Go F**k Yourself Friday…the Graduation Edition

In this week’s edition of Go F**k Yourself Friday, I’d like to dedicate the column to parents of kids all over our country celebrating one of the biggest milestones in their life. Well, some of them are. But for the others, this one’s for you.

Go F**k Yourself to the Doggy Obedience School who Has a Graduation Ceremony -Truth be told, when my puppy got to have her picture taken with a graduation cap for learning how to sort of not pee on a carpet, I was pretty excited for her graduation but then reality set in. I paid about $200 for a class where my dog still wasn’t house broken, she was tough to walk and constantly whined until we gave her a treat. Then there was the time she ate my computer keyboard and had the runs for a week. That’s like allowing someone with a D average to graduate. Totally not cool. The good news is, she’s finally house broken but she recently ate a piece of tin foil. No matter how hard we try, Santana will never be a straight A student.


Go F**k Yourself to Pre-School and Kindergarten Graduation – Another cute as a button moment that truly trivializes what it means to graduate from school. Honestly, if a kid can’t even read yet, then they don’t deserve to wear a cap and gown. Let’s stop celebrating kids every time they get a year older so that by the time they do graduate from high school or college, they will really appreciate it.


Go F**k Yourself to Parents who Buy their Kids Cars for Graduation – Seriously? You had to buy your kid a convertible Jeep for graduation? I’m sure your kid is thrilled with his new wheels but you just make it tough for the rest of us who have to explain to our kids that they’re just going to have to share the car with us until we qualify for social security.


Go F**k Yourself to Bills, Bills and More Bills – The high school graduation is a distant memory and you’ve already got an email from your kids’ new college that the tuition bill is due. The next thing you know, your kid is hounding you about getting all their dorm stuff together and within seconds, you’ve just dropped several hundred dollars on a monochromatic comforter and a few throw pillows from Dormify. Then there’s the marathon shopping spree at Bed, Bath & Beyond where I forgot my coupons and we bought the wrong size sheets. Seriously, I know graduation is code word for kiss your money goodbye but I wish these schools would give us a day or two to breathe in between graduation, orientation and move in day.


Go F**k Yourself Uber – For parents with kids who have graduated high school and are now enrolled in college, Uber will become the bane of your existence. Every time you look at your phone, you will inevitably see that Uber notification pop up and that’s probably because your kid doesn’t want to walk to class in the rain; went to a late night party or just felt like ordering Uber Eats instead of using the money you have already set aside for their meal plan. I never realized how something so convenient could totally suck away cash I wasn’t intending to spend in the first place. A word of advice to parents of kids with an Uber account – make sure they link it to their bank account and not yours. Trust me, they’ll be walking a lot more once they realize that the Uber is on them.


If you’re the parent of a recent graduate, I want to wish you only the best. Enjoy this very special time before they move on to the next chapter of their lives. And if you’re the parent of a kindergarten graduate, make sure you start their 529 plan and don’t introduce them to Uber until they get a job.

Go F**k Yourself Friday…the Hurry up and Wait Edition

When one of our pipes broke the morning of Passover this year, I realized how lucky I am that technology has enabled me to find plumbers, upholstery cleaners and appliance repairmen at a moment’s notice. I also have discovered that the easier it is to find people to fix things, there are plenty more who still drive me bonkers because they are like speed bumps – I may be driving at 60 mph but BAM! out of nowhere I hit a speed bump and everything just stops. In honor of all those human speed bumps who drive impatient people like me crazy, I present to you, Go F**k Yourself Friday, the hurry up and wait edition…

Go F**k Yourself Roto Rooter – You totally took advantage of me when I first moved into my house and didn’t know a good plumber after the previous owner’s kid flushed a pen down the toilet and clogged the whole system. Roto Rooter sounded familiar so I flipped through the phone book (remember those days) and the Roto Rooter service man came over within a few hours, diagnosed the problem and then charged us an arm, a leg and the name of our first born to fix it. Fast forward to Passover morning when I instantly found a very nice plumber on Thumbtack, he proceeded to stop by within an hour of our corresponding and quoted me a totally reasonable price to fix my pipes. Sayonara Roto Rooter – looks like your price gauging plumbing disaster days are over. 


