Helpful or Hovering? Draw Your Own Line

Now that school has started, I'm faced with similar decisions every day: Do I lobby to get Josh the teacher he wants for AP Environmental or step back? Do I rummage through Ryan's backpack for papers I need to sign or let him get a zero if he doesn't follow through? And the big one this week: Do I follow up with the mother who threatened to go to the dean if Ryan calls her kid a mean name again (which he denies) and try to keep her calm, or do I let the school's anti-bullying system take its course?

Read more

Here's the Dish: Wash Your Own

Putting away bulky All-Clad pans following a recent dinner party, my fingers came across a layer of goo. Not goo, really. Grime. Grease. Whatever the word, my shiny stainless steel über-cookware felt unclean. I suddenly felt a surge of dread. "I washed serving dishes at Norine's barbecue yesterday," I remembered, sickened. "Now she'll know."

Read more

Thanks for the Thanks

This girl got it right.
My beloved R, who is no angel, was allegedly part of a group that acted disrespectfully during a classmate's bat mitzvah. I'm told the girl knows little of the gang's what-were-they-thinking behavior but her mother's in the loop--and understandably disgusted. What do you put in a thank you note if the standard "I'm glad you could celebrate with me" is a lie?
How about this: "Thank you for the money. It will go towards my future." Honest, and sort of adorable.
Good for her and her mother for taking the high road and sending a thank you note.

In a Manner of Speaking

"Shame on you!" my friend reprimanded her daughter at a kid's soccer game recently. "Walk behind people's chairs, not in front of them." WHUH? Once again, I discovered that I have bad manners. I've been to dozens upon dozens of soccer games in the last 13 years, and it never once occurred to me that I would obstruct parents' views by strolling by as they as they cheer on their goalies and defenders. It's common sense, right? Not to me.

Read more

All Manner of Bad Manners

On a warm spring evening in front of a friend's house, I hurried with my 13-year-old into the car and shut the door. "Did something happen at the bar mitzvah?" I asked. He calmly said no and asked why. "B's father just called Daddy over to talk privately and he looked somber," I explained. "If something's up, I'd rather hear it from you."

Read more

Rona:The Rest of the Story

You'll find restaurant updates and recommendations on my website, but I have to be careful there: Stick to the theme, stay politically correct, etc. Here I'll let loose -- about being a mom, a wife, an angry consumer or an elated editor. I'll be honest and I beg you to be too.