“I’m Not a Ballerina” Club

I am not a ballerina, even though I have the perfect name for one. Girls typically start dance classes in grade school, but we were new Soviet immigrants living in the projects, and we saved the dancing for parties at Russian restaurants. At one point, somewhere between age 6 and 13, I passive-aggressively mentioned to my mother how I never got dance lessons even though … Continue reading “I’m Not a Ballerina” Club

“Old Photos Play Tricks with My Memory” Club

People haunt me from the past; the mysteries of what’s become of them. When my family came to America in 1979, we didn’t document our everyday life the way we do in today’s selfie generation. We broke out the cameras for special events, birthday parties, weddings, occasional trips to the zoo, and vacations. Studying through old images, I recognize a familiar group of people reappearing … Continue reading “Old Photos Play Tricks with My Memory” Club

“Anti-Murphy’s Law” Club

There should be a term which describes the following phenomenon: your car has been making worrisome noises intermittently, and when you get frustrated enough to bring it to the mechanic, it miraculously ceases making any suspicious sounds. You rev the car, you drive it around the block, you take it on the highway, you hit the brakes super hard, and still no noise. Is there … Continue reading “Anti-Murphy’s Law” Club

“My Modern Family Trumps Yours” Club

My teenage son and I heard a hilarious phone prank on the radio. The victim: a 45-year-old mother. Who set her up? Her 18-year-old son. The premise? The DJ calls pretending to be the son’s 45-year-old girlfriend. Throughout the fake call, the mother’s anger escalates as she keeps repeating, “My son is a teenager!” After our laugh, I push it further because I’m the inappropriate … Continue reading “My Modern Family Trumps Yours” Club

“I Love Theater” Club

I don’t remember the first show I saw on (or off-)Broadway which ingrained the love of theater in me but I don’t remember not LOVING it. This week, I finally saw Book of Mormon. It had been the anniversary gift my husband and I had been promising to one another for five years. It was everything I hoped it would be and more; the funnier … Continue reading “I Love Theater” Club

“I Don’t Have a Dream” Club

The Mamas & the Papas sang about it. So did Aerosmith. Dream a little dream of me. Dream on. In modern America, #LiveYourDream is on billboards, shopping bags, t-shirts, mugs, and in combinations of status updates, tweets, and Instagram memes. A blinking mantra of our time; we love to share quotes and we love for them to be inspiring, but how often do we practice … Continue reading “I Don’t Have a Dream” Club

“I Heart the Library” Club

A library is a museum of books; a shrine to literature. It is more accessible than a museum and always free to enter. It is far less elitist the a museum: a poorly written book could exist on the shelf next to best-seller. Obviously the greatest aspect of the library: borrow books (up to 50 at a time!), enjoy them at your leisure (in the … Continue reading “I Heart the Library” Club

“I’m an Instigator” Club

Let me start out by saying I don’t enjoy confrontation, although one may argue, on occasions, my actions may have inadvertently caused it. I have been accused of being an instigator. Translation: I bring things up enough to bother someone else with doing something about it, because like I said, I don’t take pleasure in hostile encounters, but I do appreciate justice and answers. For … Continue reading “I’m an Instigator” Club

“I’m a Cat Lady” Club

In America, many things can use a serious rebranding. A few notables: marriage, step parents, and my favorite, cat ladies! Exhibit one: Beth Stern. Exhibit two: Taylor Swift. Exhibit three: More hot famous ladies with their felines. I only fell in love with cats two years ago, which means I missed out for 39 years. Two years ago, my two kids and I decided we … Continue reading “I’m a Cat Lady” Club

“Life is a Circle” Club

Writing a love letter used to mean something. The effort alone in gathering the supplies: paper, a quill, fountain ink. The actual process of writing was a task of monstrous proportions; it could take a day to write a 250-word letter. Have you ever tried to write with a quill? Dip, write half a letter, dip, write the other half a letter, dip, cross your … Continue reading “Life is a Circle” Club