Go F**k Yourself Bank Rep Who Wanted to Eat Lunch Instead of Deal With Me – Truth be told, I hardly visit my local bank anymore. I can deposit checks from my phone and pay bills online so I really have no need to stop inside and speak to someone. But this week, I needed to get one document notarized and also had to get a letter from the bank as part of my daughter’s student visa application. What I thought would take 10 minutes turned into a 90 minute ordeal when I stopped into my local bank and it felt like a ghost town. As I looked around for someone to help me a woman who was returning with her lunch proceeded to tell me they didn’t have a notary on staff and I needed to get that letter via online customer service and not at my local bank branch. She then sent me to another location to get the letter notarized and when I got there, their notary told me she couldn’t do it. Thankfully, I did get the other letter I needed which means the bank rep at the first branch just didn’t want to deal with me in the first place. Listen up bank reps – if I hardly every visit your bank, you may want to be a little more helpful when I stop by for something important. Otherwise, I will close my accounts and take my business to a place where people are more than happy to help me with whatever I ask for. Incidentally, when my bank wouldn’t notarize my letter, we walked over to HSBC and one of their reps did it instead – even though I don’t even have a bank account at their bank. Hey there reps at my current bank, I’ve got some choice words for you but I’m going to let Julia Roberts do it for me…


Go F**k Yourself to the Pricey Salad Place in my Neighborhood where the workers always seem to be filling online orders instead of waiting on customers who are literally staring at them in the face. There’s a well known franchise in my area that makes ridiculously expensive salads that I typically cave in and visit at least once a week. However, it’s been pretty frustrating lately trying to get the workers’ attention because they always seem to be filling orders for people who aren’t even there. You see, even though the place has been empty on the few occasions I have visited, the salad makers behind the counter always seemed preoccupied fulfilling online orders, so I stand there like an idiot waiting at least five minutes to place my romaine lettuce with grilled shrimp, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples and Greek yogurt dressing because someone ahead of me who isn’t even there is having their salad made because they ordered it first on their app. Seriously, if you see a real live person staring you in the face waiting to place an order, then stop what you are doing and take care of them. I don’t care if people are ordering from Uber Eats, Door Dash, Postmates or the app for your pricey salad joint – if you see me, ask me what I want NOW or you probably won’t see me again…at least not until next week. 


Go F**k Yourself to Ride Share Drivers Who Say they are 3 minutes away but it’s more like 10 – here’s another pet peeve of mine. If it’s cold or rainy outside, the last thing I want to be is standing outside braving the elements because my Uber driver claims to be three minutes from picking me up. As I stare at the app watching as his car goes backwards and forwards and then backwards again, I’m left wondering what the hell that driver is doing. Even though the app keeps saying he’s 3 minutes away, suddenly, it increases to 4, then 8 then back to 6 and back up to 10. It’s one thing if it’s 70 degrees and I’m enjoying the fresh air but if all I want to do is get in a car so I can warm up, don’t tell me you’re around the corner when you’re clearly lost, dropping off another passenger or just too damn slow.


Go F**k Yourself to the ‘I’ll Be there Tomorrow’ Guy – I happen to have many of these people in my life. Something breaks down in my house and Mr. Fixit assures me that he’ll be there tomorrow morning. But then the morning passes by and he says he’ll be there later in the day. And one day leads into the next and soon another week goes by until suddenly, when you’re nowhere near your house, the repairman shows up and wonders where you are and why you weren’t waiting around for him. Here’s the deal. I don’t work well with people who say they’ll be there that day and don’t show up for another two to three weeks. If I’m not home when you finally decide to stop by, I guess I’m going to have to deal with going yet another day with a broken appliance and you’re going to have to deal with not being paid because I’m not there. Here’s a piece of advice, when you tell someone you’re going to be at their house the same day, don’t leave them waiting, wondering and checking to see if you’re receiving their urgent texts. Ditch the excuses and just show up!


Go F**k Yourself Friday – the week of WTF

Sometimes, a series of events happen throughout the week that cause you to give people the side eye while you make a mental note that they just made it into your column without them even realizing it. So this week, as I juggled work and life events that kept me busy, annoyed and on my toes, I decided to devote this week’s column to the random acts of crazy that made me stop a minute and say WTF?

