“You are who you love. So love wisely.”–John Devore
She’s spent the last hour combing her hair and highlighting each of her eyelashes with the color black from a plump bottle of mascara. So when you lay eyes on her and you get this overwhelming feeling that butterflies are starting to weave through the spider webs of your stomach or your heart is all like excuse me, but I may pop out of your Brooks Brother shirt and grab on to this fine, fine lady. Tell her this: you look beautiful tonight.
She’ll dazzle you with this long-winded story about how she used to love to go to the beach at night in Florida and draw patterns in the sky with stars. How she never knew which stars were which or the formation of the constellations, but she’d spend hours gawking at them and wondering what could be. Listen to every detail: the rambling, the repetition, the part where she uses the word Refute but really means Refuse. And then, someday soon after, climb up the stairs of your building to your rooftop with her and take out your phone. Show her the app you downloaded called Star Walk. Watch her unravel into the shine of what she finally … Read More »
“It’s only awkward if you let it be.” ― Silvia Donahue
Do you ever go to sit down at a table and there’s complete and utter, bottomless silence. No one is speaking and twenty seven seconds later, there’s still no one speaking. You start to think maybe it’s you. It must beyou. They probably wanted to have a conversation without you, but now you’re there—your thighs are sweating themselves onto the pleather chair and you’ve already begun unraveling your turkey sandwich and shoving puffy Cheetos into your mouth. There’s really no turning back now, because the only thing more uncomfortable than the ring of orange fuzz around the rims of your lips would be for you to try to tip toe away from this circle of shh.
Perhaps it’s because you smell. You did go a bit wild this morning with the Victoria’s Secret Coco Loco body spray, now didn’t you?
Enough is enough—you just can’t take it anymore. Even your carrots are starting to shvitz. So you say something, anything, really.
My god, this sandwich is divine.
So, how about them Heat? Really racking up the ol’ baskets.
And so you resort to the one topic that rarely lets you down—the weather. But after a short sequence of … Read More »
“I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don’t have any clean laundry, because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?”
You didn’t want to do laundry in the first place, but you didn’t have a choice. The underwear section of your top drawer is empty and you’ve gone commando so many days in a row that now all of your pants are dirty. Plus, your mom is coming into town and on her list of 20 I need to make sure you’re a functioning human being questions will probably be: do you have enough clean underwear?
So you give in and pour two cups of detergent into the washing machine because you figure if you’re going to do a wash you might as well make sure everything is squeaky clean. But when you go to put your clothes in the dryer, you notice that sitting in a crumpled up burning hot ball is a pile of someone else’s clothes.
Great, this is just great.
You hibernate in your apartment. I’ll give it to the end of an episode of Game of Thrones and then I’ll go back and sort out this … Read More »
“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” ― Laura Ingalls Wilder
1. Never having to take the SATs again—I’m still waking up drenched in my own sweat over the pressing nightmares of having to answer a question like: The average (arithmetic mean) of 4 different integers is 75. If the largest integer is 90, what is the least possible value of the smallest integer?
2. Getting a tax refund check in the mail.
3. The chance to change what you do for a living. Anyone who doesn’t love what they are doing is a fool (especially at this age).
4. Being able to turn new, small spaces into your home. A 10×10 box in the West Village of some overpriced city, an “I’m in-between-jobs” couch that’s donated to you in your good friend’s apartment, the twin sized bed that’s still wrapped in your 10-year-old Power Ranger sheets resting in your parent’s basement. At this age, home is comfort. And comfort can be as easy as a place where you can get the right amount of sleep and functioning electrical … Read More »
“When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.”– Erma Bombeck
Little girls grow up faster than the playground worms can swirls around in the soil. They outgrow their monkey bars quicker than they can climb them. Trade their pink Power Ranger dreams in for the idea of a career two sizes too big. Cut up their overalls into mini skirts and no longer waste time on creating a whimsical world for Barbie, but instead, a place for them to run wild in.
But there will come a time when daughters are no longer frustrated with their mothers over a strict midnight curfew—–instead, excited to come home early when they are visiting home so they can wake up in the morning and over a hot cup of lemon water, laugh with their mom about the absurd headline news. When they no longer stick their tongue out when told they cant have dessert unless they finish their salmon, and instead, find themselves miles away in a mini kitchen calling up their mom to find out how long to cook the chicken … Read More »
“If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!”
1. Our biological clocks seem to be thumping even louder, even faster, becoming even more obvious by slapping us in the face when all we want to do is sit around on the couch, spraying nacho cheese out of a can into our mouths, contemplating what we can do with our degree in philosophy, and how we can rummage together enough ‘dough’ to pick up and travel around Thailand for a month. But really, we know we need to be on a treadmill, worrying about things like cholesterol, electric bills or the outcome of something with an obnoxious name like ‘sequester’.
