In September 2012, I purchased a portable cassette player. From a dinky thrift store that smelled heavily of cigarette smoke and a sweet, middle-aged woman who questioned why this gangly teenager had cassette tapes in that day and age. The player had served its purpose, was outdated. Perhaps it did and was — thus ending up in her store. The music was worth it though.
A friend once called me a hooligan and a hipster, and I’ve dragged that description onto every website’s “Tell Me About Yourself” bio section. This friend also liked to point out certain habits of mine…
When there’s a full or new moon, I have this ritual. I like to write my intentions in this journal with a silk sari print blue cover. I have entries filled with things I wished to release, like deeply held insecurities. Things I wanted to call into my life, like healing my inner child who was bullied in school. A conscious and healthy romantic partnership. Job opportunities from companies with leadership that cared about anti-racist business practices and centered community care and healing. And a home. I described the space with vivid images: an open, airy room or apartment filled…
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 Chili’s that goes
“You’re gonna hate the way you feel. I guarantee it.”
and I think it applies here too.
Maybe you’re thinking
When you’re alone in your bed?
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head
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 perfect. They’ll remind her of where she grew up which may help calm her fragile nerves. It also ensures that she’ll begin to make a positive association with leaving you forever.
Once you’ve settled on the perfect neighborhood, pull over and take a deep slow breath. Gaze at a worn…
A friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook recently, mocking people with different beliefs than his. I was disappointed but not surprised. This happens when you believe you are right — to support your position further, others who differ with you have to be wrong.
And it’s much easier to do when your beliefs are the same as a larger group because you’ve got the majority standing with you—power in numbers. Groupthink. It’s easy to criticize others when you feel little risk of retaliation.
Social bullying is wrong, harmful, and divisive.
But the perpetrator feels justified because they believe…
Content warning: Graphic descriptions of injury
If you ever need hand surgery, you should try to get it done in Japan.
At least that’s what the hand surgeon at Mass General Hospital told us right before he spent 10 hours trying to reattach my husband’s severed left index finger.
The surgeon’s tone was cheerful and matter-of-fact as he talked with us. We were sitting on a cot in the emergency room on a Friday night. Jared had been working on a project at our house when his hand got sucked into the blade of a table saw by a loose…
We were falling deep into our pandemic winter, and after the better part of a year of fully online or hybrid school, my daughter’s noneducational hours had become dominated by additional screen time so that I could keep working. She transformed into a third-grader with a casual online “window shopping” habit and a growing obsession with Reborn Babies, strangely realistic, silicone baby dolls.
I wasn’t sure how I’d survived the better part of the year as a freelance writer in shutdown with a throbbing ball of stress growing and contracting somewhere over my heart, my nervous stomach. …
In my experience, fathers tend to fall into two general camps. There are the dads so preoccupied with their own interests and careers and financially supporting their families that they rarely interact with their kids. Then there are the dads who strive for an active role in their children’s lives: They change their diapers and teach them sports, counsel them as they grow up, and worry about their futures.
But then again, imagine a father who would write an operetta for his children, with parts for each to sing to fend off homesickness when they’re far from home. In the…
There are some things you should understand about this man, the man who fathered me:
He looks like almost every other baby ever born: red-faced, hairless, eyes closed. His cries pierce the quiet country desolation and scatter among the last brittle oak leaves of winter. Spring is coming.
Middle child syndrome. Somewhere among the cows and the chickens, the last of the hogs and two stray dogs. Not as pious as the eldest, a daughter, nor as charming as the youngest, another son. Poor eyesight and a buzz cut. Nothing special, really.
Pulls a knife on the kid at school…
People typically shut down when someone talks for more than 40 seconds. I’d recently read that from Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, and this past weekend I had a firsthand experience of it.
My houseguest, someone I didn’t know very well, turned out to be quite the talker. As we sat together after dinner his verbal stream of consciousness washed over me, and I wondered when he might pause to take a breath. He didn’t.
I felt myself shutting down, losing interest not just in listening to him but also in saying anything. The nonstop talking continued at breakfast…
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