All posts tagged: NYC

You Better Work: My First Boss and Ru-Paul

On RuPaul’s book tour (Photos courtesy of the author) My first job out of college was as an assistant to a publicist at Hyperion, a “boutique” publishing house owned by a quaint corporation called The Walt Disney Company. We had ID cards with a Mickey Mouse hologram on them. Seriously. My boss, Jennifer, was a tall, brassy, 27-year-old woman who somehow seemed as old to me as one of the Golden Girls. She was fierce, whip smart, and a little bit scary. Jen liked a large iced coffee and a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with butter, which I ordered for her every morning. This was back when people ate bagels. She taught me to take a thorough phone message. To grill the “freelance book reviewers” trying to get free review copies. To massage the egos of the needier authors and only get her out of “a meeting” if it was someone specific. She taught me to pitch reporters, the most awkward and agonizing part of publicity work. While at Hyperion, Disney was bought by ABC, …

March Issue: Rise and Shine

At the Oscars Sunday Night, Frances “the fiercest” McDormand asked all the nominated women to rise from their seats. “Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.” It was an incredibly powerful sight to see multiple women poke up across the vast theater (also disheartening that in that huge crowd, there weren’t more.) We sure do have tales to tell.  This is our moment. Women are rising up and speaking their truths — whether adding to the empowering, system-changing #metoo chorus or depicting women not just in their glory, but in their struggles as McDormand did in Three Billboards. These are not the stories we always want to tell — these are the stories we have to tell, the ones that make us whole. In our issue this month, we explore all the different kinds of power women find when they rise up, from finding a strength after the destruction of a marriage; letting childhood hopes and dreams wash away in rising tides; or even simply embracing …

My Husband’s Manic Break Left Me Running for My Life

Nine years ago a battalion of police cars and a whole lot of crazy portended the end of my 16-year marriage, and I — someone who’d gone from living in my mother’s house to living with my husband at just 19 years old — was now completely on my own with two young children in Westchester in a crumbling house I couldn’t afford. To say that I was scared would be like saying this first year with Trump was just a little bit rocky. I was panicked. Low-key panicked in that way that vibrates off of you, no matter how cool you’re trying to play it. And I was trying to play it cool, at least for my kids. At 8 and 11, their whole world had been upended and they were struggling to comprehend why and come to terms with it all. They needed me to act like it was all going to be okay, and while I faked the funk for them every day, I needed everyone else in my life to tell …

The Jordache House on 140th Street

Growing up in Brooklyn, I was all about labels. I went from purchasing Sears’ Toughskins  — with the patch on each knee — to an obsession with getting a pair of Jordache. In the ‘80s, Jordache jeans were heavily advertised on TV and were a must-have by any pre-teen girl. They had that thick maroon label with a horse stitched on, placed right above the back jean pocket. I pled with my mother until she finally bought me a pair and wore them until the last stitch fell off. As I got older, my obsession switched to Guess Jeans, the triangle-logo’ed, acid-washed style, which in retrospect looked like an accident of two tones of denim placed into one dungaree. It was around this time that I met a group of girls and guys who took the Green Line bus from Rockaway, Queens to the junction in Brooklyn. They entered our school, with their mousse-abused 80’s hair, tanned skinned and big oversized glasses. In the midst of urban New York, this group stood out from the (Park) Slopies …

RISE: Get Tickets to Our Next Event!

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE! It’s time to rise up, get a rise out of someone, watch the bread rise, and rise to this fabulous occasion… Join TueNight for an evening of Gen-X storytelling around the theme RISE on Tuesday, March 6th in Manhattan. We’ll be in the cozy downstairs bar at The Wren where we’ll drink cocktails, enjoy delicious food and rise up together. Our Storytellers: Abby West (@AbbyWestNYC) Now a senior marketing manager at Audible, Abby is the former executive editor of Essence.com, and an Entertainment Weekly and People mag vet. A self-described “pop culture fanatic,” she’s a firm believer in the power of storytelling and will one day finish her own book. Melanie Dione (@beauty_jackson) Melanie is a writer, and podcaster from New Orleans, currently residing in Pittsburgh, PA. She is one half of the creative duo behind The Good & Terrible Show, and can be heard weekly on the popular “Bad Advice Show.” When she is not using her gift of gab, she is making geek dreams come true as the Director of Entertainment for Universal …

Life Blindsided Me And Then I Learned to See.