2. We can’t get away with nearly as many unhealthy things as we used to like supersizing our order at McDonalds, wearing wrinkled tops to work, and begging our darling bosses, as if they were our teachers, for extra credit because we screwed up on a report for a client.
3. Letting go feels peculiar. We start to shed away a big portion of what was attached to us (except for body fat, thank you slowed down metabolism). We used to … Read More »
“When a girl says she wants to be friends with benefits, I always ask if that includes dental insurance.” ― Jarod Kintz
1. I saw you pick your nose. Which really isn’t a problem, necessarily. Except, you my friend were digging for some serious treasures up there. And then, you so kindly shared the wealth with me while we were partaking in eating cheesy nachos as our “foreplay” appetizer. So when you asked me why I wasn’t so eager to go to town, to go chip for chip with you during our little share time, that’s why. They say you are what you eat and I’m certainly not your gushy green booger.
2. You lost me at “My ex-girlfriend.” I’m all about name-dropping on a first date.
Romney. Ruther Bader Ginsburg. Ryan Reynolds as my imaginary boyfriend.
But when you bring up, “she who shall not be named” and tell me about your three week vacation to some sunny island like Antigua, and then, pull up a photo collage of you and this girl in a bikini (who is, of course, 1/3 my body weight), and end this mangled tale with the concurrent knowledge that this took place only 17 days ago, I suddenly lost my appetite, … Read More »
I miss you the most on Wednesdays, the loneliest day of the week.
Sundays are a best friend from summer camp that you never want to leave.
Mondays are all Voldemort-like.
Tuesdays are that feeling you get when you wake up displaced from a four-hour long nap and have to sort through the grogginess of what just happened.
Fridays are Thursday’s friend-with-benefits.
And Saturdays, aww, Saturdays are as gorgeously brilliant as a lover you dare to spend the entire day with, rolling around underneath clouds of cigarette smoke, exchanging limericks through puffs of French Vanilla coffee stained breath, and nibbling into the heart of a gooey chocolate croissant.
Like Wednesdays, my feelings for you no longer have a place to belong. They are standing there, naked, like a screaming toddler, throwing temper tantrums in hopes that someone will appear to rescue them, to smear the dried snot out of their crusty nose, to pamper their butt with baby powder as innocent as fresh snow. They are alive, on Wednesdays, tumbling around like skittles dancing on wobbly pavement trying not to fall between the cracks. Note to self: just try not to fall between the cracks.
Wednesday was always the hardest day of the week for me to spell. … Read More »
“You know it’s a bad day when you put your bra on backwards and it fits better.”–Unknown
The only thing worse than shopping for a new pair of jeans, is shopping for a bra. Both require you to stuff your junk into tight, conforming fabric that’s cut to fit a body type that doesn’t quite resemble the jiggle-jangles of your bodacious body.
Except, I don’t mind wearing pants (that is, if you consider leggings pants). But I’m fed up with bras.
I feel asphyxiated when I’m wearing a bra. Literally, sometimes I can’t breathe because the wire will dig into my rib cage or the whole apparatus will be too tight around my torso that I’ll start gasping for air, begging for a friend to make this bad boy a bit looser. Or how about when I’m wearing a sheer top and the nude-colored bra shines right through the shirt, screaming out, “HEY YOU GUYS, LOOK AT ME!”
It’s an attention grabbing, stage 5 clinging, suffocating relationship, and some days I just want out.
But recently, I had an altercation….
1. The tailor who was fitting me for my bridesmaid dress told me the cheapest way to make this garb stay up on my chest was just … Read More »
“We had put almost all of our possessions in storage, which was a metaphor for being twenty, as were so many things.” ― Lorrie Moore
1. Floss at least once a day. A wise person once told me (could have been Aristotle, could have been my mother, could have been my childhood dentist dressed up in a Mickey Mouse costume) that having a clean mouth is the root for overall good health. Also, once your teeth start cracking, growing cavities or rotting away, it will cost you a month’s rent in NYC to repair that bad boy. They don’t call it a “crown” because it’s cheap and they don’t call it a “root canal” because it’s painless.
2. Call your parents and tell them you love them. Tell them every single day.
3. Teach yourself something that you didn’t have a chance to learn in school: HTML, a second language, how to say “I love you” and then, how to say “I’m sorry”.
