Thanks to my cousin Jeff, today’s post is inspired by our pets, Santana, Hazel, Jasper and Guapo. For the most part, our pets are some of the most pampered on the planet, but they do get pissed off at us from time to time. So I’ve decided to give our furry and scaly housemates the floor today so they can finally share what’s on their minds…
Hazel’s Side-eye: Go F**k Yourself Grandpa for kicking me off the kitchen table this morning so you can drink your morning coffee and eat your toasted bagel with peanut butter. Don’t you know that I enjoy lying across the placemats while Beth watches MSNBC on her phone in the morning and Darin is out walking Santana? There’s nothing better than sprawling out on that table especially when I know the coast is clear and I’m not going to have to pole vault into the dining room once the dog comes back into the house. I know it seems unsanitary, but I seriously clean myself 20 times a day. You have nothing to worry about, except maybe a few cat hairs in your black coffee.
Guapo’s Rant: Go F**k Yourself for keeping me cooped up in a fish tank for the better part of seven years. I know you tried to make the place look nice. You gave me beachfront property and a window view of the backyard, but seriously, I’m three feet long now and would really like to relocate to Florida. I hear that Boca is quite nice. Maybe next time you drive down there, you can drop me off so I can find my long lost bearded dragon relatives.
Jasper’s Revenge: Go F**k Yourself Santana for chasing me and Hazel away from the bedroom because you are clearly the favorite. That’s okay. We were here first and we will continue to taunt you by sleeping in your dog bed and drinking from your water bowl. You can’t scare us with your silly bark. You know we have the upper hand since no one ever trims our nails and we can use them like ninja steak knives if you piss us off.
Santana vs. Squirrel: Go F**k Yourself mailman, Fresh Direct delivery man, UPS driver, landscaper, Uber Eats guy and anyone else who attempts to come to my front door and I don’t know who you are. Don’t worry, I don’t actually bite anyone who comes in the door but if you do not let me kiss you on the face or pet me, I will keep barking until you hit the road. Oh and FU too squirrel who always manages to taunt me on the porch. I will get you one day. I just have to figure out how to bust out of the sunroom.
Thanks for stopping by this week. Hope your pets treat you as great as ours do. And on that note, time to walk the dog…
I promised myself I was going to stay away from all those crazed Black Friday shoppers today but as the day wore on, a few stores were calling my name and sending me way too many emails so I broke down, loaded my family in the car and off we went.
I figured since we were hitting the local strip mall near our home, it wouldn’t be as insane. What I failed to realize is that people somehow forget how to drive when it’s crowded, and as a result I was able to come up with material for this week’s column.
So without further ado, allow me to present to you the Black Friday edition of Go F**k Yourself Fridays…
Go F**k Yourself woman with the handicapped parking pass who cut me off while she was texting on her phone. Just because you have special parking rights, doesn’t mean you should cause an accident because you keep staring at your cell phone while driving with one hand.
Go F**k Yourself to the lady taking an inordinate amount of time pulling out of her parking spot even though she has put away all her bags and turned on her car. There’s 15 cars vying for your spot – make it quick and hit the road. An honorable mention Go F**k Yourself goes out to the driver who tried to steal the spot from me after I was waiting patiently for five minutes for the other shopper to leave.
To the parents of the kids who are running around the hosiery section of Lord & Taylor unsupervised, go f**k yourself and get your kid. There’s nothing more aggravating than kids playing hide and seek while I’m trying to buy bras and underwear.
Go F**k Yourself to the retailers who cause mass hysteria because people think they’re going to walk away with a 72 inch flat screen TV for $5. Seriously, the last place I want to be at midnight is pressed up against the glass doors of Walmart.
For the next month or so, we are going to be flooded with holiday music and the unwritten rule has always been that “Santa Baby” can’t commence until the day after Thanksgiving. Go F**k yourself to all those radio stations that jump the gun and start playing Christmas music right after Halloween. I guess now that it’s Black Friday, all bets are off. So on that note I present to you…
Please feel free to chime in with your own Go F**k Yourself Black Friday stories because sharing is caring.
