Monthly Archives: June 2015

My Arduous Journey from Bridgeport to Westport—and What I Never Should Have Worn


In early 1967, my mother sat me down to inform me that once she remarried in August, we were moving from Bridgeport to Westport Connecticut.  I wasn’t pleased. In June, I was graduating from St. Ambrose Catholic Grammar School in Bridgeport and was planning on attending Notre Dame Girls Catholic High School in the fall.

But my mother’s marriage and relocation plans put the kibosh on my high school aspirations.

I begged her to let me live with my grandmother and attend Notre Dame Girls, but she was convinced that Westport was going to be the best thing that ever happened to me. She sang its praises and was convinced that our lives were going to be forever changed, and in the most incredible ways.  The streets were safe, the residents were famous, and we were soon to live amongst the classy and well bred.

So what? I was popular. I had tons of friends. And I was looking forward to attending Notre Dame Girls with my buds. Who cared about classy?

But plead as I might, the decision was made. We were moving to Westport in August of 1967.

And that’s when fashion became center stage in my life—like it or not.

As someone who wore a school uniform for eight years, fashion was of little importance to me.  Plus, being at the bottom rung of the money ladder, we had bigger fish to fry so to speak.

But my mother was obsessed with finding the right dress for me to wear to her wedding, as well as future fashion plans for how we would present ourselves to the Westport world.

First came the marriage outfit—an orange paisley accordion pleated dress with matchy shoes and purse. I felt like a fruit salad. I was a Bridgeport girl. Paisley wasn’t big in the Bridgeport hood, and neither was orange. But I tried to suck it up and felt extremely self-conscious all wedding day.

The reception took place at Longshore Country Club. This was my first foray into the tony town of Westport. As we drove through the massive trees flanking both sides of the picture perfect rustic road leading to the reception, it painfully dawned on me that I was probably not going to fit in here.

Moving day was scary, and lonely.  Westport was a mere 12.2 miles from Bridgeport on I-95, yet worlds apart. We pulled up to the long driveway on a tranquil, dead end street, to a magnificent house. I couldn’t believe we were actually going to live there.

Having spent my first 14 years sharing a room with my mother, I was ecstatically enjoying my lavender and lace boudoir. And I actually had a piano in my room. I was pinching myself to make sure it was all real.

But it soon became tortuously clear that my rags-to-riches life change was going to be a swirling whirlwind of anxiety, rejection and pain.

Immediately following the wedding, we went to Country Gal in Westport for some bathing suits, cover-ups, bathing caps and sunglasses. My mom was frantically preparing me for my pool debut at Longshore.  There weren’t a lot of swimming opportunities during my Bridgeport years. And I had a near drowning experience as a youngster, so swimming, and any associated attire was not my forte.  So it should have come as no surprise to me, that my pool induction would be an utter and total failure.

What was my mother thinking when she convinced me that I looked tres chic in my bubblegum pink daisy embellished bathing cap and matching one piece daisy patterned suit? And let’s not forget the pair of daisy-shaped sunglasses I wore, to pull the whole ridiculous look together. I was maybe 90 pounds, and a lanky, awkward, pink spectacle.  I observed with intense interest Muffy, Buffy and Stuffy prancing around the pool flirting with Chip, Skip, and Topper.  I jealously witnessed this incredibly gorgeous blonde Adonis they called Oakes, throw Bitsy in the pool. I left the pool that day feeling profoundly ugly, convinced that I would never be part of the in crowd. I hung out at that pompous pool every sunny day for weeks, and those kids never gave me so much as a glance, let alone a chance.

My back-to-school shopping trip took place in early September at Country Gal, along with every other young girl in town. Main Street was packed with beautiful people, dressed to the nines, browsing, shopping, and chatting with friends who they saw coming in and out of the stores. Everyone knew everyone.

The young girls my age, many of whom I recognized from the Longshore pool, were wearing rainbow colored fabric pumps with chunky heels, that I later found out were “Pappagallo’s.” Their statement shoes matched their flashy floral shift dresses, which my mother whispered to me were Lily Pulitzer’s. The first question that came into my mind as I warily viewed my brightly adorned peers was “Pink goes with green?”

The Westport girls had perfectly flipped hair; many wore eye framing side bangs. Their moms sported beehives and up do hair in elaborate coiled arrangements. They were all picture perfect, and I was beyond intimidated. On the contrary, my frizz ball hair was parted down the middle and pulled straight back into a messy nub.

