My nine-year-old beat me in a running race. We’ve raced before. The last time, when he was about six, I ran just slightly ahead of him, close enough so he felt like he was in the race and also close enough so he could pull on my shirt. But I never let him win. That felt dishonest. Today when he said, “I’ll beat your butt,” I said, “No way.” I was confident even though he’s now almost five feet tall [...]
I called South Florida ENT Associates. I said, “I’d like to make an appointment for a hearing test.” The receptionist asked my name, had I gotten a referral and, “What service can we help you with?” I said, “I’d like to make an appointment for a hearing test.” She said, “Oh, right.” I thought: Is this woman not paying attention or does she need a hearing test? (CLICK ANYWHERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE)
My brother has cancer. /A few weeks ago, my mom had my brother’s family and my family over for dinner. Tony had just gotten a lump removed from his neck. There was a possibility it was cancer, but he hadn’t yet gotten the results. When it was time to set the table, Tony said, “I can’t because of the cancer.” / When it was time to clear the table Tony said, “I can’t because of the cancer.” / He got a few chuckles from [...]
There are some things I’ve had a hard time explaining to my kids. Not the obvious things, like how babies are made. That was easy. / When my daughter, Tashi, asked me at nine, I said, “I went to a sperm bank and bought sperm. Then I went to a nurse who put the sperm inside my vagina to meet my egg. That’s how you were made.” / At the time I thought I should explain it to Sebastian, who was four. [...]
Thirteen years ago, I had sex with an old friend. We went out, as usual, chasing girls. We were each other’s wingmen. We went to a lesbian bar this time. He was a hit. He always found the one straight woman to talk to. / I’d dated boys in high school and men in college. I’d had plenty of sex with men. I liked it. But at 23, I fell in love with a woman and I thought that changed everything. [...]
I had a girlfriend once who said I had a big nose. I said, “You just think I have a big nose because I’m Jewish.” / The truth was, Patricia’s nose was bigger than mine. She disagreed. To settle the nose issue, we asked my niece Natalie, who was about five at the time, and who I hoped was not yet biased by stereotypes. / (Click anywhere for full story.)
Early admissions applications are due next month so high school seniors all over the country are writing their college essays. My niece is working on hers and that got me thinking about the college essay I wrote 33 years ago. / Mine was a puffed up version of winning a cross-country race. The essay highlighted my most prominent personality trait — my ego. The good news: It charmed the admissions officers at the University of Pennsylvania. The bad news: It was full of shit.
I’m a slow writer. I want to write better. I want to write faster. And like Marianne Williamson says, I have one last chance to get it right. Because there’s no time like the present; because turning 50 is better than the alternative; and because you only live once, I’m going for it. This year, the year I turned 50, I’m going to write 50 essays in 50 weeks. (Gives me two weeks off.) TO READ THEM ALL, FOLLOW ME [...]
Last Saturday I went to a conference for artists and entrepreneurs. During one of the sessions, a panelist talked about his struggle with anger. He said, “Some days I feel like I’m spewing fire and I wonder if I’m burning myself the most.” / There was a collective moan from the audience, a group of like-minded progressives. No one needed to explain what everyone might be angry about. / Someone from the audience said, “We need to do a controlled burn. [...]
Two years ago, when our daughter, Tashi, was 12, the whole family was invited to a Bat Mitzvah at the synagogue where she went to elementary school. She was in 7th grade at that point, but all her former classmates would be there, which sent Tashi into a panic. She had trouble falling asleep the night before. She didn’t say why, but I knew. Tashi has two moms.