“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’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

“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

“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

“Perpetually Doubting Myself” Club

I thought reaching the exact middle of the project would unleash a vibrant burst of successfulness. I envisioned the middle to be “when” something… When I’d have a certain number of followers or when someone might discover me or when I’d have something else written, something of substantial significance. Instead, the date came and went, burst free. July 2, 2016, marked the exact middle of … Continue reading “Perpetually Doubting Myself” Club

“My Sister Lives Far Away” Club

My sister lives far away which means much of our communication is done via text, phone, and FaceTime versus hugs, coffee, and couch cuddles in real life. Our proximity, like most relationships, has ebbed and flowed with the waves of life. We lived together for the first 12 years of her life but after I moved out to go to college, I never came back. … Continue reading “My Sister Lives Far Away” Club

“I’m Afraid of Heights” Club

I live less than half a mile from the George Washington Bridge, a magnificent and iconic span over the Hudson River, providing gorgeous views of Manhattan. The bridge carries over 106 million vehicles per year, making it the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge. It is also a popular bridge for pedestrians and bikers, with a total of 382,433 bike trips and 226,047 pedestrian trips across … Continue reading “I’m Afraid of Heights” Club

“Living with a Collector” Club

My husband is a collector, which he is quick to point out, is very different from a hoarder. I, on the contrary, have spent my life abiding by the motto, “clutter in your house is clutter in your life.” According to my husband, clutter is not a black and white issue, there are gradients of clutter, just like there are variations of shades of gray. … Continue reading “Living with a Collector” Club

“The Art of Talking on the Phone” Club

My six-year-old daughter made a friend on vacation and for two weeks they were inseparable, forming a storybook bond of friendship. The only challenge is we live in New York and the new friend lives in San Diego. Lucky for us we live in an age of technology; FaceTime at our fingertips. Our first call was from the airport and the girls giggled with delight … Continue reading “The Art of Talking on the Phone” Club

“I Don’t Buy Souvenirs on Vacations” Club

There is nothing tackier than touristy t-shirts with locale names, glittery plastic key chains too big for use, and mini license plates, with typical names only, usually made in some less desirable third world destination. Yet, as travelers, somewhere in history, a seed was planted that we must bring a souvenir of where we visited, no matter how brief, as a memory. Perhaps a plastic … Continue reading “I Don’t Buy Souvenirs on Vacations” Club

“Livestreaming a Funeral” Club

My husband’s aunt died this week; she was 71, another victim to Terrorist Cancer. We were not able to go to the funeral in Kansas City, but thanks to modern technology we were able to watch it live streamed, virtual observers and passive mourners. We couldn’t see her coffin or hug our cousins or hear the sniffling and sobbing of her children, but we were … Continue reading “Livestreaming a Funeral” Club

“Lessons from an Ageless Bird” Club

I was on the phone with a friend yesterday and in the midst of my poison ivy story, I was horribly distracted by the obnoxiously loud bird squawking in the background. “Is that Maggie making all that noise?” I ask. “It sounds like a full rainforest. Does she say words?” “No, she copies sounds, but doesn’t really say any English words.” “How old is she?” … Continue reading “Lessons from an Ageless Bird” Club

“Witnessing the Birth of a Friendship” Club

One of the hidden and unexpected joys of mothering my all-American daughter has been witnessing her form friendships. When it happens, I can almost see the magical spark it takes to initially ignite a friendship. Watching my daughter interact with a new friend has been akin to observing a flower blossom on time lapse. Friendship comes so easily for her and I often ponder whether … Continue reading “Witnessing the Birth of a Friendship” Club

“Searching for Geocaches” Club

Legos were the first way I bonded with my son. I would help him sort through his almost thousand-piece Star Wars sets, organizing them by color, shape, and size, and page-by-page, we’d work through the multiple booklets and put together some flying fighter contraption which lived on his bookshelf until we moved. As a voracious reader, my son preferred fantasy/science fiction while my brain insisted … Continue reading “Searching for Geocaches” Club

“My Neighbors are Dying Around Me” Club

When we first moved into our building in Fort Lee, NJ, just on the other side of the infamous George Washington Bridge, it was because my cousin had recruited us here. She had a gorgeous apartment in the building and had twin boys the same age as my daughter. The family connection (and more affordable real estate) convinced us to cross over the bridge from … Continue reading “My Neighbors are Dying Around Me” Club

