“Navigating the Personalities of a Rock Concert” Club

My first concert was a rockin’ double feature of Chicago and The Beach Boys, which was completely contrary to my peers who were having New Kids on the Block, Back Street Boys or NSYNC as their inaugural concert experience. My musical taste has always been aligned with a middle-aged man. I blame the six years of adolescence I spent working at my family donut shop with the radio station … Continue reading “Navigating the Personalities of a Rock Concert” Club

“Pondulating the Origins of Sex” Club

My husband and I recently got into a funny conversation the other day which keeps rearing its strange and perverted head. This discussion evolved from trying to decipher if sexual idiosyncrasies and preferences among men (or women) come instinctively or are learned from social cues, media or watching porn. For instance, where did men learn ejaculating all over a woman’s face is titillating and something … Continue reading “Pondulating the Origins of Sex” Club

“I Love Facts” Club

I was impressed early on with my young son’s insatiable curiosity for facts. He was interested in learning about anything anyone would tell him: magnets, fishing, guitars, but he never cared much about hearing about people’s lives, which is a complete disparity to me, who is fascinated by humanity and its drama. When this school year began, I asked my newly freshman son about some … Continue reading “I Love Facts” Club

“I Have a Prescription for Klonopin” Club

Klonopin is a brand name of the drug, Clonazepam, used to treat seizures, panic disorder, and anxiety. It is a controlled substance and can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts and impair memory, judgment, and coordination. Combining this pharmaceutical with other substances, particularly alcohol, can slow breathing and possibly lead to death. Therapists and my primary care physician have prescribed this for me to ease panic … Continue reading “I Have a Prescription for Klonopin” Club

“Living Vicariously Through My Children” Club

As a parent, I instinctually want to give my children more than I had, whether it comes from instinct or from some unnecessary societal “keeping up with the Jones” pressure. I’ve certainly fit into this model seamlessly; by the time my son was five years old, I’d ushered him through baseball lessons, guitar lessons and swimming lessons. When sports wasn’t his thing, but Legos were, we drove … Continue reading “Living Vicariously Through My Children” Club

“My Son, the Actor” Club

My started high school this year, continuing at the prestigious private school he’s attended since he was three. For his electives, he selected drama and stage crew, so all week he is engaged in the theater. He is also on cross-country track, which has practice from 3:30-6pm every day. When they announced the first performance of the year, with a corresponding rehearsal schedule conflicting with … Continue reading “My Son, the Actor” Club

“Escaping Explosions” Club

“Where are you? I heard there was an explosion on 23rd and 7th and you told me you were headed to Chelsea. I’m not sure where you were going. I’m very worried. Please call me.” My mother left the message at 9pm; I called her back 20 minutes later. “Thank God you’re fine. I was frantic until I heard from you,” her breathing had slowed … Continue reading “Escaping Explosions” Club

“Unofficial Love Therapist” Club

Throughout my life, I’ve found myself stepping into a therapist or doctor role to my friends and family. I’ve always asked lots of questions and am genuinely interested in people’s lives and experiences. Lucky for me, people inherently want to talk about themselves. I am open about my private life so historically others feel comfortable confiding in me. As a child, adults never censored themselves … Continue reading “Unofficial Love Therapist” Club

“My Writing Got Nasty Comments” Club

I knew I’d finally “made it” as an Internet writer when I encountered my first barrage of negative comments in response to one of my articles. When I became a Featured Writer on the SheKnows Network, they welcomed me with an email warning me how extra exposure is often accompanied by negative comments, and while they do their best to filter the awful ones, sometimes … Continue reading “My Writing Got Nasty Comments” Club

“I Saw Hamilton” Club

      I saw Hamilton: An American Musical on Saturday and it was everything I dreamed it would be and more. My family’s obsession with the musical has spanned the entirety of 2016; we’ve listened to little else besides the soundtrack for the last 256 days (exactly as many days as I am deep into my 365-writing project). This grand opus by Lin-Manuel Miranda is a … Continue reading “I Saw Hamilton” Club

