Month: March 2020

Moo Sexy: Getting Out of My Comfort Zone for Love

Ten years ago, my boyfriend, Greg, and I are lying in bed on a lazy Sunday afternoon when he says he needs to talk to me about something. My mind instantly goes into overdrive. OMG. He’s cheating on me. He has an STD. He’s breaking up with me. Maybe all three! Thankfully, it’s none of these things, but it’s the last thing I expect to hear. “You don’t make me feel special,” he says. Whaaaaaat?! I think. As the shock takes over, my heart breaks. Over the past year, I’ve done all kinds of things to make him feel special. I’ve written him love notes that I hide in his dresser and in his bathroom (not under the toilet seat). I’ve cooked him dinner when he’s the far better cook. On his birthday, I gave him specific hard-to-find gifts that he’d casually mentioned months earlier in conversation. I’ve even folded his laundry despite the fact that he possesses the one quality I find sexiest in a man: He can fold a fitted sheet. I’m truly …

Corona Parenting: Do My Kids Need to See Me Cry?

Photo of Ericka by Sarah Sido I was lying next to my seven-year-old son at bedtime. He doesn’t ask for this often because he knows I always say no. One week ago, I had two backpacks to unload, two lunch containers to scrub peanut butter off the sides of, a dishwasher to fill and run, as well as make sure their basketball outfits were cleaned for the after-school game, and sweep all the rice, Legos, sand off the floor before finally settling down to get to my work, which was memorizing lines for an audition or sitting down to edit photos for a deadline. 8pm was my time, my alone time, my work time. But now there is no work. And none in sight. There are no bento box containers to clean, no backpacks to unload. There is little to organize or prepare for. The sports gear is already shoved away deep in the closet. So I laid with my oldest son. Because I had no excuse and really, why not? We are all anxious …

TueNight 10: Barbara Rushkoff

Age: ‘Old,’ as my kid says. Actual: 58. Feels like: 12 on a good day. Basic Bio:  Barbara Rushkoff is a former ’zine editor (Plotz), fact-checker (People) and music writer. Her latest project is under the guise of yr_resting_stitchface on Instagram where she makes embroidery stitch art of people who have made a creative impact on her life. Beyond the Bio:  “I’m a perpetual late bloomer, so having a kid in my early 40s made a lot of sense. I live in a small town just outside of NYC, where I am pretty sure no one cleans to post-punk music or remembers most of the people I’m embroidering. I recall that time in my life when music was so interesting and new and people connected with each other through live shows, record stores and making mixed tapes for each other. I miss that. Mid-life crisis through music and memory? Maybe. But I’m enjoying the people I’m connecting with on this new level.”  What Makes You a Grown Ass Lady: “Acceptance. Just accepting where I am right now, and …

Horses run free in Mexico

Fear and Fresh Air: How Two Trips to Mexico Set Me Free

My lifelong bad habit of not reading the fine print has been rivaled only by my bad habit of ignoring relationship red flags. Ignoring the fine print landed my acrophobic ass on a pissed-off horse on the edge of a cliff in Mexico. Ignoring red flags landed me in a second marriage that should not have been a second date. I survived both situations. But only now, nearly four years after that trip to Mexico and nearly three years after I left that marriage, do I realize how the former set the stage for the latter. To be honest, the fine print wasn’t really fine. All the pertinent text was the same font size on the horseback riding adventure company’s website. I just didn’t give much thought to what “exciting and rugged” and “our horseback rides are definitely not nose-to-tail, unless you choose so,” might actually mean. And I failed to register just how high “150-foot cliffs” are. I just booked a reservation for three, my daughters and me, and looked forward to riding a …

TueNight 10: Babita Patel

Age: 40 Quick Bio: Babita jets around the world as a humanitarian photographer and Executive Director of KIOO Project, a nonprofit that changes gender dynamics by teaching photography to girls who then teach boys. Her upcoming book, Breaking Out in Prison, introduces you to 15 men who were locked out of society long before they were locked up. Beyond the Bio: “My life at 40 looks nothing like I thought it would when I was 22. Starting a nonprofit, writing a book, my travel adventures have all landed in my lap while I was making myself crazy over ridiculous goals that were a waste of my time and energy. I finally decided to let the universe have its way while I stepped out of its way.” What makes you a grown-ass lady? “I don’t say ‘Yes’ when I really mean ‘No.‘ “ 1. On the nightstand: Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez 2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Dancing around my apartment like no one is watching 3. Jam of the minute: “Songs to Sing in the Shower” playlist 4. Thing I miss: My bed the second I …

Jenny in the Sarconic Islands

Get Lost: The Awesome, Scary, Wonder of My Midlife Travel

One early afternoon about 12 years ago I took three left turns and two right turns along the dense streets of Hanoi, Vietnam — and promptly found myself unutterably lost. I’d arrived for my first-ever visit to the city after a 24-hour journey from my home in Brooklyn late the night before — and as elegant women wearing conical straw hats pedaled past me on bicycles weighted down by flowers and produce, I stood on a street corner there possessed of no phone, no shared language, no context, no map, no prior understanding, no deep wisdom of the culture I’d found myself in, nothing to fall back on. Who knew what might happen next? I was at once a little scared and a whole lot delighted. Now, at 56, “a little scared and a whole lot delighted” is a disposition I’ve developed an unexpected propensity for in these ripe middle years of my life. This propensity is pretty much the dead opposite of what I imagined wanting for my grownup self when I was young …