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For a short time, I had a humorous/observational column in a local magazine called Upstate Women. Unfortunately, the magazine is no longer being published. I enjoyed the experience of writing a column so much, that I would like to continue writing in that vein. So once a month, I will offer a new column about something that bugs me in some way that may strike a chord with you, too.

Several of the columns you will see have already been published; the others were written after the demise of the magazine. The column will be called "Inanities" because I feel that is the word which aptly describes the things that make us want to smack our heads in frustration. Please let me know your reactions to these columns as I would enjoy hearing what bugs you, too. You can reach me at


by Nancy Rechtman

Remember being a kid? Remember clubhouses with secret passwords and wildly complex secret handshakes? Only a select few were allowed inside for all sorts of mysterious club activities. And what were these covert activities? Who remembers? But they were fun because they made you feel like one of the chosen people. You were in - everyone else was out. That made you special.

Have you noticed that lately it is so hip to be trendy that the moment the general population catches on to the newest restaurant, newest food, newest drink, newest jargon, it's already out? So only the trendiest among us truly know what's happening and the rest of us are always playing catch-up. And, have you noticed that once a word is considered Ďiní it is used to death until none of us can stand the sound of it anymore? Eventually new words come to replace the words du jour, but not until they are overused, overexposed and over-hyped. We look to hip and trendy TV shows to add new and fresh expressions to our pedestrian vocabularies. Television has become the Webster's of the double 0's. It's got to be hard work, coming up with new ways to say the same old things but there is never a dearth of coolness in TV-land. In honor of these tireless trend-setters and their followers, please enjoy the following imaginary scenario:

A wildly popular young TV actress arrives at the restaurant du jour with two of her favorite gal pals. Their Blahniks are sky-high and, as they trip towards the doorway, Pradas swinging at their sides, the paparazzi snap pix hoping to land on page one. Their bling-bling weighs them down as they try to balance themselves on their heels and trot towards the maitre d', who flashes his pearly whites at them unctuously from his perch near the door. "Table du jour?" he asks, snapping his fingers for the hostess to escort them to the 'it girl' table near the window.

"Kewl," the girls squeal as they weave their way through the A-list crowd. They pass an uber- sizzling agent to the stars and gasp as they sit down. "Oooh, did you see his man bag?" they gush.

"Ka-ching," says one of the girls.

"He is the kewlest metrosexual in town," the young actress pronounces. Her posse nod their heads as is de rigueur if they want to remain on her to-call list.

"Drinks?" asks the waitress as she poses for the cameras, hoping they'll discover her hidden attributes.

"Cosmo," the girls squeal simultaneously.

"Menu?" the waitress offers.

"Oooh, chipotle," the actress swoons.

"Chipotle," the other two nod in awe.

"Itís the food du jour," the waitress grins.

"Any carbs?" the actress asks.

"Atkins friendly," the waitress replies as she dashes off to the embedded journalist in the corner who offers more of the gravitas that she is yearning for.

The girls look around the room and smile at the talking heads forming a new paradigm for the lexicon of the GenXers. Most of the other denizens of the bistro don't have the sang-froid to believe they have what it takes to put them in the zone.

The waitress turns away from the reporter and trips over someone's animal companion, merlot dribbling across her bustier.

"Wardrobe malfunction!" the gal pals exclaim. Only the busboy is proactive enough to interface with the waitress and offer her a towel.

"What spider hole did he crawl out of?" asks the actress hoping the waitress hasn't ripped her from the headlines or stumbled upon a smoking gun.

"Maybe we've been punk'd," giggles one of her companions as her pals respond with shock and awe to hear her offer an opinion.

The waitress teeters over to their table with the Cosmos and chipotle. "Loving it?" she asks.

"Zoning," the actress replies. "And, what's the four-one-one on dessert, LOL?

"Why tiramisu, of course," the waitress responds with a soupcon of hubris.

Not to be outdone, the actress asks, "Chilling on mocha choco latte?"

"You betcha. Twenty-four seven."

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Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved. Small excerpts of the column may be republished as long as appropriate credit is given. To request permission to publish larger portions or the entire column, e-mail