Welcome to Hell : Perimenopause and You

Let me start on a positive note; there are plenty of fantastic things about being a woman your forties.  We grow more confident, more accomplished and wiser over the years. We learn to take care of ourselves a bit, instead of only taking care of others. Many women, myself included, feel sexier than ever before.  I am, in many ways, better in my forties than I ever have been.  Take a moment …

Okay, now let’s talk about perimenopause.

Little did I suspect, that one day I would be slathering on hormone cream in the desperate hope that I could survive a trip to Walmart without picking up a prison sentence. That I could restrain myself from hiring a bounty hunter to track down a significant other with a dead cell phone battery. And that I could avoid having an emotional breakdown should I not be able to find a matching pair socks. (Again! Where in the hell do they go?!)

Is it a secret or something? Why is it that nobody tells you that you will have the pleasure of revisiting your adolescent years in your mid-forties, sans a subscription to Seventeen magazine and perky boobs? Why doesn’t spellcheck even recognize the word “perimenopause?” Is it merely a coincidence that perimenopause is never mentioned in high school Health classes across America? Maybe it’s an oversight. But maybe not.

Maybe nobody warns you because it’s too entertaining to watch a female CEO make a midnight DevilDog run, or too much fun to watch a member of the Women’s Bar Association break down into sobs because her name is spelled wrong on junk mail. (I don’t know why! Neither does she!) Okay, so maybe it’s not a conspiracy, but it’s still weirdly inexplicable. Kind of like Roswell, but that’s another blog post.

So, I’m changing that.  I’m breaking the silence.  I’m spreading the word!  Get ready, my  sisters! Spend your thirties endearing yourself to your loved ones.  That way, when you someday threaten to put a gearshift in an anatomically questionable place, for not returning the driver’s seat to where they found it after borrowing your car, they’ll think twice before having you committed. Pause for a moment, whenever you can during those precious, but fleeting years, to take a deep cleansing breath and enjoy the peace of emotional stability. Because it won’t last. Oh, and take lots of pictures of your perky boobs. Because they won’t last either.  I’m sorry, honey, but it’s better that you know.

In sum, there are many great things about being a woman in your fourth decade of life.  Estrogen and Progesterone are not among them.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go purchase some DevilDogs.

Some Tuchises Are Meant To Be Seen (and Other Life Lessons)

I’ll confess that there are moments when my life feels like an R-Rated episode of I Love Lucy.  Just such a moment occurred on New Year’s day, when I brought my MacBook into an Apple Store in a busy mall for repairs.  Everything was going smoothly until the Genius Bar guy asked me to turn it on. I turned it on, all right.

You know how when you boot up your computer various applications open depending on your settings? Trust me, they do.  And one of those applications is your photos.  And if the last photo you took is a picture of you, dressed only in your panties, contorting your body to check out the size of your butt in the mirror, it could lead to much awkwardness.

It was one of those experiences when time seems to slow down, and everything moves in slow motion. My finger descends to the start button and an image of a huge, marshmallow-like tushie fills the screen.  I react by frantically pushing every key I can find, including some on the guy next to me’s computer, while the Apple Genius Bar guy keeps repeating over and over, “Scroll down! Scroll down!” Fellow shoppers turn to face us questioningly, and then sounds of shock travel through the crowd. I slap my hand down over the offending image, in a desperate, low-tech attempt at modesty, while I start mentally calculating how much the therapy for this one is going to cost. And if I can get a group rate. As an aside, Apple Stores are crowded on New Year’s day.

The thing is, as embarrassing as that experience was, and believe me, it was embarrassing, I’m still alive, and now I’m laughing about it. Actually, I’m fairly sure that many people are laughing about it, especially the other Apple Genius Bar employees. There was a point in my life, however, when I wouldn’t have laughed. Back then, I tried very hard to be as careful and as cautious as I could be, so that I could avoid seeming uncool at all costs.  The younger me would have anticipated the possibility that I could become the Larry Flint of the Apple Store, and would have changed the damned settings.  I spent a whole lot of time worrying about how I looked, and how I acted, and what people thought of me … too much time.

The thing is, no matter how careful I was, stuff like this still happened to me.  If I had remembered to ditch that picture, I would, undoubtedly, have tucked my skirt into my pantyhose instead. You see, I am now convinced that I was put on this Earth to write romantic comedy, and all of this is just material that God is generously giving me to use, so that I can make people laugh. Frankly, I much prefer that theory to the possibility that I’m just a big dork.

My point, and I do have one, is that whatever makes you, you is special. Don’t spend your life trying to be someone else, or before you know it, life will pass you by.  Whatever your own quirks may be, just embrace them, honey.  Let your weird light shine! Some tuchises are meant to be seen. Happy New Year!

Train Etiquette

Okay, that’s it! If you are planning to take a train in any major city, especially the one I live in, there are some basic rules you need to obey.

