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Archive for the ‘Husbands’ Category


Yesterday I set the stage: glamorous women, men in plaid pants, fur stoles in August!  Yes, it was the 52nd annual Southampton Hospital Benefit, called “Some Enchanted Evening.”

Today, I’m continuing the saga as we enter The Dinner Hour!! (cue scary music)

The Southampton Hospital Benefit is so huge, so gigantic, that it can only be held in a tent.  Nine hundred people were at this benefit.  And not one of them knew or cared who I was. Typical day in the life.

After the hors d’oevres free cocktail hour, we entered the dinner tent.  Our table, #79, or as I like to call it, The Jewish Table, (why the Jewish table?  I’m guessing that our dinner companions, the Kaplans, the Fienbergs, and the Goldsteins were Jewish. Just a guess.) (more…)

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So my daughter “walked in on us” the other day. Funny since (sorry hubby) it’s not like statistically speaking, there are a whole lot of chances for that to happen. (so sue me. kids. work. blog. puppy. life. oh, and swine flu. my uber- excuse for everything. )  It happens to every parent, I’m sure. (Though if it happened with me and my parents, I must have VERY successfully blocked it out.)

Anyhoo, I guess we got lucky, as we were still in what I will delicately refer to as the “planning stages.”  And under the covers. And, needless to say, in the dark.   (seriously, have you read anything about me and my body image?)

Plus, hubby reacted perfectly.  Instead of jumping so high he hit his head on the ceiling, he casually greeted her with a “What are you doing out of bed, sweetie?”

She wasn’t falling for it. “What were you doooo-ing?” (you have to draw out that “dooo” sound and lilt up on the “ing” to get the intonation. Try it. Got it? Good.)

I decided to let hubby handle it.

“You caught Daddy kissing Mommy.”

Brilliant! Not a lie….just not exactly the truth.

“Naked?” she asked.

“I’m naked,” I said (and please, spare yourselves the mental picture.  It ain’t pretty.  Remember: under the covers, under the shield of darkness.) ‘But Daddy is still wearing his pajama bottoms, see?”

“Why are you naked?” Yeesh, won’t this kid give it a rest?

“I was on my way to the shower when Daddy started kissing me.”

“Do you do this….usually?” Evidently she was NOT ready to give it a rest.

“Well, it’s really cozy under our new comforter.  Why don’t you come in with us?”

“Naked?” ahhh, heading towards giving it a rest.

“OK!”

And with that, hubby got up to get ready for bed, daughter whipped off her nightie and got under the covers, I got a chance to cuddle with my little girl, and all was right with the world.

Crisis averted.  Innocence maintained.  And lock purchased.

Please, please, leave a comment telling me I’m not the only one who may have scarred her child for life.  This happens. Right? Right? Right?

Oh, and please don’t mention to hubby that I posted about this.  This would NOT make him happy.  No, not at all.

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Have you ever wondered what would happen if two hyphenated last namers got married?  Like, let’s say Harrison VonHarrison-Lundquist married Muffy Worcester-Wolfe. (All names are completely fabricated. If anyone out there has either of those names, I’m sorry…in so many ways.)  Would they name their children Maximillian and Genevieve VonHarrisonlundquist-Worcesterwolfe???

Notice the last names I’ve fabricated.  Not so very ethnic, are they?  Jews don’t hyphenate.  Take me, for instance.  My maiden name is Rabinowitz, my married name is Friedman.  I considered hyphenating for about twelve seconds.  And then I realized I’d be Nancy Rabinowitz-Friedman; I might as well introduce myself has Nancy Double-Jew.  Twice the guilt!!  Twice the neuroses!   So when I got married I just decided to get rid of my middle name, Jean, and replace it with my maiden name.  That way, the clerk explained, I would legally be able to use either my maiden name or my married name. If I hyphenated, he told me, I would always have to use both names.  Quite a mouthful, don’t you think?

For a moment there, I considered going with a one-name moniker:: Madonna, Cher, Bjork, Elmo.  I tried Nan – but that sounded like a pug-nosed, perky cheerleader.  And I feel pretty confident with my big-nosed, sarcastic, pessimist persona.  I thought  I could take my new initials, NRF, and call myself Nerf.  Only that sounded like a squishy ball, and frankly, I didn’t need any name-based reminders of my physique.

Maybe my husband and I should have combined our names to create a new one. We could have been the Friedowitz family, or my personal favorite, the Rabinimans. Then again, maybe not.

So I stuck with the old switcheroo – sometimes one name, sometimes the other.

What’s in a name?  A lot.  If there weren’t, there wouldn’t be websites devoted to helping us choose names for our kids, or forums online for women deciding whether or not to give up their maiden  names.  Hilary Rodham Clinton wouldn’t be, well, Hilary Rodham Clinton.  She’d be Hilary Clinton or Hilary Rodham.  Not both.  Names are complicated.  Maybe that’s why Elizabeth Taylor never changed hers.  Imagine if she had, she’d be Elizabeth Taylor Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky. (I think she stayed Taylor not for the celebrity, but because somewhere in her mind she knew she’d one day marry a man named Fortensky – and she just couldn’t bear to called that.)

