Tag Archives: potomac

My 21-Year-Old Self Was an Idiot. Here’s Proof.

We are moving apartments tomorrow, so the past week has been a lot of packing and cleaning out old crap. All of which has been done by a constantly sweating yet not ONCE complaining Eric, while I sit on the couch rubbing my belly, drinking ice water, and grumbling that I’m overwhelmed.

Yesterday Eric pulled this huge dusty box out of the depths of the closet and said “Hey, Emily from 1990, here are your files. Maybe go through them and see if this is something we can throw in the garbage, since we now live in the computer age, and have for 20 plus years?”


So I just went through the box and he was right– I do not, in fact, need a paper copy of the 1-year-warranty for the Sony Vaio laptop I bought in college, nor a receipt for a Gap cardigan purchased in January. Of 2004.

It took me over an hour to go through, rip up, and discard all the blatantly irrelevant crap this box possessed, but my hard labor was rewarded when I reached the end of the files and came across THIS little gem, posted below (in the form of a PDF link. Sorry, after a whole 2 seconds of trying, I couldn’t figure out how else to post it).

It is a paper I wrote during my senior year of college, entitled “The (abridged) Autobiography of Emily Lerman,” and it is ABSURD. Absurd because it is exactly the kind of sarcastic, self-deprecating shit I would post on this blog, except I HANDED IT IN TO A PROFESSOR. AT AN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL. FOR A GRADE. 

Now, granted, I got an A. So my professor was either awesome (don’t remember that being the case) or EXTREMELY bored (more likely). Or maybe she appreciated seeing something “different” come across her desk? Most likely she was just drunk. I don’t know, but there’s no doubt something was amiss, because this shit is less a paper for a college course and more a bad audition for Last Comic Standing that ends with the comic sweat-stuttering offstage to a chorus of “You suck!”

So naturally, I need to share it.

A few parts are redacted to protect the innocent, but otherwise I left it in its purest, this-was-definitely-written-by-a-21-year-old-moron form. It’s not even that the writing is that bad (save for a few blatant grammatical errors), it’s just VERY dramatic. Not sure if that was for comedic effect (important in a paper for HISTORY CLASS) or because I was a CHILD when I wrote it, but I do feel the need to clarify that I probably wasn’t THAT miserable as a kid, and Potomac was not THAT absurd a place to grow up (furthermore, the random unneccesary dig I took at my mom, saying she was a real estate agent “when she felt like working” was completely unfair. I can make that joke NOW, but back then, the woman hustled).

Or maybe I was that miserable and growing up in Potomac was that absurd but I’ve now had 15 more years of distance from the “trauma” (img_7593) and kind of just want to smack my young self across the head and be like, “Lighten up, Sassypants. Your life wasn’t hard. You drove a 4Runner.”

Anyway here it is. Enjoy. ( shrug_1f937)

Yes I wrote this for an academic college course

P.S. Future daughter– if I send you to college and this is the kind of shit you produce on my dime, you’re paying your own way.


“Potomac Family Unsure What to Do at End of Thanksgiving Dinner Without Help”

Some background:

On Thanksgiving night, while my mom and brother Zack cooked the entire meal and the rest of us pitched in pre-dinner in any way we could, my mom hired a lovely woman, Claudia, to come clean the dishes after we finished. Was that entirely necessary? No, of course not. Was it massively appreciated by all of us? Yes, absolutely. It gave us a chance to relax after a long day of preparation, and enjoy each other’s company without dreading the clean-up aftermath which, let’s be honest, everybody hates. There is no question it was a luxury, but it was one we thoroughly appreciated, and Claudia was paid generously for her services (she was also hilarious and added a ton of personality to the dinner table dynamic, but that’s beside the point).

So the next night, we all had dinner at the house again. The men cooked a huge and delicious meal, and once again we had a full table of people. About 25 minutes after everyone’s food had been completely consumed, we were still sitting around the table, playing with our napkins and lingering– mainly because we were too full to get up. That’s when Eric made a comment about how long we’d been at the table, and, in a nod to the luxury of Thanksgiving night, joked that it must be because we weren’t sure what to do without someone coming to clear our plates. Again, that was not actually the case– but it was humorous to imagine a situation in which it would be (because somewhere, that family exists).

“That’s like the title of an Onion article,” Zack said. “Potomac Family Unsure What to Do at End of Thanksgiving Dinner Without Help.” From there, with the zeal and boldness one can only acquire from alcohol, Zack decided that he would write it himself and post it on Facebook. The entire piece, of course, is a joke. It uses sarcasm and irony to expose and denounce a societal vice– you know, satire. A completely self-aware, artful expression of playful criticism.

That being said, I warned him that some people would be offended or simply not get it. He thought it was insane that there would be people who wouldn’t understand that it was a complete and utter joke. I told him that if there is one lesson to take from this election, it’s to NEVER underestimate what people out in the world are willing to misunderstand and be offended by.

He posted it anyway. Mostly people responded with laughter, but then he heard from an old high school friend who reacted in anger. She questioned what his end game was– “to prove your family is privileged?” He explained that it was satire, and meant to entertain, in the same way any (potentially offensive if taken literally) Onion article might. She said that he should be more sensitive to the climate post-election, and that the whole piece was in poor taste. He later received a message from an old camp counselor telling him, “I’m disappointed in you.” Maybe they didn’t get that what was in the article isn’t at all what actually happened. Maybe they just didn’t get it in general. Or maybe they just straight up didn’t find it funny. It offended them. And that’s ok. That happens. Just ask Louis C.K.

