Much To My Delight

Much To My Delight

Looking for Me? I’ve moved!

Hey guys! I no longer write on this site, but if you’d like to read more, I can be found at my new home: Midlife Modern. Thanks for reading!

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A Big Announcement


I moved to New York City 20 years ago with a goal to write.

As a kid, I dreamed about growing up to become a newspaper columnist. My first jobs out of college were in publishing, but were nothing like I’d pictured. I was writing about subjects that didn’t interest me much for very low pay. I never really found my groove in the magazine world, and after a lot of false starts and dead ends, I left the field altogether.

That’s when fate (otherwise known as the internet) stepped in and let me create that dream-job on my own. I discovered blogging in 2010, and have been posting my own “column” incredibly sporadically ever since. I loved the freedom of writing about anything and everything that came to mind, without an editor asking me to fix that or change this. I was free to write in whatever style I wanted, which helped me develop a stronger writing voice (I think). There were many times things would happen and I’d be DYING to write about them here. There were times when keeping a blog pushed me to make plans and try new things so I’d have something fun to write about. There were also plenty of occasions when I struggled to come up with anything to say.

Over the years, my posting frequency has dwindled to a slow trickle. A lot of that can be attributed to fatigue and job burnout, some was classic writer’s block and a great deal was frustration with back-end stuff on WordPress. You may have noticed that this site is visually quite messy, with the photographs often blown out and distorted to wacky proportions. Blogging on WordPress is not great for people like me who get flustered trying to make even the most basic back-end tweak. Every time I wanted to post a few pictures to illustrate a story, I’d waste a few hours, only for the shots to come out looking goofy anyway. I’m not a full-time blogger and never had a plan to be, so working with a site that was difficult to post on absolutely contributed to a lack of content.

And so without further ado…sadly, this will be my last post on Much to My Delight. I think this blog has run its course, and looking at the site doesn’t bring me the same motivation or excitement anymore. I started it in my early 30s and now I’m in my early 40s. I think it’s time to move on, so I’d like to take this time to thank you all for reading here through the years, especially as I’ve been such an intermittent poster. You guys are great, and I’ll miss talking to you (and with you!) in this space. Thank you for reading here all these years– it’s meant so much to me.

much to my delight blog

Thanks for everything!


Oh wait… I forgot to mention…

I have a new blog!

GOT YOU, suckers! April Fool’s ALL UP IN YOUR FACE.

It’s true, ye old faithful Much to My Delight is indeed biting the dust today, but that’s only so I can introduce you to my brand new site!


MidLife Modern: A Blog for Grown-Ass Women


I know, I know… 41 (42 in June!) is maybe technically not middle-aged yet, but as I thought about building a new site to post on, I knew I wanted something that reflected the stage I’m entering into, something I could grow with. It’s along the lines of buying an expensive winter coat a size too large, just in case you happen to gain 15 pounds in the next five years. (I totally did this by the way and it was one of the best financial decisions I’ve made).

Since going into private practice and no longer commuting two hours a day into Manhattan, I have blissfully stumbled into some free time, which feels like the world’s greatest gift, as it’s all I ever truly want more of.  My hope is that with a less stressful job, more time and an easier platform to deal with, I’ll be able to get back into a fun blogging groove again, writing about topics that reflect this new season of life (okay, now I do sound middle-aged!). I’ll likely never be a daily blogger, but I’m excited to think up some new topics from a different angle, and hope you’ll follow along with me.

Thanks to everyone who ever read a single post of mine. Thank you to the people who took time out of your day to offer kind words, positive feedback and thoughtful commentary. Whenever I felt myself stepping away from writing, it was you who pulled me back in and I appreciate that so much.

It’s been a delightful journey, and now I’m ready to take the next step. Hope you’ll follow along with me!

xoxo, Jenn

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View From The Top


The day before I resigned from my clinic job, I caught a wild hair and took the elevator up to the top of the Empire State Building. It hadn’t been on my agenda that day, but I had my annual gyno appointment around the corner, 40 bucks burning a hole in my pocket and a few hours to kill, so I figured… why not? Almost 20 years in New York City and I’d never been. Can you believe that?


It was early January and absolutely frigid, but once the idea had wiggled into my brain, I couldn’t kick it out. Oh, the symbolism! Finally seeing the city from the top at the crux of my 20th year! Going up all by myself the day before I go it alone in private practice! Playing “I Spy” from the balcony, reflecting on all the places I’ve been right before flipping the page to my next chapter! My mom and husband think I’m not sentimental because I don’t hold onto memorabilia or physical objects tied to personal memories. What they don’t realize is that I have entire elfa systems in my brain reserved for organizing the bounty of the past four decades. I stash all these thoughts and memories in tiny little drawers scattered across my noggin’.

One of the things I’m enjoying most about my 40s is that the drawers are becoming so full. I enjoy nostalgia more than the average bird, and while I may not hold onto the physical leftovers of all my experiences, make no mistake- I think about them and dream backward every single day. Sometimes the memories spring forth so powerfully I think my poor brain is going to bust. When things start to feel like they might overflow, that’s about the time I finally sit down to write a blog post.

I think I’m getting off-topic. Where was I?

Right. The top of the Empire State Building.

So I went up there in January and looked down at the city that shaped me. My eyes went immediately to the Flatiron Building, where I had one of my first job interviews for a pulp magazine about werewolves and vampires in a corner office that literally came to a point. I saw the tiny green patch of Madison Square Park and the restaurant parked at the back of it, where I met my husband in a room strung with twinkle lights for our company Christmas party. I looked way down and saw the narrow alleys of the financial district, where I used to push through crowds of tourists to get to work. The New York City skyline is still an undeniably impressive sight, but I didn’t get all moony and weepy the way I did when I first moved here and couldn’t get over myself. I’ve been here for a significant chunk of time, and views like this fill me more with appreciation than awe now. A lot has changed in the city in the past 20 years, including myself.


For the last year and half, I’ve had an internal restlessness that I just can’t shake. If you’re hip to basic math, that clocks back to my 40th birthday, or shortly thereafter.

In the last year specifically, there has burned within me a tiny flame that screams, “Stop wasting time! Make things happen! Figure out WHAT REALLY MATTERS. Get rid of what doesn’t. Edit, clarify, extinguish.”

And no, I’m not having a midlife crisis thankyouverymuch. I’m saving that for my 47th birthday when I plan to finally dye my hair lavender.

