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10 Things I Wish I Knew When I was 30

  • 1. You are not old. Your eggs are not rotting. You will get married and have children, and you’re not “almost 40.” Just wait till you’re 40. Or, worse yet, 47…
  • 2. Stop being so wistful and hopeful and get a career that actually is lucrative. It may be all fun to be an artist now, but if you’re one of the very few who “make it,” even if you’re truly talented, it won’t be fun when you have to reinvent yourself in ten years and wonder why all your friends have people who report to them, and you’re entry level.
  • 3. This follows #2: Money matters. Yeah, I know; I know. “Happiness is what’s important; money isn’t.” Giiiiirl, I used to think that, too, when it was cool to live in a fifth floor walk up studio in NYC. Not so cool when you have two children to support, a mortgage, a car payment, and bills. Get a real job. And, sadly, money makes the world go round. This was a hard lesson for me.
  • 4. Divorce totally sucks. So, be very mindful of red flags and any other issues before you get married. The choice to marry someone is actually huge. And, even if you’re 30, panicked, and want to be like all your friends and get married, don’t just insert groom/just add water with whomever you’re with at that age. Be picky. Wait. Be prudent. Be wise. Listen to your instincts.
  • 5. Following #4, don’t have kids if you’re not in a happy marriage, because they are not a bandaid, and it will make divorce all the more complicated, as you will forever be joined with the father of your children. And, if that happens, then be nice. It’s more important that you coparent well than hate your ex. Your kids need both of you, and they want to love both of you.
  • 6. Don’t begrudge having to go to another wedding at age 28. You know why? The invites will stop soon, and then you’ll miss the free booze, dance floor, and revelry of weddings! They are so fun! Later on, they are far and few between. Worse yet, you are no longer at the “single’s table;” you are the overweight aunt in the corner, who is dancing to Brick House. #justsaying
  • 7.Start botox by age 40. If you catch the wrinkles early, it’s easier to fix than later when you have indents in your forehead and wonder why you look extra terrestrial.
  • 8. Following #7, wear sunscreen. I know it’s fun to get tan, and you look better, but either go get some Jergens Glow or spray tan, instead. Getting sunburnt will age you, create wrinkles, and can cause skin cancer. It’s real.
  • 9. Most problems at 30, in my experience, are not as bad as problems at 40. So, be conscious of that and chill a bit. You’ll wish you didn’t waste the youthful time agonizing. Go out with friends, or on a hike, instead, and have a good time.
  • 10. I mean, maybe don’t listen to other people (like me- ha!) Follow your gut and “the whispers,” #oprah. You will land on your feet. It will be okay.
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Kids, This is What You Can Get Me for X-Mas #giftguide

I’ve been reading all these gift giving guides, and I decided I’d write one of my own for my children to reference. Here you go, Kids:

1. A REFRAIN FROM ASKING “Where is a clean mask?” when we are harried and rushing out the door on the way to school in the morning. I am sweating, frazzled, clomping around in my work heels, and basically hating life when you do that. We have a name for this person I become: the angry chicken, because I am squawking with my beak. Don’t make me the chicken.

2. A DUMPSTER FOR ANY SMALL TOYS, including Hatchimals (these are crazy, tiny animals that you peel out of a gross plastic egg like they are “hatching.”) These toys are not only killer weapons when I step on them in the middle of the night in the dark, but they are also dog chokers. Not to mention, Hatchimals are fun for like one minute, when you see what they look like after they hatch, and then they’re not so fun. Kind of like giving birth and seeing the baby, and then it’s just “meh.” KIDDING!

Hatchimals

3. A WEEK AWAY TO A RETREAT: I just want to be sent someplace where I can journal, sleep, get daily therapy, go on walks, and do nothing. I might enjoy something cult-like, where I sit by a fire with some freaks, and we bond while making S’mores and someone with a man bun (maybe the cult leader) is playing guitar.

4. “MOMMY MAKEOVER” PLASTIC SURGERY: Hey, I won’t be offended if you guys pay for it. Just get me the gift card, and I will go for that Mommy Makeover. I will never spend my mortgage or cable money on it, guys, so dump your piggy banks and get Mommy the help she needs. This is, after all, your fault I look like this.

5. A YEAR OF PACKED LUNCHES (can be frozen): I hate packing lunches, because now that peanut butter is not allowed (#nutallergies), I have no sandwiches to make. PB&J was my go-to sammie, and really the only one you guys eat. Not to mention, a jar of Skippy can last for like 20 lunches: basic economics. Now, I have to rifle around the snack drawers, find cutlery for the yogurts, add in a freezer pack to keep it cold (and you often leave it in your backpack overnight, so I have to dive in the freezer and find a new one), and feel bad that you went to school with six bags of chips for lunch.

6. A NEW REMOTE CONTROL: The one in the basement, the one I use on the elliptical, is covered in sticky ice cream and God knows what. No matter how much I sanitize it, it’s sticky and maybe more foul than the ones in hotel rooms that I put a Ziploc bag over before I touch them. I want a back-up…one you do not touch.

7. GIVE ME MY BED BACK: I love you in my bed (sometimes), but the fact that my bed is now called “our bed” is an issue. And, I found a sour patch candy in the sheets the other night, and your old blankie kinda smells, so I can only face one way in the bed–away from it. I might like to sleep alone, so I can read, stretch out, and feel okay sleeping on my right AND my left side.

Her side of “our” bed

Well, that should be a good start, kids. And it doesn’t require a lot of shopping! So, make like Santa, and get to it. I’ve been “Good” this year…

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She Persisted: My Failed Attempt at Cooking a Nice Dinner

“So maybe I should just stick with chicken nuggets?” This is what I asked my kids as they crinkled their noses and stared at the sauteed shrimp skewered on their forks and turned it round and round, like a pinwheel.

