“I’m a Procrastinator” Club

I’m a procrastinator and I better write right now. Just as soon as I put in this load of laundry. I’ll have 45 minutes while the washer does its work for me to have a block of uninterrupted writing time. After I loaded six machines, I went for a quick cup of coffee in the kitchen and noticed the terrible mess on the kitchen floor. … Continue reading “I’m a Procrastinator” Club

“I’m a Laundry Rebel” Club

I didn’t do my own laundry until I went to college. Even then, armed with 30 pairs of underwear, I would rather spend four hours in a car from Boston to Staten Island to drop off a month’s worth of laundry with my mother. Americans have over complicated the laundering of clothing. There are too many rules! Apparently those itchy tags on the inner side … Continue reading “I’m a Laundry Rebel” Club

“I Don’t Run” Club

I’ve tried running for exercise, for the ease of being able to do it anywhere, for the health benefits and mostly in search of the elusive runner’s high. The only problem is the brick wall blocking the running ability in my brain. I’m not an unfit person. I can walk 20 miles. I can rollerblade many miles. I have stamina and agility but my body … Continue reading “I Don’t Run” Club

“Impossibly High Expectations of My Father” Club

It was January 2005 and we were celebrating my sister’s birthday in my Upper West Side apartment with my father and his new wife. We were ordering sushi for dinner and as we were discussing who would have salmon or tuna, my father looked over at my sister and me, and with a smirk on his face said, “Natasha can’t have raw fish.” My sister, … Continue reading “Impossibly High Expectations of My Father” Club

“My 2 Children Have 2 Fathers” Club

I’m on to husband number two, but in selecting both mates, above all else, I valued a man who would be an exemplary father. The first time I valued it more than connection, respect, passion, honesty with myself. Both times I wanted a partner who was signing up for exactly 50% of the parenting ride; half the diaper changing, feedings, bathing, lunches, doctor’s visits, playdates … Continue reading “My 2 Children Have 2 Fathers” Club

“When Your Family Member Deletes You From Facebook” Club

If I’m being completely honest, I never enjoyed viewing my step-mother’s life on parade bogging down my Facebook feeds. She was a postaholic, sharing photos of my 10-year-old half brother’s tennis lessons, playdates, and their twice yearly vacations. She was younger than my father by 30 years and a generation ahead in social media. Last March, my dad and his new family went on a … Continue reading “When Your Family Member Deletes You From Facebook” Club

“Finally Taking the Road Not Taken” Club

Dr. Seuss’ Oh The Places You Go is sold in the children’s book section, but could be filed under motivational guide or self-help book. Struggling artists’ and writers should regard the book as a cheerleading bible, whose rhymes ought to be re-read over and over again until we believe them. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer … Continue reading “Finally Taking the Road Not Taken” Club

“I Didn’t Wear Shorts” Club

It only took 40 years and two husbands to convince me to wear shorts. Up through college, I regarded my legs as “too fat” to display in a short shorts frame. In the last two decades, though, it’s been my varicose veins which have terrorized my legs, restricting them to garments falling below the knee. My mother had given me fair warning about the impending … Continue reading “I Didn’t Wear Shorts” Club

“I Love Love” Club

I love the idea of love. I love being in love. I love writing and reading about love. Who doesn’t want to float on a cloud of oxytocin? Love is hip, decorated in heart emojis and rainbow flags, especially in light of a tragedy. Love heals, love distracts, love prevails, except for those who bury a piece of their heart 6 feet under with their … Continue reading “I Love Love” Club

“Writing When Your Family Doesn’t Want You To” Club

I lived the career version of Sex and the City, jumping from one rebound job to another in search of the “right one.” For 15 years I refused to truthfully answer the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” When I looked in the mirror, a ghost reflection of who I am stared back at me. My dormant passion burned on … Continue reading “Writing When Your Family Doesn’t Want You To” Club