Instead, I’ve begun to call this period my “midlife awakening”. Vin made a pinched face when I described it to him last week. (He’s a year younger than me, so maybe he’s just not here yet). I thought I was brilliant inventing this term, but a quick google search revealed that “midlife awakening” is already very much a thing. Oh well. I knew it wasn’t just me.

Over the past year, I’ve felt a pressing urge to live my life on terms I establish, instead of just rolling along without questioning them. I’m not exactly fixated on my own mortality (yet), but there’s definitely a feeling that time is of the essence, and I need to start using it mindfully.

I’ve been sorting my values into three categories– keep, discard, continue evaluating. I’ve been doing some major reflecting, and came to the realization that I haven’t been allocating time for things I truly value most in life (ie: spending time/connecting with family and friends, taking proper care of myself physically, engaging in activities that are purely recreational/fun/educational).  It’s only recently that I’ve been able to see the negative ways my job was affecting many critical parts of my life. This change was a long time coming, and it’s come at just the right time. I’m fortunate and grateful to have a career in which self-employment is an option. I realize not every one has that choice. I am also incredibly fortunate and grateful to be able to utilize my husband’s health insurance; that’s a luxury too.

My last day of work at the clinic was Friday. I’m plunking down a nice chunk of money to rent four consecutive days in an Astoria office, despite not having enough clients to fill them yet. Naturally, my first week of self-employment marks the first week since Christmas that I haven’t gotten a referral call. It’s scary. But it’s less scary than staying in the same place, knowing it’s not right for me anymore.


I had a bunch of very important thoughts running through my mind the day I stood among the German and Chinese tourists on the top of the Empire State Building.

Here are the big three that jumped out at me. These are the things I’m reminding myself as I move forward:

-Stop worrying so much about reaching goals. Concentrate more on living a life in line with your values, and let those be the guideposts for making needed changes.

-If you’re not really intentional about the way you spend your time, there’s a good chance you’ll look back with regret.

- There’s nothing more valuable than relationships– if you’re lacking time or energy to nourish them, figure out a way to get that time and energy back.

There’s probably more I could have come up with, but it was really freaking cold up there so my reflecting was on a restricted timeline. I found my way to the elevator line and traveled back to ground level. As I exited to a lower floor, I came face to face with King Kong.

It’s been two months, and I’m still trying to figure out the metaphor in that.IMG_2095



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Letting Go


Like everyone else with Netflix and a pulse, Vin and I have been rooting through all the crap in our house trying to figure out what sparks joy and what fuels frustration. We spent one rainy afternoon ransacking our basement, which resulted in piling a few errant things in the corner but mostly created a bigger mess than we started with. Parting with small housewares and crap they throw into the bleachers at hockey games has proven no major feat, but from this day forward we both request that any flattery, sentiment or attestations of our friendship MUST BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY. Any hand-written greeting that enters this household will find a permanent station here until the day one or the both of us is crushed beneath an avalanche of Hallmark cards. Thank God I no longer attend summer camp cause if you think I’m getting rid of mom’s letters or dad’s annual birthday poems YOU CRAZY.

spring clean

Anyway, so far in the January clean-out I have parted with the following:

-a fat pile of flat sandals, still cute and in decent condition but perilous to my ongoing plantar fascitis old lady flat foot problem

-an entire cardboard box of documents from our house-hunting days (5 banks in consideration= 5 huge binders of useless paper)

-25 copies of Walter Hartye’s “Book of Love” CD. This guy is a dead ringer for my old landlord.


-an aisle’s worth of unused, unwrapped paper and plastic party decorations. If you’re planning to host cinco de mayo this year, go hit up the Steinway Street Salvation Army this month. I’ve got you.

-an old DVD player (a major victory on my part convincing Vin to toss anything with a plug– please submit congratulations ELECTRONICALLY)


That stuff was easy to part with.

But there’s one thing I’ve decided to say goodbye to that required a lot of soul-searching. It’s been with me a long time, and letting it go has proven very bittersweet.

My job.

As my private therapy practice continues to grow (surprisingly, faster than I could have anticipated), it’s become more and more clear that balancing the two worlds of private practice and community mental health isn’t what I wanto do. I opened my first private day in late October, and just added my second day this month. On those two days, my life feels different. The pace is slower, the work is less demanding and more fun, time is abundant.  On those two days, everything feels lighter, easier. I never knew that going into private practice and running my own show could improve my quality of life so much. I didn’t realize how much stress I was carrying until I experienced an available alternative.

I’ve worked in community mental health clinics since I graduated ten years ago. I’m proud of the work I’ve done, but the longer I stay, the more I have to admit that it’s really draining me. The real “social-worky” part of me threatens to call myself a sell-out for liking private practice so much, but when you realize you have the power to reduce your stress level by approximately 90%, you’d be a fool or a martyr not to take that shot.

So I resigned last week. Based on the nature of my work, I offered two months’ notice. I feel very much like a high school senior who’s already received her college acceptance letter; mentally ready to move on, but still knee-deep in work left to do. Now that the relief of getting the news out in the open with management is behind me, I find myself anxious and filled with dread as I prepare to tell my clients that they’re all being transferred. I have to break up with 50 people next week, and it’s going to SUCK.

Still, you can’t exactly model good self-care when you’re not taking care of yourself.

And you can’t ignore some pretty obvious signs either… on the morning I resigned, I walked into my office of seven years and the place looked like it’d survived an earthquake. A heating pipe had sprung a leak, the ceiling was dripping, books were scattered on the floor and pictures hung sideways on the wall. (The same weird shit happened in our old apartment when we were in contract for our house). Within 12 hours of handing in my resignation, I booked three new private clients. I feel like the universe has my back, and I’m ready to move forward.

New year, new me. Already feeling so much lighter!

Now, if I can only convince Vin to get rid of those receipts from 2004- 2010…




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Take the Gun, leave the Swedish Meatballs


It started with me whining about not having enough storage space for all my shit because I’m an American person and have way too many of everything. I’d surveyed several options for extending our clothing storage beyond two small closets, and came upon a narrow shelving unit from the compressed cardboard knitting factory formerly known as Ikea. I say formerly because I can no longer bring myself to call this place anything but The Nefarious Swede. My mother always told me it wasn’t nice to hate people– and I don’t. But this is a company, and it feels less offensive to hate them and share my contempt publicly–here, to my loyal fourteen followers who always nurse my wounds and have my back.


