Credit Where Credit is Due

My mother likes to take credit…for pretty much everything.

I’m not kidding. Whether you scored a great deal on a pair of shoes, or won the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s somehow linked to her.

And she’s serious.


Not only does she like credit, but she will change the details of stories around to make it so that she is fully responsible for whatever awesomeness you have just achieved. She will also do the reverse and claim she had nothing to do with it if your luck goes south.

Need some examples?

  1. My wedding. The second one to be clear. Because she casually mentioned that we should consider Bourbon Steak in the Turnberry resort in the infancy stages of wedding planning, she loves to point it out every chance she gets that we DID in fact get married there and that the wedding was perfect. Every. Chance. She. Gets. It could be as subtle as someone commenting on a wedding pic and her saying, “Yes the kids got married there. It was my idea.” Or more bravado, like pointing it out while we are on her balcony, you might hear her say something along the lines of, “Ava, see that building over there? That’s where mommy and Jason got married! Isn’t it beautiful? It was all gram’s idea. They wanted to get married in some ugly room at a restaurant in Boca that doesn’t even compare to anything in Aventura. Because Aventura is awesome.”
  2. My house. To be fair, my parents were very involved in the house hunting. It was the first time I was ever purchasing a home and I value their opinion. Plus, Bob is a pro with a contractor background so I needed him to point out any red flags before we pulled the trigger. However, my mom seems to remember it very differently and claims to have actually found the house we currently live in (not the case). And when I point out how that’s not at all what went down, she changes her story a little saying things like…”you were looking at dumps on the other side of town until I convinced you to look in this area.”
  3. My stroller. I have like 32 strollers so I didn’t want another one. My mom was trying to convince me (read: nag me) to get a snap & go while Sienna is still in an infant car seat. I did and it’s definitely a huge help. But, every time I take the thing out of the trunk and my mom is around, she circles it like a shark wearing a shit-eating grin and says, “That’s a nice looking stroller.  I mean really. Who told you to get it?”
  4. Diagnosing any medical condition. Jason calls her Dr. Westfall because she thinks she can diagnose any ailment in anyone. Just tell her your symptoms and she will spit out a disease just like WebMD. If she happens to be right you’ll never hear the end of it and if she’s wrong, she’ll find a way to spin it. Either way, she’s right.
  5. Stellar negotiation skills. She goes on and on about what a good negotiatior she is. Specifically with car leases. Because she has a CRAZY low monthly payment for a luxury car…..because she probably put like $15K down. But that’s neither here nor there. She also uses said negotiation skills at Target where she pretends she’s at a folding table on any corner of NYC haggling over a fake Prada. She gives zero fucks. And 99% of the time they listen to her!

That’s just a small sampling of her credit-mongering, but make so mistake that it’s pretty much part of daily conversation and there is no statute of limitations. She’s still talking about things dating back to when I was 14. And it happens with little things too, like telling me how amazing my hair looks and then swiftly reminding me that she’s the one who always tells me to keep it long. Or complimenting a pair of shoes and reminding me that she was the one who told me to look in Bloomingdale’s to find them. Or commenting on how much better Sienna’s fussiness is ever since I bought new bottles like she told me to. It goes on and on and on.

As much as I tease her and bust her balls, I do have to give credit where credit is due. You see, Arlyne is not just a main character in my blogs. She’s not just accidentally hilarious and totally gangster. She is, undoubtedly, the best fucking mother on the planet. She also happens to be the best mother-in-law and grandmother. And, I fully giver her credit for the following, which is by no means an exhaustive list.

I think one of the most important lessons she’s bestowed on me is to not take shit from anyone and not to let anyone bully you or knock you down. Along this same lines, she is the epitome of a mama bear. She taught me to fiercely protect my young and to destroy anyone who tries to mess with them. This woman will hold a grudge against you for the rest of your life if you even look at either of her children sideways.

She’s also the best cheerleader. She celebrates my successes and kvells, no matter how small. She loves me so hard and I feel it in every fiber of my body. I want my girls to feel that same way about me. She has always gone above and beyond for her kids and spoils the shit out of mine. Ava lives for her and to see the bond they have makes me burst with pride. I know Sienna will feel the same. She’s the fun grandma. The one who teaches you how to make prank phone calls and will use the word “fart” in a game of hangman.

She taught me all the “mensch” things like never showing up to someone’s home for an event/dinner/whatever, without something for them. To always write thank you notes when someone gives a gift. She’s not a regular mom, she’s a cool mom. She’d never be caught dead in a sweater set from Chicco’s or Ann Taylor and rocks a black beater and skinny jeans pretty much every day. She’s probably the reason I don black nail polish and skull & cross bone tanks in the carpool line.

She’s hilarious and doesn’t even understand why we are laughing half the time. The things that come out of her mouth are sometimes hard to mentally prepare for, but also the best. Watching her go through an ugly divorce and surviving breast cancer showed me by example what a fighter looks like. She’ll hug me and let me cry if I’m at a low but in the same breath tell me to get my ass up and remember who I am – the little girl who pushed her way to the front of the group in a dance recital when I was like 4, because I wanted to be front and center.

One of the things I admire most about her is the fact that nobody keeps it realer than her. She tells it like it is and owns who SHE is, no matter what. You can’t rattle her and if she feels under attack she will defend herself, strike back and take you down.