“America: What the F@#*?” Club

A sunbeam woke me this peaceful Sunday morning; my 6-year-old daughter had let us sleep later than the usual 6:30am wake up. I got up and followed my routine footprints, the bathroom, coffee, checking email. I noticed there were several breaking news alerts. I read them out loud to my husband. “There was a shooting in Orlando,” I say. I read on to the next … Continue reading “America: What the F@#*?” Club

“I’m on My Second Marriage” Club

I never thought I’d get married, never thought I’d have kids, never thought I’d get divorced, DEFINITELY NEVER EVER thought I’d get remarried, God forbid. I’ll take my hypocritical bow as I acknowledge, even after four decades, I know shit about life, which continues to school me and remind me how words like ‘never’ should never be uttered from my pouty lips. Time can bring … Continue reading “I’m on My Second Marriage” Club

“I Was the Expert of the Minute” Club

One of the most time-consuming elements associated with my 365-essay-a-day writing project has been the social media promotional element that goes with it. In the last 162 days, I maybe have spent at least 162 hours (that’s almost a solid week of 24/7) Tweeting and posting and sharing. It has been overwhelmingly easier to share with strangers on sites like Twitter and Instagram than with … Continue reading “I Was the Expert of the Minute” Club

“I Have a High Schooler” Club

Today my 14-year-old graduated and the school celebrated with a “Middle Memories” production composed of performances by the band, chorus, theater, and some faculty speeches. My son, along with five other theater classmates performed a dramatic sketch where they acted out hypothetical future careers and poignantly poked fun of how life is ever changing. Their piece precociously demonstrated how even if you start on one … Continue reading “I Have a High Schooler” Club

“I Have a Daughter” Club

I knew I was pregnant the minute it happened. Immediately after consummation, I looked at my boyfriend (we weren’t married yet) and said, “You just got me fucking pregnant.” He said, “Oh, I thought next week was the bad week.” I jumped to Google to serve as our Modern-Day Genie: “What’s the optimal date to get pregnant if your last period was August 21st?” Google … Continue reading “I Have a Daughter” Club

“I Write at Starbucks” Club

One of the beauties of being a writer is the convenience of a virtual office anywhere, everywhere. Since embarking on my “365 Life Clubs Project,” life hasn’t slowed down to accommodate my daily obligation to whip out an essay and post it for a universal critique. In the last 158 days, I’ve found myself writing wherever I’ve had the opportunity. Twice I’ve written at the … Continue reading “I Write at Starbucks” Club

“I Chopped My Hair Off” Club

It’s interesting how much value we attach to hair. There are entire religious ceremonies revolving around a child’s first haircut. My long hair has always been a source of pride and protection; an ever-present shield from the world. In junior high school, right as I finally felt somewhat popular, I went for a trendy haircut at the mall. Somehow in a manic moment, channeling my … Continue reading “I Chopped My Hair Off” Club

“I’m Everyone’s Cheerleader” Club

I never realized how much time of my adult life would be devoted to cheerleading. Thinking back to childhood, I never participated in any events which elicited pom-poms and rah-rah action. It thoroughly surprises me how this grown-up role of perpetual cheerleader comes to me naturally. I encourage my son at track meets, I clap loudly at my daughter’s dance recital, and when my husband … Continue reading “I’m Everyone’s Cheerleader” Club

“I’m Not a Pocket Person” Club

I don’t like to keep things in my pockets; I never did. I appreciate pockets as a resting place for idle hands or for a good pose, but I never thought pockets were convenient for storing things like wallets, keys, cell phones. I’m like the Princess and the Pea and I feel anything and everything in any pocket. After college, I purchased two “lady business suits” (one … Continue reading “I’m Not a Pocket Person” Club

“I Write to Live and Live to Write” Club

When I started my 365 project, I had no idea how it would really affect my life and the lives of my immediate family. My project would entail a total re-shift of my priorities this year and within a month, it was evident around my house. Dishes lived in the sink longer than usual, dust bunnies grew in the corners, and the 8 loads of … Continue reading “I Write to Live and Live to Write” Club

