The New York Times. My Style Validator.

Mara Meter

Me. San Rafael, California. Unable to remove my credit card from the meter

Yes,  this has happened to me before and no, I’ll never learn.  Why aren’t our tax dollars going toward meters that can accommodate various nail lengths? Is our society only built for hands with regular length nails?

Fashion Notes: Moccasins: Minnetonka, Leggings: Lululemon, Bag: Chanel, Top: Zara


If you look closely, you can see my green credit card stuck..until I solicited help from a very confused meter maid – apparently, they are not in the business of helping people who choose style over function. But, with my “charming” persistence, I was able to get the help I needed.


Nails are so “in” right now. As usual, I’ve been pulling off these bad boys for a few years. It started with Madonna on the cover of VOGUE, with long, pointy gold nails. I had to have them. No matter how many of you, were horrified by what you labeled “cheesy” – I pulled through and proved you all wrong.

My own mother was not a fan of my long, semi-pointy nails. Until, the Jewish bible (aka, The New York Times) ran a Sunday fashion story on this nail trend,

So once again, it has been proven that I have quite a style instinct, thank you Fashion of the Times.

Maybe I can’t type or use a regular phone, maybe I didn’t hang up my phone properly and someone had to hear me yell at my offspring, maybe I accidentally lit a nail on fire and didn’t notice, until my child pointed it out – but it’s all worth it, in the name of style.

Some Haute moms and their long nails:



In Spiritual Road Rage….


I’m driving on a two lane county road in Northern California. The car in front of me is going 10 MPH, holding up so much traffic, they don’t seem to notice. I make sure they aren’t elderly or lost, nope. I take the lead for all the cars, with a honk and look.

I control myself from screaming you fucking idiot, stop driving high, it’s making us all late!! and then they pull in here..

Unwrapped Tampons are not Haute


Mill Valley, California

I love after getting my car washed, when the car washers find stuff and leave it on your console, like my favorite blush brush, oh and an unwrapped tampon. Not needing this particular tampon, I walk over to throw it away, and the car washer says “what is that?” A cigarette? All in Spanish, (what is Spanish for Tampon?) And then maybe I start showing him what it’s used for in a “mime” type way.. Suddenly, after seeing the stares, I realize I’m horrible at miming

Try Me? Vulva Balm.


It said try me, and the next thing I know I’m being escorted out of the store

So I’m not a GYN, but I do have a Vulva and used to have a Volvo.  I’m pretty confident that access to ones Vulva is not easy, and couldn’t be causally accessed in a grocery store.

Strolling through the beauty/vitamin/health section at Good Earth in Fairfax, California – an amazing grocery store, filled with integrity in all their products, I start slathering on all the sample creams. I’m obsessed with my skin feeling dewy and greasy, ask anyone how many leather couches I’ve ruined. My own therapist had to charge me a security deposit, which i’ll never get back, for the damage I would obviously do to his fancy Design Within Reach sofa.

First, I opened the vulva cream to smell it, obviously not knowing it was vulva cream – then I read the label!! “try me” “vulva cream” – nothing surprises me in the land of milk and honey – I quickly closed the top and made sure no one spotted me sniffing cream meant for ones vulva. And so I had to share & make a joke: here were some of the comments:

Andrea: But isn’t your vulva already da bomb? #sorrynotsorry

Bunmi:  oy-e vay!

Lori: Lmao! Are you sure it wasn’t the camel toe that offended them?

Erika: You absolutely won the Internet today. Like 1,000 times you did.

Erika: And as a side note, what the hell is vulva balm?

Mara Menachem: Exactly Erika – and why would a grocery store have a “try me” sticker on vulva balm , so by “winning” this so called “internet”, do I get some sort of academy award

Erika: A lifetime supply of vulva balm, ensuring you’ll never have chapped “lips” again.

Mitch: People are so touchy about their vulvas

Andrew: Oxford Dictionary: Definition of try me:
Used to suggest that one may be willing to do something unexpected or unlikely:

Andrew: A store filled with groups of women applying vulva cream is “something unexpected and unlikely.” By any chance, was Ashton Kutcher nearby?

Mara Menachem: Ha!!! Why Ashton?

Mara Menachem: It’s a grocery store with a holistic section –

Andrew: Uh Punk’d. How long exactly has it been since you’ve owned a television? I know it’s frowned upon in Marin.

Andrew: Holistic or whole finger? Too soon?

I don’t SMELL!!!!

Ya know what’s good for self esteem? Having my brothers tell me I have a weird smell for days- and then asking other people to smell me to confirm their findings. I’ve been accused of using one of my many “weird hippie oils” and of developing a new worse smell then patchouli.. One of the geniuses did some detective work…


Is this a Weird Gift?


Gourd Dolls. Miami, Florida in the 1990’s

I recently came across this photograph. My mother used to give these to people as gifts, it was a little uncomfortable. I asked my brothers to chime in, recalling this potentially traumatizing childhood memory. It sparked a little back and forth, here are the highlights.

Andrew: Mom suggested I give these gifts to girlfriends when I was in high school and I was naive enough to listen. It really sends an odd message. Shari still keeps one next to her nightstand.

Mara: She would ship these things in the mail- the entire experience was humiliating – can you imagine going to the post office trying to fit that thing in a standard box? 

Andrew: Also, it was always packed with the stem of the gourd face up so it was really awkward for the recipient when opening the box.

Andrew: I find the gourd on the far right to be the most disturbing

Andrew:  Any girl I dated in the 1990’s, even for a short period of time, was rolling in gourd dolls.  A few girlfriends, years later, admitted to me that they would take the doll out when I was coming over and hide it from the rest of the world when I left.