“2016: FOAD, but Thanks for Everything” Club

Eight is my favorite number, yet 2008 wasn’t so great. I had thyroid surgery in January, broke my knee in February, got audited in April, and lost my job in June. During 2016, another multiple of eight, every member of my immediate family landed in the emergency room, my mother was in the hospital twice, our apartment got flooded, a scary clown craze damaged our … Continue reading “2016: FOAD, but Thanks for Everything” Club

“I Kept My First Wedding Photos” Club

For years after I got divorced, I didn’t think about the two boxes of wedding photos I left at my ex-husband’s apartment. Last year, a decade after I left the apartment, my Ex moved and asked me if I wanted the photos. One box contains the wedding square-shaped proofs and the other box contains the hand-printed photo album. Instinctively I said I’d take them thinking … Continue reading “I Kept My First Wedding Photos” Club

“It’s Not Always the Worst Case Scenario” Club

Earlier this year I watched a Dr. Oz segment where a psychiatrist suggested coping techniques for those of us who struggle with immediately jumping to Worst Case Scenario explanations. Occasionally I go there too soon, without justified reason and rile myself up unnecessarily. The psychiatrist offered this advice: instead of assuming the worst, think the opposite; assume just as extreme in the best case scenario. … Continue reading “It’s Not Always the Worst Case Scenario” Club

“My Husband, My Editor” Club

When I decided to write every single day for a year, my husband was my biggest cheerleader even though he was inadvertently forced to take on this project with me. Every single day (usually night; minutes shy of midnight), he reads over my autobiographic essays, searching for typos, inconsistencies, and misguided T.M.I., before I hit the blue PUBLISH button.  This project was my Queen Mary … Continue reading “My Husband, My Editor” Club

“Grieving” Club

Grief is such that it lodges itself in your throat until you either have to swallow hard or cry it out. The problem with the crying route is it is like disengaging a cork which is clogging up a hole in a pipe, and when unplugged, a deluge explodes from within. Once you let one cry out, the others topple out uncontrollably. Crying only makes … Continue reading “Grieving” Club

“Writing a Eulogy” Club

I never wrote a eulogy before but have often thought about it, which doesn’t make me morbid since I have spent equal time pondering my Oscar acceptance speech. Tomorrow we bury my aunt and when they ask if anyone wants to say anything, I will feel the weight of eyes on me, the vocal one, and I will feel compelled to say something but I … Continue reading “Writing a Eulogy” Club

“Fell in Love” Club

I have several friends going through a divorce and several others floating in murky marriages. I’ve swum through these familiar rivers and felt like I was drowning but have definitely emerged less cynical and more hopeful, lucky to have found love (THE REAL DEAL) the second time around and witnessing the collapse of other marriages, I am grateful for second chances. Marriage has peaks and … Continue reading “Fell in Love” Club

“Life is My Writing Prompt” Club

Before I launched my 365-Day writing project,  I came up with a 13-page (10 point font, 1.5-spaced) list of ideas. In the early days of the project, this numbered list guided me; I’d even used the strikethrough feature to cross out the topics I wrote about. As the year progressed and the calendar pages flipped faster than the leaves fell off the trees, I couldn’t keep … Continue reading “Life is My Writing Prompt” Club

“I’m a Jew Who Loves Christmas Songs” Club

I didn’t grow up in a religious home; I knew I was Jewish and knew it was important that I know that. Together with my parents, I came to America as a refugee from the former Soviet Union in 1979. The anti-semitism drove my parents out; they wanted to live in a country where their religion didn’t prevent them from going to college or getting … Continue reading “I’m a Jew Who Loves Christmas Songs” Club

“My Son, The Theater Star” Club

When I first learned my son got a starring role in his first high school play, I was ecstatic. Not just because I was living vicariously through him, but because he had finally found something in which he felt not only did he excel, but he passionately enjoyed. After two months of intense rehearsal, I was an eager mama, armed with tickets for three of … Continue reading “My Son, The Theater Star” Club

“Bring Your Wife to Work” Club

There are several days a year when I ask my husband to play “Bring your wife to work day.” Some days I do it out of convenience and other days I do it because I need a reminder about what matters most. On these days, I go to work with him as a hospital clown, where I will suspend reality for an hour and jump … Continue reading “Bring Your Wife to Work” Club

“What Do We Tell the Children?” Club

This morning’s Election Day Hangover rhetoric included the omnipresent, “What do we tell the children?” My daughter woke up 6 AM, walked into my room, tapped me on the shoulder and said: “Who won?” “Trump,” I said. She grabbed her hand on top of her head and said “Oy vey! Now, what?” “Don’t worry love, we will be OK,” I said. She stood there quietly, … Continue reading “What Do We Tell the Children?” Club

“Wasn’t It Just Yesterday?” Club

I feel too young to hear myself say it, but as I drove to pick my son up from play rehearsal at 7:30pm (gasp!) from HIGH SCHOOL (double gasp!) I inhaled deeply as I pulled off the exit and exhaled loudly, as my mind, obviously plagued by too many Hallmark cards, commercials, and TV movies, thought, “Wasn’t it just yesterday that my father was picking … Continue reading “Wasn’t It Just Yesterday?” 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

“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

“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

“Forever Daddy’s Girl” Club

My father helped me tile my bathroom walls today. (Correction: I helped my father tile my bathroom walls.) We worked in harmony, united on the task at hand and when he said, “Give me that thing over there,” I knew which thing he meant because I would anticipate his moves. I can’t recall the last time my dad and I had one-on-one time – hours … Continue reading “Forever Daddy’s Girl” 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

“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

“Children Used to Cost Thousands, Now They Cost Millions” Club

What happens when you have kids? They cost money; lots of it. Even if your basic baby start-ups are provided lovingly by gifts (at a shower or through hand me downs), the bills begin accruing fast. It starts innocently enough with diapers and formula (if you’re one of the evil parents who doesn’t breastfeed for the first three years). Pretty soon you have to stay on … Continue reading “Children Used to Cost Thousands, Now They Cost Millions” 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

“I Love Pens” Club

One of the first American phrases my barely English speaking grandmother taught me when I was five years old, a new immigrant from the Soviet Union, was, “In America, you get what you pay for.” I’ve seen this come true many times in my three and a half decades in this country, from the smallest purchases to luxurious ones. I love pens; my sister knows … Continue reading “I Love Pens” 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

“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

“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

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”

“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

“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 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

“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 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

“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 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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