For anyone who knows what it’s like to be a parenting (aka Mommy) blogger, I’m going to clue you in to a little secret. About 12 years ago when I started blogging, my writer friends and I wrote about what we loved – whether it was storytelling, shopping or saving money. Nobody paid us when we wrote about them and we chalked it up to a stroke of luck when a brand discovered us and started sending us things for free. I mean when I started to get free Nintendo games for my kids, I seriously thought I hit the mother load.
Today, my kids are a lot older so video games are not going to cut it. I guess I should be grateful that my son is obsessed with Fortnite so I really don’t have to spend that much on him anymore. But enough about my kids. This year, I’m coming up with my holiday wish list and damn, it’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself.
Just so you are aware, I’m what you call an “early adapter.” I discover things before they actually become popular so if you want to be ahead of the curve, then please feel free to follow my lead and happy shopping…
Beth’s Holiday Wish List…
The Peloton Tread: This is absolutely #1 on my list to purchase at some point this year. I have been Pelo-obsessed since I first splurged on the state of the art spin bike more than two years ago. But now, I’ve been eyeing their brand new treadmill that offers live and on demand classes that’ll finally solve the “why do my legs always look so big problem.” I always find that when I start jogging, my legs thin out so as soon as I land a few more projects, that treadmill is totally going to be mine. If you decide to pull the trigger and order a Peloton or a Tread, feel free to use my Referral Code: QJMKEY – think of it as a GoFundMe so I can raise money to get the Tread. Kidding, not kidding. 🙂
2. The Ninja Foodie: I have so many appliances on my counter and recently, I discovered a brand new combo appliance that puts the Instant Pot and Air Fryer all in one place. As my friends and family can attest, I cook practically everything these days in my Instant Pot and Air Fryer. The Ninja Foodie looks like a total game changer and a space saver all in one!
3. Away Travel: Since I watch MSNBC all day and listen to it in the car too, there are certain commercials that have now been embedded in my memory. One is Madison Reed – which offers a simple way to color your hair (thanks but no thanks), the second is Third Love, a revolutionary bra that will change your life (nope) and the other is Away Travel…yes we have a winner! If you travel a lot or if you are obsessed with your phone, then this is the ideal gift for you. A suitcase where you can charge your phone at the same time! No more looking for wall outlets right before you board a flight. You can be plugged in at all times!
4. Seaweed Villa in Treasure Beach Jamaica: Now that you have your luggage, here’s the place you’re going to want to stay. We’ve been to Treasure Beach several times and while it does take some work to get there (it’s about 2.5 hours from Montego Bay airport), it is totally worth it. If you can’t afford SeaWeed – which is an unbelievable villa with an in ground pool, jacuzzi, views of the beach, a staff to take care of your every whim, gazebos galore and gorgeous bedrooms, then head to Jakes Hotel which also has beautiful cottages with ocean views too.
5. A New Car for My Hubby: For the last three years, Darin has been driving around in a tiny Hyundai Elantra and at last count, I think he has blown about 10 tires since driving out of the showroom. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not the car’s fault. He should have changed the tires during the winter or not driven on the roads in our neighborhood until all the pot holes were filled. Thankfully, his lease is up in the next two months so we’ll be on the hunt for a new set of wheels. Something tells me, it’s time for an upgrade. (Dare to dream).
So there you go. My dream holiday wish list. I probably won’t be getting everything on my list, but even if I can splurge on one thing, then seriously, I will be a very happy camper.
The New York Times recently published a story about how Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Chairman Mark Zuckerberg are currently under fire for putting subscribers at risk during the height of the 2016 election. Sandberg, who is best known for Lean In, a “This is How You Should Do It” advice book for career women, has managed to juggle her career at Facebook and her own personal brand for more than a decade. After the tragic passing of her husband, she continues to be a highly successful career woman, author, speaker and mother. But could now be the right time to finally take her eyes off the prize and Lean Out for a change?
When my children were little and I was climbing the corporate ladder, I was all about Leaning In. I advocated for myself and was one of the first working mothers in our office to telecommute. I still managed to secure promotions but also changed certain aspects of my job to accommodate the needs of my family. While I was fortunate enough to afford childcare, I still chose family over work – especially when it came to emergency situations involving my husband or my children. During that time, I worked on some of the biggest shows in Network television and never missed a beat – except when I went into early labor right before May sweeps.
