Measuring Love in Dog Years

It’s easy to be in love when you’re jet-setting around the world, at a new restaurant every other night, when everything is new — his smell, his interests, his friends, his family…when your bank accounts are flush and your biggest worry is what resort to escape to next. But the true test always comes when that first wave hits.

When a parent or grandparent passes, when a job is lost, when the money dips into the red, when going out to dinner is a luxury, when waking up in the morning is extraneous, and you wonder “if this too shall pass” was uttered by a lunatic or a wise older woman. If you feel a presence by your side, and your lover is still there, still loyal, still smitten, while you hash it out with your demons — then you truly have a shot.

Never shove your anxiety inside, don’t live a fake persona. It will come out eventually and that’s when your partner will be running for the nearest exit. Be honest, not completely, but aim for 90%. You only really grow together, when you can shovel away the crap together.

The time passes and before you know it —  it’s not your first, not your second or even your third — it’s your umpteenth holiday together. And what takes the place of the excitement of the “newness” is the fun of your own traditions.

On this snowy afternoon, if you’re content to be locked inside together, and there’s no scratch marks along his back, you’re on your way…

I mark our time together with the increasing candles on our puppy’s birthday cake. How do you mark yours?

Puppy Birthday Candles


Your Girlfriends’ Boyfriends

As we weave our way through our 20s and 30s, we watch as our girlfriends’ boyfriends become fiances, become husbands, become fathers, become real men. And sadly, some boyfriends become husbands, become ex-husbands, become the spawn of Satan.

The wagers we secretly cast among ourselves at each engagement party, at each wedding reception take light as the years pass.

We now know the real relationship begins when the honeymoon is over.  Some of the couples we deemed ‘least likely to make it’  have become the strongest and the happiest. All we can do is respect our friends’ decisions, hope they respect ours and be there. Be there when they’re blush and bursting with love and be there when they’re quietly staring out the window over our shoulders.  In the mean time, we will go out and celebrate and down the cocktails and hug and whisper, and smile, because for today, we are all exactly where we’re supposed to be.


Girlfriends Who Hate Movember!

Girlfriends, let’s band together and grab the razors in unison! No longer will we tolerate straggly hairs jutting from the faces of our men — unless it’s their eyebrows. Toe hair? Fine, we deal. Most of the time their feet are safely tucked inside their shoes or under the covers. Nose hair?  Yes, as long as they trim. Ear hair? Unavoidable after 60, sorry. But do we really need our men rocking the Chester Molester stache? I don’t care if it tickles!

Movember is for a good cause, they say. But I believe it’s really just a conspiracy to make our men look like 70s porn stars.

Who’s behind this hairy movement anyway? It’s not like us ladies stop shaving our armpits for breast cancer awareness month…but one more Movember and it’s coming!I will take a goatee any day, or even a little patch on the chin, but — PLEASE, shave those rabid strands above your lip away! We have plenty of food, you don’t need to save some for later.




The girlfriend who shaves her armpits…for now

PumpkinHead Meets Early Demise

Orange guts spewed all over the floor. Their slippery trail…led to this horrific scene. Oh, Mr. PumpkinHead, you met an early demise, Halloween isn’t until Thursday. This is the after-effect of watching American Horror Story and Mama — violence inflicted on a poor, innocent pumpkin at the hands of my boyfriend! I can only hope he’s gotten it out of his system. There isn’t a full moon tonight…is there?

Pumpkin Head

Trusting Your Boyfriend With Your Life

Not to be overdramatic, but riding on the back of a motorbike in Bermuda where everyone drives on the left side of the road and is zooming around at 50mph around tight curves IS f#ckin’ scary!   When you’re warned by the natives that tourists are regularly found on the side of the road with missing toes, red flags do rise. But to be fair, when those natives are also taxicab drivers that charge $20 to go 5 minutes you have to put things in perspective.

Since J. and I are urbanites, I was completely unfamiliar with his driving skills — car or motorbike. When he said he had ridden one before, I just had to believe him. Since the vision of missing toes was stuck in my head, I cautiously donned sneakers every time and began each ride with a prayer.

