Tattoo Accomplished: The Follow Up

My post  from  earlier this month, Midlife Rebellion (or Why I Decided to Get a Tattoo) got a little “Freshly Pressed” love and now I’m here to say it’s done, here’s a picture and here’s how it went down. Let me just get the obvious issue out of the way: ouch, ouch and #$%@ ouch! Yes, it hurt. This is an expected consequence for getting needles poked into your skin. It was manageable pain in the sense that I did not pass out, vomit or wail. Childbirth has a way of putting… Read More

Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone

I have to decide what to do with my grandfather’s military uniform jackets. When he passed away several years ago, my grandmother hesitated about giving them to Goodwill,  so I asked for them. I knew he valued the wool jackets with worn patches. They were to him what a wedding dress is for a woman – a barometer of youth and golden days. He was so proud that he could fit into them after a grandma-induced diet,  that he modeled them for me whenever I visited. My grandfather was an old-fashioned gentleman,… Read More

In Defense of Solitude: The 30/70 Rule

I come from a long line of people afflicted with social anxiety disorders. I heard the phrase “I’m not a people person” so many times growing up that I thought I was genetically destined to feel alienated and antisocial for the rest of my life. I believed the family lore and suffered stomachache-inducing anxiety in social situations. I spent a lot of my 20s in an alcoholic haze in order to cope with interactions with human beings. Sorry human beings. It was me, not you. Once I sobered up, I compensated for… Read More

She Knows Nothing…But She Should Know Something

My husband and I laughed at the antics of our 8 year old daughter when she discovered “Hogan’s Heroes” on YouTube. Lately, she’s been digging an underground bunker in our backyard, as witnessed by the muddy hand prints on every door knob in our house. She is, like her father, an inventor of sorts and loves all the gadgets and tricks in this TV show. We laughed when she stomped around saying “I know nothing!” in a German accent.  I stopped laughing when she asked me what “Heil Hitler” meant. I’ve been… Read More

From Chicken to Merely Insufferable

I quit smoking over a decade ago after 2 or 30 attempts, depending on how you count them and I’m seeking to eliminate another addiction: meat – also delicious when smoked. I want to become a vegetarian. The decision to give up my carnivorous ways has evolved over the last few years. My mother has been a vegan since her mid-50s and my daughter, who never really liked the taste of meat, announced that she was a vegetarian at the ripe old age of 4. She learned that meat was from animals… Read More

Midlife Rebellion (or Why I Decided to Get a Tattoo)

Be warned: If you are young, hip and completely cool, look away. This is an old broad’s lament, with dated references and yesterday’s news, when twittering was something only birds did. If I’m fortunate, I will be hitting an age that I’ve always thought of as the middle of one’s life. And I may be going off the deep end. I was raised conservative, Christian and poor. I was raised to be neither seen nor heard, speaking only when spoken to and quieted with a smack across the head. Invisibility was key… Read More

Summer Vacation

I’ve tried to be a good person most of my life. I followed the rules. I used my manners. I brushed regularly.  I felt shame and experienced painful self-consciousness, tried not to speak out of turn, rationalized slights and setbacks, worked constantly to be better, thinner, kinder, and more invisible. I said “yes” when I felt “no”. And I dealt with all the depression that comes from striving so hard to be right and good and never feeling like I was quite good enough (you know – being human and all). This… Read More

When Bad is Good

I’ve had to take a time out from my self-absorbed melancholy to focus on a sick child this week. My daughter brought home a virus with a high fever, from that bastion of bacteria and snot, her elementary school. No longer newbies to the high fever (see my March post), 105 has become the new 102 in our household. We’re calmer and once she cleared the strep test, we were able to settle in to wait this out. There is a silver lining to having my daughter at home during this bout… Read More

The Patient Gardener

I’ve spent much of the last few weeks working in my garden.  The timing for hard labor and solitary weeding and planting is perfect. I’ve been fending off a depression that has lingered on longer than usual- perhaps the remainder of an impotent winter – little snow and mild temperatures. It feels more like mid-summer rather than spring and I lack a sense of time or purpose. By happenstance I began to read The Language of Life: A Festival of Poets by Bill Moyers. The book is based on a PBS series… Read More

Zen and the Art of Abusing a Prius

I drive a hybrid Prius and unlike many ecologically-conscious people, I am constantly filled with guilt. There is a disappointing lack of self-righteousness that should have accompanied the warranty. A friend described her Prius driving experience as “Zen-like”, saying she enjoyed the quiet gradual accelerating and braking. Replace “gradual” with “on a dime” and “hairpin” and well, that’s my driving technique. Add in “the joy of startling pedestrians who can’t hear your car” and taking off from a stoplight using the “Power” mode button and I’m the world’s worst Prius driver. I… Read More