“Sorry, mom. I just don’t like garlic,” my sons says, trying to be nice. He actually, I think, felt bad for me, since I’d make a big deal about cooking this special dinner since we woke up this morning. See, this is an aberration. I am not exactly known for my culinary skills, and, truth be told, I’d be happy having chips and wine for dinner. But, I tried to be all maternal and decided I’d watch the Food Network and start making actual meals. Typically, I have a rotation of pasta, veggies and rice, steak, and chicken. As my son James says, “Mom, all you cook is chicken with a different sauce and side.” The grill is my friend: easy and fast, and the mess is outside. No lingering smells in the house, and basically no dishes!

But, today, I went to Roche Bros., equipped with my recipe and took to task. Of course this Spicy Fennel Shrimp meal ended up costing twice as much because I had to essentially buy a spice cabinet–the one I had included salt and pepper, nail polish remover, dog treats and gummy vitamins. This was my amazing basket. Oh, and see that random vegan stuff in there? Well, I decided I might try going Vegan for a week and see how it goes. So far? The smoked vegan cheese is dis-GUS-ting. Note to self: no fake cheese.

So around five, I decide to give it a whirl and take out the shrimp. Alas, what the hell is deveining??? I read this on the recipe. And, by the way, anything with veins? I don’t super want to eat. However, I watch a You Tube on how to pull the legs and shell off the shrimp and then cut a line down its spine to pull out what is essentially poop. I mean, I have goldfish, and this “vein” looks very similar to the bottom of their tank. I thought to toss them right then and there but, as Chelsea Clinton wrote, “She Persisted.” I persisted and cleaned those babies.

Well, I made quite a tasty dish, I must say. Here’s a pic:

But, when I had the kids try it, all fired up, saying grace, staring at their scared faces, all I could say was, “Should I stick to the nuggets?”

And I did.

I ate the shrimp, and I’m writing this as the nug’s cook. Round two on dinner…

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A Comedy of Errors: First Full Day Back!

First full day of school in seven months and off to a great start! (er…well?) So, I will map out the comedy for you in just the first HOUR!

1. We pull in for drop-off, face shields intact, and my daughter forgets her backpack. Looks like I’ll circle back in a few!

2. Screeching out of the driveway to return to school, I nearly hit my friend, who is delivering a roadie wine glass forgotten from the other night. (PS-the roadie was on foot, not in car–just sayin’). I grab the shopping bag, thank her, and when I arrive BACK at school, I’ve already blanked out what’s in the bag and think, “Hey, how did that get here?” #tired

3. I’m wearing a flannel, Dachshund Christmas pajama shirt! Enough said. Ew.

4. Haven’t gone grocery shopping in a week, so I put together a random hodge-podge for kids’ lunches, comprised of a varietal of cheese and yogurt. It’s a full dairy bomb. So aggro that peanut butter is banned. That was an old go-to.

5. Start to do the accumulated dishes from last night and find this Dis-GUS-ting glass filled with Extreme! Sour Warheads that my son wolfed in one huge gulp and promptly spit out. They are now essentially super-glued to the bottom of my new Crate and Barrel glass.

6. Wonder how my dog got a large black mark on his leg, and I realize it’s my new Infallible Maybelline eyeliner in Charcoal Black that I just purchased. He has eaten it.

Check spot of black on leg on right

Honestly? Still super happy THEY ARE BACK! (well, for now…) xo

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BEWARE! Of my Life… (Scary Image Included)

Last night, the kids were terrorized! They went on the swing set in the backyard in the pitch-black. They had flashlights and wanted to do a “scary night walk.” Well, they got their wish and then some when they were, in fact, scared to death and screaming after spotting this horrible looking carcass stuck in our outdoor shower! Does anyone know what this is?? Squirrel? Rabbit? Oh, and when I went to photograph it this morning, I was so nervous that I dropped my phone, and I think it touched the skeleton head. ICK.

What even is this???
Can you see the little flashlights in center? I took this of them on the swings last night.

In other news, my daughter caught her first False Albacore! She went fishing with her dad, and I was so happy he included her this time. She recited the names of all the fish she knows during a game of Barbies with me last night: “Okay, mommy, there are False Albacore, Tuna, Striped Bass, Bluefish, Fluke, Flounder…” She’s a regular salty dog! She held the fish for a photo, like all those men do on Facebook, so she, too, could have her day in the fisherman sun, if there is such a thing… Oh, and I guess she’s a fisherwoman? Or fisher-girl? She’s not the Fisher King. Remember that movie with Robin Williams? Aw, I loved him. Good flick, too!

It is officially Labor Day weekend here on Cape Cod, a time when the year-rounders often rejoice to reclaim the beaches and avoid traffic. However, those are days of yore, because people are staying now that they can work remotely and go to school online. I guess my wish to have a “Forever Summer” has finally been granted! Oh, and we got an email last night from the superintendent, and it turns out that the first actual full day of school for the kids here is October 13! I mean, the CHRISTMAS DECOR is out at Target and CVS by then. So much for back-to-school shopping. I might buy some pencils AND a new ornament and tree skirt!

Here is this year’s tree. Maybe it’s time to get rid of it? I used the branches to make fires in my fire pit.

Oh, and this happened…my son asked me to get the plunger….This is never a good thing. So, I asked why, and he told me the toilet was clogged, because–get this: he threw a NECTARINE CORE in it. I mean, really??? Like, who thinks that is a good idea? Here is what it looked like before I had to manhandle it and get it out.

SERIOUSLY??

Last, but not least, I am 35 today! (er…) I am so excited, because my son told me I actually look ten years younger since I lightened my hair and cut it! Now that I have no job, I actually have time to go to the hair salon, since it honestly takes three hours (I timed it both times). #silverliningofpenury