Go F**k Yourself to Politically Correct College Tour Guides – I’d like to start this missive by first saying, I am totally on board the politically correct bandwagon, but sometimes, I think my progressive friends have seriously gone off the deep end and this week was no exception. While at a college tour with my son, four of the tour guides introduced themselves by stating their names and they added that they go by the pronouns “He, him, his” or “Her or she.” I looked at my son and asked him, is this a thing now? Because, honestly if it is, I’d like to be addressed as “Miss,” “Hey lady,” “Bitch” but whatever you do, don’t ever think of calling me ma’am. 


Go F**k Yourself to the Second Guesser – You haven’t worked in my industry for at least half a dozen years and yet, you decide to start questioning my work and then insult me in an email and cc my client. You know what? What if I take a little break and you take over from here? Just use your rotary phone to call your contacts who no longer have landlines, don’t respond to emails or are out of work looking for jobs too. Don’t ever claim you know how to do my job unless you’re in the trenches right along side me. Otherwise, STFU and get out of my way.


Go F**k Yourself to the Steamroller – I used to work with someone who would literally push you out of the way if it meant she would get ahead faster than you. While the people around her were minding their business and doing their jobs, she used her connections and pushy attitude to get whatever she wanted and didn’t care if she stepped on her co-workers along the way. This week, I met someone who totally reminded me of the steamroller and as I watched her in action, it took me back to those awful days when I always found myself watching my back. The good news is, I’m my own boss now and she’s someone else’s nightmare, not mine.


Go F**k Yourself to People with Hidden Agendas – This past week, I invited a few media contacts and bloggers to a really fun event and for the most part, everyone was really nice, had a great time and wrote positively about their experience. But there always has to be a few bad apples in the bunch and this was no exception. First, there was the pushy paparazzi photographer whose unflattering video promoting the event literally made me cringe. When I told him to take it down, he then got mad at me because he said it took him an hour to create it. Well, take 5 seconds to delete it and you’ll make my day. Then, a reporter who works for a major gossip magazine interviewed my client and proceeded to write something that had absolutely nothing to do with the event I had invited her to see. Lesson learned – even though it’s great when people say they’d love to attend an event, sometimes you’re just better off telling them to stay home or attend another event where they can totally annoy someone else.


Go F**k Yourself to Supermarkets with Super Small Kosher for Passover Selections – For my fellow tribe members who host seders this time of year, is it just me or have supermarkets really started carrying less and less Passover fare? I mean, I shouldn’t have to travel to three supermarkets to find a jar of red horseradish and would it kill you to carry something other than coconut macaroons? This week, after striking out three times on the horseradish, I finally broke down and went to the uber expensive kosher supermarket that just opened in my neighborhood. Not only did I find the horseradish, but I even tracked down two packages of pupiks for my grandmother’s classic fricassee recipe. Granted, when I asked one of the workers if they carried pupiks, he looked at me like I was nuts but I was determined. Plus, I knew there was no way my neighborhood supermarket carried pupiks since I’m lucky if they carried gefilte fish. Thankfully, after searching through one of their freezers, I struck pay dirt and found the pupiks myself. Here’s the deal with Passover – if you work in a kosher supermarket, when Passover is around the corner, you need to brush up on some Yiddish food lingo stat. And if you’re the store manager for Stop & Shop or ACME, it’s time to give Passover an entire aisle and not just three shelves filled with gluten free matzoh, white horseradish and borscht. For the record, while the Catskills might have been known as the “Borscht Belt” during the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel era, no one I know eats borscht at their seder. Now pupiks on the other hand…that’s a whole different story.


And on that note, I have to go make some matzoh ball soup. Happy Holidays!!!

Go F**k Yourself Friday…the Distracted Edition

These days, it’s literally impossible to have a conversation with people because they are either texting someone, scrolling their social media feed or they’ve zoned out thinking about their weekend plans. Without further ado, it’s time to call out all those F**kers who don’t have time to pay attention.

