“I’M 51 AND I’VE NEVER LOOKED BETTER” (IN GLAMOUR)

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Every time I see my mom, she tells me, “Dye your hair. You look like an aging hippie.” / I’m 51, and while I fear I’m aging out of a lot of things—the ability to run miles and miles without getting injured, for one—I’m not aging out of looks. There’s a photograph of the writer Susan Sontag taken […]

“OWNING MY SHIT” (IN SWAMP APE REVIEW)

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It took two years and 130 houses to find the one. It was my first house and I considered my options carefully. I didn’t rush in. Instead, I rushed to the bathroom. / It was always the kitchen that made my stomach seize. This one was the same as all the others:  an industrial-sized refrigerator, dark […]

“I WANT A HUSBAND AND A WIFE” (IN TOGETHER MAGAZINE)

The downstairs toilet clogged. I tried to flush it, but then all the water came up. Maybe it overflowed, I don’t know. I ran. / When Victoria got home from work, I asked her to plunge it. She said she would. Later that night, while turning off the light, I asked, “Did you fix the toilet?” […]

“THE HARD EDITS: WHY EVERY WRITER NEEDS AN EDITOR/FRIEND ” (IN THE WRITER)

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I emailed my friend Allison a story I wanted to publish. The story was about my experience volunteering in a foreign country and how I discovered something I don’t like about myself – I’m entitled. It was embarrassing to admit, but I know that to write a story worth anyone’s time, you have to tell […]

“CURSE OF BEAUTY” (IN THE RUMPUS)

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My daughter posts a bikini selfie on Instagram. Half her ass is showing. I rush to her room and swing the door open so hard the knob makes a hole in the wall. I say, “Take it down.” / My daughter is fourteen. She’s 5’5” and just over a hundred pounds. She looks like a marathon […]

“NOT PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN” (IN THE SELKIE)

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I went to a small beach town in Mexico to rescue turtles. I took my daughter, Tashi, who’s 14, because I wanted to teach her about the world and do something good. I did a quick Google search – Volunteering Families – and then gave Tashi three choices: old people in Guatemala; a cultural tour […]

“SPOILED MOM” (IN MUTHA MAGAZINE)

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Sebastian came home from school and like every day, he barged through the door of my office, and there he was, sweaty and red-cheeked. He’s in third grade and carries a big backpack, which, seconds after he arrives, ends up on the floor, along with his sneakers. / “Grab a snack and do your homework,” I […]

“SO I EXAGGERATE A LITTLE — AM I WRONG TO JAZZ UP MY STORIES?” (IN AEON)

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Before 8 November 2016, I thought it was okay to stretch the truth in storytelling, especially if you were trying to be funny. Now, I’m not sure. / TrueStory was my Match.com handle. I don’t remember Victoria’s handle; what I remember is her picture. She’s wearing drag-queen quantities of makeup: gold swathes across her eyelids, blush […]

“EVERYONE OUT INCLUDING THE BABY” (IN MUTHA MAGAZINE)

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At midnight, my midwife, Dana, drove me to the Hollywood Birth Center. My mom, her boyfriend Bob, and my two best friends followed in a separate car. / The Birth Center, until we got there that night, was just an empty house. I took a shower right away because Dana said hot water would ease the […]