Stuff that gives me anxiety

The milk and sugar station at Starbucks. Too much pressure to move quickly

Smalltalk in the laundry room of my building

Elevator chitchat

Bed & Breakfasts. Would rather sleep on a tree branch

Halloween

French people

Standing ovations

Watching television when a new friend comes over. I get nervous and talk through the whole show.

Choosing a color at nail salon / climbing out of the pedicure chair

Portable toilets

Pushing through a busy restaurant to get to the hostess stand

Middle-aged men in distressed denim

The last piece of spicy tuna roll when I’m out with someone I don’t know that well

People on crutches

Being the only customer in a small store

Not having any chocolate in my apartment

Attractive guys in Nantucket reds

When it’s just me and the bathroom attendant

Middle school kids on field trips (gives me flashbacks)

Aisle seats on airplanes. Spend the entire flight anticipating when middle and window will need to get up to pee

Exiting a cab when there is an audience

Meeting my mother Bernice’s friends. Do I kiss them on the cheek or shake hands?

Cosmetics counters

Sauvignon blanc (the prononciation)

Construction workers. I don’t want them to notice me, but I also want them to notice me

Really emaciated girls sprinting on the treadmill

Clapping along to the music

Any celebrity interview conducted by Billy Bush
billy

When I’m on a date and the check comes

Goodbye speeches in the conference room at work

Photo booths

Small parties

Big parties

Passed hors d’ oeuvres:
1) I have not mastered standing and eating
2) Fear of server judging me for taking another pig-in-a-blanket
3) There is that one popular tray that everyone clamors around, and it’s an awkward game of, “who is gonna go first?” Then, we all reach in at the same time and bump hands.

Audience participation

Karaoke

Responsive reading

Twitter!

Please forgive me

Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, begins at sunset. Here is what I am most sorry for this year:

Cancelled plans because I wanted to stay at home and eat with hands. Lied about reason for cancellation

Took up smoking electronic cigarettes (this one doesn’t really count because it was only for one week)

Photo of me when I learned that a bully from high school was back in town because his wife left him:

Me

Me

Judged other girls’ outfits instead focusing on prayer at synagogue

Hit the CLOSE button in the elevator when I should have held it open

On 9/11, I complained about vending machine options. I also whined about my bumpy ponytail

Was walking with my friend Carol, when we noticed a girl who was crying quite loudly. “Should we ask her if she’s OK?” Carol wondered. “No,” I said. “Keep going.”

While cleaning out my storage locker, I unearthed an espresso maker that belonged to my ex-fiance’s late grandmother. I gave it back, but only because I was hoping it would buy me more time on his Netflix account.

Hung up on publicists who called to ask if I received their press release

Wasted money on the following
Liposonix for love handles
Drunk snacks
Dresses that look like dresses I already own
Cardigans that I already own
Convenience store umbrellas
Taxi rides home from failed Jdates where I ended up tipping the driver extra for listening to me cry
Stain removal pens that dry out because I never put the cap back on properly
Grapes because I was too lazy to wash them

Stopped liking a guy because he was too poor. He was also bad at sex but it was more the poor

Knocked over a display of necklaces at H&M and bolted

Deleted a Facebook friend because I was taking too much pleasure in her public meltdowns. Then I added her back because I missed reading them so much

Blocked someone I’d been emailing with on Jdate because he suggested we meet at a Starbucks

I read horrible stories on the Daily Mail homepage because it makes me feel better about my own life

Was relieved when a friend got dumped so we could be single together (this happened on more than one occasion)

I gossiped too much and was over-dramatic almost every single day

I carried on about this cut for several days

I carried on about this paper cut for at least a week

Wrote ‘CONGRATULATIONS! SO HAPPY FOR YOU GUYS!’ when my insides were screaming: “why not me!? When will it be my turn?”

Wasn’t honest with nutritionist about what I ate. Feigned shock over two pound weight gain. Allowed her to feel like she had failed me

Every time the phone rings and it’s my BFF Bienstock, I am terrified she is going to announce that she is engaged. She knows this about me and will leave a message saying: “You didn’t answer because you thought I was calling to tell you Chef Christopher proposed.”

