What will you accept?

I grew up thinking there were two kinds of women. My neighborhood was filled with the first kind. They wore flip-flops with flowers on the top. They made Kool-Aid and kept fresh carrot sticks in water in a cup in the refrigerator for after-school snacks. They vacuumed and made dinner and took walks with their…

A house of cards

Talking to a friend recently whose life is being upended, I mentioned how nice it was that at least her career was settled. With everything else in flux, she has a stable port in which to rest. “I never seem to be offered that,” I commented. When change happens in my life, it tends to…

Why not this year, my dear?

Tell me. Tell me again, dear, why this cannot be your year. Speak to me of how good girls don’t claim the brass ring. I need a good chuckle. Because yes, I will chuckle. Do you not know your good awaits? It awaits you. You feeling worthy of it. You having the skills to handle…

The danger in unused rooms

As I type these words, I am sitting in a room in my house I have not sat in for months. Yet, it is the one room in this house that sold me on my future abode when the realtor showed it to us. I sat on the sofa, looking out the window, taking in…

Finding the grownups

What I didn’t expect was the backlash from my liberal friends. The expectation that I would be as outraged as they were was palpable. Oh honey, I wanted to say, I was done with outrage years ago. Allow me to explain. The recent election has seemed to further divide America instead of uniting us. As…

The time between door slams

The door slammed and I heard my sons’ voices fade into the night. I believe they were bantering about the World Series, and whether their hometown Cubbies or my hometown Indians should win. And then, silence. The dog looked at me and I at her, both of us at a loss. We are used to…

I’ve been Goop’d

I have fought the good fight. But, despite my best intentions, I have been Goop’d. Baptized into the fold. For the uninitiated among you, Goop was begun by actress Gwyneth Paltrow. It is a lifestyle site, where Gwyneth and her team share their insights and finds on just about everything, from recipes to skincare to…

They say I come from bitchy stock

The only time I slapped a man across the face, I think I was as stunned as he was. It was a couple of decades ago, in a Lincoln Park pub. You’d assume he was someone I did not know very well, but this was not the case. The man I slapped had been a…

On the mutually exclusive: Deadlines and pretty packages

I blinked and looked at the photo twice, just to be sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. They weren’t. There, on the back of this potential online dating match’s shirt, was a line that read: “I’m not gay. But $20 is $20.” Charming. Needless to say, I swiped left and closed the app….

Kristineapalooza

I hosted a festival of sorts in my bedroom this weekend. My friend dubbed it Kristineapalooza. Spur of the moment but oh so fun, I’d do it again. Only I’m not sure I could do it fully clothed, as I gave much of my wardrobe away during the festivities. In this way, it wasn’t really…

Are we so very fragile?

My friend called me late at night with the worried tone in her voice she usually gets when contemplating global warming or the potential extinction of the Western Lowland gorilla. But the object of her concern was not global. Instead, it sat just a bedroom away, in tears. Her college-aged daughter was weathering a breakup….

For what it’s worth

My friend and I were out to dinner with my sister on Christmas Eve. My sister had asked about how dating was going after divorce. My friend answered: “Kristine and I are just trying to find men worthy of us.” At the time, I thought it a rather high-handed way to describe what we were…