That’s the tough part about making it to the top of a major company if you are a working mom. Now picture the scenario if you’re a single working mom with two New York Times best selling books, traveling all the time, speaking all over the world and trying to save your company’s reputation after the 2016 election. That’s a tough job for a man but as a woman and a mother, it’s exponentially harder.
Recently, I was slated to speak at a conference and thought I’d be home in time to pick up my son from high school and walk the dog. Unfortunately, my time slot for my presentation moved from the morning to late afternoon and before I knew it, my carefully crafted house of cards came tumbling down. Sure, Uber can come through in a pinch if the app is working properly (it wasn’t that day) and to complicate matters, our dog walker was unavailable. Oh, and did I mention that right before I was supposed to start speaking, I got an urgent phone call from my daughter that she was headed to health services on campus because she was having excruciating stomach pains? Sometimes, even when you’re trying to focus on your career, life has a funny way of stopping you dead in your tracks.
One would suspect it would be easier to Lean In harder as your kids get older but the opposite is true. That’s the exact time they need you as they prepare to leave the nest. When they are in their adolescent years, teens may experiment with drugs and alcohol or combat mental health issues that could lead to anxiety, depression and even suicide. When your kids are on the verge of becoming adults, that’s when they need their parents to pay attention to what’s going on in their lives.
Back in the early 1990’s, young college grads like me were told we could have it all. A career where you can make it to the top of that corporate ladder and be a great mom too. But the reality is, it’s hard to juggle both at the same time. You can be great at your job but there are going to be times when you have to walk away so you can focus on your family. You’re still amazing at what you do, but one day, when your kids are older, they will appreciate the fact that you Leaned Out at work so you could Lean In more with them.
I have many friends who came of age during the “Working Girl” era and we all agree that no matter where our careers have led, we are happier knowing we have always managed to find a way to pursue our passions without shortchanging our kids in the process. One friend Leaned Out during her daughter’s grueling college application process. Another confided that she doesn’t want to be a department head in her company because she’d rather make it home in time each night to be with her family. A third recently walked away from her job completely because she hated what she was doing and didn’t want life to pass her by just because she was busy climbing to the top. Then there are people like my mom who had to give up a job that she loved when my grandmother’s bout with Alzheimer’s disease worsened and she could no longer be left alone for extended periods of time.
We all make our decisions to Lean Out when it makes sense for us. That doesn’t mean we’re not good enough and it doesn’t mean we are quitters. Many of the women I admire and respect are realists who have figured out that the meaning of life does not center around your career.
Recently, a dear friend lost one of his best friends to cancer. His name was Tom. Tom was a throwback to another era. He barely used technology and yet had a way of engaging with people that made the experience completely unforgettable. After his passing, Tom’s friends continue to share stories of how he has forever touched their lives – through his humor, his music, his giving heart, his voice and his wisdom. Tom connected with children, teens and adults and while he never made it to the boardroom, he has left his mark on countless lives and will never be forgotten.
As I contemplate what’s next in my own career, my thoughts keep going back to Tom. At the end of the day, success is not about Leaning In so you can have a seat in the boardroom. It’s about Leaning Out so you don’t miss out on the best things in life.
I don’t know about you, but my personality is just like a tea kettle. I can be even keel for awhile, and I navigate through life pretty well even when a few curve balls are thrown my way. But sometimes, things reach a boiling point and that’s when I blow.
This coming week, I’m going to be hosting about 18 people for Thanksgiving. It started out with a pretty manageable group and that number has steadily grown with family coming in from Maryland, Michigan, Miami and now Boynton Beach. This past Friday, my parents, who had left early to head to Florida decided to fly back to New York so they could spend the holiday with us. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled they’re coming, but know that things are now going to get a bit harried this week and my upbeat demeanor is about to hit Defcon 4.
Out of our 18 guests, about 6-8 of them will be sleeping over so that meant I had to clean the entire house before they came. And trust me, while I can rock a powerpoint, a blog post and a press release, cleaning the house is not one of my favorite past times.