One Sunday afternoon about fifteen years ago, I wandered into a panel discussion at The Brooklyn Public Library just as Carmen Boullousa, the Mexican poet and novelist, was being asked a question. “How do you write?” the questioner asked. Carmen Boullousa threw her hands up in the air and slammed them down the table in front of her. “You don’t know what you’re doing!” she burst forth, with a shout and a laugh. “You start off blinded, and you work until you begin to see.” I was 37 or 38 at the time, with a husband and two young daughters doing whatever they were doing in our Prospect Heights brownstone a few blocks away. And for as long as I could remember, I’d been trying to connect life’s dots with a modicum of elegance and a minimum of fuss. Determined to press on, to be a trooper, to feign competence, to not give passport, ever, to a willingness to be blinded. Carmen Boullousa was talking about writing but I sensed her advice might help me …

The Magic of the Bitch and Swap

Long ago in the 1990s, when I was a freelance magazine writer, I never had enough of anything — money, love, other people, and of course, clothing. I worked alone in my West Village apartment and most of my reporting was done by telephone. I rigorously scheduled social engagements at night, from dates to drinks with a friend, or a book party or reading or a real party or a fake PR party at a handbag store. If I didn’t speak to a real person face to face at least once a day, I felt myself fading from the human race. It was a time of living between no money, some money and family-begged money. I was actually fairly successful as a writer, but felt like an abject, obvious failure. I was consumed with fear that I would never meet a man whom I could marry and who would marry me. The latter was the bigger fear. It was a terribly lonely and scary stretch of years, despite the many, many parties. It was good, …

I Tried to Break Up With My Therapist. It Didn’t Go Well.

People say it’s hard to date in New York. (I once went out with a guy who looked like Gargamel from the Smurfs, so I know how tough it is.) But I think it’s much harder to find a good therapist. It’s early 2001. I’ve been living in New York City for a few months to do a seven-month comedy intensive program after moving from San Francisco. In addition to working full-time for my west coast office, I’m going to school every night during the week and doing homework, shows and other catch-ups on the weekend. The pace of Manhattan and my jam-packed schedule begin to take a toll on me, and in no time, I start to have panic attacks. So I do what any other overwhelmed person does: I tackle one more thing. I look for a therapist. On paper, Linda is great. She’s five minutes from work, she’s in my plan and she’s only $5 a visit. Score! In person, it’s another story. When I first enter her windowless office, I notice …

Oh Ottawa: Reflecting on a Canadian Life Left Behind

If Belle from Beauty and the Beast were 40 today, would she still be living happily ever after or would she have second thoughts about leaving her provincial life? Would she still identify with that life at all? Growing up in Ottawa, Canada, I suppose in some ways I was a modern-day Belle leading the proverbial provincial life*. The grass is green, and there’s lots of it – in the summer months at any rate. With the federal government headquartered in the nation’s capital, the job market is robust and typically weathers market downturns well. There’s access to good schools and, of course, universal healthcare. At home, we indulged in many popular American imports. Our family tuned in to ALF and laughed at Steve Urkel’s silly jokes, my dad received a hero’s homecoming when he signed up for a Jumbo Video membership (Canada’s answer to Blockbuster) and surprised us with a copy of the newly-released Batman movie, and in the 10th grade I became completely obsessed with The Phantom of the Opera when a touring …

I Was “Breakup Girl,” And Then My Job Dumped Me

This will not endear me to you: Until my mid-20s, I was convinced that I was special — that my life was actually charmed. That was the through line to my life story: Things just went my way. Hard work paid off. I earned good grades, had halfway normal parents and halfway decent boyfriends. My high school graduation speaker was Gloria Fucking Steinem. I got into Yale. I had the time of my life. I had an amazing dog named Montsi — a gorgeous white shepherd/tundra wolf mix who was my protector and soul sister. My books got published. I always had cool, land-in-your-lap life-changing experiences, like living and bonding with a family and “sister” in Mexico who looked just like me — whom I’m still friends with — and lucking into an awesome apartment with my best friend in Boston and winding up on both Geraldo and Ricki Lake in 1994, just because I looked exactly like Tonya Harding, which is a long story. It wasn’t that things never went wrong. They did. All …