Once we had kids, it got a bit complicated, but I figured it out. Generally, anything professional – writing, producing – I used Rabinowitz.  Personally, I used Friedman, since I wanted to share a name with my kids. Aside from getting doubles of every catalogue in the universe, it’s worked out pretty well for the past 12 years.

But this fall, when I decided to publish as Nancy Friedman for the first time. I don’t know why I did it. I guess I just figured that at this point, I’ve pretty much stopped working, and most of the people I know, know me as Nancy Friedman. So why not publish that way?  Plus, I think it kinda bugged my husband that everything else I’d ever written had been under my maiden name. And I wanna keep him happy.

Now is where the giveaway kicks in (yep, you had to read this far to find it!).  I’m giving away two copies of the new anthology See Mom Run, edited by Role Mommy Founder Beth Feldman. It’s a collection of essays by moms…including me.  And it’s really, really, funny.  I promise. Just leave a comment below with your “dancer name” for a chance to win. What’s a dancer name? It’s the name of your first pet, follwed by the name of the street you grew up on.  If you were a stripper, it would be the name you’d dance under — hence “dance name.”  I’d be Honey Whig.

Hey — maybe I should publish under that next time!

Good luck!

Contest ends Friday, January 29th at 11pm.  Must be 18 years or older. US residents only. Two winners will be announced Saturday, Jan 30th.

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I’ve just had one of those days.  You know — when you drop your kids off at camp (or school or whatever) and suddenly, it’s 3:00, and you haven’t had lunch, and you never made it to the market, and you didn’t deal with your serious dark root s situation AGAIN – but it’s already time to pick up the kids?  One of those days.

It made me think about a book I’m been reading: “What Happened to the Girl I Married” by Michael Miller.  Which is good, because I’m reading it as part of the Silicon Valley Moms Group book club. (I write for NYC Moms blog, which is part of the SV Group.  Confused yet?)

Anyway, the book is about a guy (Miller) who spends a year “in his wife’s shoes at home.” (wonder if she wears Blahniks!), as a way to discover what happened to the girl…well, you get the drift.

I know what happened to her.  She lost herself on the way to the dry cleaners and the pediatricians, and the exterminator, and the optometrist, and and and and and.

How does that happen?  How does the day get away from you so fast?  Miller thought his wife was just inefficient. Ha! He learned the hard way what a hard way of living being a full time stay at home Mom can be.

Miller really does give it his all — He tackles the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning. But for all of his realizations — some of which, I admit, are validating and worthwhile to read (I especially liked his idea of SAHMs living life in fragments)– the book is really about him.  His journey.  His conquering it all.  His realization and transformation from corporate egomaniac or domesticated, sympathetic uber-husband and father.

All I could think of while I was reading it was — where is the girl he marred in all of this?  What was she doing while he took over her life to learn how to respect what she does?  Why don’t we hear from her?

I know why.  It’s a man’s world.  Even in a book written to help men understand what their wives go through each day.Even in a book that advises men to acknowledge and praise their wives.(And Michael, I do acknowledge and praise you for doing this.)  Because, what he doesn’t say is: encourage your wife to be herself.  Encourage your wife to follow her own dreams while you hold down the fort.

In the end – he’s just making life more palatable for women (not to mention himself — there’s a lot about getting enough sex)…as long as they’re still at home waiting for him when he gets back from wherever he’s been all day. I don’t mean to say that he hasn’t genuinely changed the way he perceives, appreciates, and communicates with his wife.  He has.  But it’s still a book about men.  About husbands appeasing wives, understanding wives — as if “wife” were some state of being universal to women.

On days like today, I’d love for my husband to read this book – lacking though I found it. Because at least this guy made the attempt.  I’d rather he universalized, instead of personalized the whole thing. I wish he didn’t repeat himself quite so much. (yes, I know.  Your father was a produce man)  but still — he tried.  Which is more than I can say for a lot of husbands I know. (not mine.  of course.  never mine.)

But honsetly, what I really need is a book about how to clean the house, make the beds, do the shopping, wipe the tears, arrange the flowers, prepare the meal, do the dishes, fold the laundry, “do” the husband, and still have time to hang out and be myself.  That book, I’d love. I But until it comes out, I’ll still be searching.

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Long ago, I discovered the secret to buying (passably) flattering bathing suits: the worse you look the more you pay. (Hence, the Karla Coletto bazillion dollar(and worth every penny) bathing suit.)  I then learned the secret to feeling young and attractive: hang out with the septaugenarians.  I’ve bemoaned the new fahion-math: in Hollywood, size six is the new size twelve. I’ve questioned the new age-math (not new-age math, mind you, but new age-math) which tries to tell us that 40 is the new thirty, and 80 is the new sixty.  By that logic, I’m actually getting younger every year.

Still, nothing prepared me for my recent beach-side discovery:  post-forty, bodies age exponentially.