  1. Deodorant is not optional!
  2. Phone calls should be not audible twenty seats away.  Nobody cares that your boyfriend is banging Tawanna!
  3. Turn down the freaking volume on your iPod! If I can hear your entire Taylor Swift playlist, you are missing the point of ear buds.
  4. You only get one seat! Man spread during shorts season should be a felony.
  5. If your bag didn’t buy a ticket, it doesn’t get a seat of it’s own.
  6. Sitting directly next to a person when there are ten empty seats around her is creepy.
  7. Vomiting on a crowded subway is an act of aggression.
  8. There is no need to get up before the train actually stops, and when it does, you are  likely going to ….. crash into that guy who was unlucky enough to have to sit by the door. Sigh.
  9. You don’t need to push your way onboard. The train is very unlikely to leave while passengers are still getting off.
  10. Read the map and train schedule before you embark. It’s not a random kind of thing.

AND … here’s my stop.  Have a nice day.

The Author Bio

So, I was about to do this talk radio show, and I was getting ready by checking out the interviews other authors have done, when I noticed their author bios. They all had one thing in common; they were all warm and personable! My bio, in contrast, read like a poster on the wall at the D.M.V.

Apparently, everyone else is a “book lover” and lives with a cuddly animal. I have a “humorous cast of characters” and have held various rankings. I sound about as fun as a proctology exam. The problem is, I don’t collect lip gloss. I collect empty wine bottles. And the only thing fuzzy in my apartment is a container of yogurt from 1989. But surely there must be something I could say that would capture the real me?  This is what I came up with:

N.M. Silber is a lawyer, nerd girl, conspiracy theorist, wine whisperer and all-around good egg. She lives in an overpriced studio apartment with the dust bunnies under her bed and no regrets. She writes books that have sex, banter and a little mystery in them. People apparently like them.

I thought about tossing in that I can do the Electric Slide and I know all the words every Duran Duran song ever recorded, but I was afraid I would date myself too much. Adding that I was the president of the Nancy Drew fan club might have been cool. Except that I was in college at the time. Do you think anyone would be impressed that I’m STD free? I could add that.

Here’s a question, does anybody actually read the author bio? Maybe I could just use someone else’s, like Hemingway’s. I wonder if anyone would notice.

My Angst Allotment

Not judging, but I’m not one of those chicks who digs sparkly vampires … or anything intended for an audience that still uses Clearasil. I’m forty-something, and I’m a busy woman. Thus, I have decided that I only have very limited time for angst.  Just so we are all on the same page, I would like to lay out my angst allotment for the people who populate different areas of my life. You’re welcome.

  1. To everyone in book world, I write for myself and for the people who like my books.  I do the best I can, and my loyal readers are willing to wait. They’ve told me that I don’t need to allot any angst to this area and I thank them for that.
  2. To everyone in law world, I went to law school to fight the good fight, and that’s what I do. I wouldn’t represent underdogs if I didn’t care about people. Deeply. But I leave it at the office and in the courtroom. Thus, no actual angst for you, but genuine concern during all working hours.
  3. To my friends, I’ll be there to ask you if you’ve lost weight when you are feeling like the afternoon show in the “big tank” at Sea World, and I’ll be there to buy the first round if you get passed over for that promotion. That you totally deserved!  Your angst is my angst. No limits.
  4. To my children, I will never worry about anyone on this planet more than I worry about you. But I also believe that you can fly.  I love you more than you’ll ever know.  Unlimited amounts of everything for you.
  5. To everyone else I’m related to, I love you too. Most of you. Okay, some of you, and others I’m fond … ish of. I will be there for you too, but some of you tend to be a bit on the, shall we say, neurotic side. Kind of like a Pekinese on Meth.  You know who you are.  Just make good choices and don’t push me too far. I want to support you and I certainly don’t want to serve time in prison. Limited angst, on a probationary basis, for you.
  6. To the men I date, I’ll continue to worry about you thinking that I’m in my apartment playing the aria from Madame Butterfly and making plans to boil your house pet.  I’ll continue to wonder if you ever think of me when I’m not texting you 500 times a day. And I’ll continue to wonder if you like me as much as I like you. But I’m too comfortable with myself for much more than that.  A little angst for you, but thankfully, a much smaller allotment than the one you got when I was younger.

The Enticement of Uncertainty

There is a tide in the affairs of women, which taken at the flood …  could lead to a fairly stable, or at least not too terribly unstable, romantic relationship. Or at least a fun, flirty friendship, with a few butterflies in the tummy, great sex, and no emergency calls to your therapist, your best friend or your AA sponsor.

Unfortunately, it could also lead to eating 3 quarts of Ben and Jerry’s Boom Chocolatta while dressed in flannel cow pajamas, listening to Adele singing Make You Feel My Love on continuous replay and drinking wine out of a box. Okay, not that last one. Nothing could make me drink boxed wine. But I think you get my point.