He Said, She Said: What Adulting With Money is Really Like

Honest hour: Adulting isn’t easy. And when it involves a significant other and money, it becomes a thousand times harder. Let me give you an example: In 2016, the self-improvement industry raked in almost $10 billion, according to neuroscience site Brainblogger. My purchases of podcasts, books and membership sites accounted for 10 percent of that figure. I’m may be exaggerating a little, but one thing is for sure: Advice books tell you to keep communication channels open and discuss issues, concerns and, most importantly, “feelings” when navigating your financial map in marriage, but they don’t tell you how wildly different your perspectives on spending can be from your spouse. Seth Herzog is a successful NYC comic, actor and producer. He is also my husband. I am an author, built a booming retail research business and have a production company.  What follows is an oral history of a week’s worth of spending and financial transactions in our household: What does it mean to be “poor?” My take is very different from Seth’s. Seth: You are talking …

This Is What the American Dream Actually Looks Like

My late father-in-law was an immigrant. He was also one of the most American guys I ever met — if you believe that what defines our national character is a willingness to pull yourself up by the bootstraps, a love of family and community, a thirst for knowledge and, of course, a really green lawn. Boen Tong — known as “Tong” or “BT” to his wife and friends, “Dad” and “Grandpa” to his kids and grandkids and “Tom” to the slightly deaf old Jewish ladies with whom he played bridge in his later years — was born in Indonesia in 1919. He spent his childhood working in the family batik business, pedaling his bike through the Javanese jungle to pick up the beautifully dyed cloth for which Indonesia is known. He spoke Malay and Javanese, but when his parents sent him to study at Dutch schools, Dutch became the first of four foreign languages in which he would eventually become fluent. By age 19, BT showed signs of grit and determination that would put a …

I’m Canadian, And I Think It Might Be Time To Go Home

When you travel by rail between New York and Ontario, there’s a bridge over the Niagara River where the train, briefly, lies in mid-air between Canada and the U.S, the mist from Niagara Falls drifting toward the train windows, tantalizingly out of sight. On one side of the river, the Stars and Stripes flutters in the wind, on the other, Canada’s red maple leaf. It’s an odd feeling, every time, to hang suspended between my two nations, my two identities. They’re so close, but – especially now – so very far apart politically. Now that Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office, I wonder, daily, why, with a perfectly good, safe country to return to, I haven’t moved back home. A place where the nation’s best universities cost less than $10,000 a year, sometimes much less. Where single-payer government-run healthcare keeps millions of people healthy, whatever their age or employment status. Unlike many immigrants – who arrive fleeing weak economies, religious persecution, political strife, even war – I chose to leave Canada for the United …

TueNight Live: We Party with Our Sisters [Photos]

Whee —  our seventh TueNight Live event, people! This thing is becoming real, real. Once again we brought our issue to life, this time with the theme, “Sisters,” honoring both our biological sibs as well as the many women with whom we feel so close. We gathered at The Wren Downstairs, a lovely, cozy room below a charming restaurant on Bowery and Great Jones Streets in Manhattan. Tasty cocktails paid homage to some of the badass sister matchups of our era. Margit started us off, talking about the sister-filled Women’s March and what it meant to her — excerpts from her Margit’s Note. Adrianna read a piece from her own sister, Lindsay El Tabsh, about how sisters can help us through even the saddest of days. Penny Wrenn described the joy and heartbreak of being a black woman with a white sister. Then a quick break to eat some delicious empanadas. We came back to nary a dry eye in the house as artist/activist Abby Dobson sang of the unremembered black women lost at the hands of police violence, inspired by AAPF’s #SayHerName campaign. Here’s a brief video of Abby …

Margit’s Note: What Was I Going to Say?

The brain is a weird place. We instantly forget the name of someone we just met, but we remember every damn lyric to “Hotel California.” (“What a nice surprise, bring your alibis.” ARGH!) We rely more and more on our cloud-synced calendars, to do lists and electronic data to keep us current, and if that cloud ever crashed, our whole world would fall from bytes to bits. I am somewhat terrified of losing my memory. I remember seeing my great aunt delicately picking up a spoon to use with her salad and then putting salad dressing on her hamburger and being quietly explained to that she had lost her ability to remember how to do things. (To be fair, given today’s grain-filled salads, she might not have been so off.) As a six-year-old, I was scared to imagine that in the same way I was learning things, I might at some point unlearn them, too. I’ve often thought that there’s only enough genetic data for one sibling to get all the memory juice. For example, my sister has a photographic …