“I’m Not Good at Forgiveness” Club

I haven’t reached a ripe age of maturity yet. My proof? I still have yet to master the art of forgiveness. I meet people and I either love you or hate you completely, just like you would do to me. If I love you, I bring you into my life entirely. I surrender my inhibitions, lower my barriers, and invite you into my ‘modern family’ … Continue reading “I’m Not Good at Forgiveness” Club

“I Welcome Age” Club

You don’t understand the cliche, “Getting old is a privilege” until you witness people your age drop dead. Age floats down our body like a feather. It’s a fairy Godmother waving her wand across the body to ensure all of it is touched by aging dust. Gray hair was my first indicator I’m one step closer to mortality. These random silver strands frosted my dark … Continue reading “I Welcome Age” Club

“I Wrote a 100-Word Story” Club

In starting my 365-day writing project, I vowed to write every day. I imagined I would work on 250-500 word essays, but in reality and practice, I acknowledge I have a difficult time getting anything out in less than 850 words. Reader’s Digest features a 100-word True Story contest. I thought this would be a productive, educational exercise – and it was. 100 words is nothing for me. I … Continue reading “I Wrote a 100-Word Story” Club

“I Witnessed a Cancer Diagnosis” Club

Five years ago I accompanied my aunt to her visit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she received her sentence to battle with ovarian cancer. It was the day which sent the trajectory of her life in an altogether different plight. Forced to stare at mortality by this invisible killer, she embarked on the fight of her life. Our little family could only witness … Continue reading “I Witnessed a Cancer Diagnosis” Club

“Music Triggers Memories” Club

I don’t remember Russian lullabies and my mother swears I never took to baby talk or songs. The only Russian songs I know are by Alla Pugacheva. She is like the Russian Taylor Swift of the 70s. I grew up enamored with her sad Russian love songs and ballads about multicolored roses. When we landed on American soil, the soundtrack which accompanied my parents through … Continue reading “Music Triggers Memories” Club

“I Played Hookie With My Hubby” Club

The app DubSmash allows you to record yourself lip-synching to any piece of audio – song or movie clip. Within two days of download, I was entertained for hours and completely addicted. But beyond me, I knew my husband would LOVE this; he’s a professionally-trained actor. It would be like asking a baseball player if he wanted to go to the batting cage. This morning … Continue reading “I Played Hookie With My Hubby” Club

“I Audit Friendships” Club

I’ve conducted varying degrees of spring cleaning on friendships over the years. As I’ve gotten older, the less time I have for shitty friends. Women friendships seem to undergo transformations with the catalyst of motherhood. Instead of supporting one another, we turn into judgmental know-it-alls who are desperately insecure. The only way I saw my friends who were now moms was under the added stress … Continue reading “I Audit Friendships” Club

“I Used To Have a Corporate Job” Club

(No, I will not blame spring fever for choosing to write another 100-word story for today, although it is a real affliction and this is a very poignant and true story!) I worked for an advertising agency in the city where I had a windowed office overlooking 42nd Street. The news station, WPIX occupied the top floor and I rendezvoused with Mr. G, the Weatherman, … Continue reading “I Used To Have a Corporate Job” Club

“I’m a Womanist Feminist” Club

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. I wrote my 5-year-old daughter a poignant note on the back of a watercolored card I painted for her, which said: “believe in your dreams.” Between my daily musings urging her to smile and be kind, I urged her to celebrate being a beautiful, smart little woman. Not because she is able to comprehend the power of womanhood now, but … Continue reading “I’m a Womanist Feminist” Club

“Waiting for Likes” Club

Every day this year I vowed to write – and with this promise, I send a bit of blood, sweat, tears, and cliches out into the Interweb AKA the vast mecca of others just like me. Closely tied to this commitment is my pledge “not to care” if I don’t get favorable (or any) response. It’s been 70 days and I haven’t made a blip … Continue reading “Waiting for Likes” Club