“I Took a Break from Make Up” Club

I wouldn’t call myself a “girly girl” (I’m sure feminists would love a diatribe on the phrase alone), but I love makeup. I’m not a shopper, couldn’t care less about purses or shoes, but I’ve always looked at my face as a canvas I can perfect upon. I have always firmly believed everyone looks better with makeup and I never leave the house without it … Continue reading “I Took a Break from Make Up” Club

“I Took a Facebook Hiatus” Club

The newest cleansing rage is not the green smoothie, but the Facebook detox – taking a declared (unspecified) time off from the social media time suck. I took a month off Facebook. I took a break from my daily scroll through pseudo-strangers’ lives, wondering which smiles are real and which ones phony; whose photos are accurate and who is hiding behind childhood images. I also … Continue reading “I Took a Facebook Hiatus” Club

“Hesitant to Share Good News” Club

There are too many new sad stories every day. Shootings and terrorism and cancer and what the fuck is happening to our world? “Are we on the brink of a revolution?” my husband said the other day and I didn’t answer him because I didn’t want to go there in my head. I try to stay local, stay present, stay in the now, but these … Continue reading “Hesitant to Share Good News” Club

“I Don’t Like Snorkeling” Club

I’ve snorkeled about a dozen times in my life, in some of the world’s most majestic and sought after underwater locales. It’s cool – ish. I mean it’s awesome to stare at mother nature’s aquarium (invasively as aquatic creatures conduct their mundane daily business of eating, shitting and fish fucking) through a plastic mask suctioned onto my face (leaving substantial unsightly post-mask indentations) while I … Continue reading “I Don’t Like Snorkeling” Club

“My Best Day Ever is Today” Club

I’ve been trying to #RetrainMyBrain to focus on now. Focus on this moment. I try to make every moment of my life count (whatever that means) and am perpetually checking in, validating whether I did enough in each moment. Did I successfully seize the day? I’m programmed with the “problem solver / make it better” / find the best of everything” gene, but sometimes life … Continue reading “My Best Day Ever is Today” Club

“I Love Hawaii” Club

Hawaii is Mother Nature’s candy shop. Its vistas are unparalleled. Orchids grow like dandelions and trees line the roads like a box of crayons. If the flowers don’t lure you in closer, the mysterious fruit and nut clusters will: wild berries, mangoes, bananas, coconuts, grouped in bundles, camouflaged in multicolored leaves. The blue of the ocean is the kind they call azure. The surprising warmth … Continue reading “I Love Hawaii” Club

“Revisiting the Same Vacation Spots” Club

I’ve been to Hawaii three times, St. Martin, three times, Tulum, two times, and there’s more. I’ve been to Disney World five times, I’ve been to the South of France three times and Paris three times. I’ve been to London twice and California dozens of times. I’m not alone in my revisit-itis. When I was 15 and 16, on consecutive years, my mother took my … Continue reading “Revisiting the Same Vacation Spots” Club

“Searching for Suppressed Memories” Club

Traveling has always occupied a huge part of my life. Not necessarily exotic, but not stoic either.  I want to move, see, explore, study other locales and people. I fantasize about the time my kids are both off to college and my husband and I take off on continuous travel, with no home base, just traveling everywhere we want to visit before our time here … Continue reading “Searching for Suppressed Memories” Club

“I’m Terrified of Cancer” Club

Cancer is a boa constrictor which squeezes you from the inside and encapsulates the rest of your family into a smothering chokehold. Cancer is a terrorist which doesn’t discriminate. There are citizens in the United States (I’m passive aggressively referring to the Trump supporters) who have become so terrified of “Islamic terrorism,” they are suggesting we rewrite the entire doctrine on which our country was … Continue reading “I’m Terrified of Cancer” Club

“I’m in the M.A.D.D.” Club

I learned to drive in 1990 when my biggest fear on the road was the drunk drivers in Staten Island. In high school, in driver’s ed, and on billboards around town, M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) messages were shoved down our throats. By 16, this scare tactic had successfully inflicted fear against drunk driving, AIDS, and teenage pregnancy. I reflect on those days nostalgically as … Continue reading “I’m in the M.A.D.D.” Club

“I’m the Lifeguard Police” Club

The rooftop pool on my high-rise apartment is its crowning glory; a glistening turquoise rectangle filled with rippling water overlooking an architectural giant, the world’s busiest bridge. Beyond the George Washington Bridge, I see miles up and down the Hudson River and the entire New York City skyline, including the colorful tip of the Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower. The mountains of surrounding … Continue reading “I’m the Lifeguard Police” Club

