WHAT ARE THESE NUMBER ESSAYS ABOUT?


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 [...]

No. 50: Year in Review


A year ago, I turned 50. A few days before that, I saw a quote on Twitter attributed to Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451. He said, “Write a short story every week for a year. It’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row.” I didn’t see myself as someone who gave herself added challenges, but without thinking much about it, I wrote essay №1 about turning 50 and challenging myself to 50 essays in a year. [...]

No. 48: There Are No Permanent Conditions


|Luck| My mom has cancer now. I say “now” because six months ago my brother had cancer. He was lucky. He had thyroid cancer, which everyone says is the good cancer. They cut out his thyroid and some lymph nodes. Then three days of solitary confinement after swallowing radioactive iodine and he was cured. Friday was my mom’s first round of chemo. My brother showed up at 8 a.m. with a piece of his blue blanket, for luck. Later, she [...]

No. 47: 125 Years Ago I Found a Women’s Organization


I was invited by the National Council of Jewish Women to speak at their annual meeting as Hannah G. Solomon, the woman who founded this progressive organization 125 years ago. I learned about Hannah’s life and struggles and this is how I told her story: Thank you for inviting me here. It’s been so long. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to talk about what went into founding the National Council of Jewish Women. And to share with you a [...]

No. 46: What Happened to My Principles?


I think I have principles and then I sell out under the slightest provocation. I want to live car-free and did for six months when I was 28 and living in Los Angeles. When I tell people this, they’re impressed because it meant biking great distances to get anywhere. Truth was, I was jobless at the time and had nowhere to go. As soon as I got a job and needed to take the 10 downtown but instead spent a [...]

No. 45: Has-been


Several months ago, I started training for a marathon. I gave myself 13 weeks to train. I knew I was cutting it close, but I was a runner in high school. Sure, that was more than 30 years ago. Whatever. I thought I’d have no problem. I trained with my friend Aaron, and even though he’s a few years younger than I am, I got a crick in my neck talking to him because he was always a few paces [...]

No. 44: Gaslighting is the New How Are You


I was gaslighted by my neighbor. She hasn’t always been the most pleasant neighbor. In the nine years we’ve lived next-door, she’s called Coral Gables Code Enforcement on us three times. The first time, I put a Huggies box on the garbage pile too early. We had just moved in and I didn’t know trash could only appear on your trash pile after 5 p.m. on Mondays. After paying the $500 fine, I ran over and asked her to please [...]

No. 43: Anyone Want to See My Colon?


At 50, doctors recommend getting a colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer. To prepare for mine, I watched Katie Couric have hers on TODAY. She started at her kitchen table, 18 hours before go time, with a big jug of cherry flavored Nulytely (also known as Golytely), the drink guaranteed to flush out the colon. Nulytely tasted terrible, apparently. She sucked on a lime then downed glass after glass at fifteen-minute intervals. I’d heard that drinking that stuff was the [...]

No. 41: Why Did the Republicans Get the Flag and Jesus?


I’m a progressive, lesbian, Jewish, American, Democrat. I don’t like ascribing to stereotypes, but I look the part. I wear jeans and T-shirts. I live in Miami, so most days I wear flip-flops. I have curly, graying hair and black-rimmed glasses. I think most people who know me, or know of me, can guess my political persuasion. Last week, I did an experiment: I wore a flag baseball cap for a day. First thing in the morning, I came out [...]

No. 40: I Want to Love My Country


A few years ago, the power went out in South Miami. My son went to the Bilingual Coop Preschool and I was there volunteering with a few other moms. We opened the doors and let the kids run around the playground. One of the moms, Maria Alejandra, a Venezuelan who had just moved to Miami, called Florida Power and Light, typed in our zip code on her phone keypad, and listened to their outgoing message. She announced to the group [...]

No. 39: How to Let Go of Feelings of Failure and Achieve Success


I got an email newsletter from a writer friend Annwho you’ve probably never heard of because she’s a solo-show performer. She’s one of the best performers I’ve ever seen. She had a show produced Off-Broadway by Ann Bancroft, but then Ann Bancroft died during production and that got in the way of my Ann’s success. Ann’s newsletter was titled, “Letting Go.” That drew me in because I thought someone had died. But no, she meant letting go of her idea of [...]