OK, now I’m freaked out.

Six years ago, my oldest, bestest, bestie, Mindy, traveled across country to visit me. We had Broadway tickets for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. (Great show!) Of course, this was before de Blasio ruined the theatre district… but that’s for another blog.

We had some time to kill between dinner and the show.. After visiting a few trinket shops on Broadway we passed a door with a sign:

Mindy and I had at some point spoken about psychics. I was a firm nonbeliever and scoffed at coworkers and others who believed — completely sure that they we gullible idiots. Mindy was on the fence about them. I did think it would be fun to have a reading though.

After leading us into to her tiny alcove where she did her reading, Mrs. Sylvia glanced at both of us and asked, “Which one of you is a healer?”

Mindy and I looked at each and shook our heads. Did she mean healer like doctor or healer like reiki? Either way, neither one of us qualified as either. She shrugged it off and motioned for me to sit in one of the tiny chairs at her tiny table. Mindy had no choice but to sit on a tiny step of a long, narrow staircase which presumably led to Mrs. Sylvia’s apartment.

After settling herself into the other tiny chair Mrs. Sylvia looked up at me and said, “You have a confusing illness… it’s not lupus and it’s not diabetes…” 

I have a rare autoimmune disease called Inclusion Body Myositis. At that time, the disease was not apparent and I looked completely healthy. I had been misdiagnosed for years mostly because Inclusion Body Myositis is considered a disease of old men and also because neurologists tend to be arrogant narcissists.

I was surprised that she mentioned two other autoimmune diseases and that my mother happened to have one of them — lupus. But they are both fairly common so I wasn’t overly impressed. Several years later my mother did develop diabetes. (Hmmm, I guess just one of those weird coincidences.) 

Then Mrs. Sylvia told me (not asked, she told me) something that no one knew accept me, my husband and my therapist. It wasn’t that big deal kinda thing, just something you don’t go around bragging about. Determined not to give anything away since I was not one of those gullible idiots, I denied it. She looked at me and shrugged.

Mrs. Sylvia did a lot of shrugging. 

She dealt out the cards. Most of what she said was interesting enough but nothing really enlightening. I made sure not to give her any input.

The reading worked our way to my daughter, Jamie. Mrs. Sylvia said I was worried about her. True, but what mom doesn’t worry about her kids. 

Jamie is socially anxious. Even at 19 years old, strikingly beautiful and extremely fun and engaging, she had trouble connecting with people her own age and never had any kind of boyfriend. (Sorry Jamie, but that’s why my blog is called Making Enemies.) She was my constant companion. I enjoyed her company tremendously but I wanted more for her. 

Mrs. Sylvia told me not to worry about Jamie (or the “J” name as she called her. I did not confirm or deny.) “J” would make her own way in the world. “J” would wait until she found someone she was very comfortable with and when she did, he would be THE ONE.

OK, good news. To finish off, Mrs. Sylvia talked about my current financial hardship. (Well, yeah, but that’s an easy guess.)

I had pissed off the Google gods and my ecommerce business was suffering. Eventually, they forgave me but I had lost the momentum it had taken years to build and we were heading into our slow season.

Mrs. Sylvia told me not to worry. The business would recover soon. Well OK, that’s good to hear. Then she told me that if I wanted it to recover right away, I could pay her $300 and she could fix it.

Yeah right. Thanks, but no thanks. The reading was over. I enjoyed it. Especially, that last part. I had a good story to tell. Mindy and I spent the rest of the weekend palling around. For once, I didn’t bother checking the store orders. I knew they would be crap. Why stress over it. Memorial Day weekend was always bad. 

Tuesday morning came. I finally checked the store stats. Holy crap, we had orders! Way more than I expected. It was the start of what would become a financial turn around. I chuckled thinking that if I had been desperate enough to pay her, I would have certainly gone to the dark side of gullible idiothood. 

A few years went by, I had two readings by other psychics… mostly for fun. Nothing there but my thinking had shifted to from firm nonbeliever to healthy skeptic. 