Ovarian Rhapsody: A Little Self-Renovation

Around the same time I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, we were scheduled to renovate our apartment. My husband, an architect, had started to sketch out the designs. We’d enlisted his favorite contractor, Slavek. Our plans were to update the kitchen and the bathroom and to turn an unused half bathroom — really, our cat’s bathroom that featured an easily accessible hole in the door, left from the former owner — into a full bath with a shower. Our kitchen was Brady Bunch-era wood-and-probably-formaldehyde paneled situation: The refrigerator sat in the living room and we had a non-working washer/dryer combo machine called a Comb-o-Matic, circa 1975. Floor tiles were loose and scattered around the bathroom floor. We’d been saving up cash and waiting to do this project for a good seven years. It was time. So after processing the news of my upcoming ordeal, one of the first things I said to my husband was, “But we still have to renovate, right? We can’t stop the progress!” “Um, no,” he said. “That’s not happening now.” …

The Case of the Bad Panties

In 1992, I was 23 and the girl who had sex on the first date, if not before. Not coincidentally, I was also drinking too much and dating a lot of low-wattage losers. After a few drinks, I found myself far more interested in what my date was like with his clothes off. To get him to shut up, my underpants came down. But this strategy was getting me nowhere. I was beginning to suspect that it might be better to date people who didn’t bore me into having sex. It was around this time I was asked out by someone I actually liked, a person in whom I potentially could invest time and energy. He was a gentle, shy creature, the type who might be scared off by my willingness to — well, by my willingness. How to keep myself from jumping him pre-appetizer? The beauty of my solution lay in its simplicity: I would wear a pair of panties too embarrassing to reveal to him. The panties in question were a pair of …

My Secret to Dominating the Neighborhood? Pumpkin Bowling

Suburbia, circa 1994. We’d moved out of the New York City right about the time our daughter was to start kindergarten, seeking the bucolic childhood that my husband and I had deluded ourselves that we both had: house in the country; 2+ acre lots; great public schools; supportive, tight-knit community. While we moved back to an area very close to where I’d grown up, it had been a good 10 years since I’d left for college and I no longer had a circle of close friends. Barely 30 and working long hours at a New York City law firm, with my husband traveling all over for his sales job, we wanted a shortcut to meet people (just like us) with whom we could share stories of new parenthood and go for beers and burgers. So, at our 75-year-old realtor’s urging, we joined Newcomers. The Newcomers’ Club was just that: a club (with a small yearly membership fee) for people new to the community. There were mom reading groups, mom social hours, mom’s night out and the occasional …

Jennifer Saunders as "Edina" and Joanna Lumley as "Patsy"

Here’s to an AbFab Evening — And Bloody Good Mates

Every time I dabble in the “now” of fashion (which is usually a retread of the “then” of fashion) — gaucho pants, massive Jackie O’s, chartreuse tights, orange lipstick — I wrinkle my nose in the mirror and think, am I an Edina? That would be Edina Monsoon, the hilariously oblivious character from the British tv series Absolutely Fabulous. Edina, or Eddy, tenuously “works” as a PR rep and sports the most techni-crazy mash-ups of trendy items — and often wearing form-fitting, lycra-esque pants and avant-garde hats. Like Eddy I am at the age where I’m supposed to settle into weekend khakis and clogs, but of course wouldn’t dare dahling. Well at least not all the time. I, too, have my neurotic moments: Can I pull this off lovey? A little more botox in the brow? This past Tuesday night (natch), TueNight was invited to a screening of the brand new Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. Creator and writer Jennifer Saunders (Edina) and Joanna Lumley (Patsy) reprise their roles as the sex, drugs and injectable-addled fashionistas of …

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Sex in Stairwells: The Unlikely Place Where I Got My Groove Back

I almost don’t go on the OkCupid date with Andy. Something about him seems bland — the round smiling face in his photos, the messages that are flirty but not quite witty. It seems ill-fated that I enter his number incorrectly into my phone and he has to hound me via email to nail down a plan: 7 p.m., wine bar downtown. Am I wasting my time? But I want to put as much distance as possible between myself and the ex, and I’ve decided that other men make the best unit of measure. Since the breakup last month, any blank space in my mind gets filled with the same dismal diatribe: That after years of trying to mend my wicked, commitment-phobic ways; of abstaining from causal sex and dead-end drama (oh glorious drama, sweet nectar of youth) so that I could be pure and unencumbered when I finally met someone worthy of love, I was ultimately dumped by that pretentious hippie when it “got too serious.” The injustice! The outrage! The embarrassing, pointless heartbreak. …