Actually, I should clear this up– my beef is not with the store itself. I’ve never really had a bad experience shopping in one of their massive warehouses. It’s hard not to succumb to the allure of Ikea when you live in a city, because as nice and sturdy and reliable as genuine hardwood furniture is, if you live in a small NYC apartment, actual grown-up furniture doesn’t always fit, and if you happen to move, hauling heavy wood is a huge burden. Aside from the assembly part, buying from Ikea has always been easy and affordable. In fact, I’ve always considered a trip to Ikea an hypnotic experience, running through pre-assembled rooms like a kid in a fun house, one filled with artificial wood in bleached out colors and unyielding, under-stuffed sofas. They have a great selection of fresh plants and practical storage options. I’ve never bought a toilet brush anywhere else. I don’t love their frozen meatballs, but I can respect a place that sells them.

My complaint today (and perhaps forevermore, as I’m feeling particularly embittered about this) is with the customer service hotline associated with their online store. If that sounds super specific, it’s because it is. Apparently the online service is run by a completely different company than the original store-based Ikea. That’s what the robotic customer service rep at the store told us anyway. I think she was trained in evasiveness, and she was remarkably effective.

I’m taking this to the blog not just to bitch, but to pass along the word to others, because we had an incredibly frustrating experience but it’s nothing compared to the seemingly endless roster of complaints  other desperately raging consumers have posted online.

Without further ado and without sounding completely melodramatic…




I rush home on Saturday afternoon to wait for BILLY. Billy is tall, white and slender, with four long doors and a flexible cardboard back. The automated message predicted his arrival for sometime between 2 and 6, and much to my delight (TM), he arrived at exactly 2:20. Two sincerely unhappy, possibly mute young men carried him in, piece by piece in long cardboard boxes, plopping them in a pile on the living room floor. They seemed to understand my verbal and non-verbal cues, but refused to utter a word or even crack a vaguely pleasant smile. When I reflect back, I imagine it’s because they respond to so many complaints they’ve likely been advised to just drop things off and get the hell out of dodge.

Vin immediately gets to work building BILLY. In my imagination, he’s looked forward to this moment all week, as he is able to fulfill his life’s purpose putting the pieces of his wife’s poor financial decisions together. There are about six boxes to go through, all filled with long planks of compressed wood chips sandwiched between a thin layer of plastic. He builds one half of the cabinet. Unfinished, it tips forward and shakes slightly, because Ikea pieces must be drilled into the wall to ensure they don’t tip over and kill your children. Vin moves to open the next set of boxes to complete the build, and realizes that one of the most critical pieces is chopped in three sections like the sad leftovers from a $10 karate lesson.


A feeling of dread washes over me, as a simple online order just became a complicated problem. I move to my computer to look up the number for their customer service line.

For a truly miserable time, call



“Thanks for calling IKEA. Your call is important to us (LIES! ALL LIES!!). The approximate wait time is 60 minutes.”

I don’t know what’s worse, being told up front that the wait time is 60 minutes, or just hanging on and learning as you go. I put the phone on speaker, and do a few quiet household tasks. I couldn’t vacuum like I really needed to, so instead make some infused artisanal butter with rehydrated, pureed porcinis and a pinch of sea salt. It had been on my to-do list for a few weeks. This is what middle-aged people without children do on Saturdays– wait for shitty furniture deliveries and make homemade mushroom butter.

A rep finally picked up my call and couldn’t have been more apologetic. She kept saying she was sorry, and she really nailed an earnest, authentic tone. She validated my frustration and disappointment, which helped me manage both better. By the end of our 30-minute conversation, she’d let me know that my complaint had been registered, and that someone should be dropping off a new piece in the next two weeks.

“The next two weeks? Can I at least schedule a day for that to happen?” I ask.

“Noooooo, you can’t schedule it. What’ll happen is, the day before they drop it off, we’ll notify you by phone that it’s coming.”

“So I might get a call on Wednesday alerting me that the delivery is happening Thursday when I have to be at work?”

“Exactly. Thanks for calling, and thank you for shopping Ikea!” CLICK.

I live the rest of my life that week like I normally do. I prep food, go to my job, avoid the gym and tip-toe around a hulking half-constructed wardrobe cabinet while trying to get dressed and undressed every day, hoping its untethered base doesn’t tip over and give me a concussion.

On Tuesday afternoon, I get a voicemail from Ikea customer service letting me know that my replacement piece will be arriving between the hours of 2:00 and 6:00 the next day. Well that’s just super, I think to myself, before picking up the phone to see if my retired in-laws feel like hanging out on my couch for a few hours the next afternoon. They’re like the best parent people in the world– we never leave their house without a paper plate of leftover lasagna and every time our basement flooded while we were stuck at work, they came over to mop it up. But they weren’t available the next day, so I knew I’d have to get back on the horn with Ikea customer service. Expecting to be put on hold, I waited until I got home from work, changed into loose clothing, took a good nice pee, then parked myself on a cushiony chair purchased from a steadfast, reputable competitor.


CB2…You da real MVP

I dial the number and, as expected, am told the hold time will be 65 minutes. I have had a long, draining day at work and am having a hard time managing my own frustration about spending my evening this way. I feel cheated out of my recovery time and the longer this hold time runs over the appointed 65 minutes, the angrier I feel. By the time the rep pics up the call (at 75 minutes), I am close to tears.

“Hello, thank you for calling Ikea customer service. How can I help you?”

Right out the gate, this rep’s tone is different than the initial lady. She sounds like someone who’s been shoveling other peoples’ shit all day, and no longer has the strength to lift a shovel. Her tone was flat, to the point and if I may say so, a bit curt.

I will have a hard time proceeding with the business end of this call until I am able to express my feelings, so I just go right for it.

“First thing first, I have to say, I am very, very upset with Ikea right now. I know it’s not you personally, it’s more of a systemic problem, but this is the second time in a week I’ve been on hold over an hour with you guys and it just seems like there has to be a better way. I mean seriously, you must get complaints about this all day long.”

“Yes, I do. What is yours?” Some people are born to do what they do for a living. This lady was clearly one of those people.

I tell her that I need to reschedule a delivery, with an actual firm delivery date because I have a job and have not yet reached the stage of life where I can afford Ethan Allen furniture or spontaneously call out the next day for a shitty IKEA delivery. She says FINE, we’ll schedule a pick-up this Saturday.

“Pick up? No, I need a drop off. I need you to replace a broken piece so we can finishing building this half-built cabinet.”

“Yes, Ma’am–I understand that. But first we need to schedule a pick-up for the broken piece.” she says.

“So you’ll schedule a time to drop off the new piece while picking up the broken one. That’s fine. Let’s do it.”

