A delightful little child named Vivian came by one day last spring, peddling magazine subscriptions for a fundraiser at her school. I can’t tell Vivian no. She’s sassy and persistent, just the kind of girl I like to be around.
This purchase has landed me in the middle of what has turned into a magazine mountain. I ordered subscriptions to all of my favorites: the big, glossy Vogue with its labels and designers, the intuitive and gossipy Elle with its fabulous book reviews, the star-studded Vanity Fair with the latest celebrity gossip and album release insights, and finally, the controversial Rolling Stone, for the times when I want to get my Republican blood pressure way up. Four magazines…who has time to read these? Read more
I was married to two very handsome men in my life and neither one of them ever owned a suit. I come from a small town, so did my two husbands, so I’d have to say that was probably our main problem. Tailored suits weren’t part of anyone’s fashion repertoire in those Tastee Freeze communities we grew up in, unlike, say, the Levis jeans and Guy Harvey t-shirts we most often see Florida panhandle boys wearing. For the boys I loved, dressing up meant wearing a Columbia shirt and Dockers, for goodness sake. Read more
The chime of the doorbell this afternoon signaled the arrival of a special purple box. I raced to my front door and there on the porch was the brown delivery package that contained my new Stuart Weitzman Nouveau black patent leather pumps. Stuart Weitzman shoes always come in purple boxes, did you know that? No one in my house gets my enthusiasm when I wake up and scream, ”Maybe it’s purple box day!!!!!!” but please believe me, it’s a big day. Most men don’t understand ‘Shoespeak‘ just like I don’t understand ‘Boatspeak’ or ‘Huntingspeak,’ and most couldn’t tell the difference between a slingback and a wedge if their life depended on it and furthermore, they don’t care. So I looked around for someone to squeal with me. I needed a woman to share my big day with but only the Labrador was here. Read more
If you have perused the pages of this website with any depth you have gathered by now that image means a lot to me. I fight getting old with a furor. I utilize uncomfortable and inconvenient methods for staying young-ish because I am just not yet ready to throw in the towel and start knitting, canning and wearing Christmas sweaters. It’s vanity at its worst. Still, in spite of my dedication, life often takes a jab at me anyway, just to put me in my place.
It’s my knees. They scream and moan at me every day. If knees had naggy voices, mine would say, “Oh dear God, what were you thinking walking a mile down the beach, woman?” or “Yep, this is gonna be a four-Advil day. I hope you’re happy.”
It’s my hair. It looks every bit as old as I actually am. I grieve for the old days when I whined because it took an eternity to blow dry it. (Sigh) Oh, those days are no more.
And it’s my eyes. They are tired and unfocused, handicapped and aimless without a good pair of reading glasses. READING GLASSES!
Sometimes my students grow up to be my friends. Sometimes, strangely, my students even grow up to be extraordinarily special to me in ways I never would have expected, like when they turn out to be hugely successful and I actually seek them out for help or advice.
Under strange and special circumstances, a student even grows up to be the kind of person I deeply admire and envy. Now, that doesn’t happen as often as you might guess, because age and wisdom usually only flow in a single direction, in the way the influence of mentors is supposed to trickle uniquely downward. It happened here though, with this young scribe I once graded and critiqued. She has grown into a mammoth talent, a lifestyle photographer with crazy skillz-with-a-z behind the lens. She is becoming her own Southern wedding empire with three small children in tow, and her #dearjason tributes to her husband belong in Taylor Swift song lyrics.
But that’s not what draws me to her — it’s her writing. Read more
My recent stint in the hospital as my son healed from a dog bite gave me way too much time to sit around and judge people. I did this for nine days. Nine days of coming into and out of Sacred Heart Hospital, visiting the cafeteria, walking to the gift shop for stamps and exchanging comforting smiles with other exhausted parents in the children’s wing where we were staying. I noticed something about people. Life has kicked their asses and you can see it in their faces. Read more