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Showing posts from 2016

An Open Letter to New Years Eve 2006 Me.

Dear December 31, 2006 Me,

    Hey girl. I'm writing to you from December 31, 2016. I have some stuff to tell you, because I know how you're feeling right now. 

Today, you feel like your life has ended. Your heart was shattered today in that one phone call, where her voice said, "Is this Mrs. A? Are you still married to E?" and when you confirmed both questions, a spindly, bony and ghostly hand ripped into your chest, pulled out your trusting, soft heart and slammed it to the floor. It shattered into so many splintering shards that you couldn't breathe. But C, the sweet little baby girl growing in you needs you to pick yourself up. I know it feels like you can't. But this is not the end of you. 

THIS IS NOT THE END OF YOU. 

I realize you never imagined that this would be your lot in life. You've served him and your church, you've loved hard and expected that you were loved in return. This was not on your radar, even though the stirrings have made you unco…

Merry Christmas, Aunt Marilyn

I need to tell you about someone. 

I need to tell you about my Aunt Marilyn. 

Right now, she is probably snowed in her home in the western suburb of Chicago where she lives, the area she's lived in for almost all of her life. She isn't here with us, enjoying the warmer weather and the comfort of our family gathering for the holiday.

And I miss her. 

Aunt Marilyn never married or had children, but she cared for so many. 

She is wise and brilliant, with two master's degrees and a life spent shaping the minds of middle schoolers. This is and of itself should earn her some prestigious award just for putting up with them, because no thank you. 
She has spent her life taking care of others. After my grandmother passed away and my grandfather developed Alzheimer's, she cared for him to the end. When an elderly aunt was widowed and became unable to care for herself, she cared for her through cancer, until the end. When another elderly, widowed aunt could no longer be independent, sh…

How To Cover Your Tracks When Your Bestie Draws Porn On Your Kids' Homework

We've all been there, right?

We're just having a simple girl-talk conversation with our bestie. She is explaining this new, er, "position" that she's caught wind of, and, you know, wants to pass it along for when I find my feller someday. To be fair, we were both technically unencumbered at the time. Me, freshly divorced and in my "taking some time off" season, she, well,  I PROMISED I WOULDN'T TALK ABOUT IT.

We know some stuff about each other.



I mean, sweet Mary and Joseph, we MET under suspect circumstances whilst attending a rural Arizona high school. We were two ships passing in the night at a future Stanford graduate's house where about fifty of our closest friends were making some unauthorized version of Sex on the Beach (it's a DRINK) in a bathtub. Also known as a high school party, 90's version. I think we waved "hi" in the hallway while sipping bathtub juice and became fast friends on MySpace like ten years later. Th…

Book Excerpt!

So, ya'll. My goal for 2017 is to complete my book and have it published. It is a book of short stories about fictional women's lives; some amusing and some, as you will note below, not so funny. I just wanted to provide an excerpt of some of the writing and I hope you'll find it on a shelf sometime soon! 

This is an excerpt from Chapter 3. 

Image Credit
MaryJean’s old Tercel was in the carport, so she was home. Janey rapped on the door and heard nothing. She did note an odor that she equated with those patients in the ICU who were being unmercifully kept alive by family members in denial. The odor of early decay, it was familiar and sad, bringing her back to the critical care unit bedsides where patients would begin the process of putrefaction before even breathing their last breath. You don’t forget that smell.
Suddenly panicking, Janey pushed the door open, which had been left unlocked. The smell became forceful and unmistakable. “MaryJean!” she cried out pleadingly, “Ar…

Somebody's Watching (A Flash Fiction Story)

Closing the front door to my condo, I heard the familiar thunk as the deadbolt slid into place, ensuring my nerves would calm for the night. Peeling off my nursing scrubs after a brutal thirteen hour day, I showered, put on my most comfortable pajamas, went downstairs to retrieve a glass of water and trudged back upstairs for bed. I crawled in gratefully, letting my weary bones settle into my plush mattress. I put on my sports talk radio app, so familiar voices would keep me company as I drifted off to sleep. I didn’t want to feel alone.
Yet I did want to be alone.
The condo creaked as the building settled and I shuddered. After a stressful day, I drifted off to sleep with my jaw clenched tightly.
At 3:16am, I awoke with a start, assumingly from a nightmare. I tried to sit up in the darkness and felt as though something had lifted off of me. I felt smothered and struggled to breathe. I was sweating, my heart was racing, my pajamas were clinging to me. My comforter was twisted, sig…

Men Vs Women: Thanksgiving Planning Edition

The Holidays are such a busy time a year, aren't they folks? Ahh, yes. A chorus of ladies yelling out "Yes! Oh my gosh I am going to lose my freaking mind! There's too much to do!" as they march off to the grocery/department/black friday store with detailed, meticulous lists in hand, soft leather handbags slung over their shoulders, sensible flats covering tired Mama feet, a messy ponytail swinging behind them.

Where are the guys? I didn't hear any of them call out. Hello? (Adele voice), "Can you hear me?"

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Because, though I love me the male persuasion, holidays are significantly less harried for their kind. 