The clothes my mother chose for me were way out of my league, ridiculously pricey, and nothing I would ever consider wearing. I never saw so many shades of pink, purple, yellow and green all mixed into one extremely busy and ugly tent dress. Thrown into the mix were a few madras, polka dot, paisley, and striped ensembles, accessorized with Emilio Pucci scarves and textured tights.  To complete the wardrobe, my mother splurged on Mary Jane flats, square toed patent leather slip-ons, and kitten heels. As I hid in the Country Gal dressing room to avoid  the it girls, I was praying that my Bedford Jr. High School debut was going to be more successful than my Longshore pool coming out.

My first day of school was a blur—except that I will never forget the giggling girls whispering about my black and white polka dot dress, red tights and red Mary Jane’s. One girl called me the Mod Martian. Unfortunately, the name stuck. So did Theresa the Greaser and Olive Oyl. Suffice it to say, I had a heck of a time making friends. I was finally able to muster up a few misfits, and together we struggled our way through ninth grade.

But that didn’t stop my mother from trying as hard as she could to trend me up. I added go-go boots, jackets with frog buttons and mini dresses designed by Mary Quant and Pierre Cardin to my repertoire. But try as I might, I just couldn’t break through. All those well-bred, rich little girls wouldn’t give me the time of day.

My mother was desperate for me to assimilate, and ultimately signed me up for a program called “Junior Years.” It was a charm school-like ten week course run out of the Westport Women’s Auxiliary Club; or some such name.

It was at Junior Year’s that I realized so much about my young self. I was a quick study: Less was more, I conquered my frizzy hair (thanks to the Girl from Uncurl), and kept all clothing super simple.

The program was sponsored by Cover Girl, and I became an expert at hair management while downplaying my ethnic look, with just the right amount of makeup. I was determined to start Staples High School as a new and improved Teri. I had declared war on myself, and I was going to divide and conquer. To this day, I still call makeup my war paint.

I traded in my floral shifts and Mary Jane’s for cheap Landlubber jeans bought at a local Main Street store called Functional Clothing, and stopped trying to be someone I wasn’t. I also stopped slouching for fear someone would think me too tall, and wore those tight fitting Landlubbers proudly, not giving a damn how skinny I was.

On my first day at Staples High School, not one person from Bedford Jr. High even knew it was me. I had managed to reinvent myself, and it turned my life around.

It’s All About the X Chromosome

X Chromosome

I recently blogged about the Y Chromosome, and I might be breaking girl code here, but I feel compelled to illuminate the broad assumptions about us X’s to all you Y’s out there.

Call it a Father’s Day gift.

It’s all about the X chromosome, and the sooner you figure that out, the better for you.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two X’s make a female.

According to the Los Angeles Times, women have more genetic instructions since they are the product of two X chromosomes. Thus, we have more depth and complexity than men. Okay, the LA Times was talking about gene complexity, but I am about to prove to you that yes, women are way more complex and way deeper than the mighty machismo.

Women want 20 to 30 minutes of foreplay; men give us maybe 20-30 seconds.  How do you think the phrase wham bam thank you ma’am got its start?

A woman spends an average of two years of her life looking at herself in the mirror. A man spends six months. Men check out their reflection as often as women do, but women take longer looks, due to the necessary maintenance a woman has to do in front of a mirror. Hello.

A woman speaks about 7,000 words a day; a man speaks about 2,000.

Men are all about the basics. Women are all about details, details, details.

If you guys want a happier relationship with your women, you need to let them be the boss of the house. Listen up guys, and just say yes.

We will tell you over and over and over again what we don’t  want, but we rarely let you in on what we do want. You’re supposed to know, poo brain.

When we’re running late and tell you we’ll be ready in five, this really means at least 20 minutes. You can while away the time, and do something constructive. Like taking out the garbage that has been stinking up the house for way too many days. You might even have time to wash and wax the car.

If she asks, “Is there some importance to today?” you messed up big time, stooge head.

And don’t believe her when she says “You’re the boss.” You are NOT the boss. You’re just a pompous womp.

And when she complains that you never talk to her, don’t fill the silence for the sake of it. It’s too damn late. Crickets are better at this juncture.

When your woman tells you that “I’ve only had sex with (insert an infinitesimal number here) men.” She’s a liar, liar, underpants on fire. But NEVAH let on that you don’t believe.

Telling us to “Relax,” is suicide. So is, “Why are you so emotional?”