“I Still Remember My Childhood Phone Number” Club

How many numbers can we remember anymore? I used to remember mine, my mother’s at work, my father’s at work, my grandmother’s, my best friends, and her other line. I remember the number of the car service, movie theater, weather (remember we could call to check the weather?) I also knew the phone number of the school. I knew my credit card number by heart. Most shocking to … Continue reading “I Still Remember My Childhood Phone Number” Club

“My Father is Voting for Trump” Club

My father and I talk almost daily, with roughly 50% of our conversations focusing on weather and traffic, another 25% on updates such as my daughter lost her first tooth or my son got an A on a French test, and the last 25% of real life stuff like how many more rounds of chemo for my aunt who has ovarian cancer. Sometimes I ask … Continue reading “My Father is Voting for Trump” Club

“I Doodle” Club

I fidget – a lot! My husband doesn’t understand us fidgeters, even though he is his own breed of fidgeter. He gave his condition a clinical diagnosis: Shaking Leg Syndrome. I call it fidgeting. He just can’t keep his leg still any more than I can keep my fingers idle. I’ve been doodling as therapy for as long as I can remember. I have never … Continue reading “I Doodle” Club

“I Don’t Like Crowds and Lines” Club

Despite my husband’s insistence that my membership to the “I Hate Crowds and Lines” Club developed with age (like a degenerative syndrome), I am convinced it is part of my DNA, transfused with my father’s blood when I was a baby. My dad wouldn’t be caught dead at an amusement park on a Saturday. Instead, he’d take us out of school on a Tuesday at … Continue reading “I Don’t Like Crowds and Lines” Club

“I Wasn’t a Camp Girl” Club

My mother tried to send me to day camp one year when I was about eight. I rejected this notion and held steadfast to the declaration, “I am not a camp girl.” I didn’t like to swim, change in locker rooms, or play team sports. I had no interest in getting dirty, rallying behind something, or interacting with kids my own age. No one would … Continue reading “I Wasn’t a Camp Girl” Club

“I Need the Sun” Club

The sun is the heart of our solar system and imperative to existence, but it’s especially important to mine. It is iconic as a symbol of life and energy. It comes as no surprise the great ball in the sky comes with a plethora of health benefits besides the Vitamin D rhetoric. It can lower blood pressure, improve bone and brain health, and the most … Continue reading “I Need the Sun” Club

“I Put it in the Ether” Club

I often speculate on how my husband, the perpetual dreamer and I got (and STAYED) together. To his dreams, I bring a sense of Russian pragmatism, which I call realism, but he calls pessimism. He envisions the movies he’ll write, Oscars he’ll win, old firehouses he’ll convert into the dream work/live space for us. I, on the other hand, put a concrete ceiling on my … Continue reading “I Put it in the Ether” Club

“I Don’t Like to Be in Front of the Camera” Club

I was born in the Soviet Union in the mid-70s, which in photography standards was equal to 1950s America. My father, my first photography inspiration, snapped all of my childhood photos on black and white film and developed them in the tiny bathroom of our one-bedroom apartment in Kiev. I was the muse and subject of his never pursued, dormant love of photography. In those … Continue reading “I Don’t Like to Be in Front of the Camera” Club

“I Ignore the Weather Report” Club

How much of your life have you spent worrying about and preparing for imaginary futures that never com to fruition outside of your mind’s stage? Recently I was allowing the weather forecast to control my plans, as usual. Once again, as a blatant metaphor for life, I learned planning has nothing to do with what actually may happen. The weather forecast was 90% chance of all … Continue reading “I Ignore the Weather Report” Club

“I Haven’t Listened to My Dream” Club

This year marks the 20th anniversary of my graduation from NYU (Magna cum laude, thank you very much). It was one of the worst weather days on record in New York City’s Washington Square Park. The Arch seemed to look like a huge concrete frown. There was marble sized hail hitting us as we sat through torrential downpours. Our pretty dresses were saturated under our … Continue reading “I Haven’t Listened to My Dream” Club