“I Recognize Myself in My Daughter” Club

Last night my five-year-old daughter came out after we tucked her in for some familiar bedtime shenanigans. My husband and I are natural night owls who can understand her tug towards wanting to stay up. Who wants to go go to bed when mommy and daddy clearly throw a party every night after she goes to bed? Her excuse this night was, “I’m just so … Continue reading “I Recognize Myself in My Daughter” Club

“At the ER Waiting Room” Club

Another 100-Word Story My 14-year-old son’s face became swollen; cheeks like chipmunks and lips resembled bad botox. His mouth ached, with pustules in his throat. No fever. Probably a virus but fear gripped me by the shoulders when he said his throat felt tight. Sitting in the ER, I feel foolish. My son seemed fine, playing video games. After 4 uneventful hours: “Here’s Prednisone, Benadryl, … Continue reading “At the ER Waiting Room” Club

“14 Years of Motherhood” Club

14  years ago I was awarded the mommy title and never looked back. Who was I before I became a mother? I vaguely remember waking up thinking of myself first. As a child, I didn’t play with baby dolls or babysit. Having a sister seven years my junior was plenty motherhood for me. I didn’t even think I wanted to have kids. Before children, life … Continue reading “14 Years of Motherhood” Club

“I Want to Vacate On My Vacations” Club

I enjoy a vacation where I can dive into the utter meaning of the word, down to its root, “to vacate.” I strive to abandon my daily annoyances and embark on the temporary movie-of-my-life mode. I crave the beach; it is therapeutic and sacred. At the beach, my body is warm enough to be almost naked, one with the earth. Here I can collapse into … Continue reading “I Want to Vacate On My Vacations” Club

“I’m a Reluctant Artist” Club

The day I met my husband just over 11 years ago he was working his “day job” as a professional clown. I was a young mother taking my son to his first Manhattan birthday party. Our how we met story is awesome, as anyone who is lingering in the happily ever after part, would say. We left the party together and the first question I … Continue reading “I’m a Reluctant Artist” Club

“Learning to Say Yes” Club

I didn’t realize “Saying Yes” existed as a cultural momentum until I read it in Amy Poehler’s book, appropriately called Yes Please. Soon afterward I noted how the opportunity to say, “yes” surrounded us. My daughter’s drama class had a parent observation day and I marveled at how my almost 6-year-old dove right for the “yes!” The realization of “yes” versus “no” people never seemed … Continue reading “Learning to Say Yes” Club

“I Hate Food” Club

At the onset of food’s introduction into our lives, its primary function is to nourish us. However, somewhere down the line, it takes on a far greater role: it entertains us, comfort us, and often control us, marionette-like. Most people lug with them some “food” baggage; not just anorexics or bulimics (or women), but anyone who’s ever been on a diet. My long-term and often … Continue reading “I Hate Food” Club

“My Husband Is Always Late” Club

The first time I brought my husband (then boyfriend) to meet my father in Staten Island I was anxious about being on time. My father appreciated and demanded promptness; it coursed through his Russian blood, and it wasn’t just from his two years in the Soviet army. I was brought up respecting the clock and to value our ever fleeting minutes. To this day, I … Continue reading “My Husband Is Always Late” Club

“I Used to Live in the City” Club

When we moved to NJ from New York City (NYC) four years ago, we did so kicking and screaming (our rent increase of $1,200 forced us out). We thought this might be a “five-year plan,” which aligned perfectly with my personality as I’ve never lived anywhere for more than four years. We moved to the first building off the George Washington Bridge, which is as … Continue reading “I Used to Live in the City” Club

“I’m Back to the Twitter Party” Club

I joined Twitter in December 2008 (only 21 months late to the party) and pitched hard from the TweetDeck until 2012. Then I took a break. In those 4 years time, I sent about 1,800 tweets; averaging to roughly 1.23 tweets per day. I’m not sure what that means about me or my life, but I didn’t miss it when I dropped off the Twitterverse … Continue reading “I’m Back to the Twitter Party” Club