Stole hair products & unopened mascara from Bienstock’s bathroom when I was visiting her in Los Angeles

Watched sad elephants paint pictures in Thailand. Also watched women shoot darts out of their vaginas on the same trip

My friend Bienstock took this picture in Chiang Mai, Thailand in March

Bienstock took this picture

Me on Twitter!

What I should really put in my Jdate “ABOUT ME” paragraph

jdate-homepage-copy

About Me
Describe yourself and your personality – 50 character minimum

In July, I dropped a jar of vinegar on my foot. My toenail fell off, and now it’s displayed in a plastic bag on my refrigerator between a coupon for Bed Bath & Beyond and my goddaughter’s birth announcement

I returned goldfish to Petco because they were too much responsibility, but I swear I will be a good mom.
myfish

During our first couple of dates, I perform the part of ‘easygoing, fun chick.’

I LOVE taking pictures of myself when I cry

Talent: getting others to stop crying

On a typical Sunday night I am: 1) Staring at menus for three hours before I decide what I want 2) Googling word combinations like “rabbits wearing socks” 3) trying to do eye makeup like a Real Housewife of New Jersey 4) researching exes

Low point: when I considered going to a grief group to meet men

Low point: wiping out on the floor at Hooters

After a few glasses of wine, I start fishing for compliments

A little needy. In college, my boyfriend Rich, got me a rabbit for Valentine’s Day. “Maybe if you have a pet to play with, you won’t have to sleep over so much,” he said. His plan didn’t work. Archie the black bunny and I spent a lot of time at UMASS. My best friend Bienstock’s tribute to Archie

Archie!

Archie!

Whenever I’m in any kind of home video, I picture it rolling at my funeral

I don’t like to make out in cabs because I feel bad for the driver

Total Internet stalker
STALKER

Jealous of girls who:
can braid hair
look cute in shorts
get funny emails & texts from their dads
walk quickly in high heels

I’ve only sent one SEXY photo and it was of a single boob

Every day at around 11am, I fight a very powerful urge to order a tuna melt & French fries

I once broke up with someone because I couldn’t get past their duvet cover

Week after week, my therapist has to listen to me say stuff like, “I just feel like I was put on this earth to do something big!” and “I know I promised I wasn’t going to see him again, but…”

I was an original Catfisher!

I went to a psychologist when I was seven-years-old because I had an irrational fear of dying

Back in high school, I hit a police officer with my car on a snowy night. The next day, I had to go to the station to formally apologize. I totally repressed that memory. My friend brought it up a few years ago and I didn’t believe her. I had to call my mom and make sure. Confirmed.

Rauncho4@aol.com was my email until I went to college. I wish I could get it back

I actually like dating in New York City

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Bad Apple

Old-fashioned apple orchard harvest

My brother D got excited when I told him about my girl kiss. “I really think you should consider dating women,” he said. “You have the worst taste in men.” Every time I start seeing someone new, D’s convinced that I’m going to end up joining a cult or locked in a basement. He doesn’t believe me that I know when I’ve got a bad guy on my hands. Like Joe. I knew Joe was a doozy.

My UH-OH alarm went off when Joe called me drunk just days after we first met. There was no hello. “I’m in your neighborhood,” he announced. “I hope you have wine.” When told him I didn’t think that was a good idea, he grew agitated. “Is this some f—–g rule thing?” Joe scoffed. “You’re acting like a neurotic Jewish chick.” After we hung up, I dialed down to the doorman to be on the lookout.

Still, there was a second date, a third, a fourth, a fifth and a sixth. Joe spoke badly about his mother and yelled at cab drivers. He was short with me too. But the dorky high school girl in me loved the fact that I was being courted by a handsome former college quarterback. Also, my ex-fiance David had moved on, and I wanted to move on too.

For our seventh date, we went apple picking in Pennsylvania. It was a beautiful fall day, but Joe was too angry about the traffic to enjoy it with me. He kept pounding on the steering wheel.

“I’ll make you a pie!” I said, brightly. “I’ll make you two!”