“Motherhood Revised My Resume” Club

I swore I’d never be one of those moms who over-scheduled her kids (as much for my sanity as for theirs) and I’ve honored this commitment until this year when it seems as the children get older, their activities multiply like dust. Without engaging in much, my week filled with cross country track, crew, and theater for the high schooler and musical theater, piano, and … Continue reading “Motherhood Revised My Resume” Club

“Am I Memorable?” Club

I sent an email to an old acquaintance today and began it with the phrase, “I don’t know if you remember me but…” The rest of the email was irrelevant because that sentence plagued me for the rest of the day. I was frustrated at myself for beginning a correspondence in such an insecure way. I imagined every social behavior coach would shake their heads … Continue reading “Am I Memorable?” Club

“I Lived Through 9/11” Club

Before 9/11, there was just a date on the calendar between the 10th and the 12th which never made me shutter. There was 9-1-1, but not 9/11. It’s like B.C. and A.D. There was life before and life afterward and in the middle, for a day, my city stood still, I held my breath and my heart beat double the speed. I didn’t know when … Continue reading “I Lived Through 9/11” Club

“Paranoid of Pregnancy” Club

I apologize to the millions of couples with infertility issues who may inadvertently read this. This is not your club and though I would not want to join yours, I offer sincere empathy. This is about my perpetual pregnancy paranoia. I am blessed with textbook periods; arriving like clockwork every 28 days. I have two children and I knew the exact day both were conceived. However, … Continue reading “Paranoid of Pregnancy” Club

“Dealing with Contractors” Club

When we moved into our apartment five years ago, we did a hefty remodel. We ripped out and reinstalled 1,800 square feet of hardwood floor, moved around three walls, removed the popcorn (and asbestos) off our ceiling, and changed out 13 closet doors. The contractor we selected had two things going for him: he came as a referral from a trusty source and he gave … Continue reading “Dealing with Contractors” Club

“Butt Dialed” Club

I only ever once had a butt dial disaster, because that’s as many times as it takes to teach you the ultimate lesson. Post butt dial disaster, I am perpetually paranoid my phone stays locked. The butt dial story was epic with eternal consequences. My mother-in-law was in town for my daughter’s second birthday party. Since our daughter’s birth, there had been a lot pent … Continue reading “Butt Dialed” Club

When the Workers Hit on Me” Club”

When my apartment got flooded a few weeks ago on an early Tuesday morning, a group of workers showed up from a cleaning and restoration company. I hadn’t even known of this kind of company existed since this was my first foray into the “Flooded Club.” My reaction to the flood was denial (“this isn’t so bad”), delusion (“I can blot this with paper towels … Continue reading When the Workers Hit on Me” Club”

“Renovating my Kitchen” Club

“I feel better giving the money to a family business, though, don’t you?” “It’s better than giving it to Home Depot, yeah, but do you really want to support a business which is run like THAT?” We are in the market for a new kitchen including all new cabinets, countertop, backsplash, and appliances and my husband and I have spent the last week rotating between … Continue reading “Renovating my Kitchen” Club

“I Take Making School Lunches Seriously” Club

With the joy of back-to-school, comes the dreaded burden of lunches. Early morning lunch assembly comes with a significant amount of loud sighing. We take our lunch making seriously in my household crafting well thought-out, immune-boosting, organic nutritional bundles of culinary love. We tried menu planning last year, it died down after a few months. Furthering the time commitment, we include a handmade little note … Continue reading “I Take Making School Lunches Seriously” Club

“Worst-Case Scenario” Club

When the first “Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook” came out, my husband and I noted them in a bookstore and I joked how I’m thankful I’m not one of those people; they are awful! My husband chuckled and promptly wiped the rose off of my glasses, faced me into a mirror and said, “You are the epitome of a worst case scenario person.” Gasp. Who me? … Continue reading “Worst-Case Scenario” Club