I Left My New York Apartment For Life on a Boat

Three weeks ago, I sailed away from New York City. I cast off the lines from our 37-foot sloop and left New York harbor for the East River, along with my husband and dog. In that moment, and without much ceremony, we were no longer New Yorkers. The moment we left the dock, we became full-time sailors with no homeport to call us back. This wasn’t a longtime dream. We’re not lifelong boaters. Nor did we come from wealth or retire early on some startup exit. My husband, Jon, and I are simply wanderers. We spent years wanting something else. This is our else. Before moving to New York two years ago, Jon and I met through our love of travel. After a couple of years of dating, we each began working without an office, for a total of about five years, sometimes running a business together, sometimes working separately. This wasn’t gig economy work but rather leadership positions for traditional companies that were trying a new format of working. And it worked. I completely …

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Arianna Huffington, a Cyborg and a Bag of Chia Seeds: Or, How I Spent a Perfect Sunday in a Painfully Long Mattress Ad

April 17, 2016 was one of the finest New York Sundays in recorded history. A Sunday so glorious it could’ve actually been God’s very own birthday. The real-life manifestation of “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” Or maybe L.A. had Airbnb-ed New York City for the day, and this was its way of saying thanks. A day lit so artfully Spike Jonze could’ve eBayed his camera equipment and retired forever. The kind of day that launched a thousand High Line Instagrams with hashtag #nofilter. However, I was not at the High Line. Instead, I was indoors at Casper’s’s first “Sleep Symposium.” Casper, the e-commerce company that will ship you a mattress that comes folded in half in a cardboard box. TueNight had asked if I’d cover the event for their “Sleep” issue. Now, why did I answer “sure, why not” as opposed to making up some bullshit excuse? I have no clue. It was pretty out of character considering I’m EXTREMELY lazy, and I like to spend my Sundays in almost complete monastic silence at …

I Had a Pet Psychic on Speed Dial

I don’t use the term “fur baby mama” non-ironically or own a collection of seasonal holiday dog sweaters. My pup doesn’t have an Instagram account or eat small-batch, home-prepared foods. But, true confessions: I’ve had my animal communicator on speed dial for the better part of ten years now. They tell you when you rescue a dog that it can take up to six months for their true personalities to come out, and boy was that true with our basset hound, Oliver. My husband Greg and I brought this little dude home to our overpriced Manhattan apartment 13 years ago feeling excited and determined. The first few months were pure bliss. Cue the gauzy slow-mo video in my head: walks to the local dog park, fun conversations with strangers on the street, trips to Petco. Oliver was quiet, loving and shockingly obedient. His sole purpose in life seemed to be pleasing us in any way he possibly could. I guess the changes started happening slowly: an unexpected pull on the leash, a barking session that …

Talk TueNight: Cocktails and the Corporeal [Photos]

For the September 29 edition of our Tak TueNight series, we gathered in a lovely Chelsea townhouse to discuss all things BODY — from how we treat our bodies to how our bodies are changing (ahem, WTF?!) as we age. Here are some snaps of a fabulous night. Special thank you to our chief sponsors Gwynnie Bee and Spruce  & Co. and our programming sponsors Tattly, Equinox and Hint Water. Sign up for our newsletter to be alerted about our next event in November! All photos by Owen McLean.    

The Rebirth and Reuse of Great Global Cities

“Vital cities have marvelous innate abilities for understanding, communicating, contriving, and inventing what is required to combat their difficulties… Lively, diverse, intense cities contain the seeds of their own regeneration, with energy enough to carry over for problems and needs outside themselves.” — Jane Jacobs Whenever I take a stroll on New York’s Highline, I think about the creativity, ingenuity, money, politics and gumption it took to bring it to life. What some might have seen as an old, decrepit railroad trestle, others had the vision to retrofit it into a lush, elevated park that has added immeasurable pleasure to Manhattan dwellers and visitors alike. This is sustainability in action: an urban infrastructure turned urban green machine, improving air quality, affording new views of the city and providing a happy respite from the hustle. Why is this so important? The environment that surrounds you is the quality of your life. It’s as simple — and as incredibly hard — as that. During its upcoming summit on September 25, the United Nations is adding “Sustainable Cities …