“No, first we’ll schedule a time to pick up the broken piece. After we do that, you’ll call us back and we’ll give you another date to drop off the new one.” I start to feel a heat at the base of my earlobes.

“Are you telling me this requires two separate delivery dates, and that you’re prioritizing picking up your broken piece over giving me the new one?” I just wanted to make sure I was hearing her correctly so that my head didn’t set itself on fire and launch itself into orbit for no good reason.

“Yes, that’s right.” She actually sounded giddy telling me this.

“Listen, again, I understand you’re not the one making big decisions about the way your company is run, but this is just terrible. I’ve now been on the phone with Ikea for three hours this week, and this problem won’t be resolved until I schedule two more deliveries with you. This is ridiculous. Can I just take this thing to the store and get a new one?”

“Yes you can do that.”

“Alright, fine. That’s easier. But let me just add that the whole reason I ordered online was so I wouldn’t have the hassle of going to the store. I’m very disappointed with Ikea. Can I get a refund or something? How about you return my shipping charges?”

“Well, ma’am we want you to leave your Ikea experience with a good taste in your mouth, so I’d be delighted to give you some food coupons to use in our store.”

I have sampled Ikea’s frozen salmon fillet with lemon-dill sauce and seasonal mush vegetables, and while it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, I wouldn’t voluntarily sign up to brunch at the Red Hook Ikea unless the situation were truly dire, meaning all 25,000 of New York City’s restaurants spontaneously went out of business and their 50-cent hot dogs and limp pancakes were the last remaining food sources.

“Yeah, no offense, but your food costs like three dollars. I don’t really want food coupons. I would like some actual money returned.” I say. This whole thing is starting to offend me, and I don’t even offend that easily.

“Okay, well you can discuss that with the customer service reps at the store when you make the return. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

“Got a time machine?” I considered asking. Instead, I answered no, put my head down on the table and let out a soft, defeated whimper.



Saturday we drive to Ikea and Vinny is ready to throw down. He’s the nicest person in the world but when it comes to customer service or business problems, watch out, cause that long-haired devil ain’t afraid to bite with fangs. He preps me in the car.

“Listen, Jenn. Don’t do that thing where you just give in. You’re too nice. We’re getting our money back.” The man is on a mission and I’m still sorta fired up too, but am gradually losing steam with this project. We park the car and make our way to the downstairs area, where half the people are sitting around with grim faces and deconstructed cribs.

I tell myself… Do not be distracted by the healthy looking plants everyone has in their carts! No lingonberry jam! You don’t need more cheap glassware!! Don’t go upstairs! If you go upstairs, they win! I see a few people walk by with soft-serve cones. They’re only a dollar but I can’t buy one since I turned down those stupid food coupons out of fucking principle.

They finally call our number and we stride up to the counter. I am silent, and let my husband do the talking. I am done defending my case with Ikea and just want this shit behind me. Vin ain’t mucking around though, and neither is this customer service rep. My husband explains the situation firmly, directly, and somewhat dramatically. A real injustice has been made here and we want to see some corrective action. The customer service rep says nothing, walks back to the loading dock and brings us a new piece.

“Well, what about the refund on the shipping charges?” Vin asks. “The lady on the phone said you could handle that for me.”

“No, I can’t do that. Ikea store is run by a totally different company than Ikea online. You’ll have to call their customer service line to get that taken care of.” So Ikea-online and Ikea-store just ping-pong their complaints back and forth to one another? If so, that’s Machiavellian but brilliant.

“I’d rather take one of your lukewarm, under-seasoned meatballs and shove it in my eye socket than call that line again.” I didn’t say this, but I wish I had. What a visual! Instead I shrug my shoulders and thank her for her time. She places the new box of shelves on our flat cart, and we slowly roll away– defeated.

“Man, what happened to you?” asked Vin. He had a look of complete disgust on his face. “You totally wilted.”

“You know what, Vin. We’ve got the piece we need, and now I want to put this behind me. It’s Saturday. And on Saturday, I choose happiness.”

He rolled his eyes so far in his head I didn’t see them again until the next weekend. We went home, and like a phoenix rising from the ashes, BILLY was finally standing tall, in one piece. We’ll see how long he lasts.



A few weeks later, I received an envelope in the mail from Ikea. My name and address were hand-written for a personal, yet completely unprofessional touch.

I opened it up, expecting a check for $30 to cover the shipping charges. Inside were five fucking food coupons.

The first five people to write a comment on this post will receive one of these golden tickets, but with a caveat. If you use them in your local Ikea store, you must go loaded with a strong hand gesture and a flaming bag of poop. Tell ‘em Jenn said Glada Helgdagar*.

*Happy Holidays, in Swedish






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The Blogger Formerly Known as Jenn


Is this thing on?

Do you remember me?

Am I still welcome here?

My name is Jenn, and I used to write here. Right here. Not that often–sporadically, once in a while, when the mood struck. Today the mood struck, and I wanted to pop in and say HI!


Here’s something you should know about me. I don’t believe in multi-tasking. I think it’s a crock. Every time I’ve tried to juggle more than three balls in the air I end up with a stubbed toe. I’m a believer that we can accomplish anything we want in this life, anything and everything…but not at the same time. This excludes things like working while being a mom, not that kind of multi-tasking. I mean pursuing two or three big goals at a time. Not a fan of that. So anytime I take months away from this thing, it’s a pretty safe bet that things are going just fine, I’m just throwing my focus in another direction. Just for a little while. Just till I square things away. But I always seem to come back here. I’m not sure why.

Awww, sure I do. I love writing. And today I found myself missing it.

But I’m also rusty, so today’s post will be mostly a little life update. Doesn’t every life need a little updating now and then?

*The big news is.. I started a private practice! I’ve wanted to do this for years, and I finally did, but it took a lot of planning and I’m not out of the woods yet. The first step was moving out of my supervisor role and reducing my monster caseload at my clinic, which had to happen organically over time. This week kicks off my first 4-day week at the clinic (!!), and every Wednesday I’ll be on my own. My ultimate goal is to do private practice two days a week, clinic work two days a week, with the fifth day free.

I have no clients yet, as it takes between three and four months to be accepted by insurance panels. I’m hopeful that once I can accept insurance business will be easier to find, but for now I’m cash-only, which makes me feel like a naughty service. The best part is that my new office is in Astoria and a TEN-MINUTE WALK FROM HOME. If you have ever ridden the NYC subway during rush-hour you have some idea of what a significant lifestyle change this is going to be!