“I Don’t Poop in Public Bathrooms” Club

The French philosopher, Michel de Montaigne, born in 1533, was an intellectual who spent his writing life knocking the arrogance of intellectuals. In his great masterpiece, the Essays, he comes across as relentlessly wise and intelligent – and funny. Most poignantly he said, “Kings and philosophers shit, and so do ladies.” (Incidentally, we need a modern day moderate feminist to write a similar line about … Continue reading “I Don’t Poop in Public Bathrooms” Club

“I’m Always in a Hurry” Club

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t in a hurry. I thought the constant hustle came from living in New York City, but I think it comes from within – and from my parents. My father drove fast and hated bad (READ: slow) drivers. We always had to “hurry up” to get to wherever it was we were going to make sure to avoid … Continue reading “I’m Always in a Hurry” Club

“One Size Fits All Medical Solutions” Club

One of the concepts (and there are MANY) from My Big Fat Greek Wedding which I relate to is the father’s obsession with the ubiquitous usage of Windex as a one size fits all medical solution. My Russian father similarly resorted to his go-to resolution to remedy many health ailments: RUBBING ALCOHOL. If I got a bite, a scratch, a rash, a pimple, the solution … Continue reading “One Size Fits All Medical Solutions” Club

“When Co-Parenting Sucks” Club

I recently wrote about how terrific successful co-parenting could be, but I wanted to bring a little light to many times it totally SUCKS: When you’re a controlling parent. When he’s a controlling parent. When the father wants to be the mother. When my son was still young and I couldn’t tuck him in at night half the week. When my son was still young … Continue reading “When Co-Parenting Sucks” Club

“Filling Up My Days with Joy” Club

I watched Everything is Copy, the documentary about Nora Ephron’s life and I can spend days quoting her charm and wit, but a line in the movie has stuck with me: “Eat your last meal when you’re alive.” She means it’s rare to know you’re eating your last meal. In jail, being executed is one of the few ways you can know it’s your last … Continue reading “Filling Up My Days with Joy” Club

“I Organized my Drawers” Club

I’m of the “life-changing magic of tidying up” religion and fully believe “clutter in your house is clutter in your life.” I like minimalism; I want to know where everything is at a glance. Mess and disorganization disturb me and disrupt my brain. Before my apartment got flooded last week and before I had any plans of engaging in a surprise kitchen renovation, my end-of-summer … Continue reading “I Organized my Drawers” Club

“Divorce Welcoming Committee” Club

When I was getting divorced, no one told me, “Congratulations!” or “Good job!” Instead, they frowned, rubbed my shoulders and wanted to cry. Only, I was euphoric; I was liberated from my controlling husband and it wasn’t easy taking the final steps to leave. Getting divorced takes courage and strength and whether you’re the initiator or the receiver, you’re both victims who feel like the … Continue reading “Divorce Welcoming Committee” Club

“Don’t Look at Someone Else’s Plate” Club

“Don’t look at someone else’s plate” is either a known Russian saying or else it’s particular to my mother. Usually, she said this during dinner when I made inappropriate commentary about how someone eats something. My six-year-old daughter learned a similar phrase in preschool: “don’t yuck my yum.” The phrase goes beyond saying “ick” as someone eats a three-meat sandwich; it’s staring into someone else’s … Continue reading “Don’t Look at Someone Else’s Plate” Club

“Dealing with Insurance Companies” Club – Part 1

“It could be so much worse,” he says and she says and everyone I tell says. “At least everyone is safe and none of your important possessions were damaged,” they say hoping to make me feel better. Everyone wants to do their part to show you how it’s not so bad. And I get it. It’s not “soooooo bad,” it just kind of sucks. When … Continue reading “Dealing with Insurance Companies” Club – Part 1

