Author: Karen Gerwin

Karen’s Note: Let Me Sleep On It

Insomnia scenario #1: I’m sleeping, but I can hear the freight train that runs through our backyard blasting its loud, low horn. Why is the freight train making so much noise in the middle of the night? And why is it blasting its horn so rhythmically? And how is there a freight train between two apartment buildings in Brooklyn? Oh, wait. I’m awake now. And it’s not a freight train. It’s my husband, on his back, snoring. I shove him onto his side, grab my iPhone and scroll through Facebook, maybe play some Solitaire and pray to the sleep gods for a few more hours. Insomnia scenario #2: I wake in the middle night of the night to find myself fully clothed on the living room couch, after falling asleep watching Scandal or This Is Us or Mozart in the Jungle or The Crown or The Santa Clarita Diet. (Yeah, yeah, I watch too much TV). I brush my teeth, change into pajamas and put in my TMJ-preventing mouth guard, hoping that the hours I …

The Mazel Tov Slap: The Jewish Tradition You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

(Graphic: Kat Borosky/TueNight.com, Photo: Niekverlaan/Pixabay.com) When I told my mother I got my period for the very first time, she slapped me across the face and shouted, “Mazel Tov!” It wasn’t a punishment slap — more like the way you’d slap a person who fainted, or something out of the Marx Brothers — and it didn’t feel violent. I don’t remember the moment in great detail, and I don’t remember it as something terrible that happened to me. I mostly remember knowing that it was part of long-standing tradition from shtetl times, passed down from Jewish mother to Jewish daughter, the purpose (supposedly) being to bring the color back to your face (because it’s all draining out through your vagina now!). It’s possible I even knew it was coming, that it was something we discussed in advance — probably with all of my female relatives! — as I eagerly awaited the big day. And yes, I so desperately wanted my period, because at 14, it felt like ALL OF MY FRIENDS had theirs, and I was on …

Wait! Before You Unfollow Everybody…

Maybe you’re sick of social media at this point. We get it. We’ve been unfollowing friends from high school left and right. It’s hard to navigate the need to stay engaged and focused, and our need to take care of our psyches. It’s my job to be on social media all day long. Intermittent breaks aren’t just necessary, they’re mandatory. But when I come back to the screen, there are certain people and pages I follow to keep challenging my own beliefs, point me toward helping to change the future, and give me a much needed laugh — occasionally all at the same time. Here’s a short list of the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts that keep us going in these dark days. Facebook: Periods for Politicians Formerly Periods for Pence: P4P organizes direct contact campaigns with a focus on reproductive justice awareness. You want to legislate my body? You’d better know how it works! Pantsuit Nation: This started as a private group in the week before the election to show broad support for HRC. It now …

Karen’s Note: The Beginning of Adulthood

In 1996, we officially became adults. We went to friends’ weddings where we reluctantly did the Macarena. We watched Ross and Rachel FINALLY get together. We talked about how all the things in Ironic by Alanis Morrissette weren’t really ironic. We fell in love with Frances McDormand in Fargo and Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire. We started hearing about this new musical phenomenon called Rent and the tragic story of its creator Jonathan Larson, who died the morning of its first off-Broadway preview. That was my 1996 — and probably yours too. The idea of 1996 as a theme came up during the blizzard in January. Remember the blizzard of 1996? That was 20 years ago. Ugh, we’re so fucking old. It got us thinking about that year and realizing it was a time when our lives, careers and relationships started to take shape. Early onset adulting. A look back at my own trajectory: January: My husband and I had recently moved to New York from D.C. for real big city jobs in advertising and …

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Bernie To Bed, Hillary To Wed

Picture this: Six friends having a mid-January, post-New-Year’s “how was your break” breakfast. We are a group of women ranging in age from mid-30s to early-50s, with jobs in advertising, media, law, medicine and publishing. We are all feminists, all mothers and, I was thrilled to discover as the conversation rolled around to the Presidential election, all firmly on Team Hillary. And yet… “She has a likability problem,” said one. “She doesn’t have the charisma that Bill or Barack have,” said another. “Her campaign messages just aren’t as exciting as #feelthebern is.” “If Bill’s Teflon, then she’s Velcro. Nothing sticks to him, and everything sticks to her.” Here we were, firmly in Hillary’s corner and yet worrying that she’s not likable enough? That she’s not charming enough. What could be more exciting than the prospect of electing the first female President of the United States? Were we being typical, apathetic Gen Xers? It felt like déjà vu, 2008 all over again — only worse this time. It’s been a pretty disheartening few weeks for those of …

Karen’s Note: Best of TueNight 2015

Here we are, two years after launching this site, looking at another year’s worth of amazing storytelling from our spectacularly talented and diverse group of contributors. It was not easy for Margit, Adrianna and me to narrow down our list to only twelve posts to represent the best of this year. As we started to think about your year-end “best of” post, I jumped at the chance to write the Editor’s Note, since I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary of joining Team TueNight (woot woot!). For inspiration (er, procrastination), I checked Facebook and Twitter to see what people are talking about this morning (oof, Steve Harvey), listened to Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne,” then watched a YouTube clip of the final scene of When Harry Met Sally, and now I’m listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. I also went back and read the post that launched it all back in 2013, wherein Margit so brilliantly distills who we are: “You aren’t dead yet. Not even close. In fact, you’re living life the way it …

She’s Got The Look: Best of the Worst of Your 80’s Style

  As we were putting together this week’s LOOK issue, our thoughts floated back to the time of Guess jeans, Benetton sweaters, Zinc Pink lipstick and Aussie Sprunch spray. Oh, 1980’s. You were so special! No other era in fashion elicits “what were we thinking??” gasps in quite the same way. So, we asked you, our beloved TueNight readers, to send in your favorite photos of yourselves in all of your 80’s glory, and boy, did you deliver! Here are a few of our favorites: New Year’s Eve 1987. There’s so much wrong with this photo I don’t even know where to start. I am on the far left, in a Benetton sweater that was 10 sizes too big for me. I remember it being $85 and that was 85 percent of the money I had for the whole month at college. That was a leather mini skirt underneath. I do remember wearing ballet flats, as we were going out in the Cleveland flats. I’m not sure why we all dressed in such big clothes when we …

What to Wear When It’s Hot As Balls Out

I am NOT a hot weather person. Don’t get me wrong. I totally appreciate the more laid-back vibe of summer. I love that it’s easier to find a parking space in my Brooklyn neighborhood for two blessed months, and I definitely can’t complain about the three kid-free weeks I get now that mine are old enough for overnight camp. But when the temperature hits 90 and I have to go about real life (as opposed to sitting under an umbrella on the beach or by the pool), it’s a little unbearable. In July, WNYC tested New York City’s hottest subway stations. One night in July at 7:09 PM, the Union Square L train platform measured 106.6 degrees. I break into a sweat just thinking about it! So what can a girl do to stay cool when it’s hot as fuck outside? For me, I’ve found a few go-to outfits that seem to make things at least moderately better. A few caveats: I’m sorry to say, none of these outfits will likely make it in a …