Grief, Food, & Nudity: A Story About My Mother & My New Book

Grief, Food, & Nudity: A Story About My Mother & My New Book

Not long after my father died, I went to Martinique with my mother. I remember three things about that trip.  My mother’s grief. The profiteroles. And the topless beach.

Grief, food, and nudity

My mother was in a raw stage of mourning, subject to fits of literal wailing. But no one in my family was ever too upset to eat, especially dessert. And Martinique is a French island, with the associated cuisine — thus my profiterole memory.

Betcha can’t eat just one profiterole

Also–my mother loved the beach. When I was growing up, we didn’t have the money for air travel and we didn’t have a car, but I never felt deprived. We spent our summers at Brighton Beach Baths in Brooklyn. My parents would play cards while I hung out with my girlfriends, giggling over cute lifeguards and sneaking smokes behind the paddleball courts. My butt still has sense memories of the itchy faux-straw seats on the BMT subway line. 

My mother loved the beach and she was European — which meant that her attitude about nudity was not as prudish as that of most of the American-born parents I knew. She had no problem with the fact that, at the first stretch of shore we visited in Martinique, many of the women were topless. She had on a one-piece bathing suit and, anyway, thought she was too old to be baring her breasts. She nevertheless encouraged me to remove my bikini top if I wanted to.

Not me and my mother and not Martinique

Not me and my mother and not Martinique

I was no prude but was taken aback by my mother’s suggestion; she was was very, very strict about my dating life. Still, I went along. It felt naughty at first and a little odd — I was, after all, with my mother — but, after a few minutes, it felt natural.

Not natural enough for me to want to become a nudist, however.

Which brings me to my new book.

Dedicated to my mother


My new book is really an old book, started long before Freud’s Butcher — and blogging — were a gleam in my eye. Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that several of my newfound family members contributed to, I was finally able to finish and publish Getting Naked for Money: An Accidental Travel Writer Reveals All.

The book’s title is based on the fact that I got an assignment to go to a nudist resort — undercover and uncovered — by More, a recently folded woman’s magazine.

What about you? Would you take your clothes off on a nude beach — or go to a nudist resort? Would you do it if someone paid you? Follow this link, answer that simple question (yes or no is fine), and you’ll automatically get a chance to win a copy of this book. Subscribe to and you’ll get an additional chance to win.

Good news: There are e-books available, so you don’t have to live in the U.S. to enter.

Remember: Do not comment here. Click to go to my other blog.

Of course, if you just want to buy the book, that’s fine too. See the link to your left. Do it for my late mother. Make her posthumously proud of her best-selling if somewhat trashy daughter. 


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