“I’m Writing for Sanity” Club

One of the overwhelming goals of my 365 autobiographical-essay-a-day project was “writing as therapy.” I theorized that getting “it” all out of my head (while learning what “it” was) would ease my anxiety and panic disorder. I embarked on a journey to shovel the shit out of my garage of a brain, alleviating the past baggage weighing me down in the present and preventing me … Continue reading “I’m Writing for Sanity” Club

“I Don’t Selfie Stick” Club

Rushing through Times Square a few weeks ago, a promotional van for Zoolander 2 caught my eye. They were taking photos and printing them onto froth foam, creating headshot-worthy lattes and as if free java with your face on it isn’t enough, they gave me a bonus selfie stick! I have made fun of the ridiculous looking tool ever since they invaded my Wall Street … Continue reading “I Don’t Selfie Stick” Club

“I’m a MILF” Club – Part 2

I earned a special set of MILF stripes a few days later, doing laundry on the 7th floor (I use more than one floor), I run into Matthew’s father. Tall and jovial like his sun, he is eager to chat as I’m carrying my laundry up one floor and when we both get off at 7th, me to use the machines, him to go home, … Continue reading “I’m a MILF” Club – Part 2

“I’m a MILF” Club – Part 1

It’s funny to think we’ll be eternally grateful for the American Pie movie series for introducing the term, MILF (Mother I’d Like to Fuck) into the mainstream lexicon. I’m not being presumptuous by declaring myself a member because it’s clearly up to another person to declare you a MILF, the criteria being someone else has to want to fuck you. Lucky for me, I was … Continue reading “I’m a MILF” Club – Part 1

“Facebook Memories Plague Me” Club

I manage two Facebook accounts; one is my personal page, the other, my husband’s clown business. On most days, on both accounts, Facebook dutifully greets me with this message: “Galina, we care about you and the memories you share here. We thought you’d like to look back on this post from 1 year ago.” (Or 9 years ago.)” I love a good time hop as … Continue reading “Facebook Memories Plague Me” Club

“My Boyfriend’s Friends Hit on Me” Club

I’m not generalizing, (I kind of am), but I can bet that at some point if you ever had a boyfriend, and he ever had friends, the likelihood that said friends would hit on you is very high. Like probably. Probably definitely. Most of the time it is completely harmless and can even be flattering, am I right ladies? A boyfriend’s friend hits on you … Continue reading “My Boyfriend’s Friends Hit on Me” Club

“I Pee Anywhere” Club

It’s arguably easier for a man to urinate whenever the need arises than a woman. While I’ve always been a gold-card toting member of the “When I gotta go, I’ll go anywhere Club,” my husband has peed all over the streets of New York City, on the Great Lawn and Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park, on hikes in Hawaii, in the ocean (like the rest … Continue reading “I Pee Anywhere” Club

“I Feel Intensely” Club

I can’t think back to a time when my feelings weren’t INTENSE. No matter what I felt, I experienced it with an exclamation point and it often swung like a pendulum between mildly euphoric and mildly depressed. I was never clinically diagnosed as bipolar because the logical part of my brain is still able to trump the spontaneous one, and seizes control no matter how … Continue reading “I Feel Intensely” Club

“I Don’t Celebrate the 4th of July” Club

“What are we doing for the Fourth?” My husband asks me every year and every year I do a double-take. “The fourth of what?” I didn’t grow up celebrating The Fourth of July, and not because we weren’t glad for American independence; on the contrary, it was for this specifically that we emigrated to America and not for its famed national cuisine of hamburgers and … Continue reading “I Don’t Celebrate the 4th of July” Club

“I Abandoned My Obsession With A Clean House (For Now)” Club

Aside from EVERYTHING related to the challenge of writing every single day this year for my self-imposed challenge, one of the biggest hurdles has been allowing for my apartment to get messy. I knew this would be part of the deal. I knew I would have to prioritize writing over dishes, writing over vacuuming, writing over a clean toilet. I am not clinically OCD about … Continue reading “I Abandoned My Obsession With A Clean House (For Now)” Club

“Chaos Before Vacation” Club

Somehow whenever I plan a vacation, life makes me work extra hard the week before I go to really earn it. (As if writing every day for 182 days doesn’t earn me some mental detachment on the sand of a beach on an island in the middle of the Pacific). We’ve planned this trip for 10 months or 9 years, however, you want to look … Continue reading “Chaos Before Vacation” Club