Go F**k Yourself to the Person Who Texts During a Meeting You just landed a new meeting with a potential client and you’re about to present to the team. The problem is, half the people in the room are attached to their phones and can’t pay attention to what you’re saying since they’re too busy planning their wedding, a Bar Mitzvah or just figuring out what they’re having for dinner. If you’re required to attend meetings, then put the phone down for once and listen!


Go F**k Yourself to the Person who takes phone calls in restaurants – You’re in a cozy restaurant with your significant other and the tables are thisclose together. The ceilings are also pretty high so you feel like you’re in an echo chamber and can’t hear yourself speak. And then the girl next to you picks up her phone and starts up-talking with her friend (translation: ends every sentence with a question even though she’s not actually asking any questions at all).  You’re still waiting for your appetizers to arrive and she doesn’t seem to be hanging up any time soon. If your phone rings, don’t answer and proceed to talk for 10 minutes while your partner stares at you or the people next to you eavesdrop. Stand up, walk outside and take your calls in private!


Go F**k Yourself to People Who Don’t Read Anymore – there are a few new abbreviations I recently heard about from a friend who told me that if you send someone an email and it’s longer than one paragraph, nine times out of 10, they won’t read it. In fact, the practice of not reading long emails is called TLDR (too long, didn’t read). For those of you who don’t have 60 seconds to read, comprehend and respond, seriously, take a break and get a grip. Sure my message may be a little long winded, but it’s not like I’m asking you to read Gone with the Wind.


Go F**k Yourself to the Guy in Front of Me Who is Clearly Texting and Driving – the light has been green for at least 10 seconds and yet, you’re still not moving. Could it be that you’ve been too busy scrolling your Facebook feed to realize that you just caused a traffic jam? You are not the only one on the road and the world won’t fall apart if you don’t like or heart an Instagram post. Put the phone down and drive!


Go F**k Yourself to the Person Who Has No Time for Small Talk – You and I aren’t friends but you still begrudgingly walk over to me with that fake grin plastered on your face and give me an air kiss. I can clearly see you are looking over my head hoping you can talk to someone else but I try to make small talk nevertheless. If you really don’t want to talk to me, then seriously, don’t even say hello in the first place.  To be honest, I’d rather stick needles in my eyes then have a conversation with you anyway.


Hope you have a fantastic distraction-free weekend. I’m going to try to read a book, not look at my phone and maybe have a conversation without texting in between. Oh who am I kidding? I am so not doing any of those things. Better go refresh my social media feed before we hit the restaurant!

Go F**k Yourself Friday…the Real Estate Edition

I would like to preface this week’s column by saying there are a lot of realtors who I adore. In fact, my own mother-in-law is a realtor and while she’s not a top seller, she has made lifelong friends as a result of the incredible connection she makes with buyers. Sure, many of them choose not to move or pick another state entirely, but I love the way my mother-in- law operates. She always puts people first and the deals second. And on that note, for every other realtor who is motivated by dollar signs, this week’s edition of Go F**k Yourself Friday was tailor made for you.

Go F Yourself to the Bait & Switch Realtor – You were supposed to rent my parents’ home in the Hamptons during the US Open and proceeded instead to convince them to sell it. While you couldn’t find a buyer as fast as you thought and my parents went back to Florida for the winter, you kept parading your prospects through the house until you finally made a deal. Now you’re giving my folks the bums rush to close just so you can get your commission check. Sure, my family will never get to spend time in the Hamptons again, but who cares about family traditions anyway? After persuading another pair of snowbirds to sell their gold mine and fly south for good, my parents’ realtor is doing the happy dance. For the record, I have two words to say to you and trust me, it’s not Happy Birthday.


Go F Yourself to the Pushy Realtor – Several years ago, the #1 realtor in our area almost convinced me to sell my home. She took one look at our house and said we had to sell since there was no way we could send our kids to the school in our neighborhood and she tried to convince us to move to the more expensive part of town. Luckily, we didn’t take her advice because we would have totally been under water – and not due to a broken water heater. Instead, we put an extension on our house and just celebrated our 20th year living there. She’s still in business convincing people to move into homes they can’t afford. Sure, she’s made a bundle off the backs of unsuspecting buyers, but all that gets her is a big stack of money and an even bigger FU from me.