There is nobody on the planet like her and I’m so glad she’s ours. Happy Mother’s Day Mom. We love the shit out of you!



me and mom






Basking in the Afterglow of Hanukkah Bangs

I do love the holidays but what I love most is that Hanukkah is dunzo before Christmas even begins (most years at least) and so I can basically sit back and coast after mid-December. And as much as I make fun of my husband for being a hoarder (he totes is btw), I absolutely hoard Hanukkah presents and I’ll own it. I basically start shopping in July, mostly because it makes the money I spend less painful since it happens in smaller spurts. Also, my child is particular and likes what she likes, so as she starts yelling at TV commercials in between episodes of Dog with a Blog, I make a to-buy list.

“Mom, I want that!!!”

“MOMMMMMM, look at that, can I have it?”

Mommy, get in here, QUIIICCCKKKK, I need that!”

This year her bounty included the Shower Wow, an Adoptimal and a Blankie Tail.

The other benefit to early shopping is that she basically forgets what she asked for by the time the Mensch on the Bench shows up. Yep! We have him too and she is all about it. Even thinks he makes a pilgrimage from Israel every year to leave her notes and has not yet figured out that it’s my handwriting. God I love mommy magic and will cry my eyes out when it fades.


One of the things my daughter kept asking for was bangs. Begging, pleading. negotiating. I told her flat-out, No. I explained she had to trust me on this one. We have curly hair and bangs do not play well with a jew fro. They just don’t. It already takes me 15-20 minutes to give her the perfect ponytail she requests each morning for school. So throwing bangs into the mix is a recipe for disaster, plus it’s socially unacceptable to drink wine at 7:30am and I just can’t handle that type of stress.

But I had a plan.

I went to my local beauty supply store and dropped $25 on clip in bangs. Oh yes I did! I figured she would finally get to see what bangs were like, change her mind and it would be the best $25 bucks I ever spent to teach a very valuable lesson. We lit the menorah and I let her open them.

Well….my plan backfired. She LOVED them. She stared in the mirror and said she looked like Taylor Swift (she didn’t). She was awestruck and I was fighting back the kind of laughter that you can’t stop once it escapes your body. She looked like Peg Bundy meets Garth from Wayne’s World meets a cheesy lounge singer who sits legs crossed on a baby grand wearing a red sequin blazer.

She wore them all day, fell asleep in them and begged to wear them to school. I hesitantly agreed because the kid was on cloud 9, but I’ll admit I was nervous walking into the school.

It was awkward until she pulled them off her cute little head and everyone laughed (and breathed a simultaneous sigh of relief).

They remained in her backpack the rest of the day (no doubt because they caused a distraction in the classroom). I picture her teacher saying, “Can you please remove your toupee?”

I can’t in good conscience post a pic of her in the bangs (I need to save that shit for her Bat Mitzvah vid anyway), but here they are on our Chihuahua for context.

spike bangs

In addition to the residual fun of the bangs, my mom thought it would be a great idea to get her a fart machine (she loved it obviously). That’s just the kind of grandmother my mom is and exactly why my kid is obsessed with her. She also recently taught her how to make prank phone calls (to family only, so you can relax). So now, she calls my 93-yr-old grandmother and my aunts torturing them about chinese food or pizza they didn’t order. She cannot believe they are not on to her!

Another Hanukkah gem I purchased was the Pie Face game making the viral video rounds this holiday season. I ordered it with the vision of my mom (who doesn’t check the mail without her signature pink lipstick perfectly applied) getting nailed in the face with whipped cream. Well she did, Jason and I did, as did my 93-yr-old grandmother. She thought it was the greatest thing ever and if this isn’t her ticket to the The Ellen Show I just don’t know what else I have up my sleeve.

It was a banner Hanukkah. I don’t know how I am going to top Pie Face, a fart gun and a hairpiece, but July is basically around the corner! Oy!

***BONUS HOLIDAY HOOK UP! If you still need that perfect gift, use the promo code WHINE to get a nice discount on your order from Club W. Use this link to order:



That Time My Grandma Saw 50 Shades of Grey

You might remember my mother’s day interview with my 92-year old gram about her opinion of the 50 Shades of Grey franchise.

Well…last night was “the night”.  She saw the movie in the clubhouse of her condo. And since I don’t know when I’m going to see her, my mother took it upon herself to be my field correspondent and do a quick debriefing with her this morning while it was still fresh in her mind.

Spoiler alert – she HATED it!

Take a listen! (It’s only audio since it was over the phone. Frankly, I am pleasantly shocked that my mom could figure out how to operate the voice recording function on her phone.)

(And….Excuse the hacking, i couldn’t edit it out. I’d say the material is worth enduring it)

The OG’s (aka Gram’s) Take on 50 Shades

I planned on interviewing my 92-year-old grandma, aka The OG, today to have her do a video critique of 50 Shades of Grey. Shockingly, there was a miscommunication (via my mother) and she actually will not see it until later this month. However, since she read the first book in the series, we’ll call this a precursor to the movie review.

God how I love this woman.

<p><a href=”″>Untitled</a&gt; from <a href=”″>Rachel Sobel</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

We talked about if she thought someone like Christian, who clearly enjoys a very specific lifestyle, can be changed by Anastasia,

<p><a href=”″>Untitled</a&gt; from <a href=”″>Rachel Sobel</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Would she care to reenact any of the scenes and what does she think of Christian Grey’s lifestyle?

Her sage advice for those who plan on reading 50 Shades.

I can’t wait to see how she thinks the film measures up to the book. Stay tuned for that in a few weeks!