And don’t ask too many questions; unless she calls you out for not asking enough questions.

When you’re trying to sneak in a nap and it sounds like a herd of elephants just ran across your bedroom, get your ass up and do something worthwhile.

Never blame her behavior on her hormones. EVER.

Ask her multiple times if she’s okay. That’s good and shows you care.  But don’t tell her to smile. That’s not good. That’s just BAD.

When she says she’s “okay,” or she’s “fine,” she is NOT fine, and she is NOT okay. We shouldn’t have to tell you that.

When she says, she barely drank; she’s drunk.

When you catch her flirting, and she tells you that “he’s just a friend,” big trouble is brewing.

When she proclaims that she didn’t expect you to understand; she definitely expected, but you ditin.

When she promises that she won’t get mad if you just tell her the truth; do not, I repeat, DO NOT fall for this.

And if she tells you that she is not the jealous type. JEALOUS!!!!!

“Never mind,” means you’re a moron.

If she says, she’s 130 pounds.  She’s at least 140. DO NOT QUESTION.

“I’m not in the talking mood,” means talking to a brick wall would be more constructive.

When she say’s “go ahead,” this is NOT giving you permission, so don’t do it.

When she says “Forget it, I’ve got it covered,” you are definitely in the dog house.

And when she says the dreaded “we need to talk,” this is B.A.D.

When she asks, “You’re not wearing that, are you?”  You need to change.

When she asks you, “Which part of no didn’t you understand?” Give whatever you wanted to do up. ASAP.

And when she wants to know if you have to do that right now? Don’t answer. Just stop.

And last but not least, when she says “I’m done,” run out quickly and buy a very expensive piece of jewelry. Remember, diamonds are forever.

You’re welcome!

Climate Change: Red States vs. Blue States. Again.


According to a recent Pew Research Center poll, 69 percent of U.S. adults consider global warming a “very serious” or a “somewhat serious” problem. So what do the other 31 percent think is happening out there?

According to the Pew Research, Democrats are the believers—Republicans are the naysayers.

The Pew data also revealed that Democratic men were less interested in fighting climate change than Democratic women.

Why is it that most of the non-believers are Republican leaning, men, whites, evangelicals, and people over 50? What do they know that the other 69 percent don’t?

Why don’t  more Americans care about climate change? There is significant research out there pointing to worldwide chaos, rising sea levels and the possible end of civilization, yet many refuse to believe.

And why does it always come down to Republicans vs. Democrats?

Democrats have tried to pass climate bills—which caused many Republican-leaning voters to become even more hostile to any new climate policies.

Let’s be honest about this: As long as the Republicans control Congress, do not expect any significant legislation to address the issue. Bottom line: The majority of Republicans in Congress deny the existence of manmade climate change and oppose regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It seems to me that congressional members pass more blame than bills these days.

A new report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which took 300 scientists several years to put together, alarmingly outlines the “severe, pervasive and irreversible” impact of increased global warming. And according to them, 100 percent of the global warming over the past 60 years is manmade or human-caused.

The report further states that increased ocean acidity will likely decimate coral reefs and leave endemic species vulnerable to extinction. As temperatures continue to rise, animals and plants will be increasingly forced inland toward more mountainous terrain and will tend to migrate toward the poles. Crop yields of corn, rice and wheat will fall by 25% by 2050, with the trend predicted to worsen thereafter. The drop off in fish catches will be even more precipitous with projections suggesting a 50% reduction in Antarctic and Tropical waters. The IPCC also cited that the hottest year on record was 2014.

Changes in temperature, precipitation, sea level, and the frequency and severity of extreme events will likely affect how much energy is produced, delivered, and consumed in the United States. And increases in temperature will likely change how much energy we consume, as well as our ability to produce electricity and deliver it reliably.

Climate change may well be the world’s biggest news story, and no one seems to care. I hope someone decides to care before our planet gets baked to a crisp.

Bravo’s New Reality Show “Secrets and Wives”

Secrets and Wives

As someone who resides on the South Shore of Long Island, I was mildly interested in Bravo’s new show about six women from the North Shore. If there were any secrets, they were quickly and boringly revealed in the first two episodes. And only three out of the six are wives. The rest are single.

The show makes it abundantly clear that the “Wives” are wholly and utterly financially dependent on the past and present men in their overindulgent lives. According to the divorced Andi Black, “The men on the North Shore have the power, and they have the control.” I’m not sure where that leaves Andi.

