Shark Tank

Hello Sharks.

My name is Allyson Primack and I am here today looking for investors who are ready to make some serious money.  I am seeking one billion dollars in exchange for 10 % of my company.

Have you ever gotten together with a bunch of 40-year old friends? The laughter is flowing and you are all wearing adorable outfits.  You want to preserve the special moment with a photograph but forgot to bring along a photographer, or an extra friend that no one really likes.  You want the photo to be special.  You want to capture this private moment amongst friends, and then share it on social media with thousands of people that you don’t really know.

No one owns a camera, so you have no choice but to take a picture on your iPhone.  You all want to be in the picture together, and you attempt a selfie.  “Oooh, that’s too close-up!” someone exclaims.

Next, you try to balance your phone on a chair, and set the timer to get a good shot of the whole gang.  Someone suggests that everyone scrunch in so that you are all in the picture.  “I want to stand in the back!” someone shouts.  “Well, I’m not crouching down,” yells another.

The situation seems hopeless.

Enter… “The Over 40 Traveling Photographer for the iPhone!” It’s simple.  When someone in the group finally realizes that you’ll never get a “post-able” photo, you simple press the numbers “40” on your iPhone.  Instantly, your over 40 traveling photographer will appear, no matter where you are.

In a matter of moments, your photographer will set up the perfect “over 40″ design concept.  He will stand at an elevated level that is much higher than all of you.  His expert angle will make sure that every single one of you get in the photo, and that no one will have to bend their bodies in any way.  Everyone knows that the key to a successful “post-able” photo post-40 is to stand as straight as possible!!!

Your photographer comes with a full lighting design, which will include our trademark NNS (No Natural Sunlight) Lighting.  His design comes with very, very dim indoor lighting, and we guarantee an image so blurry so that everyone’s skin will appear flawless.  No wrinkles or crow’s feet for this crowd.  No one has aged a bit!

Before he is done, everyone will get a chance to approve the photo.  During the editing process, he can crop the photo to remove arm or neck fat, and for an extra fee, he can blur the photo even more!

Meet our client Momontour.  She needed a headshot for an upcoming article being written about her in one of her all-time favorite newspapers.  The article’s author attempted to take a photograph of her during the interview. Momontour refused, and assured the author she’d have a photo to her by the end of the day.  Momontour rushed home, immediately called a friend to come over and take the photo.  The friend was too short, and the pictures were all wrong.

Enter the “Over 40 Photographer!”  He quickly moved the photo shoot indoors.  He some added some props like a book and a chair.  He carefully placed the books over Momontour’s muffin top, brazenly stood on top of a bed piled high with pillows, and was so far enough away he was almost in the next room.  After moving lamps all around the room, he achieved a lighting design so fabulous she almost looked like she was only 39.  The photos were so blurry and so far away she couldn’t decide which one to use for the article!

The Polaroid Generation is ready to make their instant photos fun and flirty again!  The market is ripe and there are endless amounts of customers who are desperate for that perfect photo!

So, Sharks.. who’s ready to make those over-40 photos “Facebook-approved?”







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Narrow Sizes

When I was in high school, I worked at a woman’s shoe store.  It was a very popular store in town.  The owner, however, was not the greatest when it came to dealing with customers. He didn’t necessarily have what we here in America call great “people skills.” He got extremely frustrated when women came in asking if we carried narrow sizes.  (We did not carry narrow sizes.  Or wide sizes. So just stop asking.)

So, when women came into the store whom the staff knew were going to (a) ask for narrow or wide sizes or (b) were women whose personality really just irritated the owner, we all made sure that he was hidden away in the back of the store.  I may or may not be related to said owner, so I will say no more except that the customer service was always a little bit better when he was happily tucked away in the back (looking at the shoe store inventory or whatever he did back there to pass the time.)