How to Become a Car Person In Just 3 Short Years

In my 18 years in New York City, I relied on the subway every single day of my life just like everyone else. First, it was the G to the L. Then, the G to the 7 or maybe the G to the E. Then, there was the L to the N, the G to the F, the L to the 2 (and that horrible tunnel between them), and finally the 4. Just the 4. Live and work long enough in NYC, and you’ll earn the privilege of a single-train commute. For years, I traipsed through wind and snow, uphill both ways to the subway — not an old saying in this case, but likely actually true based on NYC Sanitation’s snow removal efforts. I walked in sub-zero temps and felt my eyeballs start to freeze. I plodded through swampy humidity with sweat rolling down my back. I darted around bewildered tourists at the top of the subway stairs. I always got on the train at the exact door that would match my preferred exit …

Zen and the Art of the Crafty Commute

As someone who makes her home in a tree-lined, mostly hipster-free (knock wood), very outer area of the most desirable outer borough of Manhattan, I spend an inordinate amount of time commuting. Despite the rumblings of further encroaching gentrification, I’m blessedly still just a little too far from the maddening crowd. Yet another Fashion Week event invitation? Not all that interesting if it means spending extra hours on the back and forth. Tribeca Film Festival? You’ll need a pretty compelling line-up for me to spring for a cab back home. And, yes, I did just turn down an invitation to the cocktail party gala for the Frieda Kahlo exhibit up in the Bronx because no one offered to send an Uber. While I schlep back and forth on the F train to meetings or dinners or cocktails or basically anything worth doing, I tend to complain mightily. And I always have a plan of attack. I avoid eye contact, avoid frottage and try to have something to focus on other than the smells and sound effects …

The Life and Death of Book Club Attempts

I have been in my current book group for almost eight years, and although I love the books and the company of smart women, what I value most about it is that it did not disband as soon as I joined. Like the other two book groups did. Really, it was enough to give this reading woman a complex. I joined my first book group several months after I graduated from college because I believed that’s what people who graduated from college did, along with living in too-small, overpriced apartments and bemoaning “adulthood.” A woman I met in a writing class at the local Y invited me, and I found myself surrounded by 40-something goddesses who were smart and well-spoken and had read more books than I’d seen in my life. I liked all the women in the group, unusual for a misanthrope like me, and they seemed to like me. All of the women were married (or divorced!), and some had children. Several women belonged to another book group, in addition to ours, although …

City Dog, Country Dog

Owning a city dog is very different from owning a country dog. For one thing, city dogs must be walked. A lot. My terrier, Lucy, gets three or four walks a day (the extra walk depends on my mood and the weather,) whereas country dogs head out unaccompanied through any open door and do their business where they please. No schedule. No leash. No poop bag. I know this because Lucy is both a city dog and a country dog. Along with her human family, she spends weekends at our upstate house, morphing from urban pup to rural pup as soon as we pull in the driveway. One sniff of the piney air and she becomes practically lupine. All fifteen pounds of her turn into an amped-up mini-wolf — hunting, chasing, digging, swimming, and occasionally disappearing into the forest. Lucy is not alone in leading a double life. I know plenty of people who wedge their pooches between kids, coolers and duffle bags as they head out on the Long Island Expressway or wind their way …

What It’s Really Like to Be a Germophobe

I have a thing with germs. Many things, actually. Like Kim Kardashian’s ass, germs are nearly impossible to avoid if you want to interact with the modern world. Every street corner, coffee cup, toothbrush, dollar bill, door handle, work surface and orifice (whether human or animal) is simply teeming with unseen bacteria, possible parasites and other predatory pathogens. Or even just plain dirt. And you can’t escape it. It’s not that I’m prissy. I just can’t help but sense germs everywhere I go — and try to avoid them. I’m like Monk with boobs. In case you think I’m exaggerating, here, in no particular order, is a collection of my admittedly neurotic germ issues and thoughts: Let’s begin in the bedroom, shall we? Despite my despotic clean-freak neurosis, I know that my bed is hot bed of germ warfare. All beds are, and that’s a fact that will keep you up at night. My number bed-germ rule is this: No handbags on my bed. Ever. Ever-ever. No exceptions. Your bag goes on restaurant floors? Then …