Black’s friend Liza Sandler is being forced to sell her opulent mansion as part of her ultra-lucrative divorce settlement and is, in her words “paralyzed” by her current situation and ex-husband. She confesses to having an affair (according to the Page Six article it was with the modern day mad man, Donny Deutsch), which resulted in her divorce. If you’re going to play, you got to pay. Although it seems that Liza played, and her husband paid.

Gail Greenberg’s husband is a plastic surgeon, so she thinks she’s all that, except that she’s not. But she is impressively zippy on her SoulCycle exercise bike. Dr. G throws a fashion show at the Race Palace (an off-track race site), and as the models sashay down the runway, they announce what type of plastic surgery they had done by him. Noses, and lipo, and boobs! Oh my!

Black disparages people who live on the South Shore, calling them unsophisticated. Greenberg accuses Susan Doneson (originally from Oceanside/South Shore) of not being classy and questions her upbringing. Another South Shore dis. Their superiority is laughable. Black, who is living with Sandler and sharing her bed, discusses with her roomie, cringe-worthy topics like passing gas, and putting flowers in private and personal spaces to eliminate odors. These girls actually believe they are veritable pillars of sophistication and class.

While the women of the North Shore are quick to put down the geographically challenged who reside on the wrong side of Long Island, Black and Amy Miller are the only North Shore originals. Greenberg grew up in Harrison, New York; Cori Goldfarb is from New Jersey, and the rest of the women were originally from—the South Shore.

Cori Goldfarb and her husband own a spa that according to Black, is always empty. There is much discussion amongst the Goldfarbs and their COO about one of their not so hot products, the anal relaxing cream (they sold 7 in a year). The COO scolds them: “You don’t need to worry about the women in this community’s asses.” I kid you not.

Goldfarb brags that her friend Amy was an ‘It’ girl in high school. “It” doesn’t work, and is financially supported by her volatile boyfriend. Her 20-year-old son is seen running after an ice cream truck in a pink tutu and bunny ears. More sophistication. Amy’s boyfriend buys her a car—a Volkswagen Bug. Or is it a Beetle? A Mercedes 350 would have been a lot sturdier.

Doneson talks non-stop about working working working, but then asks her reluctant ex-con husband for money, complaining to him that she only has $1 in her wallet. Maybe Bravo will do her a solid.

While marrying wealthy and powerful men may have its advantages, it is by no means a reflection of a person’s sophistication or level of class. And Secrets and Wives is the perfect example of that.

If these Wives are any indication of what one might find on the North Shore, I’ll stay put, right here on the South.

My Love Hate Relationship with Facebook


The world’s largest social network can be frivolous and sophomoric at best, and downright invasive and potentially dangerous at worse.

So what is it about Facebook that keeps me coming back?

According to the mighty F, the average user spends 20 hours a month on their site. That seems like a lot to me.

In the beginning, I’ll admit, I spent quite a bit of time looking at all the photos and comments from my newly-found Friends. And okay I posted my share of pictures. But NEVER a selfie. I’m not passing judgment; I’m just saying. But after a while, I got weary of all the emotional updates, the drama, the photos, the over-sharing, emoticons, and puffery.

Now when I log into Facebook, I mostly post entries from my blog. And who knows, maybe my Friends think my blog posts are worse than a selfie. Only my 216 Friends would be able to answer that.

And okay, I sometimes find some heartwarming and impactful videos and posts on Facebook. My favorites are the videos of soldiers coming home and surprising their loved ones. But there are also posts and videos that make me cringe.  A lot.

Come on people. Stop with the parental and grandparent bragging already. Your kids and grandkids can’t be that perfect!

And how many photos of you, your children, your pets, your grandkids, yourself, yourself, yourself…There is no need to finish the sentence. You get the picture.

Just last week Mona invited me to play Candy Crush Saga. A couple days later Penny needed my help to uncover an extra clamshell.

But the worst are those hateful, borderline racist Friends who use Facebook to highlight their repugnant views on politics, race relations, sexual orientation, climate change, religious differences, and whatever other derogatories they feel like sharing. Amidst the thousands of puppy love posts and videos, I have to view this smut?

It’s true, Facebook gives me the option to Unfollow but really, who wants or needs a Friend like that? I’m not interested in muting their opinions. I would much prefer to Unfriend these miscreants, although I never take this option lightly.

And I have a unique idea for birthday wishes. Instead of a Happy Birthday emoji, pick up the phone and say the real deal. But admittedly it would be time-consuming to call all of your hundreds of Facebook friends and family.