I am here in my hometown for the summer.  As my children are in various camps, I have time to drive around town and ponder how things have changed since I moved away almost 20 years ago.  I drive by my old local bank and wonder if they still have 43 cents in my childhood account, since I never actually closed it out.  (That was my account balance when I last checked on it in 1995.  Has it earned interest?) I drive by my old tennis club and ponder running in to see if they ever found my tennis racquet that I lost there 28 years ago.  (I quit tennis shortly after I lost my racquet, so I do think it’s a valid question.)

I try to visit the old mall where said shoe store was located, and cannot seem to get to it as they have torn up all familiar roads and added traffic circles.  Somehow, I keep ending up at my old dermatologist’s office.  (This is probably because I went there a lot as a teenager to get my facial acne “sprayed” by frozen nitrogen, something I don’t think they can legally do to people anymore because I actually think it was meant to put out forest fires.) I look in the mirror here and realize that the midwestern humidity is making me look exactly like Judi Benjamin in “Private Benjamin” when she drops out of the army, moves to France, dyes her hair red, moves in with a Jewish doctor, and then goes crazy.

Yesterday, I took in my broken IPad to a local repair shop to repair its shattered glass  (I was attempting to ride an exercise bicycle from the 1970s in my rental home while watching a movie, when the IPad hit the built-in fan on the bike and fell to the floor.)  The man that owned the shop was, to put in mildly, extremely unpleasant.  How unpleasant?  He was “Donald Trump I don’t like Mexicans or Asians” unpleasant.

I left there in a state of shock at the way I was treated. But the more that I think about it, I don’t think that I have found good customer service anywhere in a long time.  Teenagers and young adults work the counters and retail stores just like I did, but they are so busy playing on the internet that they don’t seem to care if anyone needs help.  So many stores and restaurants have such distracted staff members that I find myself stunned when anyone actually notices that I am there.

Two of my three kids are away at sleep-away camp to “de-program” from their electronics and commune with nature (or whatever they are doing there. They are probably making out with other teens.)

As I spend my summer attempting to finish the sequel to my book, which is all about the difficulties of raising teens in the internet age, I am in no shortage of material while they are away.  Because even if I am not watching my own kids snap selfies all day long or snap-chatting on Instagram, I am slowly watching the entire world forget that anyone is in the room with them.

I wish there were people like my shoe store staff to swoop in and hide the employees that have no idea how to interact with people.  I wish there were employees everywhere whose sole job it is is to hide the owner who gets frustrated with women who want narrow sizes.  Or, in my case, to hide the person who gets frustrated when I ask how long it will take to fix my IPad.

Maybe one day the world around us will return to normal. But probably not.  Technology has made us better: it has improved exercise machinery from the days of bikes with built-in-fans and updated modern medicine to outlaw the frozen-nitrogen-spraying of humans. Technology has invented an endless amount of opportunities.

It just forgot to invent something teach us how to use this new technology and interact with people at the same time.

Loved the book? Watch for “Mom On The Road” movie coming soon to a theatre near you! (And by “soon” I mean one day in the very, very near future when a Hollywood agent picks it up from the “slush pile” without reading it and then he/she hands it off to a plucky young assistant and tells them to “see what you can do” and the assistant goes home and whips off an amazing script and gives it to her agent boss and then he or she takes it and it then it gets made into a movie. But then the agent tries to take full credit for the script and the assistant is sad until the producers of the movie realize that she wrote it and not the agent who took credit for it and the assistant is promoted to agent and the agent gets fired and ends up working for her as her assistant. The end. )




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Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time in America, black people were slaves, women were not allowed to vote, racial prejudice was legal, same-sex couples were not allowed to marry, and guns could be put in the hands of anyone who wanted one.
Then one day, things started to change. Things got a little better.
In 1865, slavery was abolished.

In 1920, women became allowed to vote.

In 2015 same-sex couples were allowed to be legally married.
We are still waiting for the rest of this story to be told.
I’m sorry that I can’t finish it for you yet. One day I will.

But if I can’t complete it for you, promise me that you will never stop trying to write a happy ending to this story.

