn’t that simple. What we really seek is familiarity — which may well complicate any plans we might have had for happiness. We are looking to recreate, within our adult relationships, the feelings we knew so well in childhood. The love most of us will have tasted early on was often confused with other, more destructive dynamics: feelings of wanting to help an adult who was out of control, of being deprived of a parent’s warmth or scared of his anger, of not feeling secure enough to communicate our wishes. How logical, then, that we should as grown-ups find ourselves rejecting certain candidates for marriage not because they are wrong but because they are too right — too balanced, mature, understanding and reliable — given that in our hearts, such rightness feels foreign. We marry the wrong people because we don’t associate being loved with feeling happy.”

A photography essay that lifts the veil on what postpartum depression really looks like…“When this picture was taken I was suffering from postpartum depression and severe anxiety. You can’t tell by looking, but I felt like a horrible mother. I had been suicidal a few months prior. I was having racing & intrusive thoughts, experiencing moments of rage I couldn’t explain  or understand, constantly sweating from anxiety, having at least one panic attack daily, and found myself stuck in gravity wells of sadness every few days that made just getting out of bed painful and exhausting.” ~ A’Driane Nieves

An author’s research on aging in America leads her to a disappointing reality about the stigma and oppression surrounding the topic, one she comes to experience herself…“In her groundbreaking book “The Coming of Age,” published in the early 1970s, Simone de Beauvoir spoke passionately about the stigma of old age — about the loss of a valued identity, our fear that the self we knew is gone, replaced by what she called “a loathsome stranger” we can’t recognize, who can’t possibly be the person we’ve known until now. Her words give life to a core maxim of social psychology that says: What we think about a person influences how we see him, how we see him affects how we behave toward him, how we behave toward him ultimately shapes how he feels about himself, if not actually who he is. It’s in this interaction between self and society that we can see most clearly how social attitudes toward the old give form and definition to how we feel about ourselves. For what we see in the faces of others will eventually mark our own.”

An interesting read following the trajectory of the new fragile world we have built in the name of globalization even though we have ironically become more divided than ever…“Integrating societies and systems generates many benefits, but the flipside is growing interdependency. Pensioners and home owners have seen their savings decimated by unforeseen financial risks. Workers have lost their jobs overseas to strangers escaping from poverty; those whose jobs stayed onshore are losing them to machines. Farmers suffer crop failure due to climate change. Citizens rage against elites who siphon urgently needed public monies off into foreign bank accounts. Other people’s everyday choices on the other side of the world—about what energy they use, what products they consume, what medicines they take or how they secure their data—threaten us unintentionally. Equally, our choices impact them. In an increasingly open world, we’ve begun to blame more and more of our frustrations on each other.”

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An animated photo essay about growing your family through adoption…#15. Adoption shows that who a person becomes has more to do with how they’re raised than whose genetics they share. 

A break down of the average time (in hours) of unpaid work time that women and men engage in around the world and how we have to close the time gap…“There are several ways to close the time gap. Diane Elson, a sociologist and economist at the University of Essex in Britain and an adviser on women’s issues and development to the United Nations, has written that unpaid work must be recognized, reduced and redistributed. Technology plays a key role in reducing the time chores take: Think about the time American women spent washing clothes and cooking before the invention of modern appliances. Redistributing more unpaid work to men can happen through policies, like paid family leave. Women are more likely to return to work after having a baby when they have paid leave, and men who take paternity leave spend more time on child care later.”

A crushing letter from the Stanford rape victim which she read to her attacker who has only received a six-month jail sentence…“I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.”

If you are interested in taking your family to the circus but cringey about the mistreatment of animals, Circus Vargas is coming to Irvine this Thursday night.
Get your picnic baskets ready for some outdoor theatre. Mark your calendars for the FREE Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival starting June 25 with Richard III. With this year marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, be sure to catch plenty of Shakespeare starting with Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum lineup Romeo and Juliet set in East Jerusalem will kick off its 2016 summer repertory season.  Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum will also present a world premiere of Tom – the stage adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. For a dose of historical fiction rooted in the hostile politics of the 1960s, Home Sick will premiere at the Odyssey Theatre June 9 – July 3. Interested in dance? Watch for  Royal Swedish Ballet’s return to Segerstrom Center for the Arts with the West Coast Premiere of Mats Ek’s Juliet and Romeo June 10 -12. Also on June 10, Tony-award winning comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang opens at ICT. For some outdoor cinema in a truly spectacular location, check out Cinespia’s lineup at the Hollywood Cemetery.

NYC theatre-lovers can pack your picnics for the 54th Annual Shakespeare in the Park festival at Central Park starting with The Taming of the Shrew or Socrates Sculpture Park’s International Film Festival this summer. Be on the look out for Fountain Theatre’s Citizen: An American Lyric to get its off-Broadway production at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Catch some fun new musicals like Tuck Everlasting or Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour on Broadway. Another must-see is Arthur Miller’s The Crucible starring Saoirose Ronan at the Walter Kerr Theatre through July 17 and The Total Bent at the Public through June 19. And be sure to check out the Hallett Nature Sanctuary – four acres in Central Park – reopening after a massive restoration project. The section has been closed since the 1930s.