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The Future of America

on July 5, 2012 in My Kids

Dear That’s Life,
Like many college students, I changed my major a number of times. Always within the same genre, they were more like minor corrections rather than drastic career changes. It was not as if I was a biology major only to decide that art history was really my calling. Some people aspire to a certain profession because that is what their parents did, although my inspiration came from an otherwise unconventional source. Parents are often afraid of the influence television has over their children, and for good reason. But I wanted to be a criminal psychologist who worked for the FBI because Jodi Foster’s Clarice Starling in “Silence of the Lambs” was insanely cool and practically genius. Once I started sleeping again after seeing that movie, and it took a while, I decided that was what I wanted to do. Let’s just say, however, it did not last long.

Of course, declaring myself a biology major would have been doubly ironic since I only showed up to bio three times that entire semester – on the first day of class, the day of the midterm and the day of the final. Anything I needed to learn, I learned in the library, since that was where the professor’s old tests were stored. The questions on exams I needed to take came directly from previous ones and I aced the course. It was nicknamed “Bio for Poets” simply because it was a requirement for all students, regardless of one’s major or interest. There were plenty of students who attended class regularly, despite attendance never being taken and the questions to all exams located in the library. Frankly, I did not understand those students and they did not understand me.

Needless to say, before changing my major (again) I was sure Clarice did not need to know bio in depth. My strategy for doing well in this class was going to suit my needs just fine. I turned out to be right, specifically because I finally changed my major one last time to history, deciding to pursue a career in education. It turned out I had no interest in psychology and after a very brief introspection realized I would not make a good psychologist.

Simple basic facts and personality quirks will forever prevent me from being a therapist. To begin, I talk too much to listen to other people’s problems professionally. In addition, I tend to interrupt people with a one-liner or a good joke. When something funny or sarcastic strikes me, I have to let it out. That habit is sometimes a problem when I am on the air, let alone if I had been a therapist. While there is a time and place for everything, I still struggle to believe that there is a wrong time or place for humor.

Finally, the #1 reason I could never be a therapist is because for better or for worse, I am brutally honest. Put that all together, and it’s a disaster waiting to happen . I have even imagined a nightmarish therapy session in which a patient says, “Doctor, voices in my head are telling me to jump out that window” and my only response is, “Well, thank G-d we are on the bottom floor.” Lucky for all the patients I may have had, education beckoned and the rest is history.

I often wonder what will inspire my children to pick their career paths in life. One of my daughters wants to cure cancer because she has three friends who have lost parents to that dreadful disease. From his fascination with rockets and NASA, one of my sons wants to be the first rabbi-astronaut. And while it is still very early, my youngest seems to have an affinity for medicine. She is often found walking around with her toy stethoscope or my husband’s real one, insisting on listening to people’s heads, hands or feet, instead of their heart.

Though they are not commonly confused, her inspiration is a new television show called “Doc McStuffins” about a girl who fixes the various ailments from which her dolls and stuffed animals seem to suffer. It is all very cute, until you try and take her stethoscope away. I am not trying to squash her creativity – I just don’t want her sleeping with it at night. So after she is done diagnosing me with itchy-itis (no clue what that is because I am not a teddy bear) or announcing that “The doc is IN!” it is time for her to go to bed.

My other son has also expressed some interest in medicine. Unlike a good friend of mine who has told her only son that he has no choice but to become a good Jewish doctor, I have set no such expectations upon my children. This son of mine, however, has also donned the coveted stethoscope. Most recently, he has asked me if he could listen to my heart and even knew where it was.

“No problem,” I said, as I proceeded to properly position the flat metal surface so he could hear the beating of my heart. Unfortunately, he did not really understand what he was hearing. As a result, he decided my heart was not there. I reassured him that it was, in fact, exactly where it was supposed ot be but he insisted it was not. He then changed his diagnosis. “Well, if it is there,” he said, “it is definitely not working.” (Insert death stare here.)

Luckily I know that his medical training, and his bedside manner, have years to go before he’s ready to actually see patients. By that time, he’ll have amassed a wealth of medical knowledge, including the names of each bone in the body. That information would have come in very handy last weekend when he struggled to explain what part of his foot hurt.

“Mommy,” he said, his face filled with pain, “my foot really hurts.” Knowing just by looking at him that he was in serious discomfort, I asked him where it hurt. “Here,” he said as he pointed. “In my foot hip.” Without smiling or laughing, I asked for confirmation of the pain’s origin. “In my foot hip!” he said again, frustrated by the need to repeat himself. I smiled. “That’s your ankle,” I explained, which brought a smile to his face. “Oh,” he said, with a tinge of embarrassment. “So, that’s what it’s called.”

Suffice it to say, I think he’ll need to go to bio class everyday.


A Good Time Had by Most

on June 8, 2012 in My Kids

Dear That’s Life, As time goes by, it becomes harder and harder to recall the details of moments past. One of the first memories I can remember with great clarity, however, is my 3rd birthday party. Old pictures help bring me back to the green shirt I was wearing, blowing out the candles and opening [...]


Bye, Bye Baby

on June 4, 2012 in My Kids

Dear That’s Life, Under the heading of “Parenthood,” there are few things funnier than toilet training. That is not to say that there are not other funny things about being parents, as most of my material comes straight from my experience as a mom. All I can tell you, however, is that this time around, [...]