Day 1, I clutched him tightly, and acted as a backseat motorbiker :

STOP sign ahead! Slow down, slow down…Crazy Bermudian about to pass!”

I leaned into his body on each turn and made sure we were both tilting in the same direction. By Day 2, I began to relax, and didn’t get nervous if we had people on our ass because we weren’t speeding. I flashed them my tat to keep them entertained.

Bermuda Motorbike


By Day 3 and 4, I finally began to look at the water to our left and not the road ahead. And it was amazing — I felt free and wild and young! I never attempted to ride the motorbike myself, the left hand-side of the road thing was confusing enough for me, but I recommend this mode of transpo to all island travelers, especially those who have ridden before.

Mom, if you’re reading this, we were totally SAFE the entire time! So what’s next — tandem skydiving?

Motorbiking In Bermuda


Have you ridden a motorbike in the islands?


He Knows How to Polish His Wood

J.’s been wanting to polish his wood for a loooong time. It was all he could talk about for months. Then one day several brown boxes were delivered by UPS. And he actually started — and FINISHED. In 3 days.


Scratched Wood Floors

STEP ONE: Move all furniture (a real challenge when you live in Manhattan), cover everything else with plastic tarps.

STEP TWO: Begin Sanding (great upper body workout!). The machines were no joke.

Sanding Wood Floors

STEP THREE: Apply Wood Filler to cracks in floor, then SAND again.


STEP FOUR: FREAK OUT because there’s 3 inches of dust coating everything (and his family is arriving in 24 hours)!!


STEP FIVE: Apply First Coat and do not step in it, on it, near it — for a few hours.

STEP SIX: Apply Second Coat. Let it dry. Afterwards, socks for everyone — especially the dog who slides across the floor like Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

Apply PolishPut socks on the dog

AFTER: Wha-laaah! Brand new floors!


Despite being forewarned by others (“What are you freakin’ crazy? Hire someone!”), J. managed to save thousands and do an incredibly professional job. Here’s what we learned:


  • Start this project a few days before you have family from out of town visiting (although it may provide extra motivation to finish!)
  • Do this in the summer when the average temperature is 90 degrees and the humidity is so thick Manhattan feels like the Amazon Rainforest


  • Enforce “no shoes” rule
  • Cover everything with plastic tarps and tape them down (or they’re useless)
  • Offer nonstop encouragement and praise (“Honey, you’re a master!”, “You’re so close!”)
  • Give kudos to the handyman boyfriend who just saved thousands of dollars by insisting on doing it himself!

EXTRA BONUS: I’m totally cool with the five-second rule now. My man knows how to polish his wood.


The STUFF He Buys…

They say you never really know someone until you live with them. I say you never really know someone until you see what they spend their money on. Being observant, it’s never more than a few hours before I notice the new additions a la Amazon.

Ah, some naked chicks painted in gold holding a globe that spells, THE WORLD IS YOURS. Why does this look familiar??


I’ve seen it somewhere…Oh, yeah — Scarface. “Say hello to my little friend!”


This magnet has actually helped prevent multiple, “It’s not cleeeeannn!”, “YES IT IS!!” arguments. I recommend this for all newly cohabitating couples with a dishwasher.


The Ultimate Man Grill. Its sheer size intimidates me, besides it has a gas tank and I’m afraid I’ll blow the whole townhouse up. It’s all his.

LED remotesLEDLights

No, he does not own six cars. These remotes control all the indoor LED lighting he installed. I have no idea which is for which. Or what our neighbors must think when they see the lights go from yellow to green to red to blue.

And his best investment yet — the loyal love machine, Cosimo, our Cane Corso:


What crazy stuff does your man buy?

CoupleCation Becomes Threesome With Mastiff

My boyfriend and I are parents, minus the human kid part. Our love child, Cosimo, was born furry and yelping more than two and a half years ago. We take him with us wherever we go (though Manhattan is challenging), and are always wondering if he’s bored when we’re not home.  At approx. 115 lbs. and over 5 ft. standing, our Cane Corso unfortunately can’t be toted around town in a shoulder bag.