* I’ve had eight doctor’s appointments in the past two weeks. That’s about seven too many, in my opinion, especially considering that I’m in really good health (thank goodness). A severe case of contact dermatitis has had me at urgent care and an allergist, who performed one of those four-day allergy patch tests on me to determine why my face and neck looked like they’d been scrubbed with a scouring pad. Turns out I’m allergic to nickel, “fragrance mix” and four chemicals found in most cosmetic products, so it looks like I’ll be using organic half and half to wash my face from now on. I’m just glad it wasn’t food. I also had two wisdom teeth removed last week when I thought I was only having one. Not sure how they snuck that one by me! Oh! And I’ve had fucking plantar fascitis since June, which really sucks. Have you ever had it? Does it really go away like they all say it will?


(finally looking like myself again= warrants a selfie)

* I’ve gotten perhaps a little, how do you say, woo-woo? It all started with me buying a Himalayan salt lamp and a bottle of lavender oil spray for my office, and now I’m in acupuncture every other week and going to  yoga classes like they’re going out of style. I’m very late to the yoga party, but I have mastered downward dog and full spaz.

* I finished writing a book earlier this year, and have literally not opened the document since March. I told you I’m not a multi-tasker. Maybe I’ll get back to it, but part of me feels like I won’t. I really like certain parts of it, but there are a lot of others that kind of fall flat, and I’m not sure if it works as a cohesive piece. Maybe I’ll open it up and tinker with it again in the next few months once I settle into my new work routine. Maybe I’ll start something new. We’ll see. But I’ve tried moving away from writing, and it just doesn’t work for me. I always want to come back to it, and I always start to feel just a little bit sad when I’ve stayed away too long.

* Nearly two and a half years into owning this home, and it’s finally starting to feel almost done. Although, it’s hard for me to even say that because there are still so many little things I want to do around here. I have absolutely loved the process of decorating my home. I find it to be another form of creative expression, and this place really feels like “us”.  We were in such hard-core saving mode when we lived in our basement apartment (for 10 years) that I never really bought anything to give it life. Now that I know we’re going to be in one place for a good long while, I’ve really taken my time and tried to find things I think are just right for the space. I’m not as afraid of spending money as I used to be, which is a very foreign feeling to me. I’m also borderline obsessed with thrift stores and flea markets. Anyone interested in some room tours?



* Three weeks ago I organized my tupperware drawer and it still looks the same. This signals major personal growth.

* I saw A Star is Born this weekend, and I think Vin and I were the only two people who didn’t walk out crying. I liked it a lot, Gaga is a freaking marvel and Bradley Cooper’s acting was A++ but something fell short, and I still can’t put my finger on it.

Anyway, I think we’re all caught up now. Enough about me. How have you been?

I missed you.



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I spent two weeks in Croatia and all I brought back was a few flowery blog posts


Every morning began simply, just like this.

croatian breakfast


Breakfast, prepared by my mother-in-law, served at the long wooden table in the family’s apartment in Split. Vin’s dad, usually in a soft white t-shirt, thumbing through the local paper, following the World Cup with a kind of fervor that’s difficult to describe. A white ceramic plate stacked with slices of prsut, salty and substantial, sliced a quarter-inch thicker than its delicate cousin prosciutto in neighboring Italy. Triangles of sharp, hard cheese made from sheep’s milk, the one Vin’s mom calls “heavy duty cheese”, stacked next to a tiny mound of a softer one, wetter and more tangy, like feta. There’s always a basket of bread (torn, never sliced) and an assortment of insanely fresh fruit– strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon– sold by one of the old Croatian women five minutes away in the market, the ones who’ve lived through it all and have no time to charm you. They fill your bag with seven tomatoes instead of the three you’ve asked for because it’s already 2pm and they need to get rid of their produce. They charge you more than you intended to pay because they have earned the right to survive.

fruit market in Split Croatia

traditional Croatian bread


Every morning at breakfast, we discussed plans for the day. I didn’t create an itinerary for this trip because I knew the agenda wouldn’t really be my own, and it shouldn’t be, because I will never know this place they way my mother and father-in-law do—from experience, from weekly Skype calls with their siblings and nephews and sisters-in-law, from sense memory.

We drove two and a half hours, near the coast of Bosnia Herzegovina to tour Plitvice Lakes, the spectacular national park where you cross the front gate and are immediately greeted by God’s grandest waterfall. We puttered like a flock of ducks behind thousands of tourists over rail-less wooden runways, crossing over open streams of water so unimaginably blue it’s hard to believe they belong to this world. The 16 lakes change from aqua to cerulean to sapphire throughout the day depending on the minerals floating around them, the particular way they’re struck by the sun.

Plitvice Lakes Croatia

Plitvice Lakes Croatia

Plitvice Lakes Croatia


We spent a late morning and an early afternoon at the local’s beach in Split, where my mother-in-law and I seemed like the only women wearing one-pieces in a universe of string bikinis. Everyone there looked liberated and relaxed, unencumbered by age or size—they all simply chose to wear the least amount of fabric because they liked the way the sun felt on their skin. The water was crystal clear and freezing cold and no matter how far you went out you could still make out the floor, lined with miles of smooth beige pebbles. Mothers called out to speedoed children—“Dodi ovdje! Dodi ovdje” (come here! come here!) when they swam too far and older women gathered beneath the shade of an olive tree, chatting like birds and smoking long, skinny cigarettes. No one was reading quietly or “laying out”; the local’s beach was a social place, like a bustling seaside café.

beach in Split Croatia

At night, Vin and I broke from the parents and walked through the narrow stone corridors of Diocletian’s Palace or along the restless water of the bustling Riva. We tucked into dark corners and got lost in its winding alleys. We watched young locals sing from barstools in smoky konobas, perched behind metal gates on tiptoe to hear opera singers rehearse within the palace gates. Every morning at 5, every night at 9 and basically every hour throughout the day, every church in the city synchronized their bells, a distant clang and din lasting up to five minutes. A lot of people reviewing hotels complain about the bells, but I loved them. I’m not a religious person, but it’s one of my favorite sounds. Late in the evenings, Vin and I would go on our nightly trip to buy gelato from the same tiny stall where a little girl tugged at her mother’s apron from behind the long white counter. We’d get two cones and walk around for an hour or so more.