“I Over-Share” Club

I’m not a social media over-poster. In fact, after a two week trip to Hawaii, I only posted 69 of my 2,000+ photos to Facebook or Instagram. It’s not the photos I’m over-sharing; it’s my words. On Tuesday I woke up to a small flood in my apartment and on Tuesday night I wrote my blog post about it. On Wednesday I went to traffic … Continue reading “I Over-Share” Club

“I Went to Traffic Court” Club

I got a ticket a few months ago because I didn’t have my updated insurance card in my car; it had expired two days prior and I forgot to include the new one in the glove compartment. The cop who gave me the ticket assured me all I would have to do is go in and show him the updated card. When I received a … Continue reading “I Went to Traffic Court” Club

“Flavors Trigger Memories” Club

My default vanilla was established in a subterranean ice cream shop in the former Soviet Union, where my parents took me after I had my ears pierced. I was three years old and while I don’t recall the actual needle stabbing in my ear, the intense sweet vanilla lodged itself as the standard by which all future vanillas will have to measure against. Maybe in … Continue reading “Flavors Trigger Memories” Club

“Co-Parenting” Club

“I would never be able to do that,” she says to me and shakes her head insistently. “There is no way I would give up my child for half the week. I cannot live without her. I would rather exist in my sexless, loveless marriage fueled by anger and resentment than give up my child. What kind of mother does that?!” “Well, me, actually,” I … Continue reading “Co-Parenting” Club

“I Don’t Like Cartoons” Club

I didn’t grow up watching cartoons, even though I came to America at the prime cartoon watching age of five. In the Soviet Union I had watched Cheburashka (according to my parents) and even though I can still hum along to the theme song as intuitively as to a lifelong lullaby, I don’t have a sense of nostalgia towards the animated show. In America, Tom … Continue reading “I Don’t Like Cartoons” Club

“I Didn’t Like Poetry” Club

I don’t like poetry. Strike that; I didn’t like poetry. My tastes have evolved (or matured) and similarly to how I can now tolerate spicier kimchee, I can now appreciate poetry without zoning out, rolling my eyes, and declaring it pretentious [READ: me, insecure]. The first poetry I learned was formulaic, haikus and such, taught in grade school. The writing process for a poem felt … Continue reading “I Didn’t Like Poetry” Club

“I’m a Divorce Inspiration” Club

I’ve never thought of myself as a trailblazer for anything (see Late Bloomer Club) but lately my small group of friends has me feeling like a pseudo-expert on divorce and co-parenting. With  four friends in various stages of marriage collapse, I find myself serving as a circumstantial beacon of inspiration; an unelected trendsetter in marriage disillusionment. I was married in 2001 and separated in April … Continue reading “I’m a Divorce Inspiration” Club

“I Caught My Father in an Affair” Club

My favorite way to eat eggs is sunny side up. I take pride in frying them into two impeccable gold domes, the whites congealed perfectly beyond the mucous texture. When I dunk dry toast into warm yolk, a satisfaction spills over me; this is my comfort food. I have been making myself eggs this way for thirty years, and every single time I crack a … Continue reading “I Caught My Father in an Affair” Club

“Mosquitos Love Me” Club

Do you want a secret mosquito repellant? It’s Me! Keep me within two-three feet of you and the mosquitos will instinctively swarm to me, my skin emitting invisible pulses like morse code, summoning them to feast. I’m part of the 20% scientists refer to as “highly attractor types,” an unlucky group who is a mecca for the insidious insects. It’s a combination of factors, or … Continue reading “Mosquitos Love Me” Club

“Learning to Ask” Club

Can you please take out the trash? Can you please empty the dishwasher? Easy requests for most; not so for me. I have always had a hard time asking for things, having grown up being self-sufficient and self-reliant. Both my parents proudly claimed they “never had to ask for anything for anyone,” and I have mimicked their behaviors. Only life has often pounded me over … Continue reading “Learning to Ask” Club