Every Man for Himself

on May 25, 2012 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere

Dear That’s Life, My brother has an expression. “It’s bad for the Jews,” he says, referring to anything ranging from Iran’s increasing nuclear capability to Mel Gibson to an outfit I may wear that he does not like. His famous words, however, were the first that came to mind after the news hit last Wednesday, [...]


Happy Holidays

on May 18, 2012 in My Kids

Dear That’s Life, At the start of my weekly radio show, I make mention of national holidays taking place that day. You would be surprised to hear about some of the organizations that have applied for and been granted national days of celebration. A few weeks ago, it was National Paranormal Day. I suggested that [...]


Dude, Where’s My Car?

on May 11, 2012 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere

Dear That’s Life, Months in the making, I was finally able to complete a half marathon last Sunday, along with thousands of other runners participating in the Long Island Marathon. After logging plenty of hours and miles, running 13.1 miles went a lot faster and more easily than I expected. My joints did not hurt [...]


Schooled By My Daughter

on May 6, 2012 in My Kids

Dear That’s Life, Originally called “Bring Your Daughters to Work” Day the initiative began as a chance for girls to visit places of work held by their parents in an effort to introduce them to different careers and opportunities. The day was then renamed “Bring Your Children to Work” Day as it seemed, for the [...]


Our Perfect #6

on May 1, 2012 in My Kids, New To You

Dear That’s Life, It seemed when she was born, she was the perfect #6. Amenable to everything, never talked back and simply happy being held, I took her where ever I went. She was the cutest accessory known to mankind. Even after schlepping through the Magic Kingdom when she was about a year old and [...]


“Cuz It’s Not My Time”

on April 29, 2012 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere

Dear That’s Life, Never lacking material, my column was basically done before this morning’s events, most of which were covered on the local news. Whether I write about my children or the general wackiness of my life, I have been blessed with both a good sense of humor and numerous anecdotes worth sharing. It is [...]


When You Wish Upon A Star

on April 23, 2012 in My Kids

Dear That’s Life, It had been too long since something crazy happened that I thought I was losing my touch. I worried crazy was no longer followed me everywhere and this column was going to fall apart. Two weeks had elapsed since I wrote and nary a nutty thing had happened, which to some was [...]


And NOW They Listen?!

on April 14, 2012 in My Kids

Dear That’s Life, In the 1890s, Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov conducted an experiment. Using dogs, he repeatedly presented the animals with two stimuli which, because of their proximity to each other, were eventually seen by his subjects as one. The ringing of the bell and the presentation of food were initially presented apart, with first [...]


I Should Stick My Finger Where???

Dear That’s Life, While this might be strange, I took several pictures of my cup of iced coffee last week and sent it to friends. It was not a particularly exciting cup nor was it supersized or keg like. It was just a cup of iced coffee like many I have had before, but this [...]


TMI – Part II

on March 23, 2012 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere

Dear That’s Life, Several weeks ago I wrote a column about activities people preformed in public that are better off kept private. Not included were public displays of affection, of which I am generally a fan, until it is no longer socially acceptable. It seemed I had generally covered a range of topics that many [...]



on March 16, 2012 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere

Dear That’s Life, It is a fact that more than once I have started this column with the words, “Even for me: this is a good one.” While I might have believed that the last time I wrote it, I do not know why I tend to doubt the insanity of my own life. Each [...]


You Need a Lifestyle Change

on March 13, 2012 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere

Dear That’s Life, I have been recently warned by a number of physicians that I have to change my lifestyle. I find that advice particularly humorous in light of certain factors. I workout at least six days a week and am at an acceptable weight for my height and age. I eat no meat, opt [...]


Sweet Dreams?

on March 9, 2012 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere

Dear That’s Life, Before I even begin this article, I want you to know that I am completely fine. Thank G-d, my health scare last week was just that – a scare. I appreciate the care and concern from all those who knew and want to personally thank the medical professionals involved in my case. [...]


Flying Solo

on March 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Dear That’s Life, I can count on one hand the number of times I have been on a trip by myself since I am married, whether by car or by plane. For one night, maybe two, I have left my family to attend an event or celebration of some sort. Plenty of people choose to [...]


Private Pratices

on February 27, 2012 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere, New Yorkers

Dear That’s Life, I am one of those who spreads her stuff across multiple tables in local coffee shops, treating someone else’s place of business like my own personal office. Currently occupying a number of chairs with my bags and coat, it might look to a normal passerby as if I am here for the [...]


“Unleash Tim Tebow”

on February 17, 2012 in My Kids

Dear That’s Life, While she is an incredibly talented singer, I have declared my car to be an “Adele-Free Zone.” Completely overplayed and poorly remixed, it took very little time for my tolerance level to register as FULL from all of the air time she receives. That is not to say she isn’t talented – [...]


Time to impact: five…four…

on February 12, 2012 in My Kids

Dear That’s Life I thought it would be a disaster, as if an asteroid was travelling at break neck speed on its way to earth. Exact time of impact known, I braced myself for the hit and prepared for the worst. The house was well stocked with necessities and as the clocked ticked down, I [...]

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