4. Become well versed in those absurd words that the Talking Heads blabber about on repeat. Sequester. The Fiscal Cliff. Filibuster. They will affect you, in ways you couldn’t imagine. You’ll be sitting on the runway of Chicago O’Hare airport for … Read More »
“I don’t know. Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They’re always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions.”–J.D. Salinger
I started to write poetry when I was 6-years-old. Back then, I thought it was a requirement to that poetry had to rhyme. And so I wrote about staring contests I had with lizards crawling up the marble blocks of my bath tub or about a blonde haired princess, who refused to take off her glittery tutu when it was time to go to bed.
When I grew up, I was surprised to learn that poetry has no rules. You can do what you want, if you please. Break lines in the same harsh, cruel way your heart was once broken. Throw out any and all punctuation because your thoughts are just one jumbled, chaotically gorgeous run on sentence disastrous mess. It doesn’t matter, my friends, unless you agree to tell a story with every ounce of courage that you have.
Today Is National Carry a Poem in your Pocket Day. Whether you’ll carry a scribble of words that make you melt around with you in your pants or you’ll take the time to read some poetry, I hope that … Read More »
“Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart, don’t know how to laugh either.”-Golda Meir
The flight attendant nudges my shoulder, dangling a tissue that I grab to wipe the drool that’s been slouching on the edge of my cheek for the past five hours.
“Boker Tov Good Morning,” she says with an accent that makes me certain I’m still dreaming.
I’m fighting with thick crud that’s been building up in my eye sockets when I open the window shade and notice that there’s people running off the plane, dropping their iPods and kissing the ground. Full on pinching the gravel and lipstick-staining the pavement in euphoria that they have finally landed here, in Israel.
“Welcome home,” the flight attendant says.
But how could I be at home in a place I have never been before? I was raised to know what Israel looked like. Studied maps of the country the size of New Jersey and built replicas of the Western Wall out of Styrofoam and Popsicle sticks for Hebrew school. But at the age of 20, I’m stepping off a plane onto infamous pavement that gets more media attention and hearts throbbing than Lindsay Lohan.
I’m here on a program … Read More »
“Something was comforting about strangers—it seemed like they would exist forever as the same, unknowable mass.”
― Megan Boyle
He’s a half a sentence in before i’m shaken out of my staring contest with a sleeping homeless man and am alert enough to notice that he is rounding the bases and about to slide into my personal space.
“….you have studs on your shoes and your sunglasses are awkwardly round,” he says to me, this stranger in a button down shirt and pants the color of mold that grows on shower curtains. He’s decided to use the ol’ Spanish Inquisition technique to get my attention. “That’s what YOU call style?”
He’s now squinting at the sight of me, his lips look like two bean bag chairs stacked on top of one another, sagging in the middle, and his mind is in chaoots over how one human being can get away with wearing polyester, glitter and studs at the same time.
“It’s my style,” I say with one hand on my Snapple bottle and the other, sliding through the handles of my purse. I’m ready for any kind of sudden movement he may make. Whether he wants to steal me for closer examination or to rob my pajama jean wearing … Read More »
”It takes a lot of courage to grow up and be who you really are.” – E.E Cummings
On the occasional morning, while on the way out of my apartment and into the festering jungle of workaholics and garbage men, I stop to take an innocent glance at myself in the mirror and am chaotically flustered with who I see staring back at me. A girl wearing a tucked in blouse and a high waisted skirt, finished off with shoes that have just a small tease of a heel, one that wouldn’t be much help in fighting off a robber. My face is painted with primer, my lips, rusted red, and my born to be wild hunk of blonde hair is tamed, resting calmly around a thick rubber band.
And while I hand off my lint roller for a bottle of green juice, I take one last look at my put together self and scream out loud in broken English as I wait for the door to slam shut behind me, “When did this happen to ME?”
When I was 13-years-old, a Rabbi looked at my pimple-infested face and courageously told me on my Bat-Mitzvah day, “Welcome to becoming a woman.” Then, me and … Read More »
I’m proud to say that this piece was originally published in the NY Times on March 27,2013. After a month of butterflies dancing around in my tummy and the constant question of ‘will this piece ever see the light of day and get touched by the chilled fingertips of readers?’, it finally ran. I hope that you’ll enjoy.
I was recently spending my Sunday morning trudging along the beat-up pavement of 34th and Sixth, idolizing pastel-print cottons hugging porcelain mannequins, daringly dressed for spring.
When cavorting in that part of town, it’s important that I pay attention to the sharp edges of overstuffed Macy’s shopping bags galloping my way and sashay around them like a running back aiming to score a winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. Except here, in Herald Square, I am moving to avoid the black-and-blue marks shopping bags can leave on my thighs when they slap me leg-on.
While I was doing the Argentine tango around a family of tourists weighed down by shopping bags, a lady extended her right arm out to point to an “I Love NYC” magnet hanging in the window of a Duane Reade and, instead, punched me straight in the nose.
The discomfort of … Read More »