“It’s My Birthday” Club

It’s my birthday and I’m another year older and like every year before this one, I woke up exactly the same. It’s a sensation which didn’t change with age; the feeling of waking up on your birthday to absolutely nothing extraordinary. As a child I was convinced if I concentrated hard enough, I’d feel something; taller or heavier or smarter or wiser, but year after … Continue reading “It’s My Birthday” Club

“I Count Everything” Club

I count often during the day. I count steps whether I’m going up or down, I count how many steps it takes to get to the laundry room, and while I sit on the toilet, I count how many tiles line the bathroom floor. I don’t remember the numbers; they’re irrelevant, I’m not measuring or keeping track. I have a constantly-multitasking abacus mind. It must … Continue reading “I Count Everything” Club

“I Love Ikea” Club

The Ikea catalog came in the mail today and there’s not another catalog which elicits such a thrill. (Perhaps children feel this way about the Toys R Us holiday catalog.) I sit on the couch, my legs folded underneath me, with a stack of post-its and my coveted furniture catalog. I flip slowly and deliberately, giving each page elevator eyes, and studying the meticulously designed … Continue reading “I Love Ikea” Club

“My Divorced Parents’ Wedding Song Still Makes Me Cry” Club

My parent’s wedding song was the Theme to Love Story. To this day, the iconic melancholy melody punches me in the gut, squeezes my heart, and puts a lump in my throat – and it’s not because of a nostalgic longing for my parents loving marriage. They divorced after 25 years together; ten years beyond their expiration date, by which point the stench was enough … Continue reading “My Divorced Parents’ Wedding Song Still Makes Me Cry” Club

“Cooking with Love” Club

I laid out my produce across my kitchen table and it looked like I spilled my basket from the farmer’s market. Everything was raw and rough. Sweet potatoes still dusty under their coarse orange skin, red onions with their crunchy shedding outer layer, multicolored carrots whose color will pop once peel them. The broccoli sat in a bunch wrapped by a tight rubber band, heads … Continue reading “Cooking with Love” Club

“My Husband and I Like to Travel Differently” Club

My husband has always been happy to stay at a Motel 8. He wasn’t particular about which hotel I picked as long as it was affordable and didn’t have bed bugs. I, on the other hand, while not exactly a Prima Donna, confess to being a touch of the Princess and the Pea. (Or more like the Russian Girl and a Breadcrumb.) I like to … Continue reading “My Husband and I Like to Travel Differently” Club

“I Don’t Stare at the Clouds” Club

I don’t stare at the clouds; I never have. I never bothered to remember the names for the different types of clouds just like I never cared about the scientific names of the stages of the moon. I remember as a child being told to look at the clouds and watch the shapes come alive. I would have done better with a “Where’s Waldo” in … Continue reading “I Don’t Stare at the Clouds” Club

“Taking Road Trips with the Kids” Club

Growing up the only road trip my immediate family of four ever went on was to Orlando Florida, from Queens New York. My grandparents had given my parents money to take a vacation to Disney World for my 10th birthday and their 11 year wedding anniversary. My parents loaded up our silver Cutlass Supreme and created a pseudo-bed in the backseat by filling the area … Continue reading “Taking Road Trips with the Kids” Club

“Late Bloomer” Club

I’ve notoriously been a late bloomer to many things in life; I’m hoping “writing success” becomes another item on the “Late Bloomer list” and one day my kids will read this list as encouragement. I have a goal of making it onto one of those lists of people who weren’t successful until their 40s, like Stan Lee and Vera Wang and Julia Child and Henry Ford, … Continue reading “Late Bloomer” Club

“I’m the Go-to Google Gal” Club

I am a compulsive Googler. Google has been a savior to my perpetually inquisitive, journalistic, non-stop mind of mine. Whenever I’m mid-discussion and there is a fact of which I’m uncertain, (How old was Marilyn Monroe when she died? What day is the exact middle of the year?) I Google. Don’t we all? Kids today take it for granted (allow me one paragraph to pontificate … Continue reading “I’m the Go-to Google Gal” Club