Split Croatia

Split Croatia

split croatia

We took an early morning ferry to a tiny paradise island called Hvar, where fishing boats and chartered yachts line up like childrens’ toys and rock gently from side to side. Vin’s mother visited with a distant cousin while Vinny and I explored the island on our own. We decided it was too hot for climbing stone steps so we parked ourselves at a patio table overlooking the incomparable Adriatic, drinking frozen pina coladas because no matter where I’m on vacation, eventually I will want one. We leaned back on bent elbows with bare dirty feet, watching young boys jump from the back of suspended sailboats and sunbathers coat themselves in cream, blathering on and on to each other like we’d just met on holiday. We talked about our families and our future and the bizarre new stage of life we’ve both stumbled in. We had the kind of conversation that’s only possible when there’s limited WIFI and you’re just a little bit drunk.


hvar croatia

Hvar Croatia

hvar croatia

We borrow the parents’ car and sneak away to Dubrovnik for a few days, which proves far more touristy than Split but equally spellbinding. We heave and pant walking up and down the narrow stone stairwells leading into Old Town where we snoop around 400-year-old churches and eat lemony sea bream and charred octopus grilled in an outdoor stone fireplace. We pull the brims of our hats over sticky, perspiring faces to shield them from the three o-clock sun while up high on the defensive stone walls that surround the ancient city. We spend an evening hearing a piano master shake the walls of a palace built in the 1640s, where there weren’t enough seats for everyone, so a group of children peered from the balcony above, gossiping in whispers, tossing shadows on stone walls. We spend a transformative six hours at a beach so refreshing and calm it changes my opinion of beaches forever.




dubrovnik Croatia


Dubrovnik beaches

Later that night we eat dinner on the outdoor patio of a well-known Bosnian restaurant called Taj Mahal. They’ve hired musicians to enhance the atmosphere—a cellist with long brown hair and a classical guitarist; we realize during their 10-minute break they are not just music partners but lovers too. They shuffle around a bit before playing and I brace myself for something Baltic and folksy. To my surprise, the first note is soft and immediately familiar, one of my all-time favorite songs—La Vie en Rose—which floats quietly in the background nearly every morning at home as I stir milk into coffee or dab concealer in the arc beneath my sleepy eyes.

I lift a forkful of our appetizer into my mouth— a warm, soft dish made of cornmeal served with a tiny cup of clotted cream and a salty liquid pool of fresh European butter– and between its warmth and the swell of the music, I am overwhelmed by a feeling of utter bliss and total comfort, like the universe has wound itself around me, holding me in its sublime embrace.



I’m so happy that I start to cry, because that’s what my body does when it’s truly relaxed and at peace—my shoulders drop, my eyes well with tears and before I can stop them—out they come. I look around at the other patrons chatting and smoking and eating grilled meats served on pillows of hot bread as big and round as baseball mitts. I’m the only person who’s crying, and I don’t feel strange about it at all. I actually find it odd that they’re not.

Look where we are.





Dubrovnik Croatia


There’s too much! Too much!! More stories from my trip to Croatia…to be continued.


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Good Morning from Croatia

It’s not like he didn’t warn me. For years he said, “If we go to Croatia, we’ll need a month. You won’t be a regular tourist there. You won’t get to see it all. A lot of the trip will be spent in relatives’ living rooms, visiting. And they won’t all speak English.”


And it’s true—I haven’t felt like a “regular” tourist here. We’re staying in the basement apartment of the house his great-grandfather built for the family, right before it was taken by Communists. It’s literally steps from the center of Croatia’s second biggest city—Split—and backs into an enormous maritime museum. The family finally got a small portion of the house back after years of legal battles and his parents have been staying in it since May. They share it with Vin’s sweet aunt and uncle in New York, who also stay for months at a time. You can tell the acquisition is bittersweet—just the bottom floor of a very large house. Every time my mother-in-law comes around the back and sees plants and flowers on another floors’ patio she shakes her head, says, “Breaks your heart.”


We do a lot of visiting between sightseeing. Uncles with names like Slavko and Jakov, aunts who bring out plates and plates of food, old friends from his parents’ village, the best man from his grandfather’s wedding, cousins—there are so many cousins! I swear, Vinny has 50 cousins in Croatia and they are all seven feet tall. Most have spoken at least a little English so I smile and nod and eat and eat and eat proscut proscut proscut while occasionally tossing out a casual “hvala!” (thank you), dobro (good) or Sretan Bozich (Merry Christmas) when I want to make them laugh at how little I know.

On Sunday, before the World Cup game, Vin’s cousin Marinko and his pretty, tall wife “made a dinner” for us at their home, out in the country close to the villages where my husband’s parents grew up. As we drove through their very small farming towns, my mother and father- in-law describe what it was like growing up in a Communist country and point out things along the way.



“See that?” says Vin’s mom. “That church was built by my grandfather…” “Over there? That hill is where I would meet my girlfriends to sing or look for cute boys while I was walking the sheep.” My father-in-law points to a small house—the school he attended until fifth grade. Then we drive past a big hill set behind a large field. “See those rocks on the hill? That’s what my father hid behind to escape the Nazi firing squad. It was dark, and my grandfather said, “You’re young—run.”

I’ve been hearing these stories for years around their kitchen table in Queens, but having them told in their setting has helped me understand so much more—about their land, their history, their family, their religion, their culture, their values. This has, by far, been the most poignant trip I’ve ever taken in my life. Beyond that, it’s been an education, and I want to learn so much more.

We have a little less than a week left on our trip, and Vin was right. We needed a month.

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Thoughts about Mental Health and a call for community


So…how are you? You doing ok? Hanging in there?

Things are tough right now, aren’t they? Tense. Tiring. Overwhelming. Scary.

The American political climate is beyond divisive at this point; it’s hostile and turbulent. Even the 4th of July felt a little different this year, didn’t it? I look around and it feels like people are having a harder time than usual. I know it to be true because of my job.

Anyway, if you’re reading this– I hope you are doing okay and taking care of yourself.




I’m late to discuss it, but I’m still feeling sad about Anthony Bourdain’s death. He was more than a chef, a traveler, a reporter, a TV personality, an author– he was a cultural anthropologist–opening windows to worlds most of us will never see. He introduced us not to the fanciest places around the globe, but the authentic spots run by real working people, and he was always a joy and a wonder to watch. He seemed like the kind of person who didn’t waste a second of life, even in the midst of what we can only assume was immeasurable pain.

It’s been interesting how his and Kate Spade’s deaths by suicide have opened up a much-needed conversation about mental health. Anthony Bourdain certainly inspired me to be a bolder traveler, eater and cook, but it’s in my professional work where I’ve felt his greatest impact.

