All over the world at any given moment there are billions of people missing someone they’ve lost. Tonight, that was us.
Float-building with dad. Parade driving with dad. Tie-straightening with dad. That was our week, only the dad wasn’t with us. It’s hard, if you don’t know. Most don’t.
His Bio for the Homecoming Court read that he liked surfing, snowboarding, and being Captain of the Swim Team. It also read – in its original form – that he was the son of two people instead of just one, but that part was edited out. Maybe it was too much to ask to include it. Maybe it didn’t seem as important to someone else. Maybe it made those folks uncomfortable. Read more
The following letter is republished with permission from its original author.
Dear High School Me,
When I look back at you, I see a girl who felt trapped in high school. You were the popular, pretty cheerleader, but you were also known as the Party Girl. People knew you were the one who liked to have a little too much fun. You didn’t know your limits, and you did not know your worth. In the moment, you didn’t always know what you were supposed to do. However, the lessons you learned are ones you can bring to use now that you are older. Read more
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?
I knocked on the door and waited. Knocked again. Waited.
I walked into their house in my bare feet and my pajamas, hair wild, no bra, middle-of-the-night-breath. I suppose it was as scary as I’ve been seen in public ever in my life. I stood in the kitchen and waited for someone to notice me but they were dancing pretty hard and it was super dark anyway. Aside from the strobe lights that blinked, synchronized to the low thumps of the rap music that bounced the pictures up and down on the adjoining wall between their living room and mine, I could hardly see a thing without my glasses on.
Then they saw me. Their faces lit up in recognition then dropped in the panic of realizing why I must be standing in their living room at 2:30 in the morning.
It went downhill from there. 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
This morning I woke up with a woman’s body and a champion’s mind, thankful that I have never known what it must feel like to be punished or discriminated against just because I’m female. I have never felt anything but equal, and respected, and often times I’ve felt empowered, too, especially being a woman. I love who I am now, at this age, much more than the woman I was ten years ago and so much more, a million times more than who I was twenty years ago.
I woke up this morning after a good, peaceful night’s rest, knowing that I live in a country where I am allowed to arm and defend myself against anyone who threatens me or my family, and I am capable of doing it if I had to. 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
In 1991, I was forced to enroll in your typical, freshmen-level Economics-101 class. 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.
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, 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. Read more