“I Celebrated Halloween” Club

The first memory I have of dressing up is in second grade when my mother attempted to transform me into a gypsy by layering me in multiple scarves, an oversized skirt, and a multicolored blouse. She added several fake gold necklaces and too many coats of dark black mascara and red lipstick. “What am I?” I remember asking her and she told me a gypsy, which … Continue reading “I Celebrated Halloween” Club

“I Went to Ikea on a Saturday Night” Club

People in a life transition, buying transitional (nonpermanent) furniture. It doesn’t last forever because you don’t want it to. You go to Ikea when you need your first apartment after college furniture, or when you’re moving in with your boyfriend before you get married – or when you first get married and need to supplement the pieces you two had together, or most of all, … Continue reading “I Went to Ikea on a Saturday Night” Club

“Scared of Dying” Club

My aunt who is dying of ovarian cancer chose to enter hospice today after her third trip to the emergency room in the last two weeks. The hospital sent her home in an ambulance saying there was nothing more they can do. Today my father met her in her apartment in Brooklyn to move around her furniture to get it ready for the hospital bed, … Continue reading “Scared of Dying” Club

“Soundtrack of My Memories” Club

Today I had to borrow my dad’s car to pick my daughter up from school. The radio was set to 104.3, Classic Rock and when a commercial came on, I clicked his presets, and just as I predicted, they were exactly like mine would be (if I wasn’t sharing my presets with my husband), verifying what I already suspected: I have the musical taste of … Continue reading “Soundtrack of My Memories” Club

“I Hung a Microwave with My Dad” Club

I didn’t even want a microwave but it was cheaper than getting a vent hood and is convenient for a quick defrost or boil. I knew it would be mounted above the range, under the cabinet above it. I knew we had an electrical outlet in the wall right where it would go. The truth is I thought it would be so simple I didn’t … Continue reading “I Hung a Microwave with My Dad” Club

“I Don’t Nap” Club

My mother says when I was a child, she would give me a pacifier and I knew it was time to go to sleep or take a nap, but I never remember napping. I only remember praying daily that my children would nap because those precious hours were my gifted time. As an adult, I don’t nap and don’t enjoy it. Nap-lover memes or quotes … Continue reading “I Don’t Nap” Club

“I Miss My Sister” Club

I was convinced I wrote about this club dozens of times; so much so that I didn’t believe the search function on my own blog. I miss my sister every single day, thinking about her many times a day, what she could be doing right now – or how she would handle any situation I might be in. I think of her especially as my … Continue reading “I Miss My Sister” Club

“Death is a Sure Thing” Club

“It’s just her turn,” I say. Trying to justify the unjustifiable. Trying to shove words where none fit. “Is that a consolation prize?” My father says, who is going to see his dying sister, to review paperwork while she still has her mind. “No,” I say and my brain enters the foot-in-the-mouth, but I’ll-try-to-peddle-out of-it-by-more-talking program. “Life is the consolation prize; death is the sure … Continue reading “Death is a Sure Thing” Club

“Getting Rid of the Cow” Club

For the last two months, I’ve lived in a state of flux known as renovation/restoration from the flood. Anyone who reads my posts regularly must be rolling their eyes because just when there couldn’t be more life lessons to garner from a renovation, I find more. I find reasons for things where they might not be apparent. I often also find words where none need … Continue reading “Getting Rid of the Cow” Club

“I Look for the Reason for Things” Club

I am always looking for the reason why things happen [to me]. Occasionally this makes me feel better when things seem to happen beyond my control. If I can’t explain it, my default is to believe things happen “for the story; another chapter in my life.” Ultimately, though, the most mysterious things are the ones for which I can never find explanations, like why the … Continue reading “I Look for the Reason for Things” Club

“My Aunt is Dying” Club

My aunt is dying. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer five years ago and has done countless rounds of chemo, has gone into remission once, and no matter what, cancer comes back fiercer each time. My father brought his weak, frail sister to the emergency room for the second time in two weeks. She’s in terrible pain and all blocked up; nauseated and … Continue reading “My Aunt is Dying” Club

“Restoration not Renovation” Club

Growing up my mother would get haircuts sporadically. She’d be sporting a curly-haired bob and when the bangs grew to an annoying length, she’d give into a mall haircut. Occasionally she returned with what my sister and I, as kids, called “a boy haircut.” “Why did you have to go so extreme?” my sister and I would ask. “I figured if I’m paying for them … Continue reading “Restoration not Renovation” Club

“No Lazy Day Sundays” Club

Scrolling through my social media feeds on Sunday night, I see a bunch of happy posts showing families apple picking in the midst of autumnal rainbow trees or else even better, people commenting, “I’m on my third cup of coffee and not moving from this couch.” I long for a day like this; when I have nothing to do. The clock in my mind ticks … Continue reading “No Lazy Day Sundays” Club

“Too Many Choices in a Renovation” Club

Before my involuntary renovation, I thought my obsession with hotels and restaurants before a vacation was bad. I don’t want to waste money so I do what I do best: research and plan and research and plan and when I’ve done that sufficiently enough, I double check my research and make another backup plan. For the past few months, I’ve been thrust into a renovation … Continue reading “Too Many Choices in a Renovation” Club