You know that moment ladies, the one when you realize that despite being intelligent, empowered and a regular reader of Jezebel, you are probably going to take a chance on a guy who could be great, or could very well be dangerous to your peace-of-mind.  I’m not talking some loser; in fact, he’s likely quite impressive, or why would a chick like you be willing to roll the dice? He’s probably attractive and quite accomplished, but for whatever reason, you suspect that he might not being ready, willing, able or just plain interested enough, in treating you as well as you clearly deserve to be treated.

Let’s say, hypothetically, he’s a busy guy. But you are a busy woman too. You tell yourself, “I’m nobody’s second priority. If he cancels on me this time, I’m done.” But inside, you know that the chances are far too great that you’ll whip out that calendar app and reschedule. In fact, you might as well have “WELCOME” tattooed across your tuchus.  And even though your girlfriends, your sister, your former college roommate, that old woman who makes change at the laundromat, all said “No good can come of this,” you’re still keeping Saturday night, (okay and Sunday afternoon, but just until four), open “just in case.”

And you know it’s wrong. And if he cancels there will be a bit of self-loathing, but at least your apartment will be spotless. And why do we do this? Why do we defy logic, cast aside that fine education that we’ll be paying off until we’re ninety, ignore the sound advice of people who care about us and the old lady at the laundromat? Because what Oscar Wilde said was true, “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.” Damn.

Announcement Endorsement & Enticement

The Announcement

I don’t beta read often. Actually, while I’m writing I don’t even get to read often, but it just so happened that all the stars were aligned last November.  I was in between books when an author who I knew casually asked me if I was available to beta read and that’s how I came to discover The Syrian Virgin by Zack Love

I hadn’t had a chance to read his other books yet, but they were on my list because they looked both original and interesting and that’s the kind of book I like.  In this case, looks were not deceiving, as I quickly discovered. After reading this novel, I went on to read everything he had written in rapid succession. I was positively delighted by the diversity of his work and the range of his writing ability. Frankly, I couldn’t believe that an author this talented wasn’t better known.  That’s when I decided to tell everyone who would listen and a few people who wouldn’t. (They tell me that the restraining order is only good for 90 days).

So, now the sequel to that book Anissa’s Redemption, is about to be released (March 23rd) and the book itself is on sale for $0.99, which in my opinion is about $10 less than it’s worth. Thus, I am taking it upon myself to once again tell people that this is a book worth reading, and I have included supporting evidence! (I am a lawyer you know).

The Syrian Virgin Book Trailer

TSVadimage1   Amazon    Barnes & Noble     iTunes        Kobo   Scribd          Paperback             

The Endorsement

A Review of The Syrian Virgin by Zack Love (5 Stars)

N.M. Silber

Well-written, poignant, timely and relevant, this book held my interest from the beginning until the end.

As the plot unfolds, the reader follows a young Syrian woman on a journey, both literal and figurative, as she leaves the familiar behind and faces the world, essentially alone. I felt invested in the story early on, experiencing feelings of tension and frustration along with the female protagonist, and sympathizing with her as she tried to cope with, and overcome the trauma in her past.

There are two male protagonists, and both men are powerful, but flawed, in different ways. That fact doesn’t detract, however, from how interesting they are. In fact, at one point, I caught myself feeling guilty for having misjudged one of them.

The book was clearly well-researched, and accurately portrayed the political climate, and the history of the region. The plot was engaging, and I looked forward to seeing how it unfolded, developing my own theories along the way. Which is not to say it was at all predictable. In fact, it was quite original, and the end left me eager to read more about these characters.

All in all, the level of the writing was well above average, and I honestly enjoyed it more than any novel I had read in quite a while. Highly recommended.

The Enticement

                Anissa’s Redemption Coming March 23rd.

Anissa Toma fled war-torn Syria after narrowly escaping the massacre of her Christian family by Islamists. Fortunate enough to rebuild her shattered life in New York City, the young refugee gained admission to an elite college, where she excelled. Her beauty, brains, and purity soon captured the interest of two powerful men: Michael, an activist working to establish Antioch, the first Mideast Christian state, and Julien, her professor and one of the city’s wealthiest bachelors.

As Anissa’s saga continues, the refugee-turned-rising-star must navigate between Michael and Julien, while trying to help her surviving relatives and other vulnerable Christians in Syria. As she gets closer to both men in a complex and evolving love triangle, can she unlock Julien’s traumatic childhood to open up his heart? Or will Julien find greater solace from his nightmares and other demons in the sessions with his intriguing therapist? What will Michael do for Antioch and for Anissa, and what will Julien’s role be? How far will each person go to help Anissa’s remaining family and other persecuted Christians at risk in Syria? Find out in this stunning sequel to “The Syrian Virgin.”

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