But Zack felt bad.

Therefore, even though he received more positive reactions than negative, he panicked and took the piece down in fear of offending anyone else.

So I offered to publish it on my blog. You know– where people are used to being offended.

Freedom of speech, baby.

Potomac, MD – It started off as a perfectly normal Thanksgiving weekend in Potomac, Maryland. Thursday night dinner was amazing, an extravagant meal adorned with expensive place settings and top-tier wine provided by the house sommelier, Richard Goldstein, 61, and lifelong resident of Potomac. The perfect day started with 18 holes at Woodfield Country Club and a few hours in the club sauna. Debbie, Richards’s wife of 38 years, enjoyed some time with the Mahjong Sisters, accompanied by white wine and some neighborhood gossip. But what started off as a peaceful night with wine and St. André cheese quickly turned into an ordeal that can only be described as chaos.

“To be honest, it all started a little rocky,” said Debbie Goldstein, 58, and fancy-dinner enthusiast. “Dinner was supposed to come out at 7:30, but we really weren’t served until 7:45. It’s just the little things, you know?”

But things turned from so-so to worse once the meal was over. At the end of the meal, the Goldstein family quickly realized that the catering help was no longer there to clear the dinner table. “We just didn’t know what to do,” said Rebecca, 31, a millionaire elementary school tutor who works on New York’s upper east side. “We just sat there. All of our plates were empty, and we just didn’t know how long it was going to be until somebody cleared them away. It was really upsetting.”

“I just stared blankly as I played around with my sterling silver napkin ring,” said Andrea, 34, engaged to boutique investment banker Josh Greenstein. “In any other situation, I would’ve lost my cool. Thank god I took Xanax during the hors d’oeuvres.”

But the parents and older children weren’t the only ones who were upset. “I just wanted to play ping pong and air hockey in the basement,” said Tyler, 9. “We weren’t allowed to leave. It was so unfair!”

It wasn’t the apocalypse for everyone at the table. Andy, Rebecca’s husband, could only recount the half-eaten turkey leg on Rebecca’s plate at the end of the meal. “I didn’t know whether to eat it off her plate or sneak it out of the garbage later that night.”

But the majority of the family was on the brink of full-blown panic when Barbara, Josh’s mother who was joining the Goldstein family from Plainview, NY, decided to take a stand. “She just stood up and started picking up plates,” said Debbie. “I just couldn’t believe it! It was such a mitzvah!”

“After that, it was like the domino effect, you know?” said Andrea. “She made us realize how refreshing it is to do a little manual labor now and then.”

“Want to see a picture of her on my phone?” said Debbie, reminiscing of the family’s old housekeeper, who moved back to Trinidad ten years ago. “She used to call me ‘Daddy’,” said Richard. “Things were easier back then.”

“Clue”– Jewish Mom Version

There was a shooting at Montgomery Mall, which is less than 5 minutes from my parents’ house. Nobody had heard from Mom.

What ensued was the world’s jewiest game of Clue.



Then, hours later, Mom, unable to figure out the tricky mechanics of group texting (she has an iPhone), sent this to just Jeremy:




Case closed.

Not only is Mom alive, she lives a way better life than the rest of us.


Early Warning Signs of Social Awkwardness

When I was a 4th grader, I dressed up as Michael Jackson for Halloween by putting on a wig, a glove, and covering my entire face in white face paint.

Fifteen years later, it is just now occurring to me how horribly offensive that was. I somehow managed, at age 9, to unknowingly create a more awkward and offensive scenario than going in blackface. I even remember one neighbor hesitating to give me candy. I figured he just wasn’t a Michael fan.

The year before that, in 3rd grade, I went as a hobo. I wore a sign around my neck that said “Buddy, can you spare a dime?” In the town of Potomac, Maryland, where there is now a Real Housewives series (inexplicably devoid of any Jews or white people, but that’s a subject for another post) being filmed. Enough said. We had a school Halloween parade (this was back in the days when schools let children have fun), and I marched through the halls and recess yard wearing my dirty t-shirt, disheveled hair, and “hilarious” sign. The other Potomac parents loved it. The other students didn’t get it (they had never seen a poor person). The teachers, who could not afford to live in Potomac, looked away. I figured maybe they felt bad that they didn’t have a dime to give me.

“Don’t worry!” I told my teacher, laughing. “You don’t REALLY have to give me money!”

She did not smile.

Finally, at age 16, I decided to be something normal for Halloween. A friend was throwing a big Halloween dance party, and I went as Cinderella. Full-blown floor length ball gown, crown, the works.

“Finally!” my mom cried as she dropped me off at the party, “I’ve tried for years to get you wear something like this for Halloween!”

I rolled my eyes, slid the mini-van door closed, and walked into the party, fluffing my skirt upon entrance.

I was the only one in costume.

It’s a wonder I ever leave the apartment.




Nailed it, Real Housewives of Potomac!

The entirely black cast of Real Housewives of Potomac makes total sense because I definitely remember growing up in Potomac and thinking “Where are all the white Jews?”