I also had to do the laundry and our dryer is on the fritz so that meant it would take double the time to dry everything (about six loads total). Oh and did I mention that one of my cats (this means you Hazel) peed on my comforter in our guest room and while I tried to wash it, it still smelled so I had to throw it out and get a new one?
Meanwhile, I had noticed that in my kids’ bathroom, strange black dots started appearing on the wall. Holy crap. Black mold. Actually, it was just condensation and dirt formed by never opening the windows. So early yesterday morning, my husband and I went to the supermarket so we could buy a 22 pound turkey, a few cans of yams and cranberry sauce and I could get cleaning supplies. Of course, we walked out of Stop & Shop spending over $300 in groceries, but it is the holiday and as my father in law always says, you can’t put a price on a good time.
Once we stocked the house with food and bleach products, my husband had to leave for the rest of the day for a meeting so I whipped into action. I proceeded to clean the kitchen and both bathrooms and even got the black gunk off the walls while wearing pretty latex pink gloves. I was rocking cleaning the bathroom even though I started to feel a little light headed from all that bleach.
After I opened some windows, I ran downstairs to do more laundry, fold clothes, pay some bills and corresponded throughout the day with my daughter who was coming home that night from college by way of Michigan (she decided to visit a friend for his birthday weekend), Philadelphia and then finally back to New York. We started texting at 6am, I got another text at 11:00am when she got back to Philly, then another call at noon when she was at her apartment, then another one at 2:30 when she was on the train back to New Rochelle.
After I loaded another batch of laundry, put the clean dishes away, loaded more dirty dishes in the dishwasher, threw out the comforter and some old stuff in the fridge, I headed out again to buy a new comforter at Home Goods. The place was packed but I knew what I was there for. I passed the kitchen and dining section first and grabbed two fresh holiday tablecloths on the way over to the bedding department. Then I found a reasonably priced comforter and made my way to the register where I waited another 10 minutes in a long line that whipped around a few aisles. While waiting my turn and mindlessly checking my Facebook and Instagram feed, I glanced over at the items lining my way to the register and of course, had to impulse buy some decorative napkins since I was standing there for so long and was sucked in by the allure of things I really didn’t need to buy.
When I got back home, I put my pretty new comforter on the bed in the guest room and made sure to close the door behind me so the cat couldn’t get in again and wreck the place. I then went to the basement to fold laundry and my son then informed me he had to get a trifold poster board for his marketing class. Of course, it was due the next day. I instantly told him we should pick it up at that moment but he wanted to wait because he still had homework to finish. So I told him we should go in an hour because I had to get his sister from the train in two hours. He proceeded to stay upstairs for two hours and then I had to leave for the train but he still needed his poster board.
And that’s when things reached a boiling point. I had actually been keeping it together pretty well but after putting in more loads of laundry and listening to our squeaking dryer, and folding everyone’s clothes, and cleaning black crap off the bathroom walls, and putting all the groceries away, and doing the dishes, and buying a comforter at Home Goods and waiting on a ridiculously long line, I finally blew my stack. I never yell at my son, but there I was arguing with him for not being more proactive with me. Why didn’t he come down the stairs like I had suggested so we could go out sooner to get his poster board? Instead, I insisted he come with me to get his exhausted sister from the train and made her wait in the car while we picked up the poster at Staples and then we all headed home and ordered in dinner because honestly, if I had to cook last night, I seriously would have lost it. How did housewives do it in the 50’s anyway?
I know I shouldn’t complain about having to clean my house but sometimes, when you are expecting a ton of guests for the holiday, the last thing you really want to do is clean the house, do the laundry, go grocery shopping, buy a new comforter at a store that’s packed with pre-holiday shoppers and track down a tri-fold poster board from Staples too.
So yes, I blew my top when I shouldn’t have but my son forgave me because he’s a great kid and knows that I sometimes have a tendency to lose it when things get a bit stressful at home. We now have made a pact that when he’s assigned a project and needs supplies, he should just order it that day on Amazon Prime and we won’t have any problems. Come to think of it, next time, I’ll order my comforter from Amazon too. I actually ordered a slipcover for one of my chairs that has been mangled by Hazel – the same cat that peed on the comforter – hopefully it’ll get here before Thanksgiving so I can cover up her nasty habit of ripping my furniture to shreds.
