Things That Keep Me Up At Night: From Bro-Oprahs to Convenience Marriages to Feminists’ Daughters

Here is a partial list of themes I keep thinking I’ll turn into a blog post, novel or at least a Facebook rant. Maybe you all can help me figure out what to do with them.

In no particular order:

1. Whether people in a position to hear other people’s secrets (priests, therapists, flings) have a more compassionate, or more jaded view of mankind. Related: whether you need to know someone’s secrets to really know them.

2. Young, bro-Oprah types who seem to be trying to “help people” as writers / speakers who talk about themselves a whole lot. On Twitter, at conferences, in blog posts about blogging, etc. (Are they underemployed? Looking for girlfriends? A mystery.)

3. Writing a performance review for your life. Not your work life. Your whole life. What would your goals be? How would you measure success? How would your kids, friends, doctor, neighbors rate you?

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The vanity of crushes

A friend of mine found himself instantly and achingly attracted to a woman he met at a business mixer. She was an accomplished young executive, like himself. An extrovert who never met a stranger, like himself. Interested in politics, well versed in novels and music, beautiful and confident to a point bordering on cockiness. Like himself.

The attraction horrified him, especially once he realized it was returned.

She was single. He was married.

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Being The Boss

I was a reporter in a newspaper bureau, covering the county school system and writing stories about things like dress codes, standardized test scores and school board politics.

I enjoyed it but grew bored after a couple of years. I was pretty sure I wanted to be an editor. Or, more specifically, in charge.

When one of the designers in the office built an internal website for employees to get to know each other better, she had us fill out a survey that included our plans for the future.

I answered, “The boss of you.” Continue reading

Butterflies: A short pictorial on love and biology

Have you ever seen a group of butterflies coalescing en masse, like this?
butterflycluster

Ok, that’s an extreme example, taken – oddly enough – from an NPR story about Vladimir Nabokov. You know him as the author of “Lolita”, but he was also a renowned student of the butterfly.

Many of you, I suspect, are renowned students of the butterfly as well. Continue reading

He said (a little), she said (a lot)

txt

Out of the corner of the eye I saw he’d texted me, which isn’t unusual but in the past few weeks had been less frequent. We’ve both been busy: he has gone back to school and I have been traveling quite a bit for work. And there were the holidays: Parties. Family. Gatherings. Shopping. Lots of people to please.

I know, right? Serious Third World / “This is 40” problems.

For an insecure little second I wondered if he was cancelling our date tonight. Continue reading

People You Might Date In Nashville

encinoman

Nashville singles: The following is a list of potential suitors.

It began as a text exchange between a fellow single mom and me. You should note that this particular friend and I have a texting parlance that affords us to know such things as Android phones inexplicably capitalize “Shit” and iPhones do a likewise thing with a word I can’t bring myself to type on the internet.

So take this list with a grain of salt.

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Things We Overcome

columbine

A breakup.

A divorce.

The money you had to spend to replace your leaky garbage disposal, your broken thermostat, your refrigerator that died on Christmas Eve Eve.

A hangover.

A fight with your best friend.

A fight with your spouse.

A fight with your child.

Someone saying something mean about you on the internet.

A lunatic shooting up a school.

A lunatic shooting up a movie theater.

A lunatic shooting up a shopping mall.

Burning the main course.

The dog eating the caramel cake as it cools on the counter top.

The dog passing away.

Losing your job.

Moving away.

Missing your family on Christmas.