“I’m My Own Contractor” Club

“It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” my husband said when I surveyed our apartment last week once the renovations REALLY got underway. We have been living with paper on our floors for the last two months after the flood, waiting for insurance money and our floors to be delivered. They’re finally installing them next week. But first, we needed to rip out … Continue reading “I’m My Own Contractor” Club

“I’m a Planner” Club

I’ve made plans for as long as I can remember and for about just as long, I’ve learned to spew John Lennon’s “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” quote. Or else there’s Woody Allen’s “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” I’ve learned even the best-laid plans get screwed up. The more you diligently … Continue reading “I’m a Planner” Club

“My Daughter is the Non-Immigrant at an Immigrant School” Club

Five months after I landed in New York City from the former Soviet Union, I had my first day at the public school across the streets from the projects in which we settled. It was an average school, (although I didn’t know the difference) and it was filled with kids just like me: fellow immigrants. We were Russian, Chinese, Korean, Indian; a quintessential New York … Continue reading “My Daughter is the Non-Immigrant at an Immigrant School” Club

“I Love Making My Cats Purr” Club

I like to make my cats purr. Of course, I enjoying giving them pleasure but today as I had my morning petting session with one of my fur babies, I realized I’m doing this absolutely selfishly. I want the purr. I want to experience the soft vibrations and listen to the familiar comforting humm, which instantly works as a metronome for my relaxation. My breathing … Continue reading “I Love Making My Cats Purr” Club

“My Messy House is Getting to Me” Club

The amount of anger I feel when I wake up to a messy house is unreasonable. I’m not in any physical pain, yet within minutes my insides are scorching. My soul is on fire; the rage radiates directly from my heart – I swear I feel it – and extends like an asterisk to the tips of my fingers and my toes. Call this OCD … Continue reading “My Messy House is Getting to Me” Club

“I’m Ready for a Day Off” Club

I haven’t had a day off from writing (for my 365 project) for 280 days. In one way it’s very admirable. Yay me! On the other hand, there are 2.2 million farmers in our country and I’m relatively certain they haven’t had a day off in years (so we can eat rather than my daily verbal useless musings). This morning, for no apparent reason other than … Continue reading “I’m Ready for a Day Off” Club

“I Have Morning Sickness PTSD” Club

I threw up every day for 9 months when I was pregnant with my daughter six years ago. The medical term for severe morning sickness is “hyperemesis-gravidarum” and until Princess Kate made it evening news, many people didn’t understand how incapacitating it is. For the first three months, I was bedridden and every morning felt like Groundhog’s Day meets The Hangover. Everyone marveled at my … Continue reading “I Have Morning Sickness PTSD” Club

“My Husband’s First Girlfriend Stalked Me” Club

My husband’s first girlfriend stalked my LinkedIn profile. I know this because technological breadcrumbs revealed her messy trail. LinkedIn sends me periodic messages showing me everyone who’s checking out my page and when I looked down at the recent dirty dozen, a name caught my eye. I approached my husband, pointed to her pictures and said, “Is this YOUR Carrie?” He squinted at the small … Continue reading “My Husband’s First Girlfriend Stalked Me” Club

“My Hypochondria is a Tick” Club

My hypochondria is a tick, like Tourette’s episode. My  conscious mind knows I’m probably overreacting to a sensation, but by this point, I’ve become hyper-aware and the army of fight or flight soldiers in my brain have been summoned and they can’t be recalled. It’s like an infection my brain creates and my body responds by sending the battalions of white blood cells. I ignite … Continue reading “My Hypochondria is a Tick” Club

“I am a Hypochondriac” Club

I am in a perpetual abusive relationship with hypochondria; I desperately want to get away from it, but somehow it controls my brain. I’ve had hypochondriac tendencies (more officially known as “illness anxiety disorder”) for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure who or what to blame and the source of the disorder is irrelevant; it’s the cure I’m after. Hypothesis theories for … Continue reading “I am a Hypochondriac” Club

“I Use My Horn” Club

Having two children at two different schools in two different states means I’m doing a lot of driving. Living next to the busiest bridge in the country, my many hours in the car is often accompanied by intense traffic and angry, frustrated drivers. I use my horn often, but not to be a bully, just to communicate. Often, though I’m misunderstood and occasionally even pursued … Continue reading “I Use My Horn” Club

“Keep On Keeping On” Club

I spent all day painting (it was actually priming) my 1,500 square foot apartment. I have souvenir calluses on three fingers on one hand and my hands feel arthritic as if they’ve engaged in extensive bicep and forearm calisthenics. Tomorrow I have to do it again, this time, two coats of Benjamin Moore “Smoky Embers” will glaze the walls which were damaged in the flood … Continue reading “Keep On Keeping On” Club

“Who Cares How She Feeds Her Baby” Club

I don’t care how you breastfeed your baby or don’t breastfeed your baby, yet our whole country has been engaged in a dialog about if it’s OK to see photographs of women fulfilling biology’s mission. This is as mundane and obvious to me as people breathing; perhaps we should start showing pictures of humans inhaling and exhaling. In other countries around the world, how we … Continue reading “Who Cares How She Feeds Her Baby” Club

“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 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

“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

“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 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

“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