Love, Momontour



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1984 Day

Recently I took my 12 year old daughter and her best friend out for the day.  We went to lunch and I told them about what life was like for me when I was 12.  It was 1984.  I told them about how we had no internet, no cell phones, and about 4 channels on the t.v.  Aghast, horrified, and unable to speak, they asked me, in today’s pre-teen speak, what we “literally, seriously, honestly” did all day long.

I told them that my friends and I would find odd things from around our houses (i.e. paperclips, string, toilet paper rolls) and then we would decorate them and go around and sell them to the neighbors.  “Did people actually buy them?”  “Yes, for a penny.  It made us happy, and that’s what neighbors did.  Made each other happy.” 

I told them that we would mix together all of the cooking-type food items in our houses and then bake them into strangely-flavored cookies or brownies.  Again, we would sell them around the neighborhood.  We always came home happy.

We listened to records in our rooms and made up dances to songs or shows that we would perform, again, for our neighbors (For a small fee. We were nothing if not business-oriented gals.)  We played in the parks and rode our bikes to each other’s homes.

I suggested to my daughter and her friend that we should have a “1984 Day” at our house.  For that day, we are going to spend the day like it is 1984.  The girls will wear clothes that cover their entire bodies (even if they are neon colored and made of mesh and include fingerless leather gloves.)  The girls can play with their very own, upgraded, imaginations all day long.

Surprisingly, the girls actually love the idea and we are deciding when 1984 Day will take place this summer.  They keep texting each other pictures of paper clips and are analyzing which ones people will want to buy.

I’m more excited than anyone.  You see, I like the idea that in 1984, we didn’t hear about shootings every day in this country.  We didn’t hear daily stories of home-grown violence and terrorism.  We studied about racism in school, but it was part of a history course.  It wasn’t something we studied in current events.  Cops were trusted members of our society.  Our greatest fears and enemies were far away on the other side of the world.  We weren’t fearful of our neighbors.  We trusted all of them.  In school, we had fire drills and tornado drills.  There were even drills and warnings about the nuclear bombs that other countries might use against us.  But we didn’t have drills where we learned to hide from sharp shooters who lived next door to the school.

As I told the girls, we have come so far since I was 12.  Electric cars and mobile phones and portable t.v.s and the face-timing were incredible fantasies that no one thought would ever be invented. We are way ahead in medical and scientific fields and in the space race.

But let’s be honest, we haven’t advanced all that much. In fact, we are actually moving backward way faster than we are moving forward.  We are back living in the Wild, Wild West where guns are legally allowed in bars and in churches and in movie theatres.  When guns are used to kill, people scream that it was their constitutional right to do so.  White men in power sit on t.v. and nod that they are correct.  We are living in the 1960s in the Deep South.  Hatred and racism are the norm, and white people in power continually cover it up.  Lawmakers look the other way.  We are so far back that we are now in the days of the Bible, when people shout the name of their god to justify violence against people who are not heterosexual Christian white folks.

Maybe all of us here in our country need a 1984 Day.   Not just to turn off the electronics or to wear Flashdance sweatshirts with high ponytails or to play outside.  We need it to go back in time when we here in the USA felt safe and free.  When we trusted our neighbors.

Before we went to war on ourselves.





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“Honey, I’m going away with the girls/guys”

Mother vs. Father Weekend Away With Friends





Note to Father:

Hey honey,

So, just to review:
I have a babysitter for you for all three days that I am away.

I have a list of each child’s activities for every hour of each day that I’m away. The list is printed and posted in every room of the house, and is referred to as “Section A” in the binder that is on your desk.

I have pre-packed three days of lunches for school.

I have pre-made dinners for all of you. They are in the freezer with sticky notes identifying whose dinner it is and for which date.

In “Section B” of the binder, I have my flight information. I also have hotel information and my weekend itinerary. I also have the names and cell phone numbers of all of the girls that I am traveling with.

“Section C” of the binder has all of our emergency numbers and contacts, including their pediatrician, dentist and poison control.

I would like to please ask you to look for things thoroughly before you frantically text/call me.

Here are some answers to your questions in advance:

It’s in the drawer.

Same place it always is.

There is a note with all of this information.

I don’t know where you put the note. I’m not home.