“I Always Thought I’d Be…” Club

Last week on a walk through New York’s Rockefeller Center, home of NBC, I stumbled upon a live broadcast of Access Hollywood. Arianna Huffington was the guest and she promoted her book and discussed two of my favorite things, sleep, and sex. The dormant rebel in me thought, “I could wave my hands in the air in the background” or “I could hold up a … Continue reading “I Always Thought I’d Be…” Club

“My Husband is a Celebrity” Club

My husband is a unique brand of celebrity: he is a rock star to children! As one of New York City’s most popular professional clowns, his name elicits Justin Bieber-worthy teenybopper screaming reactions. “Looney Lenny! Looney Lenny!” From three-year-olds to ten-year-olds are the true die-hard set. These are the ones who come out whenever he’s performing, like mini followers of the Grateful Dead, only they’re … Continue reading “My Husband is a Celebrity” Club

“I Don’t Like Cake” Club

My grandparents arrived in America two years before my mother, father and I joined them in 1979. My grandmother was good at hustling to make a buck. She was also a phenomenal cook and baker. In her new American life, she christened herself a baker. For 7 years, (until my family of now 4 moved to Staten Island in 1986), my sister, cousin, and I … Continue reading “I Don’t Like Cake” Club

“My Mother is an Alcoholic” Club

It is biologically counterintuitive to NOT love your mother; you cannot un-love from where you were born. I wish I could un-love my mother. I’ve tried to build walls to protect myself, but instead, I built panic attacks, hypochondria, and chronic anxiety. I am a happy person because I work hard not to be sad, like my mother. My funny, sarcastic mother who biologically transplanted … Continue reading “My Mother is an Alcoholic” Club

“I’m Never Going Back to a Corporate Job” Club

Spring in New York City is a unique descriptor which means everything to the native city dweller. Walking through the streets of the greatest city in the world in 74-degree weather, the sun warming my newly exposed shoulders, I am dancing with every cloud. New York City is a high-fashion supermodel in every season, but with the blossoming pots of baby blue hydrangeas decorating even … Continue reading “I’m Never Going Back to a Corporate Job” Club

“I Took to Twitter” Club

A decade ago when Twitter was this fun new thing, I jumped aboard like a hip wanna-be Gen-Xer. I was such a late bloomer with everything else, it felt great to be riding on the Millenial bandwagon. Thinking of tweets consumed my mind more than I care to admit. Driving my son to school, chopping carrots, staring at a blank box with a little blue … Continue reading “I Took to Twitter” Club

“I’m Obsessed with Hamilton” Club

Hello, my name is Galina and I’m addicted to Hamilton: An American Musical. It’s been consuming my days. I wake up singing “How lucky we are to be alive right now” and quickly segue to “Life doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints” and go to bed singing “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” I suspect my husband and teenage son are … Continue reading “I’m Obsessed with Hamilton” Club

“Death Made Me Get Married” Club

Two years ago my grandfather died at 87 years old. On our last visit to his house, he was so alive. He had retiled their bathroom floor and refinished the kitchen cabinets. He complained about a pain in his side and waved it off as he embraced my four-year-old daughter. He lifted her up, spun her in the air, and then looked for the nearest … Continue reading “Death Made Me Get Married” Club

“I Don’t Believe in the Tooth Fairy” Club

I’ve never believed in the tooth fairy – even when I was a newly immigrated 6-year-old losing her first tooth. I saw right through the hokey pokey stuff they tried to sell me on. I didn’t discriminate against the fairies; I was an equal opportunity doubter and didn’t believe in God, Santa or the Easter Bunny. Fast forward 35 years and my daughter lost her … Continue reading “I Don’t Believe in the Tooth Fairy” Club

“I Hate(d) Carnivals” Club

The minute I saw the lights near the library, I knew it was that time of year – the church carnival. Augh. Nothing about the yearly carnival at the church parking lot tempted me. But to my almost six-year-old daughter, this was a palace of rainbows and unicorns; the very incarnation of FUN. My husband promised to take her on Saturday if the weather cooperated. … Continue reading “I Hate(d) Carnivals” Club

