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. 38: The #PeriodEmoji Is A Bloody Shame


Just revealed and coming to keypads everywhere this March…the period emoji. It’s an adorable red teardrop and if you put the finger emoji in front of it, someone might think you’re going to the doctor to get your finger pricked. If you use it alone, you might be saying you’re excited to change your nail polish. Nothing about the period emoji says “period.” Aren’t emojis used to express emotion? That’s the emo part of the word emoji, no? If this [...]

No. 37: Complaints Department


I like people who complain. Or more accurately, I don’t like people who never complain. There are those moms at my kids’ schools who are always so upbeat. I can’t relate. And then there’s my friend Ellen who is quick to tell me what a dick her husband was last night then go off about the new online homework system. How refreshing. I understand the precept, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I [...]

No. 36: Front Row Center


I took my 15-year-old daughter, Tashi, to see Hamilton. Our seats were in row W, which was W rows back. They weren’t bad seats, but they were all the way on the side, and for $350, I wanted the best. Before the show started, I walked to the front and spotted two seats in row G, right in the middle — the only two open seats in the entire theater, as far as I could see. / Tashi and I had tried for better [...]

No. 34: Jews Love Hamilton


I don’t know where I’ve been for the last four years since Hamilton became a theatrical sensation, but until I saw it two weeks ago, I didn’t know the cast was made up of people of color. I knew it was the story of Alexander Hamilton. I knew there were some rap songs. And I knew it was crazy expensive. I also knew it was supposed to be a great show. My brother’s family had all seen it and my nieces sang [...]

No. 33: Running Out of Time


I wanted to be a professional tennis player. Most kids I competed against started at four or five. They stood at the service line while their dads tossed balls from a grocery store cart. At 10, I got a late start. By 13, I had my eye on Wimbledon and knew that to get there I’d have to train hard. I played every day after school. I hit 300 forehands and 300 backhands against a wall. I jumped rope. I [...]

No. 32: Quit?


I’m over this weekly essay challenge. I started this challenge when I turned 50. My goal is (was?) to write 50 essays in 52 weeks. Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451, said, “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad stories in a row.” I came across this quote on Twitter the week leading up to my birthday and I fell for it. I wanted to become a better, faster writer. I thought busting [...]

No. 31: Brain at Work


I’m up early-ish, 9:15. Kids are on winter vacation so no alarms. I’m re-working a story about how, at 50, my brain is going to shit; how I can’t focus and can’t remember things the way I used to. An editor at an online magazine asked for a re-write. She wants me to explore why losing my mind scares me. Hello, because it’s my mind! But I see her point. A story needs more. Iwrite about how in my 30s [...]

No. 30: Postal


“The places change, the numbers change, but the choice of weapon remains the same. In the United States, people who want to kill a lot of other people most often do it with guns.” –The Washington Post, November 9, 2018. I went postal at a kids’ birthday party. Fortunately, I didn’t have a gun. That wasn’t the case in the 316 mass shootings the U.S. suffered in 2018. Three kids celebrated their tenth birthday, so all the 4th grade boys [...]

No. 28: My Achilles Heel


I started training for the Miami marathon because I’m a midlife crisis cliché. I ran cross-country in high school. The most I’d ever run was 10 miles, but I told myself since I was a kid that at 50, I’d run a marathon. I’m 50. I did three miles, three times a week. Then four miles with cross-training — an hour of biking — on the off days. I added six miles and the next week, eight. Then nine. Then twelve. Training was actually [...]

No. 27: My New Year’s Resolution: Watch More TV


In 2019, I resolve to watch more TV. The problem is I prefer to work. I’m preoccupied with getting my stories published and producing a podcast, which is why I hardly ever cozy up in front of the TV and veg out. The TV was always on in my house growing up. My brother was addicted. And because the TV was on, I watched from the day I was born until the day Tony went to college in 1984. I [...]