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Human Parts
A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.


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Maybe I never did

Photo by Cory Bouthillette on Unsplash

When my two youngest kids were 3 and 5, my then-husband and I moved into a beautiful neighborhood with big oak trees and oversized yards. I’d wanted to live in this neighborhood for years. It was highly sought after and ‘the place to be’ in my…

Single life stats we need to stop tracking

Photo by Olga Lioncat from Pexels

Numbers are fine, I guess. I was never much good at them, but I think that has more to do with the “bad at math” programming I received during my extremely gendered education and upbringing than any actual aptitude. There’s nothing wrong with data, in fact, I enjoy a good…

Lived Through This

A year in the life

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Let me tell you a story.

Scenario: You have a public school day job of three years that almost pays all your bills so you take on an extra job as an independent contractor to make ends meet. …


What I gained and what I lost

Me at age five, when I renamed myself “Jane.” Photo courtesy of the author

The summer after kindergarten, I went by “Hot Stuff.”

I was still “Hyo-Sung” when I woke up on the first morning of day camp to pull my favorite yellow T-shirt over my head. My mother had made sure it was washed the night before even though our portable washing machine…


Weddings, omniscient aliens, and a Tyrannosaurus rex

Photo: Jasmin Merdan / Getty Images

After losing my job, I moved home and attended my cousin’s wedding. The morning of, someone asked where Grandma was. I said I’d find her. I went outside and there she was wandering around the parking lot — small, curly white hair, wrinkle-eaten face.

“Are you excited about the wedding?”…

But maybe not

Photo: Robert Couse-Baker

I’ve always thought I’m good at endings.

Like this one:

I asked, “When you told your friends you don’t love me anymore, how did they feel?”

And you said, “Not surprised.”

Or this one:

I spy your silhouette in the sunset and you’re either 91 million miles away or just…

Selfie — copyright Gayle Kirschenbaum

I haven’t lived life looking into the mirror much — usually just a passing glance now and then and then a more careful study when I’m trying on clothing to see what fits well together. That’s when I use the full-length mirror. As I mostly don’t wear any makeup only…


Grandma, why do you have so much hand sanitizer?

Photo: Aleksandr Zubkov / Getty Images

My great-grandmother saved Sweet ’N Low packets. Those little pink rectangles of currency now only found in very old, very sticky diners where rent is minimal and corporate interest in property nonexistent. In her lifetime I don’t think my great-grandmother ever purchased an artificial sweetener of any kind. She never…

And what I said the week after that

Photo: Getty Images / Yifei Fang

Three weeks ago I wrote

about how “perfect” is so subjective and vague and impossible and stupid and how you are precisely it in so many ways.

and the week after that I said I don’t think I can do this anymore.

My Uncle Mike created a new tagline for…

Remember, one day in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be begging her to slow down


First, scope out a quiet neighborhood where she can practice driving with minimal distractions. The roads should be wide enough that she doesn’t feel squeezed by oncoming traffic. Make a mental note of potential obstacles like pedestrians, cyclists, off-leash dogs, and trash cans.

Quiet locales with meandering cross streets are…

Human Parts

A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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