Anthony Bourdain demonstrated a lot of the qualities found in a really good therapist; he was extraordinarily open-minded, completely nonjudgmental, empathic, down-to-earth, respectful of cultural norms and practices, naturally curious and one hell of a good listener. He never pulled away from people who were different than him; he moved toward them, pulled up a stool at the table and said, “Teach me”.

Sharing a meal with someone is an intimate act; it’s a way we connect, bond and share with others. Food, to me, has always felt like a universal love language. No matter where we are or where we grew up, we all have memories associated with food and how it connects to our families, our cultures and ourselves.  And that was always the take-away message I got from Bourdain’s programs. Watching him try exotic international cuisine was intriguing and seductive, but it always seemed like a metaphor for the real point he was trying to make.

We’re all connected.

Sorry if that’s a little woo-woo for ya, but after ten years of community-based social work, I know it in my bones to be true. Over the years I’ve had conversations with hundreds of people who are by nearly every measure different than myself, and the experience has changed my life. There have been people who walked in my office you’d think I’d have nothing in common with– people with cultural or educational or financial backgrounds that are completely opposite of mine, people with histories dealing drugs, or working in sex industries, or gang involvement– and yet–we always ALWAYS find similarities in the ways that we think or feel.

It’s not because I’m some enlightened, revolutionary person who can talk to anyone or just naturally get along with everyone. I’m not and I don’t. It’s because all people fundamentally want the same things out of life– something to do, someone to love, a sense of purpose, a feeling of safety. We’re all so much more similar than we are different. It’s been proven to me literally hundreds and hundreds of times.

In therapy, the connection doesn’t always happen right away. Some people are harder to engage in treatment than others, and like Bourdain, many times my way in has been with food. My friends and family all know I’m obsessed with food, and so do the majority of my clients at this point. If someone is having a particularly difficult time getting started in therapy, I’ll often ask my favorite back-pocket question: “How would you describe dinner at your house growing up?” because it opens up an entire world to discover. Who was at the table? Who was missing? Was there a table? What did your family eat? Who passed down the recipes? What is the culture that influenced the dishes? Who made the meal? Who served it? Was there enough?

Like Bourdain said (in his Parts Unknown episode on Queens)– when someone shows you what they eat, they’re showing you who they are, where they come from, what makes them happy.

Several of my clients shared their feelings about the two suicides in their sessions. One person scheduled an emergency visit because she found them so triggering. Recent violent events and the U.S.’s divisive political climate also have people anxious, disheartened and upset (myself included). One client very articulately expressed his worries for the future– that he’s disturbed by what he described as “a shift away from the community”, that people feel more isolated and alone, and aren’t engaging with one another kindly the way they should.

Then he said something that I think all the time: “People aren’t able to see how connected they really are, so they disconnect out of fear.”

Isn’t that so true?


I’m trying to find my voice in the bigger conversation about mental health. I’ve seen a ton of posts the last few weeks about reaching out for help, calling suicide-prevention hotlines, finding a psychiatrist or therapist, dropping the stigma and finding mental health services. This will likely not be a huge problem if you have private insurance, but if you don’t– if you have Medicaid or Medicare or will have to cover the costs on a sliding scale–pick up the phone and start dialing because let me tell you, these services are getting harder and harder for people to find, and it scares me. As a mental health professional, I don’t worry as much about stigma limiting people from finding treatment. I worry about the availability of services.

I work in a community mental health clinic and we are packed to the rafters. We have nearly 50 therapists on board, and need way more hands on deck. We do not have enough office space to accommodate our current patients; we often joke about needing to build another floor. The intake line never stops ringing. I have a roster of almost 65 people, frequently do ten sessions a day and am asked every week to squeeze in more. Plenty of clinics have closed (my previous counseling center closed down after 30 years when the building they were in went co-op). Many facilities have wait lists of two weeks, three weeks, a month. Our clinic finds space right away for everyone who calls for an appointment, but our staff is stretched tight. Most skilled therapists eventually go into private practice because you can determine your own pace and the pay is better. A month ago I stepped down from my role as a supervisor because keeping a watchful eye on my own clients while also being peripherally responsible for my seven supervisees’ massive caseloads was truly stressing me out.

We are in the midst of an enormous opioid crisis– people are literally dying trying to manage their pain–but just try to get someone into a detox. There is no “holding a bed” or “making a referral” for that process (not if they have Medicaid, anyway). You send them to the hospital at the crack of dawn because beds are first-come, first-served, and even then, there’s a good chance there isn’t one available. Try again tomorrow!

Hospitals are so full they sometimes release patients who are still manic. If clients relapse or decompensate, I say a prayer and amp up our session visits, knowing it could be months before I can effectively refer them to a higher level of treatment. Many times individuals who require intensive psychiatric care find themselves homeless or in prison. There are not enough long-term psychiatric treatment options available. The biggest psychiatric hospitals in this country are our jails.

And I’m talking about New York City. We have more mental health professionals and more resources than anyone. I cannot begin to fathom what it’s like to find services in small towns. It’s not nearly enough. It’s a very, very big problem.


Well, super!!! Thanks Jenn, for that uplifting message! Now what are we supposed to do?


Here are a few things:

ADVOCATE FOR REFORM: Admittedly, in social work school I was always more interested in clinical practice than policy, but now I see just how critical it is to see things from the macro perspective, not just the micro (I sound soooo social-worky right now)

*Join Mental Health America’s Advocacy Network to receive email alerts about upcoming national campaigns to protect America’s mental health through legislative advocacy.

* Connect with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which provides mental health support to millions and leads important awareness campaigns like the #StigmaFree pledge and advocacy and lobbying efforts to help promote mental well-being across the nation.


GET INFORMED. There are so many amazing resources available on the internet providing coping tools and general information about mental illness.

*The Mighty: The Mighty is a terrific digital health community created to empower and connect people facing health challenges and disabilities. Their articles are informative and help decrease stigma around physical and mental illnesses.

*Mantherapy: Mantherapy uses a heavy dose of humor to help men learn skills for coping with trauma, depression, anxiety, anger and stress. This is a really wonderful resource.

*Jen_Wellness on Instagram: My grad school bestie has an amaaaaazing instagram account (that all my friends and family are now hooked on) where she shares insightful, helpful and beautifully written posts to help people gain important skills for grounding themselves and coping with life’s stressors. This is an account that should have a million followers.