“I Love TV Theme Songs” Club

This morning I woke up with the theme song to WKRP in Cincinnati in my head. “I’m living on the air in Cincinnati; Cincinnati WKRP.” I’m not sure why my mind pulled up this ditty to get stuck in my head; it wasn’t even one of my sitcom staples and I’ve been consumed with listening to Hamilton the Musical on repeat. I once read if … Continue reading “I Love TV Theme Songs” Club

“I Ruin My Own Surprises” Club

I always check Google Maps before we go anywhere, even if I don’t need directions, just so I know exactly how long the ride is predicted to take. My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t care. He says, “I bought the ticket, I’m taking the ride and it’s out of my control. I don’t stress out about it.” (See: “My Husband is Always Late” Club.”) … Continue reading “I Ruin My Own Surprises” Club

“My Husband Takes Me Shopping” Club

I didn’t grow up valuing style. My parents and I immigrated to this country when I was five years old; my mother was 25 years old. My family had to learn a new language, secure housing, get a job, and deal with things like trying to obtain an immigration certificate for your daughter when you had to surrender her birth certificate when you defected and … Continue reading “My Husband Takes Me Shopping” Club

“I’m Drowning in Digital Photos” Club

I was drowning in digital photographs long BEFORE I got an iPhone, but now I’m buried in them. They exist on my computer, on my phone, on portable hard drives (yes plural), on the Time Capsule, and now, of course, ON THE CLOUD (wherever the fuck that is). Now when I stare at clouds, waiting for them to morph into unicorns and amorphous hearts, I … Continue reading “I’m Drowning in Digital Photos” Club

“Obsessed with the After” Club

I love the last five minutes of a home renovation show; skip the hard work, just show me the finale where it’s all pretty and clean. “Before and after” revelations amaze me; they are the ultimate visual catharsis for a problem solver like me. With a make-over, you can redo something, making it better and there’s a finite end to it; as opposed to working … Continue reading “Obsessed with the After” Club

“I’m Living My Good Ole Days Now” Club

There was never any good old days They are today, they are tomorrow It’s a stupid thing we say Cursing tomorrow with sorrow — Gogol Bordello, the song “Ultimate” “The good ole days” is an all-American phrase like hot dogs, apple pie, and the “Dukes of Hazzard.” I often wonder to which are these “good ole days” referring? High school? College? Why is our cultural … Continue reading “I’m Living My Good Ole Days Now” Club

“I Don’t Like Star Wars” Club

I don’t like the Star Wars franchise; never did. I could have published this post on May 4th and be current, but instead, I tweeted, “Is there an emoji for me not giving a shit about May the 4th?” No one liked it. I remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back as one of the first movies we saw in America. It was May 1980 and … Continue reading “I Don’t Like Star Wars” Club

“Daddy’s Girl” Club

One night last week at bedtime, my five-year-old daughter wrapped her arms around my husband and me into a tight embrace and said, “Oh I love you BOTH SOOOOO MUCH!” She squeezed us with all her might and looked my husband square in the eyes and said, “But mommy is one number higher than daddy. I love you the same, but she is one higher.” … Continue reading “Daddy’s Girl” Club

“I’m a Co-Parent” Club (100-Word Story)

I’ve been a co-parent (with my ex-husband) to my 14-year-old son for 12 years and I’ve wanted to write an article about it for just as long. Only, every time I sit down to the business of actually writing this piece, it feels like the grand opus I’m not ready to tackle. In the wake of my piece on my ho-hum attitude on Mother’s Day, … Continue reading “I’m a Co-Parent” Club (100-Word Story)

“Sometimes I Get Sad”Club

“Happy is my favorite color,” it says across my daughter’s favorite new t-shirt, where “happy” is written in rainbow sequins. For me, sometimes my favorite color is blue. Our society doesn’t endorse sadness. In fact, we do everything to avoid feeling sad. We take happy pills, we drink bright colored liquors, and we smoke plants, vapors, and tobaccos; all to get happy. Who is going … Continue reading “Sometimes I Get Sad”Club