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This Week’s Issues: Zarinisms, New Careers, Extended Families

Originally Posted: July 11, 2008

Jill Zarin

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Every year, Bobby and I open our home to our family and friends (and sometimes party crashers!) on July 4th. Last year was a total wash-out. It didn't just pour it was like a hurricane with wind! This year was close. It was overcast all day. We were setting it up outside, knowing we might have to move it inside on a moment's notice. We got lucky. It didn't rain and only drizzled for a few minutes around 10 p.m. To be safe, we served desert inside by the door so people could eat and run with a goody bag from Zarin Fabrics. I was able to get some great things for the bag including Vava Water, a Blue Star Jets and gift card, my Smartpac (amazing travel kit for one week), Oloff Beauty skin care, and Barex hair care products. In addition to the delicious food from Creative Cuisine of New Hyde Park, we had an amazing DJ with a 50-foot screen showing pictures of people entering the party. The best part was that both of our families were together and that's what counts the most.

Bobby and Jill Zarin celebrate the Fourth of July in style. Photo by Rob Rich

Earlier in the week my dearest friend, also named Jill, came to visit with her two children. This was their first visit to our house and I was so happy they came. Bethenny Frankel was also a houseguest this week so we were one big happy family! I love to entertain and we were definitely maxed out with 20 people sleeping here last week. Saturday night I met up with some of the Housewives at the Social Life party. We only stayed an hour (it was very crowded and the police broke up the party) and I picked Ally up and came home.

Yesterday was a very tearful day for me. I dropped Ally off at JFK to leave for Europe for the summer. She will be studying there and I know she will have an experience of a lifetime but I feel a sense of loss. I know she needs to grow up and leave the nest, but will I ever be ready for that?

This week's Ask Jill questions:

Hi Jill,

I think it's great that you are doing a column. When I saw your show and heard your Zarinism's I think you called them, I thought gee, wouldn't it be great to ask her how she would handle a certain situation.

Well, here's one. I sometimes have a bad habit of locking eyes with the person I am conversing with. For some reason I become self-conscious that I'm staring into one of their eyes and before you know it, I'm not blinking and then they start doing the same thing, and they're not blinking. We both start to feel very self-conscious and thereafter both of us will avoid making direct eye contact for fear that we'll do that again. I hate it. It doesn't happen all the time but when it does it's not very pleasant. Have you ever been in that situation? How do you handle it?


Dear Rosie,

No, I have to say I have never had this situation. Since you are aware of it...you need to just NOT DO IT. PERIOD. Bad habits can be broken. Good Luck! Jill

Hi Jill!

I have not had the honor of meeting you personally. However, getting to know you on "Real Housewives Of New York City", it's seems as though you are a dear, long-time friend! Now, I'm writing to get a dose of good advice from my friend.

I am a 41-year-old wife and mother of four (teen and adult) daughters. We reside in the Tidewater Area of Virginia. My career history mostly involves caring for children and infants. I've been employed as a nanny, a teacher's assistant in daycare centers and public schools, and currently I manage an infant care service here in our family home. Providing exceptional care service to families is what I enjoy the most in my dedicated career. My past and present clients have been very pleased with the service I provide. Now, I am ready to take my infant care service to another level. As a traveling Baby Nurse/Infant Care Specialist. Here in the state of Virginia the demand for a Baby Nurse is not as great as in the Northern or even West Coast states.

I have expressed my idea of taking my services on the road to family and close friends. Most think I am crazy for leaving my family for three weeks or more at one time, for each assignment. However, my husband and daughters have been very supportive of my notion. Just the thought of assisting a family during such a precious time, being appreciated and compensated (quite well) for the care and service I provide, means a lot to me. I am so ready to take this leap. Only there is a little something churning inside of me saying, "Just wait a few more years. Maybe your teen daughters still need you at home." What do you think, Jill?? Thanks in advance for a response & best wishes to you!


Dear Crystal,

This is a great question that many moms struggle with everyday. Since this career is short term care (three weeks) and is financially AND personally rewarding, try it. If you see your family needs you, you can stop, easy as that. Unfortunately other moms may need to make a longer, more permanent commitment and that would be a more difficult choice to make. I think you should try it and see what happens. Please keep me posted and good luck!

Hi Jill,

How many stepchildren do you have and what are their ages? I know that you and your hubby just became grandparents - congratulations! You seem to have a great relationship with them. I have two stepchildren (ages 23 and 25) and unfortunately, although on the surface we've all gotten along - their mother did a number on them so to speak - and they have not treated their father very well over the past 10 years. My husband has tried to be the best of fathers - but it was just one of those things, I guess, that does happen with divorce. I think it is great that you seem to have a genuine relationship with all your kids.

Take care,

P.S. I absolutely LOVE your yoga pants!!!! Will be ordering another couple of pairs.

Dear Mary,

Thank you for the compliment. I am wearing them now and live for them! We made them a limited edition so order soon at www.jillzarin.com. We also added some new styles you might like to try. Quality is the most important thing I look for in clothing so you will NOT be disappointed, I promise!

My stepchildren are 31, 28, and 25. Being a stepparent can sometimes be challenging, but if you have a good relationship with your spouse, which I do, anything can be worked out. Just be there to support him and try not to get in the middle. Good Luck!

Hi Jill,

I am planning a trip to the Hamptons, my first ever, and when I did some research online I came across your "Ask Jill" link, and also saw a fabulous picture of you at the Samsung event. That dress is absolutely gorgeous - and you look gorgeous in it. My first reaction was - wow, that lady has lost some weight since Real Housewives aired. Am I imaging it or are you as svelte as ever?? Also, do you have one single recommendation for a first time visitor of the Hamptons - if you could only recommend one thing, what would it be??

Amy, San Francisco/Lake Tahoe

Dear Amy,

You are correct! I have lost weight since last season. Keeping it off is another challenge! It is very hard to make a single recommendation not knowing if you mean food, beach, activity, or event? Please read Hamptons.com and let them guide you to what is going on the weekend you are here. Visit the Candy Kitchen for an old-fashioned breakfast or lunch and you never know who you might see there! Have fun in the Hamptons!

 • Please join Bethenny, Luanne, and myself at the Help for Orphans Benefit on July 25! You can buy tickets online at http://www.hamptonsbenefit.com. We will be sold out so please buy them online. If there are tickets available they will cost $200 each the night of the event. If you buy online now they are $150. The Kisii schoolmaster, Peter, from Kenya, Africa will be our honored guest that evening and you will be able to hear stories about the school directly from him.

Have a great week!

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Guest (karen) from bayville,NJ says::
Do you know yet if the second season is going to be airing in march on tuesdays? I hope so It's the only night i'm off of work.I love the show.
Jul 11, 2008 2:35 pm


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