*Resources when you can’t afford therapy


GET INVOLVED. Volunteer. Go to community-based events. So many people are so isolated. Volunteer at a senior center– especially one for LGBT seniors who are less likely to have children. Adopt a veteran, who might be isolated or in a hospital.


SEEK OUT COMMUNITY:  The highlight of my week is Wednesday from 12-1pm, when I run a support group for isolated adults. Everyone started out feeling anxious and uncomfortable talking to one another and for months it felt awkward as hell. But nearly three years in, members frequently call the group their “second family”. I try to teach them coping skills, but nowadays they’re too busy telling each other dirty jokes, planning lunch outings and howling with laughter to listen to me. Things get real and completely raw in that room, and I can’t express how powerful it is to watch them support, encourage, amuse and empower one another. People need each other. Check in with your people, meet new people, engage with people.

There’s a new yoga studio in my neighborhood that I keep meaning to check out called the Happie House, where they host free community potluck dinners every Friday night. How cool is that? Wouldn’t it be great if more businesses or even individuals pulled together events like this?

Can’t find it locally? Try checking in with The Big White Wall to connect with others virtually.


BE KIND TO EACH OTHER: Give others the benefit of the doubt. Reach out. Call. Hug. Shake hands. Make eye contact. When you’re checking out at the grocery store, take out your headphones and get off your phone, for fuck’s sake. Seems like no big deal, but I think maybe it is. We’re not seeing one another anymore. We’re all here together; let’s act like it.

Wave to your neighbors. Learn the name of the person who sells you your daily coffee.  Take care of yourself. Take care of others. Use your big strong heart to pour love on those around you and I’ll keep trying to do the same.



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Tripping Around the Sun

**I’ve learned over the last few months how easy it is to break good habits. I think the last time i posted on here I wrote about completing the book of essays I wrote, polishing it up and sending it off to publishers. In the meantime, I was really going to ramp up content over here in order to get marketing going. HAHAHAHA! Well clearly I am totally full of it, because I have done none of those things in the last few months. I had two people read the book, who both gave me terrifically constructive feedback, and then I never looked at it again. I think I needed a break from writing for a while. As i tried to put this post together it did kind of feel like getting back on a bicycle, except the chains are rusted and dragging on the ground. Forgive me for being clumsy; I’m trying to get my groove back, and this little post is my way of putting the training wheels back on.**


I published my first blog post the day before my 33rd birthday. It’s sort of cute but not mind-blowing. That was just about eight years ago exactly. Quick! Do the math!

Today is my 41st birthday, and rather than ebullient I tend to get reflective on my birthday so I thought i’d blow the dust off this thing and clear the cobwebs from my middle-aged brain. When exactly does middle age start anyway? Is it 42, 45? When you start singing Lionel Richie tunes in the shower? When you find the first gray hair in your eyebrow? Cause that literally happened yesterday. My biology has a strong sense of humor.

I’m about 30 minutes into 41, and so far, I like it. I woke up this morning to find three yellow roses laid on top of my computer, right in the window of the rising sun. At first blush it looked like my laptop was being laid to rest. Then I went to pee, and found three more roses propped against the medicine cabinet. I stumbled toward my dresser to fondle my gray eyebrow in the mirror– and there was another one. Moved toward the kitchen for my coffee mug, there were a few more leaned against the wall, right below my beloved spice shelves. And finally- because he always knows exactly what I want– three yellow roses hugged the top of my coffee machine. The color yellow symbolizes optimism, warmth, joy and happiness and I’m pleased to report that at this phase, on this morning, I feel all those things.

I’m writing this outside on my sliver of a patio in Queens and it is by all accounts, my happiest place. The sun warms the top of my scalp and if I weren’t surrounded by so much concrete I’d swear I’d stumbled into a nature preserve–that’s how loud the birds are chirping. There’s a slight breeze, cool enough that I’m able to wear sweatpants, and it moves gently through the swelling rose bush and my stalks of herbs that are finally growing legs. When the wind hits the right direction, I catch the faintest hint of basil. The universe knew I was supposed to be born in June.

At 41, I get excited by the strangest things. Every time I replace an old sponge at the kitchen sink, it brings a small thrill. Each night I put on flip-flops and carry scissors into my garden to collect the fresh oregano or cilantro for that evening’s dinner creation. In the mornings, before the sun is in full blaze, I water my herbs and flowers with military precision, making sure each spot is adequately tended. I hang my clothes each night on slim hangers that are all exactly the same size. These are little victories that represent a more stable, settled life.

I’m paying attention to my deepest needs and making sure I take the time to get them met. I started my own therapy and am in the midst of planning some career changes that may reduce some stress from my life. More and more, I trust and follow my instincts, even if I’m not making a popular choice. I’ve taken some time to get to know myself better, and I if I do say so myself, I like what I see.

Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been 41 forever– for the last 20 years at least– and it’s a delight to have the rest of my peers catch up. No one wants to meet at noisy lounges anymore or grab drinks at an expensive bar until 2 am. We’re content to linger on back patios or sit around in pajama pants in each other’s living rooms for brunch (I’m overdue to host one by the way). Friends geek out over food with me, humor me about my love for flea markets and fruit stands, send me pictures of beautiful dishes on Instagram. I always knew I’d find comfort in this phase of life, and I’m feeling good about the ground I’m standing on.

Last night, Vinny and I sat in our front yard on two orange chairs, one of which was a gift from one of my best friends several birthdays ago. We both propped cookbooks in our laps, thumbing through pages like they were magazines. Mine was a beautiful vegan book; his was, of course, a tribute to the art of making pie. The last few nights we’d heard the chimes of the Mr. Softee truck ringing down the streets and were hopeful we’d have a better chance of catching it if we waited outside.

We sat out there for an hour waiting for an ice cream truck that never came, and I’m sure if I looked hard enough I could find some type of metaphor in that. But the only thing I’ll ever remember about that night is how content I was to sit in my small front yard reading cookbooks with my best pal, overlooking this quiet street in a neighborhood I love so much. At one point, I looked at my husband–who looks slightly less boyish than he used to– and asked, “Wait, are you becoming a foodie?” Something was settling in him too. Suddenly he was captivated by a cook book and he’d recently ordered a tub of seasoning off the internet so he could cure his own Koji beef.

“I think I might be,” he said, and in that moment, all my birthday wishes came true.




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About Jenn.


About Me: I'm a 40-year-old native Texan who moved to New York, became a therapist, and married a guy named Vinny from Queens. I delight in observing the world around me, and write about it here. I'm not normally this tan, but I wish I was.


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