The East Village Mamele

Guilt on the Newsstands, Guilt on the Bookshelves

By Marjorie Ingall

To say mameles get mixed messages about parenting is an understatement. Media portraits of moms are totally contradictory: Stay-at-home moms (or SAHMs, in perky parenting-message-board nomenclature) are sometimes depicted as noble and fulfilled, sometimes painted as depressed, judgmental cupcake-bakers with brains that are rotting like…Read More

Welcoming the Sabbath Queen (Hint: She’s Not the One With Peas in Her Hair)

By Marjorie Ingall

Three years ago, I rarely acknowledged Shabbat. I was working hellish hours during the week on a truly horrid, excessively perky daytime talk show. The low point was when I was asked to write a transition from a story about AIDS in Africa to a segment about a fashion show for dogs. After the show, the producer snapped at me in front of the…Read More

No Heart-Shaped Boxes for Me, Please

By Marjorie Ingall

I suppose Valentine’s Day might be better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but the stick would have to be really sharp. And have thorns. And be dipped in battery acid and Donald Rumsfeld’s saliva. Because Valentine’s Day is very, very far down on my list of life’s pleasures.I did not grow up with Valentine’s Day.Read More

Someone’s in the Kitchen

By Marjorie Ingall

We all know the joke. All Jewish holidays can be summarized in nine words: “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!” But there’s seriousness behind the humor. (Isn’t there always?) So much of our group identity comes from food. As Steven M. Cohen and Arnold M. Eisen write in “The Jew Within: Self, Family, and Community in America,”…Read More

Josie Learns To Avoid The Man in the Yellow Hat

By Marjorie Ingall

To quote a seminal thinker of my youth, Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.” Right now it’s all a blur. My little blob of baby protoplasm is suddenly having elaborate tea parties with her stuffed animals, dancing a toddler version…Read More

Not-So-Hidden Hate

By Marjorie Ingall

I always wanted an e-mail address to run with this column. I enjoy the immediacy of hearing from readers, without any filter. And I want to make contacting me as easy as possible — no need to find a stamp or bug those busy fellas at the “letters” page. I like knowing which topics strike a nerve, hearing other people’s stories about their…Read More

Alice’s Adventures: An Iconoclast Shares Her Story

By Marjorie Ingall

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female,” informally known as the Kinsey Report on Women. For those of us born in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, it’s hard to imagine the shock waves this book created. Back in 1953, sex wasn’t discussed in polite company, and every state had…Read More

She Gnashed Her Terrible Teeth and Roared Her Terrible Roar

By Marjorie Ingall

My 2-year-old daughter bit me. She bit me so hard that four days later I still had a half-moon of tiny tooth imprints tattooed on my skin. She was playing a “Sesame Street” game on her computer (don’t get me started on my ambivalence about the computer, which she stares at with glazed intensity while sweeping her mouse around with slashingRead More

The Colorful Worlds of Maira Kalman

By Marjorie Ingall

The majority of children’s books are vomitous. They involve wishy-washy pale illustrations, cloying moral lessons and excessive use of the word “bunny.” So thank the richly colored heavens for Maira Kalman, a children’s book author who’s always a funny and astringent antidote to too much pastel goo-goo sugariness.And you don’t have…Read More

Thanks — But No Thanks: A Public-Service Message

By Marjorie Ingall

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so my thoughts turn to things I am grateful for, before I begin obsessing almost immediately about things I resent and loathe. Because I am just that kind of person.Last year I wrote a story about great gifts for new moms. This year, as a public service, I offer a list of gifts that, if you’reRead More

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