My “confusing illness” started to progress. There is no treatment. I decided to have a DNA analysis to see if there was anything to learn genetically about it. Not really, but the counselor did have some interesting information. She was excited to tell me that I had “the empath” gene from both sides of my family. It was very rare to have both.

OK, I like to think I am a caring person. But she told me it was more about my ability to feel what others were feeling. Hmmm, I didn’t think it applied to me. I do know that my cousin Amber said she had one of the genes and considered herself an empath and it made her life difficult. Another cousin, Terry Jo, was certainly an empath — chakras and all. she even has her own video channel about healing.

Wait, what?

Did someone say healer? Curious now, I did some research. Empaths are either quacks or people who are drawn to those in need of help. They often find friends and partners who need someone who can provide a healing presence in their life. Sometimes this is at the expense of the empath’s wellbeing. Bingo. This is me. Totally. As crazy as it sounds, I could always feel myself absorbing the negative energy of others. I thought everyone did. Which is why I try not to put out my own negative energy. I don’t want to burden others with it. 

My husband always wants to know why I always end up with f*cked up cats. He’s right, I do. I guess it crosses species and I pick the needy kittens. But he never asks why I chose such a f*cked up husband. Now, I know.

That’s not the end up my psychic story.

Yesterday, I was cleaning out an old purse I hadn’t used in years. I found a crumpled receipt that I had written the name Nick on. I didn’t know why. After tossing it into the garbage, I had memory of Mrs. Sylvia asking me if my daughter knew anyone named Nick. I didn’t think so but I remember scribbling the name down on a scrap of paper from my purse. At least, I think I remember it or maybe I’ve turned into one of the gullible idiots. 

Nick is the name of Jamie’s boyfriend. They’ve been inseparable for five years and I suspect they will be life partners. 

I tried to google Mrs. Sylvia — nothing came up but next time you’re in time square. Look for a narrow wooden door that says 

Psychic Readings
by Mrs. Sylvia

She removes all obstacles standing between you and success such as Love, Money, Happiness, and Peace of Mind.

Worked for me. Just don’t pay her the $300.

Cast of Characters

Mrs. Sylvia
(not really)
(yes, really)
(no, not a pole dancer)
(only photo without Jamie)

A Christmas Story

My daughter was three years old. It was her first year of Sunday School and Christmas was on its way. I picked her up from class and she asked, “You know all about Kristen, right Mom?’

“Who’s Kristen, Honey?”

“You know, from Sunday School.”

“A girl in your class?”

“No, the one who makes leaves and sticks. She lives at the North Pole… or South America. I forget. She has a lot of houses. Her birthday is Christmas.”

“Do you mean Jesus?”

“That’s it — Jesus. Her last name is God, right?’

The Chicken Story

The Chicken

When my daughter was seven years old, she and my husband went to Florida to stay at my in-laws for a week. It was not a good visit. My in-laws had no interest in varying their routine and my daughter was not comfortable in their house and had no idea how to occupy herself. My dear husband was clueless.

Jamie called me many times a day in distress. Food was the main problem. There was never enough or there was food she was not familiar with. One conversation went like this:

“Mom, we’re having something disgusting for dinner. Do I have to eat it?”

“What is it?” (My MIL is an old-school hard-core Italian cook. I’m thinking tripe or pig’s knuckles)

“I don’t know but it’s kinda white with bumps all over it and it’s the grossest thing I have ever seen”

“Put your father on”

“What’s up?” He asks (clueless, as usual, that there is a crisis).

“Jamie is tramatized about the dinner food.”

“The chicken?”


“Yeah, Grandma’s making roasted chicken.”

“Put Jamie on.”

“So I don’t have to eat it, right Mom?”

“Jamie, it’s roasted chicken just like we eat all the time.”

“But your’s isn’t disgusting like that.”

“Honey, mom buys it already cooked from the deli. Grandma is going to cook it herself.”

