“MIAMI CASTE SYSTEM” (IN THE HAVEN) Dear Ivette, I noticed you planted a hedge on the swale between your swale and our swale. I noticed you didn’t plant a hedge on the other side, which makes this hedge feel very aggressive. Also, you have to admit, your lawn is awkward now.
“JEWS FOR MARY” (IN P.S. I LOVE YOU) When I came out 27 years ago, it wasn’t easy for my Jewish mother to accept her lesbian daughter, but along came a bigger threat: I married a Catholic. / My mom called one night and without even saying hello she said, “Vicky’s religiosity is gonna seep into you; I just know it.” / “What?” / “You’re gonna become Catholic.” / “Mom!” / “You said you were jealous of the rosaries.”
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.
I’ve known the necklace my entire life. My mom wore it always. It’s a simple gold chain with two old-fashioned figures hanging from a horizontal bar. One is a boy in a top hat; the other is a girl in pigtails. My dad bought the necklace after I was born, in 1968. The kids on the necklace represented my brother and me.)
I have a friend who used M&Ms for potty training. I didn’t have to do that. At two, my daughter, Tashi, watched a little girl at daycare use a potty and that was that. / From the day she was born until she became a teenager, Tashi was a pleaser. I’d say, “Do your homework.” And even though homework involved sharpening pencils and then losing them and then handstands between every vocabulary word, Tashi did what she was told. / Now, Tashi’s [...]
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.) One down.