And so, I bring you the Thanksgiving Brain, Women Vs Men:

Woman Brain on Thanksgiving:

"Oh God. It's a week before Thanksgiving. After work I'm going to need to peruse Pinterest for seven hours and start planning ridiculously complex side dishes and fondant shapes so as to go down in history and having the gre…

The Women Before Me

As my nine year old daughter stands on her stool, tearing toast into pieces, dropping it into a large bowl and complaining about HOW MUCH BREAD there is yet to toast, I am there, also nine, next to my Mom, complaining. "Mom, oh my god, why is there so much?!" and in the back of my mind "Why the hell is my brother not doing this?" (to date: he still doesn't. He just shoplifts all of the dressing from the rest of us. But this year, I'm making a secret stash of our own to keep at home, and no one remind him he has a key to my house. Thanks in advance). 

I do it because I'm female, and that's just what we do. For generations. We cook Thanksgiving dinner like nobody's business, and pass it down. And now I get it. All of the complaining has led to a feeling of gratefulness for having those memories with my Mom. I try and tell my daughter, "Somebody you'll be the Mama, and you'll do this with your daughter and tell her about how you used to…

How To Battle Anxiety and How It Started For Me. (Newsflash: It Sucked).

It started the week I woke up suddenly, night after night, with my heart pounding, my hair sweaty and stuck to my face, usually around 3am. My life had been turned upside down. 
I had grown up introverted, self-conscious and loathing social activities. It was built in. Books were my best friends and I was more than happy to stay at home. In school, I felt the creepings of it in class; the desire for perfectionism unfortunately affected by a mind that wandered. I would feel stuck and panicky sitting somewhere for extended periods of time listening to teachings that in no way held my interest. It made me squirmy and impatient. 
But it wasn't until those nights I started to awaken in a blind panic with no resolution, seemingly nowhere to turn, that the anxiety switch flipped on. 

And it announced it's presence in my life with a vengeance. 

It started that week that I discovered that my marriage, my family was a complete lie. I was on the receiving end of unfaithfulness. There was a w…

That Weekend We Almost Killed Naked Santa and Nearly Wandered Into A Bondage Event

It was my husband's birthday weekend, so naturally, as any good wife will do, I wanted to give him an offer he couldn't refuse (no, not "sleep with the fishes" kind). Well, an offer no man ever refuses, actually.
So, we were going to go lingerie shopping, as normal married couples who still really really like to do stuff with their soulmates will do. 

We were out of town, spending a long weekend on in the sleepy, dreamy town of Carlsbad, California, just outside of San Diego. We had booked a beachfront hotel with a lot of our frequent-travel points and picked up some good novels to read on the beach. It had been a really long week, and we were looking forward to time with just the two of us.

So, we headed out in search of the closest Victoria's Secret. It was a Saturday, around 8pm. Finding a mall, we were dismayed that it looked a little deserted. I ran up to the door to check the business hours, and, sure enough, it closed at 8. "What mall closes at 8pm o…

A Letter To My Kids' New Stepmom

Dear My Kids New Stepmom,

I am writing to you in all honesty and truth, so that we can move forward in the relationships we have with my children. I want you to know that I do not hate you, I do not dislike you and I am not jealous of you. Having been divorced a few years, there are no strings I am left standing here clinging to. When the choice was made for the marriage to end, that was it for me. I accepted it for what it was and emotionally moved on. I am not one to act out of stifled maturity, not wanting to meet you, hating you, refusing my children to be around you or pretending that you don't exist. I have given my children permission from day one to build a relationship with you, even love you. 

Really, it's okay. 

I know I'm their Mom, and I know I'm a damn good one. You've probably guessed that by how easy they are to raise and how respectful they are of you and their father. And that's exactly the way I want it. I do not feel as though you'll "…

Sunday Vibes.

There's just something about a Sunday morning. For me, this is especially true in the fall, when it's football season and in early November, summer in Arizona FINALLY bows out, giving way to hiking weather for us.

The kids sleep in, the football pre-shows are on, I have time to wake up slowly with my husband and we are in no hurry to get out of bed.

This morning, I grabbed one of my current books, made my tea and curled up on the chaise lounge in our bedroom. It dawned on me that I am the picture of Sunday morning vibes, and just wanted to share a moment where life isn't rushed and stressful. No having to take care of a gaggle of kids because who cares if they're still in their pajamas by early afternoon?

Sundays when I was a kid were great times. In the winters, Mom would make monkey bread and coffee, Dad would build a fire. He always has cold feet so the vision of his socks slung over the fireplace screen getting warmed up is tantamount to all of my childhood memor…

Unraveling The Entitlement Psyche: Or, What If We All Thought This Way? (Tongue In Cheek Version).

In keeping with the raucous spirit of protest going on out there, I decided it was time for me to chime on in. Because, if we're going to live in a society where nobody accepts the outcome of freaking ANYTHING, resulting in total societal gridlock, then you betcha (in Sarah Palin voice) I'm gonna let you know all the things that are NOT MY (tongue in cheek version). 




And so.


1. God is not the boss of me. 

Clearly He doesn't know what's best for me. I mean, He's only the omnicient and omnipresent being that created like, every single thing and person in the history of ever, but come on. There's no WAY He knows more than me, let alone what's best for me. Amiright?

2. The Denver Broncos are NOT MY Super Bowl Champions. 

Because they're from Denver, and I've never been there, so they can't be champions. The ACTUAL champions, are the Chicago Bears. The won SIX games, and only lost ten last season. Since this was an improvement on their previous 5-11…