Sometimes a steady gaze is enough

Years later, as he recounted the story to me, I saw what happened that day in a completely different light. Andrew and I were grad school classmates, part of a small group of executives earning our Masters at a prestigious university. We had two difficult years ahead of us. From negotiation to leadership, onerously long…

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…

Rubbing shoulders

Over the past couple of days, the wisest among us have taken a breath. We’ve walked in the woods, made the bed, paid the bills, sat and stared at the wall for a bit. If, like me, you live in the States, you are either mourning or celebrating, despairing or uncertainly trying to find your…

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….

The price of civility

I was bred to be polite. If there were a thoroughbred stable for polite people, I would have been a Kentucky blue blood despite my Ohio roots. I sometimes even bless myself when I sneeze. It’s a knee-jerk reaction that I blame on—who else—my mother. Her instructions in etiquette were a large dose of, “What…

Hope on a balcony

I am moved by many things. Sunrise over mountains. A hummingbird in the woods. My children’s belly laughs. But nothing moves me quite as much as hope. In today’s cynical world, to hope is to be mocked on some fronts. Or to be disdained, dismissed as less sophisticated than your jaded peers. When I tear…

Won’t you be my neighbor?

I am part of a rare ecosystem, one which is fast becoming extinct. Let’s not let it happen. I’m part of a neighborhood. That doesn’t mean I live in a cookie-cutter subdivision surrounded by lots of other people of similar socioeconomic persuasions. That’s called a block. Or a development. Or a high-rise. I live in…

Not born to box

I have a friend whose favorite saying is, “Checked off that box.”  She said this when her son finished his required three years of piano lessons. When the family took the African safari they’d talked about for years. Whenever she sends signed paperwork in at the beginning of each school year. She loves checking the…

World peace began in the Starbucks line this morning

What causes us to place ourselves at the epicenter of this very big universe? When were we told that we were more special and entitled than the masses? Or, more to the point, perhaps we weren’t told that. Some of us got the message—we’re all in this together. Others of us seem to be making…

Shaddup, shaddup, shaddup

We are a society of motormouths. Yes. Us. And by us, I mean us ugly Americans. There is a reason we got that unattractive nickname overseas. And we continue to display it with alarming regularity. We’re not always dissing another culture, though. Many times, we’re unwittingly dissing the person sitting right next to us. We….