Elizabeth Austin

Missed Manners

Within minutes, we were at the emergency room, where a cluster of security guards stood glued to the blaring football game on the television. Frantic, I started to sign in. “Speak up, please,” the triage nurse barked testily above the televised din. “I can’t hear you.” I helped my dry-heaving husband to the bathroom, then… Read more »

In Contempt of Courtship

As host, Ms. Lewinsky functions as Hayley’s on-site girlfriend, giggling with her at hidden-camera footage that shows the suitors misbehaving at a party and helping her to make the undoubtedly difficult decision to dump the guy who slipped off into a bathroom to share a few intimate moments with a hula dancer. The show has… Read more »

Giving Mirth

Jean Kerr was the epitome of the great gal, back in an era of great gals. With her best-selling book, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, she created a persona that was competent, funny, self-assured, calm in the face of domestic emergency, unapologetically competitive on the tennis court, and tremendously gifted when it came to keeping… Read more »

Sales to Minors

I was stunned; I’d always thought of her as a Red Ball Jets girl. But I wasn’t surprised that the insistent commercial jingles of her childhood remained embedded in her brain. It’s hard to imagine a baby boomer who doesn’t know which brand of chicken noodle soup is “M’m! M’m! Good!,” what kind of bread… Read more »

Lipstick Feminists

That’s a hard thing for me to admit, and a difficult word for me to use. But over the last few months, I’ve been horrified to hear a soprano chorus of “lipstick feminists” crow over the exploits of Monica the Power Babe. In one recent New York Times op-ed, headlined “Monica Lewinsky, Career Woman,” Katie… Read more »