Think about it: what was your body like at 20?  Was it so different at 25?  At 30? Probably not. As a matter of fact,  I was actually in better shape at 32 than I was at 22.  At 32 I was working out, jogging, eating right.  At 22 I was living in Paris, smoking, drinking wine, and thought exercise was something I only had to do in America, and only then when some oversized PE teacher was forcing me.

Now think of your body at 38.  Then at forty.  Then at 42. (If you haven’t reached this milestone, don’t read on: you might not want to know what’s next).  Still the same body?  Not so much, huh?

Last year, I noticed that my knees were wrinkling. Knees!! What the hell can you do about that?  This year, my quads have joined in.  Mind you, I weigh less (thank you Weight Watchers) this year than I did last,  and the muscles are still under there: yoga and Nia, and weight training, and even ballroom dancing sees to that.  But my skin doesn’t care.  My skin is aging.  Fast.

So is the rest of me.  Today, I went to Tip Top Shoes to try to find stylish shoes that don’t bother my back or my bunion. There, I said it.  BUNION.  If that doesn’t say “your body is aging” well, what does? (By the way stylkish shoes adn bunion really don’t go together. I don’t care what Mephisto says.)

Then there’s the fact that I can no longer drink alcohol.  I was never much of a drinker.  Maybe a few glasses of wine once or twice a month.  But now?  ONE glass, and I’m out of commission for three days. Jeez.

It isn’t that I don’t want to get older (well, I don’t, but that’s not the point) The point is, why is it happening so fast?  I pretty much looked the same from the time I was 20 until I was thirty.  There were little changes – maybe my skin wasn’t quite as vibrant – but overall, the changes were just a difference – not a decline.

So all this leads me to one thing:  should I change the name of my blog?  Let’s face it, agelessbodytimelessmom.com is quite a mouthful, quite a thing to type in, and awfully hard to remember, from what I gather. (Does no one get the Deepak Chopra reference?  Anyone? Anyone?)

I have been working on a manuscript for a while now, it’s called: From Hip to Housewife in Two Kids Flat.  So I’m asking here — should I change my website’s name to FromHiptoHousewife.com?  FromHip2Housewife.com?  Or just keep it as is.  Because, let’s face it, despite my best attempts, I’m not exactly ageless here.  

Votes welcome.  Vote, please, and fast.  I’m not getting any younger.

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The Animal Crossing Gang

The Animal Crossing Gang

Here’s what was happening in my professional (if unpaid) life last week:  I was invited to a media preview of the hot new Wii Game, Animal Crossing: City Folk.  At the party,  the game was there, and in the spirit of the game, in which you create and can change your Mii to suit your mood, and live a virtual life, there were make-over artists, stylists, fortune tellers…and most importantly, martinis. (Though I’m pretty sure that Mii’s don’t drink.)

Here’s what happened in my actual life:  I stayed home with a sick child.

Now, I know that kids get sick.  I know that it’s just part of parenthood:  the puke-filled nights, the snot-filled tissues the kids never seem to remember to throw into the trash.  But did it have to happen when I was invited to a ladies night out?  By a company in whose best interest it was to show all of us bloggers a fun time?  (And in this blog post, it does look like it was fun.) Did it have to happen when I could have gone to a bar in the East Village and not felt like the oldest, least hip, woman in the room? (more…)

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From ActressArchives.comWith the new Sex and the City movie all anyone is talking about, I couldn’t help but wonder: Will anyone still tell me I look like Sarah Jessica Parker?

We have the same hair (ish), the same color eyes, the same large-ish nose with a bump, even the same little mole on our chins. Hey, knock six inches and forty pounds off me, and you’d swear we were twins!

The difference is, even though we’re the same age, we’re both moms, and we both live in NYC, she’s still considered a sexy woman and I’m considered…well, not. The only men who think I’m sexy are over sixty. Ouch.

Back when the Sex in the City series was in it’s heyday, people used to literally stop me in the streets. “Are you Carrie?” they’d ask. I was young and single and dating in the city. I really was Carrie (minus the inches, the pounds, the fame, the shoes, and the wardrobe). But it was also that I was — dare I say it — sexy. Not so pretty maybe, but I had… something.

Sarah Jessica Parker still has it. Me? Seems like somewhere between changing diapers and helping with homework, I’ve lost it. I’m not really complaining, mind you. I think that a big part of being sexy is putting yourself out there, and back in the day, well, let’s just say that I was out there quite a bit. Now, I’m in here. I’m with my kids. I’m at my computer. I’m not looking for love, I’ve found it. I’m not trying to prove myself by attracting strangers. My husband still finds me attractive (God bless him) and that’s good enough for me.

Still, if Carrie can come back bigger than life on the big screen after four years, would it be so terrible if just once, someone could think that was me? Chic, and sexy and fabulous?

Maybe I should get a huge flower and pin it to my dress. Maybe I should get a tutu and stand in front of a bus. Or maybe I should just thank the powers that be that after fourteen years with me, my husband is still glad to be having sex in the city with me.

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