The first thing that caught my attention was The Mom. That Mom. We all know her. She would never admit that her mean-girl daughter ever did anything wrong, but sometimes she pretended she did only to feign (for the rest of us) that some sort of discipline was taking place in their home, which we were all absolutely certain it wasn’t. She had that same child tested for gifted programs after she used one fancy word properly one time at dinner. She signed the girl up for piano lessons and ballet and French and soccer, then whined about the child’s teachers giving her too much homework. Yet she intentionally put her in the best classes at the best school with all the best teachers, teachers who were (dare we say) kinda tough and didn’t scale grades. And That Mom drove all the rest of us insane when she pretended to be annoyed while she whined and rolled her eyes at how demanding her child’s friends’ six-birthday-parties-this-month! were going to be on their already-busy lives.
Am I talking about this book or I am I talking about my own life?
Ohhhh yeah. I dated a Jealous Boy…a long, long time ago. He would crane his head out of the window of his pickup truck and analyze the tire tracks in my driveway to see who had been coming to and leaving from my house. I loved the way he wanted me all for himself but that possession was too much, he had insecurities that had nothing to do with me and his tenacity towards others who also wanted to spend time with me often grew scary. My gut told me to get out. As a result, that relationship was ultimately doomed and thankfully, it finally came to an end. Read more
I finished a good book today, one that I’ve been reading for a few weeks now. I will not insert its storyline here because I don’t want this blogpost turning into a book review. But let me assure you, I slammed the stupid thing shut when I finished it, tossed it dismissively onto the floor in disgust and haven’t been able to shake its frayed ending out of my mind since. Read more
There’s nothing more satisfying than a revelation. You know…an aha! moment. When those light bulbs turn on in our heads like one did for me recently, a girl’s gotta share.
Men. I won’t argue with anyone that men aren’t difficult. They certainly can be, they definitely are sometimes. I’ve known a few like this in my life for sure, but one thing they are not is complicated. Read more
I think we can all blame Disney for our hang-ups about our hair. Since our wee years, we are taught that all of the beautiful princesses have long, voluminous tresses. Cascading hair is mythically, historically, and symbolically associated with youth and fertility. Look up any society in history and you’ll see… the themes are the same. Even in Native American societies, warriors wanted the horses with the longest, thickest manes to ride into battle because they looked more menacing and majestic, more desirable. (How impressive it must have been to see a battle horse in the throes of war, or in the heat of a hunt, its long hair flowing out behind it.) Read more
This past Sunday was noteworthy for two reasons.
First, it was the 52nd Anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination. I’ve been watching the news footage and the documentaries on this historic event all week, like I do every year, and I always go back to one thing in my mind: “What must it have been like for that poor woman? How do you ever get over witnessing something like that?”
And the second reason it’s noteworthy is because for the fifth year in a row, this week I again began aggressively planning how to be anywhere but home on Christmas. Read more
For my girls. be patient.
If he’s all you can think about as you stare out of a window, that’s not love. That could be anything. Worry, pain, hope, or anticipation.
But if out of that window you see a summer breeze tickling the tree limbs and you wish you were with him, the heat of that warm breeze making you lean in closer, walking and holding hands, sharing one ice cream cone, well that might be love. Read more
A couple of years ago, I set a goal for myself to start reading the American classics. It made me feel smarter to think I might one day know how to namedrop all of our most famous literary icons with real authority. I wanted to know all about the ones about whom my friends say, “Oh my God! He’s my favorite author!”
I especially wanted to fall in love with Ernest Hemingway. I’d saved myself for him, for after I finished writing my own book and was no longer in the middle of any other novels. I wanted to give him my undivided attention because everything I’d read about him pointed towards adoration. I anticipated a long, sexy summer reading about falling in love during the Spanish American War, bullfights in Spain and cafes in Paris, and salty men repairing fishing nets…all being ideas that made me swoon in romantic anticipation. I bought six of his most famous works and downloaded them all at once. Satisfaction was 100% guaranteed. A perfect collection of beach books, right? I nestled in. Read more
Go five years in reverse from today and you would’ve found me getting adjusted to living all by myself for the first time ever in my life. I was in the middle of a heartbreaking divorce, holed up in a tiny, sterile apartment grieving, wondering how I could ever be happy again without the safety of my marriage and my family…a marriage that, incidentally, provided me with many years of a different kind of grief altogether. Obviously, I was forced to get used to it against my will. Some things are completely beyond our control and divorce is sometimes one of them. In the beginning of my transmutation from couplehood to spinsterhood, I still had a small child at home but since then he has grown into an independent young man with an affection for X-treme sports and his own vehicle. As a result, I’ve stayed home by myself a lot over the last few years. Yes, it gets too quiet sometimes, but I’m thankful for the slow boil of my seclusion over the years in this state. Read more
In 1991, I was forced to enroll in your typical, freshmen-level Economics-101 class at Minot State University in North Dakota. It was utterly coma-inducing to be honest, like you probably think this blog post is going to be after seeing the word Economics in the title, but stay with me for a minute.
Knowing that only a small fraction of the 80 or so students in the class would ever need an in-depth knowledge of supply and demand curves, the professor offered us an alternative assignment: Read “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand and complete a 2000-word essay on what we learned. Anything we learned. However we interpreted it, let it be known that we gleaned something inspiring from the mammoth 1000-page novel. So thinking it was the easier option, I read it as a teenager and predictably wrote my paper on the value of capitalism. It was a snoozer.
I’ve since traversed through my 44 years never needing to know too terribly much about surpluses and shortages, just as my professor predicted. This past year, I found myself teaching Economics to my 12th graders and believe me when I tell you, it’s a class that’s still coma-inducing, so I made them the same offer: read Atlas Shrugged and tell me what you get out of it. I also decided to give the book another run-through myself just so I could be prepared to answer their questions.
It was like I was reading an entirely different novel! All the capitalism/socialism stuff remained familiar but there were new ideas in there about sex and the relationships between men and women that I couldn’t have or wouldn’t have appreciated when I was 19 years old. Ayn Rand, a woman whose fame comes entirely from her Objectivism philosophy and her knowledge of the path of the American economy, also incorporated an INCREDIBLE understanding of the sexual tendencies in men and women. I couldn’t believe it! Please read on! Read more