And that dear reader is the story of the weekend I blew my top. I’m sure you probably have a few tea kettle stories of your own to share – especially around the holidays. While I’m grateful for family, this time of year just gets me totally stressed out and sometimes, like a tea kettle, I reach a boiling point and blow. But it’s okay. Today’s a new day and my son just informed me that all the lights in his bathroom went out. Time for some morning coffee, then I’ll shove another load of laundry into the dryer before I haveout to buy some bathroom lights.
Guess I better put the tea kettle back on the stove.
Since I’m now in my last year of my forties, I’ve decided to just go balls out with how I feel about people. And damn, does it feel good. So today, I dedicate this post to a topic that’s near and dear to my heart….phony b*tches.
Go F**k Yourself to the phony b*tch who always seems so nice when I see her in person but then shows her true colors with her passive aggressive political comments on Facebook. Wait, that does sound a little like me, but I swear I’m talking about someone else.
A big I SEE YOU goes out to the phony b*tch who purposely avoids making eye contact because she clearly doesn’t want to say hello. Listen up, if you keep looking in another direction you will not suddenly turn invisible. Suck it up and say good morning b*tch!
To the woman in the nail salon who I’ve met about a dozen times at a mutual friend’s house but doesn’t seem to recognize me even though I’m sitting right next to her. Hello b*tch, it’s been a long time. Let’s catch up. Then again, let’s not.
A big Go F**k yourself goes out to the distracted b*tch who really doesn’t care to have a conversation and is already looking over your head to see if there are more important people in the room she should be talking too.
If you happen to see yourself in any of these scenarios, don’t worry, I really wasn’t targeting you. Being a phony b*tch can happen to the best of us. Just try to catch yourself next time you try to avoid people you really don’t care for. My solution is to just stay home and binge watch a Netflix series or make plans with people I actually like.
I bet you’d never guess that a Jewish girl from Brooklyn loves country music but I have to admit, I have been a fan for more than 25 years and counting. It all started a long time ago when I was a junior publicist for “The Maury Povich Show.” Before the show became a “Who’s Your Daddy Fest,” Maury would feature entertainment guests and one of my favorite memories was the time our staff was flown to Nashville to produce a few shows while the CMA Awards were taking place.
I’ll never forget our talent booker Tricia Daniels attempting to hunt down Billy Ray Cyrus with a golf cart during the height of his “Achy, Breaky, Heart” fame. While she never did book Billy Ray, Tricia was able to land Clint Black and many more country stars on the show that week and I got to take Maury to his interviews on a few local Nashville TV stations. I remember having an amazing group photo somewhere in my house and wish I could find it now because we all looked so young! Plus, so many of those hard working production team members went on to incredible careers and I am always blown away when I get to see them pop up on my Facebook feed.
A few years later, I landed a job at CBS and eventually got the chance to be the publicist for the CMA Awards. The team that I worked with at the CMA’s were nothing short of stupendous. Two of my favorite people in Nashville are Wendy Pearl and Scott Stem who led the public relations efforts on behalf the Country Music Association. Wendy and Scott are two of the nicest people I have ever met and no matter how stressful things got during the show, we always managed to laugh the entire week and I couldn’t wait to come back year after year for more music, mayhem and excitement.
One of the best moments ever was the year I brought my dad to Nashville and he helped out on the red carpet, handing water to Brad Paisley and many more country music stars. Dad even wrote a poem that he shared with Wendy and Scott called “The Jewish Cowboy.” Meanwhile, I invited legendary TV writer Jay Bobbin to spend the week with us in Nashville too and he got to experience what it was like to be a seat filler. Plus, thanks to Jack Sussman, one of my favorite television executives at CBS, Jay was able to get a one on one interview with the legendary Dolly Parton.
There’s one thing I can say about country music artists. They are some of the most talented and nicest people you will ever meet. During rehearsals, I was always mesmerized by their effortless performances and when the show was live, it was amazing to watch the intricate stage movements and changes that took place throughout the telecast. There really isn’t anything that compares to being in the audience at the CMA Awards and I highly recommend a visit to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry house so you can experience it yourself.