“I’d like that, babe,” he replied, and squeezed my leg.

At the farm, there were hayrides to the orchard. I pictured us laughing and snapping photos like you are supposed to do when you’re seated on bales of straw and wearing cute apple picking outfits. Joe wasn’t in the mood. He put his backpack between us and stared moodily off into the distance. I made the mistake of asking what was bothering him.

“It was very f—–g rude of you to bring up your ex in the car,” he said, his face bright red. “I won’t tolerate that bulls–t.”

“It was just a casual mention!” I protested. “He wasn’t even really an ex! We saw each other for a few weeks.”

Joe took off his sunglasses and wiped them on his shirt.

“It will not happen again, are we clear?”

I swallowed. “Yes.”

There were ladders leaning up against the trees that you had to climb to get to the apples. Joe did all the picking and I stood down and held the bag open. He didn’t even ask if I wanted a turn. Fifteen minutes later, we were in the parking lot.

During the drive back to New York, I kept quiet while Joe regaled me with a story about how he ruptured a kid’s spleen in middle school. “Sent him to intensive care,” he said, cranking the radio. “I am not afraid to smash problems out of my life.”

“Oy,” I said, nervously.

When we got to my building, I leapt out of the car. I let Joe kiss me, but only because I was terrified. As soon as he was out of sight, I wiped him off my mouth. I thought I’d never hear from him again.

dog

On Monday, Joe wanted to know how the pies were coming along. Any recipes? Could he pick them up tomorrow?

I wrote back that I had given the apples to a coworker who liked to bake, and also I wasn’t sure if we should see each other anymore.

crazy

When I told my friend Michael what happened, he rolled his eyes.

“You were never going to make those pies,” he said. “You need someone who understands that about you.”

“And someone who won’t kill me,” I added.

“Yes,” he said. “That too.”

Both are very important.

I know you must be thinking, ‘Rachel! Why do you waste your time with these losers!?’ Here is the reason: Being single doesn’t terrify me. Meeting the right person does.

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Turning 34

The most important bday

The office cake I got for lying about my age. It was supposed to read 33rd. But I much prefer 33th.

Confession: I lied about my age on Jdate. If you are unfamiliar with Jdate, it is like Match or eHarmony, but for the Jews. My gentile friends like to ask, “Rachel, why is religion such a big deal? You never even go to synagogue. 1) I am just more comfortable with boys whose moms still book their doctors appointments. 2) I attend services on High holidays and even though I complain the entire time that I’m hungry and my feet hurt, I am there.

But back to my dishonesty.

Right before I turned 29, a friend’s brother told me I better hurry up and meet a man. “We start to think somethings wrong with a girl if she’s not snatched up by 30,” he said. When I met David two months after my 30th birthday, I breathed a sigh of relief. “Phew,” I thought. “I’m safe. I’m done.”

I was a fresh 32 when David and I called off our engagement. And a fresh 32 is where I remained for two years in online land until I was busted. I went on a lovely first date with a tall Jew and I was excited when he emailed the next day. The note was really cute until I got to this part: “I’m going to assume that you are 33 (as mentioned on your blog) and not 32 as you told me last night and on your profile.”

My wise coworker Kevin said, “Delete that ridiculously long and rambling response I know you’re about to send, and just tell him you are happily 33 and it won’t happen again.” I listened to Kevin and we are having a second date. Also, since this post is about being truthful, I want you to know, I really am happily 33. This has been one of my most favorite and important years.

As for Jdate: My birthdate is now set to August 25, 1979. I am 72 hours away from 34. And my friend’s brother can suck it.

It’s almost my birthday! Please follow me on Twitter!

I am a prize!

After my fiancé David and I split up, I moved into a sublet that looked directly into a $49 million mansion. I got nothing done because I was constantly calling my mother Bernice with updates. “The twins have a pot-bellied pig!” “Mrs. T is doing yoga on the terrace!” “They’re away on vacation, but the maids are still coming!”

My studio was the size of a Cheerio, but it had good light and happy energy. I didn’t even mind that my next door neighbor was a convicted rapist. No more David giving me disappointed looks because I wasn’t up for a lecture on Buddhist Dharma songs!