“Yuck, that’s what it looks like before they cook it? I’m never eating chicken again.”

The New Princess Movie


I hear the rumblings. African-American women are upset. They finally get a black princess and she spends most of her time as a frog. To make the situation even worse, she ends up with a white prince.

I get it. Really I do. But come on ladies. The more important question? Does she have a mother? A dead mother? Does the mother die during the movie? Or is she simply non-existant? I haven’t seen the movie but I’m just *dieing* to know.

The last movie I took my daughter to see was Finding Nemo. I think she was nine at the time. Not only does the mother die on screen but there was some sort of brutal attack by a gang of killer fish. My daughter is scarred for life. She has never been to the movies since. Oh sure, she says its because she hates sitting still for so long but I know the truth. The image of that dead mother fish is burned into her brain. Being in the movie theater brings back the traumatic feelings.

Does anyone know if this new movie is safe for sensitive teens?

We didn’t see Little Mermaid 3 but I understand they go back in time just so we can find about the brutal crushing death of Ariel’s mother.

And Bambi? Was that movie really rated G? Rugrats is rated PG because there are poop jokes. Really? Poop jokes need parental guidance?

My Two Leos



My husband and my daughter are both born under the sign of Leo. I am a Capricorn. According to Astrology.com.au

“You couldn’t find two more diametrically opposed characters than Capricorn and Leo…  Leo’s fire and your earthiness are not elements that blend well.”

It gets better…

“Leos born between 14 August and 23 August (my husband) are not compatible with you. They’re highly motivated, but not amenable to your advice or your way of doing things. “

And better…

“Be cautious with Leos born between 23 July and 4 August (my daughter). They are double Sun characters who can burn up your cool demeanour and create difficulties for you.”

Let’s try another website:

“[Capricorn & Leo] are both representatives of independent signs of the zodiac that inclined to dominate in everyday life. These two are almost complete opposites and in case of a love affair their distinctions can appear insignificant, but in case of marriage they will never be happy together.”

Geez, and I thought I was happy.

Today is Oreo’s Birthday


The Birthday Cat

My daughter, Jamie, was seven at the time of Oreo’s first birthday. She thought he should have a party and made invitations. Oreo invited our other cat and the teenagers who worked for me. We all ate tuna, sang Happy Birthday and had ice cream cake with a candle. Jamie wrapped up some of Oreo’s cat toys and “helped” him open them. Of course, the cat was completely unimpressed with everything but the tuna. He did lick some ice cream cake off a spoon but threw up.

The tradition continued for a few years. When we moved the business outside the house, the teenagers were no longer invited but we did eat tuna and ice cream cake. A few more years went by and we stopped having cake but Jamie and I still shared a can of tuna with the cats.

Today we celebrated Oreo’s eighth birthday. My daughter is now 14. She opened up a can of tuna but only the cats ate it. I sang Happy Birthday by myself.

Being a cat, Oreo is quite satisfied with the changes in our tradition. As a mother, I am a little sad.


Me and JamieAccording to my teenage daughter, only losers blog. AND I should never, ever, blog about her. (Oops.) What did she expect me to blog about? Crafts? Like what kind of glue to use with craft foam?

The thing about teenagers (at least teenage girls… I’m not so sure about the boys) is that they always have an opinion and they always share it with you. “Mom, you really shouldn’t go to sleep with your hair wet. The back dries weird.” I could have gone my whole life without ever worrying about the back of my head and she had to go and ruin it for me. Now, I have to worry about the front AND the back of my head. I still go to sleep with my hair wet but now I have to check to see how weird it dried.

My daughter is like the Simon Cowell of crafts. She doesn’t ever make any crafts but she takes one look at what I’m working on and knows exactly what’s wrong with it. “Mom, that would look sooo much better if you made it in pink and orange instead of blue and green.” The problem is that she’s usually right. Harsh, but right. Just like Simon.

Welcome to my blog. Thank you for reading. Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions. You too can be a loser… just like me. Ask you daughter.