ESSAYS, HUMOR, CREATIVE NONFICTION
The suit spoke of a confidence I'd always wanted to own. Of moxie. Even of fantasy.
But I didn’t stop—I couldn’t. Not after reading this morning’s headlines of polarized politics, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, stranded whales mysteriously dying on the Australian shore—not to mention Carole Baskin debuting a Pasodoble on Dancing with the Stars...
And more curiously, at what point did she crossover from the cool, hip, edgy person you remember to an annoying, presumptuous, kitten-t-shirt-wearing, chain-email sender? And is that crossover inevitable for us all?
It’s true, my cooking mojo isn’t what it used to be- particularly now that I’m experiencing shelter-in-place performance anxiety, as our pleasure is heavily dependent on meals. It seems the more recipes I try, and the harder I try to follow them, the more leaden my muffins turn out. Still, I resent being invisible until the hunger pangs kick in.
It’s still important to steer away from inappropriate subjects during dinner conversation. These include religion, politics and the entire month of November 2020. Do yourself, and the rest of your table a favor: just don’t.
Identifying your story—figuring out the slice of life, series of events, the question that needs answering, or the moment that changed everything and how—is key to starting a memoir.
With all this in mind, I've reached what I believe is an adult perspective about domestic pets, particularly the more dependent species, dogs, and that is: why are we all doing this to ourselves? Destroying our perfectly simple lives with more responsibility and heartache?
But in my trajectory out, I’d had help—from teachers who told me I could rise above, mentors who pushed me to make smarter choices, and maybe most importantly, a sisterhood of women, in books and in person, who had collectively shaped my view of the world, and formed a cultural given for me: women needed to lift each other up.
Emailing in the era of Facebook Messenger was the equivalent of handwriting a letter and sending it by pigeon. A phone call was as intrusive as ringing the doorbell...So I opened my computer and did the only thing I could think of: I sent her a friend request.
I mean, who were these selfless souls who not only found time to do this, but did it again and again, year after year? Women who went above and beyond making their own kids happy, as they dedicated their time to others’ kids?
All those years of lying on the beach from April to mid-October, my body hunkered into sand, my mind drifting as I listened to the ripple of icy water at the shore and seagulls squawking, trained me to tunnel inside.
Rawls argued that for a just society, people should approach racial, social and political issues from this original position by trying to suspend their knowledge of their own race, gender, religious beliefs, position of wealth, abilities and preferences.
Sharing a dining room with bony and gaunt looking diners, I paid $30 for an entrée of two slices of raw zucchini smeared with pureed cashews and sun dried tomato paste, aka “lasagna,” made somehow believable after downing bio-dynamic wine.
Who were these editors to assume the power to judge that woman too narrow or too wide? Who were they to make corrections and be the ultimate jury over a woman’s beautification?
There’s some maternal congruence in that Kim is tall and blonde like my mother was, and that she understands what little I remember about my mother’s personality, but I haven’t exactly worked that through yet.
30 WAYS TO SUCCEED (The Chaos Journal of Personal Narrative, Fall, 2017)
The first prerequisite of succeeding in today’s competitive world of small business is to have grown up poor, ideally in the 1980s, and to subsequently have read Tony Robbin’s Unlimited Power. Ideally, the copy you will have read will be a signed version by the guru himself, brought home to you by your older sister who has successfully completed his hot-coal-walk/seminar..
Besides, who else but me would confiscate this man’s holey underwear and toss them into the trash, or steal at midnight to his sock drawer and release those threadbare souls to their afterlife, or suggest, while sifting through his drawers, that while the concept of appreciation worked well in real estate and fine wine, it didn’t necessarily apply to clothes?
CONFESSIONS OF A COMPULSIVE ENTREPRENEUR (The Haven, 2017)
Where does this endless need to create nonsense stem from? I might trace the roots of this dysfunction to a poor childhood, or growing up in the age of motivational speakers. It could also stem from reading too many stories, in all their impossibility, and believing in an inventor’s version of the American Dream.
After a five-year run with a bad boy type, I finally released myself from destructive relationships that made me feel racy. "Nice" sounded calm. "Nice" sounded like a future— one without doors slamming, threats being issued, and tires peeling away.
PARENTING PIECE: ON TALENT VS HARD WORK (Scary Mommy, 2015)
Lying can instill confidence in your kids. Lying can be a prerequisite for parenting. Lying can also be a disservice. One needs only to watch any past season of American Idol — and see those countless delusional kids auditioning — to know that, at least sometimes, leveling with kids is also important.
Study literature and read anything you can get your hands on. Read to escape. Read to learn. Read to truly live.
When we woke, a plague of black flies had swarmed in, making the vacation seem cursed, in the way these things happen.
But this was different. I was now a mother, and mothers were supposed to know things.
Tuesday nights, we carpooled into Manhattan together, and scribbled furiously in our notebooks as Rabbi Jehudi, with his thick beard and tailored suit, explained to us — and the 60 other emotionally stunted people who’d paid a few hundred dollars for the class— that we couldn’t play “the game of life” well until we’d learned the rules.