People couldn’t believe how well I was handling the broken engagement. “You’re so strong,” they crowed. “Look at how you’re keeping it together.” Then one Friday night, while creeping around on Facebook, I stumbled upon a photo of David and Martha that my made my insides lurch.

Everyone knows that when a boy and girl post a photo with their arms around each other, it’s the same as changing your status to “in a relationship.” I stared at the computer screen and imagined David kissing the top of her head and saying stuff like, ‘I love you so much, babe.” During our two years together, David rarely uttered the L word (“it makes me uncomfortable,” he said) and he never, ever called me a cutesy name like BABE or HONEY or SWEETIE. I was just Rachel. When David went away and I asked if he missed me, his response was always, “sure.” That’s how it was with us.

“I can’t believe David’s moved on!” I wailed to my best friend Bienstock. “I feel so replaceable. He didn’t even grieve me.”

“Get a grip,” she said, “Are you listening to Chicago right now?”

“Maybe,” I said. I was also drinking vodka.

Twenty minutes later, when I went to investigate a noise in the hallway, the door blew shut and I was locked out wearing nothing but a white coffee stained nightgown.

I knocked on about twelve doors before Heather, an emaciated South African woman let me into her apartment.

“Thank you!” I said. “People were pretending not to be home.”

There were empty wine bottles clustered on the counter, in the sink, and on top of the refrigerator. As I stood in the entryway, Heather began scooping clothes off the floor and dumping them on her bed to clear a path. A candle flickered dangerously close to the curtains.

We drank on her couch and waited for the locksmith. Heather confided that she had been married for twelve years to a very rich man. One day she came home from work and he was gone. There was a note on the kitchen table, just like in the movies.

“He destroyed me,” she slurred. “I’m nearly 50 and no one wants me now. I’m just going to rot here all alone.”

“Don’t give up,” I told her, even though it was clear she already had.

“How old are you?”

“Thirty two,” I replied.

Heather crinkled her nose. “I thought you were younger, but I think you should be fine. You have a little bit of time.”

Finally, the locksmith arrived: a sexy Israeli who smelled like lemons. I unloaded my David story while he drilled holes.

“You are a prize,” he said. “Don’t end up like that chick downstairs.”

“Never,” I vowed. “Would you mind telling me that I’m a prize again?”

I was buzzed from the Chardonnay and feeling bold, even in my ugly white nightgown.

“You are a prize,” the sexy Israeli repeated. “Now you say it!”

“I am a prize!” I exclaimed.

“Do you believe it?”

“Not really,” I admitted.

“I’m gonna write it down so you remember,” the sexy Israeli locksmith said. “Put it on your door.”

photo[5]

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My list

bunny-heart-scene

Eats sandwiches

Wants to play on the floor with his kids & will read stories in goofy voices. Thinks kids should have at least two rescue rabbits

Jew preferably raised in New England . Also fine: Midwest. DC area. Select towns in NJ.

Handy

Went to sleep away camp. Bonus points if he was a counselor

Capable of writing sappy letters

Has Facebook account

Watches at least two reality shows

Clean/trimmed fingernails

Patient enough to teach me how to use chopsticks

Doesn’t shave chest or arms

Must give really excellent hugs

Is up for a trip to South Dakota. Also Idaho

Goes to the gym but not obsessively . No yoga.

Friends meet him & text to say how much they like him before I’ve even asked, “so what did you think?”

My mother Bernice & my sweet brother D approve. They see through everyone

Democrat

Wants to read the stories I write. Remembers the names of the characters

Gives back massages without expecting the sexy time

Gives French kisses without expecting the sexy time

the sexy time is toe curling

No aftershave. No STDS . Smoking when drunk— ok.

Fast responder on email

Has lots of buddies . Buddies have nicknames

We walk in sync

Good gift giver. Understands flowers are not great because I forget to feed them water

Good at math/science so that our children have a chance

Good finder of funny YouTube videos

Was nice to girls even in fifth grade

Has desire eat chips and guacamole with me while playing board games or cards

this list is a work in progress