A creepy ad for Love’s Baby Soft, JFK Jr. and the Peter Pan Bus

I remember the day I fell in love with magazines. It was 1983, and I was in sixth grade. My family was stationed in Spain because my dad was in the Navy, and my best friend…


As opposed to waking up 20 years later and being like, yeah, that was really messed up.

If I had a superpower it would be to grant myself the ability to go back in time and punch someone who wronged me in the face. The thing is I can’t go…


Luckily I’m here to tell you how to get shit done for real.

I’m no Instagram life coach but that won’t stop me from dispensing the following piece of equally unqualified advice. If you, like me, can not get shit done despite having a billion things you want to do…


As a GenX-latch-key kid who had to find her own entertainment, replying to any random Twitter post I see seemed fun and harmless. Then I realized I’m an adult.

Growing up as a GenX kid with absentee parents meant I learned to fend for myself early in life, not only…


For every pet owner, there’s one animal against whom all others are measured. For me, it was my dog Abercrombie. Then we got Brian.

Abercrombie was a black lab mix puppy my dad brought home after he saw a note posted on the bulletin board at the Pentagon where he worked. We’d always had black lab mutts in our family, their fates a sad mix of heartbreak. …


About that viral essay

As it turns out, many of you do care.

A confluence of events led to my publishing that essay. The previous week I’d heard that one of my former colleagues from a different magazine had been fired from The Atlantic. She was my idol. She’d once…


I had the plum job. The top of the masthead of one of the most prestigious and respected publications with more than a 150-year-old history. I left because I blew the whistle on my boss for doing something unethical then abusing the staff and undermining the editorial process during which…


It’s cats in wigs. Cats in wigs!

I’m a 49-year-old lady who still doesn’t know how Instagram Stories work, and I’m not going to learn. So it came as a surprise to me to discover that I love TikTok. Like most people my age, I ignored it for a while…


Getting adequate sleep is romantic.

My preference is to live in a gothic estate where my bedroom features a wood burning fireplace and my night-time routine includes brushing my hair in front of my vanity while wearing an ostrich feathered robe. As I am a normal person and not Lady Mary from Downton Abbey, I…


You are all invited.

I’m starting a writing retreat for worn-out women. There is no application process, and everyone is welcome. It will be modeled after Jenny’s shingled Fisher Island home in The World According to Garp but it will be a gothic estate with a hedge maze and a…

Jennifer Barnett

Former managing editor of The Atlantic, Teen Vogue, Redbook, and Elle. Now I’m writing. Expat in Amsterdam.

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