I don’t let just anyone call me awful nicknames

Only my kindred spirit, Audrey. I believe my big sisters tried to do so, but with little success. None of their monikers stuck. I’m still here and Audrey is not. Her awful nickname for me is still here also. And there must be a reason for that. I met Audrey at the ripe old age…

Solace in the kitchen

The kitchen used to be enemy territory for me. I grew up with a mother who cooked out of necessity. I did not see joy in her face while she prepared meals. My father, on the other hand, saw cooking as one of the highest creative pursuits. He could cobble a spread from whatever happened…

Here cometh the mojo master

He. Makes. Me. Feel. Fabulous. And he’s gay, so not in the way you might think. I’m talking about my old grad school buddy, Andrew. Everybody needs an Andrew. I’ve previously written about Patrick, my fairy godmother when I first moved to Chicago as a twenty-something.  Patrick took me from Ohio college grad to sophisticated…

Give it up

I will never hold a garage, tag or yard sale. Yes, I said never. On this point, I’m clear and sure. And it’s not just because I can’t stand the thought of giving odd strangers the license to paw through my things and case my house. I’m a giver, you see. I have many faults….

And for my next act . . .

I’ve learned to brush off many annoying things in life. Gossip? No problem. Don’t give much thought to people who chat about lives they’re not living. The person who counts out exact change in front of me in line? Infinite patience. Pity me, though, and you will see steam rising from every pore. Pity is…

Befores and Afters: Conclusion

When you return to your mother at the hospice, she is visibly changed. You are with her on one of her worst days; the whole day she is grabbing at her clothes and you, trying to get out of bed, frantic to go, not at all lucid. On your last visit, you were able to…

The girl has issues

I knew this day would come, just not so soon. My boys have fallen in love with a girl—the same girl, in fact. She is strong-willed, extremely overprotective and needs to get a grip on her separation anxiety. Bit of a whiner. The girl has issues, no doubt about it. She’s a brunette—lean and muscular….

The chat: A lost art

I come from a long line of chatters. Ok, maybe not so long. Alright, if I’m honest, just my dad. My dad is really the only chatter I come from, as my mother was a stoic German. But he was a phenom at the art of the chat. I was warmly received by everyone from…

Bibbidi bobbidi boo

My fairy godmother was a queen. Named Patrick. Every woman needs a fairy godmother. Cinderella had it going on, man. The perfect ‘do, that figure-flattering gown with glass slippers adding just a touch of trendy—enough to ratchet the whole ensemble up a notch. You really think she could have pulled that off by herself? I…