And for the kids, please forward these answers:

I can’t help you.
Please ask Daddy.
Well, wake him up.



(blank page)


Be sure to read one of the funiest books of the year!  “Mom On The Road”

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Letter To The Editor




Dear Editors of Fashion Catalogues,

I have never written a letter to an editor before today.  In fact, the letters to editors sections of magazines have always fascinated and horrified me at the same time.  Are there actually people out there who have time in their day to write a note to People Magazine telling them “Britney Spears looks great!  I’m so happy that she’s doing better.  Go get ’em Britney!”  And they are so proud of their happiness for people they don’t know that they give us their full name and city so that if you see them in the store you can shout to them, “Hey!  I’m so happy for Britney too!  High five!”

However, I am so frustrated lately that I must send this mass email to all of you out there who put out fashion catalogues and send them to my house.  Listen, I don’t know how you got my address.  I might have shopped at your store once but I don’t believe I gave you all of my personal information when I bought a bra from you ten years ago.  Even so, how do you know that I moved?  I have lived in 7 houses in the last 20 years.  How do you keep finding me?

But that’s not really the problem.  I enjoy the catalogs because they are good toilet reading. I’m pretty sure the men in my house enjoy them for other reasons.

I’m a 43 year old woman.  I have had 3 children.  I have cellulite and flabby arms. I’ve got a tummy and an ample tush.  Things are drooping over here.

So, if you are going to put out a mailer with suggested outfits for me, please don’t put said outfits on teenagers.  Or even 20-some-year old women.  I don’t look like anything like these models. They surely don’t look like me.

The outfits that these companies manufacture may, in fact, come in my size.  But that doesn’t mean that they will look good on me.  Let’s be honest: these clothes don’t look good on the majority of women past the age of 40; not the long, flowy dresses that are made for tall skinny models that end up looking like a maternity dress on me; not the skin-tight running shorts that are so short I can wear them to a colonoscopy and keep them on during the entire procedure; and not these wacky jumpsuits that make me look like I am in that Shelly Long movie about camping from the 1980s. We do not wear giant floppy hats because we cannot see when we are driving carpool (which is what we do about 90% of the time). We do not normally wear pigtails because we look like we are making an extremely pathetic attempt to look like a sexy porn star.

Most of my favorite stores that used to carry clothes that flattered my aging body have recently turned on me and have started to cater towards girls who are 15 (I’m talking to you, Lulu Lemon.) Some of these great stores try to throw in an outfit for the older set, but they are usually giant sweater-sets and “slacks” or horrible mumus that look good on no one except for Barbra Streisand in “Meet The Fockers.”

We don’t want to wear peach-colored jeans (Anthropolgie); we don’t want to wear workout shorts that give us camel toe (Athleta); and we don’t want to wear “casual” clothes that make us look like we are about to go to a funeral, to temple, or to a court hearing (Ann Taylor).

Please, people.  Don’t send me these catalogues anymore.  Send them to my daughter.  She is 12, and would probably look adorable in everything you sell.  And now that you know my age, don’t start sending me “older-women” catalogues for stores like Chico’s or JC Penney.  I’m not ready for that just yet.

If you can find a store that makes clothes for me, great.  Send me their catalogues.  I am still waiting for the one store that carries flattering clothes for women in their 40s (and don’t suggest “White House, Black Market.”  They are misleading the public because they are now selling clothes that are not just black and white.  And by the way, most women over the age of 40 do not look good in white.)

Until then, I will keep reading my People Magazine and obsessing about the people behind those editorial letters.  They may feel the need to let the entire world know the fact that 30 years ago they met a recently deceased actress for 5 minutes at the grocery store and that she was “very nice.” They may take an hour out of their day to let America know how very disappointed they are that their favorite poet was not included in the “Sexiest Man Alive” Issue. But at least they are telling us the truth.  

And that’s a lot more than I can say for Banana Republic.

“Mom On The Road”-Honorable Mention at New York Book Festival









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My first interview…..

Having a little trouble taking myself seriously…..

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