Go F**k Yourself to the Apathetic Realtor – After I had done a Google search of where my daughter wanted to live off campus, I discovered that the apartment one of her roommates had found was next to a vacant lot, boarded up buildings and a bodega on the corner. When I called the realtor, whose office was right next door to the building and asked her to share a photo of the front of the place, she refused. Recently, when my daughter experienced roommate problems and had to move out and her apartment mates turned her room into a pot smoking den two hours after she vacated the premises, the realtor refused to get involved. To add insult to injury, when we tried to get someone who was in the Air Force to sublet the place, the realtor, who didn’t want to get involved in roommate disputes, refused to approve him because those cannabis loving roommates didn’t want a guy living in their apartment. Maybe they didn’t want someone who would call the cops on them. Either way, apathetic realtor…go F**k yourself!


Go F**k Yourself to the “Look at Me” Realtor – I get that real estate is all about wanting to work with someone who has a great track record but I really don’t want to see your punim plastered on a massive billboard whenever I’m on my way to my neighborhood Stop & Shop. I’m sure you paid a lot of money so we could see how great you are but honestly, a magnet or a calendar is more subtle and actually comes in handy when I want to hang up a flyer for my son’s play or find out when Passover starts.


Go F**k Yourself to the “I Win All the Awards Realtor” – The last time I took home a trophy was in 1986 so whenever I see a realtor posting on their social media feed that they’ve won yet another award for selling their one millionth home, it drives me nuts. Seriously, no one likes a showoff. Let your customers sing your praises and stop sharing your glass awards like it’s an Oscar or something.


Go F**k Yourself Friday…the DIY Edition

Don’t get me wrong, I am as crafty as they come, but there are certain things in life I have no desire to do myself. See if you can relate…

Go F**k Yourself Nurse Ratchet – Even though you were first in your nursing school class, that doesn’t mean my father-in-law wants to learn how change his own catheter bag. I know insurance plans stink nowadays and they kick you out of the hospital immediately after surgery, but what’s next? Will you be teaching my mother-in-law how to do a tracheotomy or master a crash cart in case someone at the beauty parlor flatlines?


Go F**k Yourself Blue Apron – While I do enjoy your meals after I’ve spent an hour preparing them, the one thing I hate more than anything is when you send me a bag of potatoes, five unpeeled carrots, one clove of garlic or a whole lemon and expect that I have the tools to effortlessly slice and dice them. Newsflash – I do not own a mincer or a zester and while I did buy a mandolin, my bloody fingers are now worse for the wear. If you want to make things easy for me then chop those vegetables first and save me at least 20 minutes on prep time.


Go F**k Yourself Self Service Gas Stations   There are certain things I just don’t like to do and that’s pumping my own gas. Sure, that might sound pretentious but I always get nervous after fumbling around with the nozzle, that I won’t know when to stop or that I didn’t screw the lid on tight enough. As I drive away, I worry that I’m going to be leaking fuel all over the highway causing an explosion if I drive past an oil tanker. Yes, I have a wild imagination, but some people are afraid of snakes. I’m afraid of pumping gas.


Go F**k Yourself Supermarket Checkout – I’ve spent the last hour navigating my way through narrow aisles getting stuck behind a woman with a kid throwing a tantrum because his mom won’t buy him Fruity Pebbles and now you want me to check out my own groceries and bag them myself? What happened to those Employee of the Month plaques where you praised the fastest cashier? Is supermarket chivalry dead? Methinks that sadly it is… 


Go F**k Yourself to Picking My Own Movie Seats Online What ever happened to showing up for a movie early, scoping out the place and picking out the best seat in the house because we got there first? These days, even if you are punctual, you could totally be screwed by someone who snagged your seat online and then shows up after the movie starts. There are certain things that still should be first come first served and even if it’s a free for all or a running of the bulls to get the best seats, that’s part of the adventure of going to the movies. Ya snooze, ya lose. 


I’m a Little Bit Country…

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.

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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.