“I Avoid Doctors” Club

I haven’t indulged in the industry-recommended gynecological “well visit” for almost 6 years. Insert audible gasp here. I am a college-educated, healthy woman and have made a concerted effort to live my healthy lifestyle and avoid the medical industry’s overly generalized recommendations. I’m of the “I control my own health and no one else knows my body like I do” mentality. Bonus: my body vigilance … Continue reading “I Avoid Doctors” Club

“I’m Married to an Artist” Club

11 Years and I just learned my husband gives names to his notebooks. I noticed this by accident, as I turned to the first page of a clean lined book and saw a drawing of “39¢” in bubble numbers. “Why did you doodle the price tag?” I asked him. “It’s the name of the book!” “You name your books?” “Of course, I do,” he said … Continue reading “I’m Married to an Artist” Club

“I Conducted a Magazine Audit” Club

I’ve had a love affair with glossy magazines for as long as I can remember. When I was an immigrant kid, I even prized those subscription squares from the TV Guide. I always painstakingly filled each one out, as if it was my job. To this day, I attest my beautiful penmanship to those writing drills I gave myself. As a journalism major at NYU, … Continue reading “I Conducted a Magazine Audit” Club

“Motherhood” Club

My son turns 14 tomorrow and I’ve spent some time thinking about this milestone, as I do each year. Usually, I attempt to write him a poignant letter of some kind, since words are a unique, everlasting gift (and cheap). Most years I’m greatly disappointed in whatever I write. Not just because I’m hard on myself (duh, see definition for a writer), but because even … Continue reading “Motherhood” Club

“My Boy, He’s Just Like Me” Club

At a certain point when my 14-year-old son was knee-deep in boy years (5-11), I wondered if he and I would ever have anything in common. I would continue to build Legos and watch Superhero movies but I didn’t love them in the way he did. We agreed on a love of science, but when he geeked out on me with equations, I went AWOL. … Continue reading “My Boy, He’s Just Like Me” Club

My Son’s Birth Story – 100 Word Story

I’ve written three essays on my son’s birthday and I could probably write another two with all the “outtakes.” Is there a limit to how much you can tell your kids how awesome they are? Tiger mom would argue yes. Why am I still writing about my firstborn? “Write what you know,” they say. So I do. I enjoy writing about the men in my … Continue reading My Son’s Birth Story – 100 Word Story

“I’m Afraid of Heights” Club

I love roller coasters and zip lining but put me on a balcony on the 17th floor, and I get the feeling in my butt. And in my lower thighs. Mostly, in my palms. They will sweat profusely, forming puddles in the cracks. I used to say “I don’t like heights” but the truth is, I’m afraid of heights. Terrified. In a roller coaster, I’m … Continue reading “I’m Afraid of Heights” Club

“I Write About How Much I Love My Husband” Club

I want to have an essay published in the New York Times Modern Love column by the end of this year. They get over 600 submissions and accept 4 a month. (With the addition of the new Modern Love Podcast, I’m betting the submissions have quadrupled.) For the girl behind HeartsEverywhere.com, The Modern Love column is my (first) Pulitzer. Originally I thought I’d try submitting … Continue reading “I Write About How Much I Love My Husband” Club

“37 Years an Immigrant” Club

Yesterday was the 37th anniversary of my immigration to America from the former Soviet Union and I forgot all about it. The date isn’t circled or marked on my calendar. Maybe my parents independently raised a shot glass toasting the memory, but I’ve gone years without noting the day. For my parents, it marked the day they started their new life but since 1979, there … Continue reading “37 Years an Immigrant” Club

“Let Me Announce My Own Announcements” Club

My daughter was born 6 years ago, in the Pre-Timeline Facebook era. This scary period in early modern history allowed friends to post anything they wanted on your page without giving you the opportunity to approve it first. I keenly recall laying in the recovery room after my emergency cesarean section, separated from two other women by curtains, with a painkiller drip. The world spun … Continue reading “Let Me Announce My Own Announcements” Club