Facebook curates our lives. According to some, a relationship is only real if it’s on Facebook. And if there is a breakup, a must on your list of things to do is “Unfollow,” “Unfriend” or in cases of severe heartbreak—“Block.” If you have added this person to your “Life Event,” this too needs to be updated. And, of course, you now need to switch your status to “Single.”  I recently saw a post on my News Feed that Joe Blow was in a Complicated Relationship. I would hate to be on the receiving end of that missive.

And am I the only one who hates when people post photos of us without our permission? I recently logged onto my Facebook page and discovered a fill-my-computer-screen picture of me with someone I barely knew. Whatshername looked sensational, but I looked hideous.  I mean really? Get my approval before you start posting UGLY Teri pictures! I tried to be as polite as possible when in a private Facebook message I asked her to remove the photo or cut me out of it.  The next day I was relieved to see that it was down, only to resurface the next day with a bulldog face where mine had once been. I immediately unfriended the biatch. Yes, somewhere out there in the Cloud there is a picture of me as a bulldog.

Have you ever opened up Facebook to a huge photo of yourself that you didn’t post? As I prepared to post one of my blogs on my Facebook page I saw to my horror a picture of me in a white bikini bathing suit!  What was more embarrassing than the photo itself (if that was possible), was that my Friends assumed I posted the picture myself, WHICH I DID NOT DO.  The bikini pic had been taken five years earlier in Greece, and I didn’t even know it was in the Photos section of my Facebook account. The photo went viral with my Facebook peeps and God knows who else, with likes and comments from many of them wishing me good tidings in Greece. When I complained about it to my friend Robin, she reiterated my biggest fear: She was shocked that I would post a full page image of myself in a bikini; from five years ago. I was beyond humiliated and added a comment to the picture letting everyone know THE WHITE BIKINI PHOTO WAS NOT POSTED BY ME, after several failed attempts on my part to delete it altogether. I’m still trying to figure out how to get it off my home page and news feed.

Does anyone agree with me that the Like button is overused, and in many cases, used inappropriately? Someone posts a death, and everyone clicks Like.  There’s something wrong about liking someone’s death or sickness. Facebook should think about adding RIP as a button option.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word, so I think Facebook should also consider adding a Sorry button. This button would make it super easy to undo all of your wrongs with a quick click.

And then there is the TMI danger of revealing too much about yourself and your family. Friends who are incessantly posting photos of their children including their names, what school they are picking them up from, what extra-curricular activities they are participating in, etc., etc.  And how about those photos tagged with a geographical location that clearly identifies where they live. I mean seriously people? Don’t these Friends think this could be dangerous?  Every time you post about your child or grandchild on social media, you are helping to create a data-rich, enduring and potentially problematic online profile for your little lovies.  And it’s possible those lovies will be most unhappy when they discover that you exposed their lives to the world from birth.

Driving while doing anything social media related is dangerous, yet a recent study conducted by Braum Research found that 27 percent of drivers 16-65 reported using Facebook. Fourteen percent reported using Twitter.

The results of the AT&T survey were released last week, indicating that drivers who text are still the most prevalent of lawbreakers but are becoming so passé. These morons have graduated to using Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat and Twitter. They take selfies, chat, and shoot videos—in alarmingly large percentages. The survey found that 22 percent of those who use social media while driving said they did so because they are addicted. Sorry, but I just don’t feel your pain.

Now let’s talk about the FBI-worthy collection and mining of our data and invasion of our privacy by Facebook. We all know that ad-financed Internet platforms like Facebook and Google collect vast amounts of data about us. Heck, they probably know more about us than we know about ourselves. Just this week, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, announced plans to open users’ feeds to even more advertisers.

And Facebook announced in April that it would be introducing changes to its News Feed, including ranking content and advertising based on what we Like.

You may think that you see everything your Friends post via your News Feed, but you don’t. To inject advertising into our stream, Facebook uses an algorithm to control the News Feed, and what we see.

I have multiple Facebook accounts and have experienced first-hand Facebook’s double standard when it comes to the Likes that I get on my pages. For example, my Facebook page for Our Romantic Getaway has 1,103 Likes, and yet if I want to reach those people with my posts, I have to pay Facebook to boost the update to them. Really?  You’re selling my 1,013 Likes to others, and I can’t use them myself for free? Seems unseemly.

But for all my complaining, bad mouthing, and spewing, I still go back to Facebook for more.