I spent years blaming my daughter’s torturous insomnia on my parenting habits and my Holocaust-survivor family’s emotional legacy. Turned out, the culprit was her adenoids. Yet I had trouble accepting that the problem was pathology and not personality.
After my ectopic pregnancy, I felt insanely scared and sick and isolated — for months. If I’d known more about ectopics – which affect 2% of pregnancies and are the main reason for first-trimester mortality – I probably would have mentioned different symptoms to my doctors. I hope to break miscarriage taboos and share information. (Not my headline, of course!)
On how a therapist unexpectedly helped me appreciate my own mom.
Always an MC, Never a Bridesmaid… On the challenges of working weddings.
Should we make our kids clean their rooms? What are the real benefits of tidying up and/or living in neat spaces? I did research.
How being a mother made me a more empathetic daughter as I finally learnt to appreciate my mom’s stuff. (With extremely misleading title.)
Passover is known as a holiday of salvation, liberation, even constipation, but to me it was always a holiday of sanitation.
On growing up, and seeing how Mom’s behaviors emerged – not from aggression – but from illness and love.
I didn’t want to date him, I wanted to be him. An essay on comedy, careers and bad love. (And then good love.)
Why do we talk to our kids so much? Or really, why’s it so hard to just be silent? On how to not-talk to children.
On the dangers of decluttering… We celebrate purging our domestic wares, but can we take Kondomania too far?
Do Jews “collect” and if so, why? On the value of stuff in the Jewish home.
On showing my mother my manuscript for my book — about her. She handed it back to me — with notes. (Reprinted in Paper Brigade.)
A child of a hoarder, I desperately wanted a second child. But I was afraid I didn’t have room – in my apartment, and in my heart.
A tale of two Bubbes. An essay about grandmotherly love, Anglo-American divides and meat.
A contemplation on the ways in which we sleep (oh beloved sleep, how I miss thou) and whether the coveted nighttime 8 hours is an obsolete dream. Written, of course, in a brutally exhausted haze.
Breaking the Fast: My short essay on Yom Kippur and parental conflict.
Do people mourn differently across cultures? An essay about funerals, Britishness and cultural anxiety.
Many things about motherhood terrified me, including the ludicrous amount of stuff I was expected to buy for the bebe… It had taken me decades to build intimacy and a comfortable, calm, ‘white walled’ home, and now I needed to turn part of it into a chaotic, overstuffed nursery. Oy.
A tale about about the debilitating anxiety I developed over my aging skin. In this story, I learn that you can’t change your countenance with creams, but possibly, with perspective. (My original title: Saving Face.)
How parenthood raised religious conflicts between myself and my husband, and made me a lot more Jewy.
My musings on the messiness of motherhood.
At a holiday celebration, I found out that the man I was falling in love with was the child of a hoarder – a surprising coincidence, since I was as well. A story about home, shame, and skeletons in the closet – not to mention, everywhere else.
Watch me chat about this piece with Anderson Cooper on ‘Anderson: Living with a Hoarder.’
Hear the tale of my lapsed and relapsed vegetarianism. (I read it on this podcast.)
You can listen to my story about blossoming teenage womanhood and my fall from Glatt grace. (Again, I’m reading it on a podcast.)
My part-rant, part-contemplation, part-story on how there is no formula for motherhood. A pinch of painkiller beats a dose of dogma.
After years of dating in England, adhering to strict social and romantic rules, it was only when I dropped my act that I met a crass, hairy toad – who turned out to be my prince charming.
A reflection on the complicated process of travel-guide writing, set primarily in Cape Town. Featuring Austrian cockroaches, Parisian weight-gain, and seismic social change in South Africa.
On how I was too maternally incompetent to even become a cat lady.
An essay about being a North American Jewish comedienne in England – a place where Jewish humor is not only not mainstream, but potentially lethal.
Some tips I gleaned from my attempt to navigate the social, romantic and professional codes of the Brits – a true Victorian minefield.
My relationship notions were more informed by Sex and the City than the Talmud. But my orthodox wedding classes taught me that the age-old scriptures had insightful tips about contemporary romance. This essay was re-posted in the Huffington Post.
The only thing worse than complaining about your relatives is having nothing to complain about at all.
On my first Chanuka in England, I threw a party assuming that my posh cultured guests had heard of the holiday. They hadn’t.
My attempt to bridge the Muslim-Jewish culture gap in an East London sauna.