Our romantic getaways have become DogCations. It just feels wrong to leave him behind. So far, this traveling pooch has been to Hilton Head (at 8 weeks old), the Catskills (née Dogskills), the Poconos and most recently, Montauk. The only trip he missed was Hawaii, and that’s because it’s impossible to bring a dog there — unless you’re moving!

Cosimo has even begun helping me chronicle his dog tales on



I’ve noticed recently though that he’s become especially attached to J. and steals my spot in bed when I get up,  spooning him while I’m gone. In the beginning I thought it was cute…but now I’m worried. Is it possible he’s TOO ATTACHED? Will it soon become a CoupleCation again, except only with J. and Cosi?



Am I losing my boyfriend to an Italian Mastiff? Fellow pup parents, what should I do??


My Mom and BF Text…ALOT

I’m not a PHONE PERSON. Not anymore. When I was 16, I could be found with a cordless smooshed into my cheek, talking to a boy or two on the phone for hours on end about absolutely nothing. Now, I communicate in person with raised eyebrows, shrugged shoulders and a wicked laugh. Or long distance via text, emoticons, Facebook, Twitter and my staple, email. Even professionally, I prefer email. I’m shocked when someone leaves a voicemail.

Picking up on this, my mother began texting about two years ago, happy to receive a response from me in less than 10 seconds, albeit sometimes short and sometimes snotty. Around the same time things became more serious with J. She was relieved that she no longer had to worry about me coming home late at night to an empty apartment in the East Village or being kidnapped on the subway. J. was either with me or waiting up for me. So began her nightly texting shoutouts to him, “Where is she??? Is she home yet?” when I was out of touch for more than 30 minutes after 8pm. They evolved into much, much more.

Mom Texting

When J.’s phone vibrates it’s either a TeamStream sports update OR my mother. They organize brunches, discuss borrowing the car, arrange dog-sitting Cosimo, even plan the Mother’s Day restaurant — WITHOUT ME.

Some boyfriends hate when the mother sticks her nose in. But Dee Dee is often invited to offer her opinion…unless it’s not the same as his. I can only tell you how annoying it is to hear, “But your mother said…” in the midst of an argument. I wish I could get even, but J’s parents DO NOT TEXT. I’m only copied on cute animal emails from his mom. I must, I must — teach her to text next time I’m in North Carolina!

Though I have to give my mom kudos, she’s a super-texter. There are nights when J. and I will simultaneously receive multiple paragraph-long texts from her with different messages at the exact same time! Most include an emoticon and some reference to scripture or telling me/him what to do (even though we didn’t ask).

Here’s a typical paragraph-long text:


So my friends, do your boyfriend and mom text??


We’re the Living Stat: Cohabitation Rises to 48%

In New York City, living together seems to be the natural progression of a relationship. Why pay double the monstrous rent when you’re sleeping over every night anyway?

Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 3.35.46 PM

If my grandmother were alive today, she would be cluck-clucking her tongue, frowning and whispering in J.’s ear to “buy the cow.” But it’s not the 1950s, and in my own family there have been 12 marriages (and multiple divorces) among only a few women. I am not one of them.

By age 29, more than a dozen of my friends had both walked the aisle and filed for divorce. Losing homes, losing heart and losing hope wasn’t a path I wanted to follow. A divorced friend shared, “It’s better to say you’ve at least been married once.” I don’t agree. Maybe I’ve been more cautious, but I knew the signs of when to run…

“If you want the ring, don’t move in.” That old-fashioned sentiment has certainly worked for some, but it’s just that — old-fashioned. The truth is you really don’t know someone until you live with them. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, cohabitation is on the rise, rise, rise. Many of these cohabitating couples go on to marry within three years. Speaking on behalf of my fellow cohabitators, I already feel like I’m married.

You have to do what works best for you. There is no formula for the perfect relationship. Some see marriage as the finish line. WE all crave love and companionship, and whether it’s  cohabitation or a church wedding, it’s love. That will always be the key ingredient.

To my 13-year-old nieces, I only advise you to follow your heart, not to be pressured by your peers, your mom or any man. Never lose yourself in the process. And if you do decide on the big-church wedding, I will be there donned in pink taffeta ready to throw some glitter your way!