Back to Blogging…

A long time ago before I even became a mom, I began reading books about what it was like going through pregnancy, childbirth and eventually child rearing. Like everyone else I know from back then, I initially bought a book called What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and truthfully, it scared the sh*t out of me. Every time I had a cramp, I thought something was going wrong. I freaked out about every stage of my pregnancy and when my daughter finally did arrive, I was one of those jumpy parents who would hover over her bassinet to make sure she was still breathing.

One time, during my first few weeks of motherhood, I was so dazed and confused after breastfeeding at 2am, I carried my daughter back into her room and accidentally bumped her tiny little head on the door frame. I was convinced I had knocked her unconscious and so, my husband grabbed a washcloth, drenched it in water and wiped her face with it. In an instant, she turned beet red and woke up crying. Crisis averted.

When it came to child #2, I loosened up a lot. I bought a new book, The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth, and finally, I knew I had found my tribe. Spare me the fear, I was all about the funny. After that delicious read, I jumped into The Three Martini Playdate by Christie Mellor and realized that I loved this sarcastic take on motherhood so much that I was going to start writing about my life too.

From there, I began writing with a friend and we decided we were going to publish a book. Sure we didn’t know anyone who could actually publish it, but we were determined. We spent a summer in my basement, writing and laughing and eventually, Peeing in Peace was born. While it took us about nine months to actually find a publisher who would take a chance on us (thank you Sourcebooks), we eventually did while launching Role Mommy along the way.

Role Mommy has become a place where I have shared embarrassing stories about my kids when they were little (footnote: by the time they were 12, I was forbidden to share anything funny about them on my blog). I posted reviews of TV shows, films and products and also featured guest content from other parenting writers from around the web. And I produced dozens of incredibly memorable events. These days, my little site that could is serving up a dose of stories and sarcasm again. I’m back to doing what I love most – making people laugh, think and maybe even shed some tears along the way. And I’m working on some fun events again too.

So welcome back to Role Mommy if you haven’t been here in a while. And if this is your first time visiting, then hope you like what you see. I’m writing again from the heart about work, life and everything in between. Even though I’m practically an empty nester and I no longer have funny tales to tell about my kids, it definitely feels great to be doing what I love again.

Melancholy Mondays

This past weekend, I found out that our friends lost someone very close to them, their lifelong friend Tom. I was lucky enough to have met Tom when our family tagged along on their annual summer vacation to Block Island. For the last three decades, they reunite with their high school friends where they relax at the beach, gather around a bonfire, shoot off fireworks, shop at the farmer’s markets in town and enjoy amazing lobster and lots of drinks.

But there’s even more to this picturesque New England beach island than the quaint stores, the sunshine and the ghosts (don’t even get me started on that one) some of the most memorable times we had on Block Island were because of Tom – or shall I say Pirate Tom for those of us who were lucky enough to see him in action.

Each summer, Tom would visit with his friends on Block Island and during that weekend, would transform into his stage persona, Pirate Tom. Dozens of kids and parents would gather around Pirate Tom as he embarked on a trek across Mansion Beach that would eventually lead to finding a buried treasure. With his booming voice, kerchief on his head, scraggly beard and white flowy shirt, Tom embodied the spirit of someone who had just stepped out from another time period. The moment he began to speak, we all became part of the adventure as he made us laugh and we cheered him on as he fought off another swashbuckler who attempted to steal the treasure trove of beads that were buried somewhere along the beach.

It was so much fun to see Tom entertain those kids and the group seemed to grow year after year to a point where some kids didn’t even know Pirate Tom but knew they definitely wanted to be a part of the action. No matter your age, if you witnessed a Pirate Tom performance, you walked away with a priceless summer memory.

There are not many people in this world who can touch people’s lives at any age but Tom had that magical gift. He was a bartender, a voice over artist and actor who relished the opportunity to tell stories while making people laugh and brightening their lives.

And that, my dear readers is what life is truly about. It’s not about having a fancy title next to your name or driving an expensive car or having a spectacular home. Life is about the people who make your days fuller and richer with love, laughter and adventure. Tom was that person and while he is gone, his legend will absolutely live on for generations to come. In fact, I think we’re going to take a trip to Block Island this summer to retrace those magical steps along the beach. While we may not find that buried treasure again, what I’ve come to realize is that Pirate Tom was the treasure all along. 

Pirate Tom – Legends are never forgotten