Enough of my trip down memory lane. Time to get back to watching the CMA’s. Even though it’s on a different TV network and my dear friends Wendy and Scott have since moved on to even bigger and brighter careers, I’m sure they are somewhere in the audience or backstage tonight reminiscing, smiling and laughing. My two Nashville friends have both figured out the secret to a great career. Do what you love with people you admire and respect and success and happiness are sure to follow.
Recently, I spoke at a conference for entrepreneurs and salespeople and was grateful to meet several individuals who are hard working, kind and optimistic about their future. I got to hear some really great stories – like the NYC realtor who used to sell property in Jamaica and even sold a home to Usain Bolt. Or the firefighter who donates a portion of his closing costs from his job as an associate real estate broker to families of firefighters affected by 9/11.
There were dozens of people I met and I loved hearing why they decided to become entrepreneurs. But there’s also a type of person I always try to avoid at all costs. And that led me to post this on my LinkedIn page…
Maybe it has something to do with the political climate that we’re currently in but I am so tired of watching people behave badly that I’m just going to call it when I see it. Carly Simon said it best, so this one is for all the misogynists out there who probably don’t even realize they are being jerks.
And for those nice people out there who are grounded, grateful and authentic this one for you…
When you think about how you want to be remembered in life, it’s not going to be about the millions of dollars you amassed during your career. It will always be about the lives you touched along the way. Sure Oprah is a gazillionaire, but people hardly ever talk about her money. They talk about her incredible impact on the lives of those less fortunate. You can never manufacture authenticity.
There’s nothing like falling into the rabbit hole of Twitter and Facebook and stumbling across priceless videos and tweets that’ll cause you to spit out your morning coffee. Here’s a sampling of what I uncovered while trolling my social feed over the last few days. You’re welcome…
Cutest baby and kitten on planet earth…
I happen to live vicariously through the Facebook page of Jenny Lawson who is also known as The Bloggess. Jenny is a New York Times best selling author with kids, cats and dogs that add to the every daily hilarity taking place at her house. Check out one of her latest cat videos and you’ll see what I mean…
Classic tweet by Betty F**king White…
Another priceless tweet for the Queen of Mean Ann Coulter…
Grab a tissue because this one is going to make you cry…
So I shared why I started blogging in the first place and when I took a trip down memory lane and began watching videos that I have produced over the last decade, I took a hard look at my blog and decided it needed a makeover. No more pinks and blues for Role Mommy. We’re all about the writing and the funny so you’ll get to read my witty or ranty posts right here from your laptop, your iPad or your phone – whatever your fancy, I’ll be serving it up on Role Mommy 3.0 (if that’s even a thing).
I’m a busy mom like many of you and I know that what I really want to read about are things that will take my mind off things like MSNBC or Fox TV. I mean, sure, I do keep a running feed of cable news throughout the day and those loud breaking news updates always gives me a bad feeling in my stomach, but that’s the reason why I knew it was important that we all take our mind off things for a change and read stuff that’s just about life and not politics.
So here’s to a place where you can go to escape. Find out how you can lose weight and still eat good food. Travel to great places on a budget. Cut to the chase and see a great movie because I’ve seen it first and I can tell you if it’s Oscar-worthy or a total dud. And I’ll be sharing lots of great career advice from my in-the-know friends because whether you’re a new mom or an empty nester, the reason I started this blog was because as parents, we should never lose ourselves in the process. You still have big dreams. You are still important. I know I’m starting to sound like that great scene from “The Help” — you are wise, you are kind, you are important — but I digress. Dammit, what I’m trying to say is you deserve to do what you love even if you have to get one kid to soccer practice, another to their math tutor and a third to dance team rehearsal…all at the same time while doing a conference call from your car.
So make it a great week Role Mommy and make sure to make time to do the things you love. Even if it’s singing in your shower before you have to wake your kid up for school. No matter what goes on in your life or around the world, you deserve a little escape from the crazy. Sing, dance, eat, paint, read or drink some great wine. Whatever you pick, if it puts a smile on your face, then my job here is done for the day.