“Becoming CEO of Me” Club

The first day of work often feels like the first day of school, and often just as memorable. My first job after college was as an Account Executive at an advertising agency. On my first day, I was  paraded around the office with introductions, row by row in the maze of cubicles. I gave my name at least twice to everyone and shook their hand … Continue reading “Becoming CEO of Me” Club

“Living Outside My Native Tongue” Club

I have this fantasy one day I will be in the elevator (or anywhere) and Russian-speaking people will talk about me without knowing I understand them and I will turn around and surprise them with my exquisite command of Russian curses. This has yet to happen. At our last Gogol Bordello concert, I found myself surrounded by fellow Russians in midlife crisis partying with this … Continue reading “Living Outside My Native Tongue” Club

“I Avoid Traditional Exercise” Club

  I’ve had a lifelong, hate-hate relationship with exercise. I feel exactly the same way about  it as I did about breastfeeding: no matter how many scientific studies I read, my body didn’t get the memo it was supposed to feel good. The first time I dipped into exercise was in high school. My best friend and I decided we would get up early in … Continue reading “I Avoid Traditional Exercise” Club

“Non-Traditional Exercise” Club

I have always believed non-traditional exercise had a higher success rate at pleasure secretions in my brain than running or walking up an invisible staircase. As far as endorphins and their correlation to exercise; sex seems to satisfy two birds with one bush. Or something like that. Here are my Top 5 “Non-Traditional” Exercises: Braiding my hair. I compulsively braid my hair while I’m reading, … Continue reading “Non-Traditional Exercise” Club

“Every 28 Days I’m a Bleeder”Club

According to rough calculations, I’ve had my menstrual period 340 times in my life, and still, every 28 days, like clockwork, I’m surprised. Despite my regularity, with the date long predicted, every month, it’s like we’re meeting for the first time. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I’ve gone to wipe, saw the smear of bright red and haven’t thought, for a … Continue reading “Every 28 Days I’m a Bleeder”Club

“I Do My Own Taxes” Club

I’ve done my taxes on my own using TurboTax, from the comfort of my own home, for the last 8 years. The software stores all of my old documents for me and welcomes me and guides me kindly and simply through questions which I can do on my own schedule (or at 3am). Even with a small business return to file, I never paid more … Continue reading “I Do My Own Taxes” Club

“A New Way to Worry” Club

There exists a trifecta of responses given to a person who is stressing out: “Calm down,” or “Relax!” or “Don’t worry.” These comforting phrases only work as triggers to make me angrier and want to slap the deliverer in the face. However, earlier this week, my 14-year-old son may have invented an interesting psychological “calm down” technique in lieu of the useless trifecta. We were … Continue reading “A New Way to Worry” Club

“Writing 6-Word Memoirs” Club

The six-word memoir concept made me think of tombstones. For those of us who don’t write a memoir or autobiography, will the gravestone become the everlasting definition of ourselves? Historically, marble slabs are etched with names, dates lived, and titles. Our lives are summed up by how we related to someone else. Daughter, Sister, Mother, Wife. In the end is that ultimately how we want … Continue reading “Writing 6-Word Memoirs” Club

“The Dream Gene” Club

Over pancakes this morning, my 5-year-old daughter spent 15 minutes describing last night’s dream to me in detail. “There was a fire in the building and I told everyone we had to evacuate, but before we did, I reminded them to grab their phones and laptops! Don’t worry, the cats were already rescued. We went outside with all our things and by the time we … Continue reading “The Dream Gene” Club

“Wearing the Engagement Ring Without the Wedding Band” Club

While doing some heavy cleaning, I put my diamond engagement ring and simple wedding band on my ring holder. Later in the evening I noticed my naked finger and asked my husband to retrieve my rings from the bedroom. He brought the sparkly round diamond ring, surrounded by a halo of small diamonds, and mimicking a proposal, he asked me to marry him as he … Continue reading “Wearing the Engagement Ring Without the Wedding Band” Club