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I write novels, eat dark chocolate, raise three children, love my husband, scrub toilets, ignore the laundry, and love a good story, but hardly ever in that order.



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Friday, February 26, 2016

Oscars Viewing Guide

A thousand years ago, when I was young and carefree, I used to watch movies. Moving pictures, as we called them. It was a grand time, a glamorous time, a time when I could eat an entire bag of Cheetos and not feel anything but happiness. It was a time when I could sleep in until noon and not even have a fever. It was a time when I not only knew who was up for an Oscar but also had seen most if not all the films nominated.

This time has passed.

Here's what I know about this year's show:

1. Some girls are going to wear pretty dresses.

2. Some girls are going to wear other kinds of dresses.
3. The winners will receive a little bronze statue man. They will also cry a lot.
4. The winners will be very angry with the orchestra when it cuts them off. Because actors and actresses don't have enough time in their lives when people are watching them and listening to their every word. 

5. Inside Out is up for best animated feature! I've totally seen that movie!
6. This is also nominated FOR AN ACADEMY AWARD. Let that sink in for a moment.
Right. That should do it. You're completely prepared to enjoy another Oscar season! Get out your swan dress and your Cher headpiece and you'll be good to go. Cheers and a happy red carpet to you!

Friday, February 19, 2016

You Take Care Now

I had my first manicure last week.

Actually, it wasn't a real manicure. It was a fake one, lasting only about ten minutes. And it was free. And I was in an airport lounge where the "manicurist" might also have been the "janitor." I don't know. I didn't ask. Because it was FANTASTIC.

My nails looked really lovely and girly for about three days. Now they look like this.
But for a moment, they were not chipped. They were all grown-up and pretty, which was a great distraction from my wrinkly, dry mom hands. (**WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?? WHEN DID MY HANDS BECOME MOM HANDS?? EXPLAIN THIS TO ME!!)

I'm not great about doing girly things, like keeping up on hair and make-up trends or getting my nails done. I'm the kind of girl who tends to find an eyeliner in, say, 1999, and then stick with it. Same with eye shadow. I might have gotten a wee bit hysterical one time with the Estée Lauder woman when she said my sparkly, neutral eye shadow creme base had been discontinued. I remember her telling me that the pitch and intensity of my voice was inappropriate for a department store. WhatEVER. Stop discontinuing my make-up and I'll give you appropriate!
So last week, when the manicurist/janitor stopped clucking about how unmoisturized and generally disgusting my mom hands were and started massaging them, I think I purred. (Did you know they do that?! They massage your hands!) I started to slump in my chair, eyes closed, and a little puddle of drool accumulated at the corner of my mouth.

The whole, glorious experience reminded me of a day in 2001 when I got my one and only facial. A faint memory of total bliss peeked through and I'm sitting here now, wondering why I don't do these kinds of self-care things more often. Because here is my most urgent of questions: Is my face going the way of my mom hands?! Are my cheeks and forehead dry and hang-nailed and generally neglected? Especially since some heartless make-up executive (we'll call him The Man) discontinued my eye sparkle?!

I'm inching toward an inappropriate volume and pitch. I'm off to wring my hands... but only after applying a healthy amount of moisturizer. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

All the Single Ladies: A Valentine's Day Letter

Dear Me in 1996,
Happy Valentine's Day. Don't roll your eyes. You're not above Valentine's Day. I know, I know, it's so commercialized and such an obvious ploy by stores to make money on sentiment. You'll totally torch your final in Feminist Messages in the Postmodern Media this semester. 

Also, you're getting a little annoying.

Plus, if you're honest with your postmodern self, you're feeling down this Valentine's Day. You're alone, you're not dating anyone, and you're thinking everyone else has it better. Perk up. Here's my advice, and I'm MUCH smarter now and A LITTLE LESS annoying, so you should listen:

1. Start dating Marc as soon as possible. Stop thinking he has an angle because how else could he be that nice and untroubled and funny without being cynical?! There's no angle. He's just really that great.
2. Trust your instinct that you'll want to end up with a man who can laugh with you. A lot. Marriage is hard and life is hard. You're going to need to laugh. (Hint: The boy you dated last year who is into Sylvia Plath and dark poetry? He's not a laugher.)

3. Eat that bag of Hershey's Kisses. The whole bag. DO IT. You'll never know the difference in 1996, and I'm afraid you will in 2016. 

4. To that end, start wearing a lot of Spandex. You won't be able to do that in 2016 either.

5. Relax. You can't hurry things like falling in love and finding the person with whom you'll build your life. When you finally figure out that Marc is just that person, you will be so, so glad you waited for a man like him (*though you will have to go through his clothes and help him never buy the color "oatmeal" again). 

He's the kind of guy who will carry heavy things for you with care, both your too-big luggage in the airport and your broken, scarred heart. He will want you to chase your dreams, even the crazy ones, and he won't even act surprised when they come to be. He will be the kind of man who apologizes to his wife and kids when he screws up, and he will be ready to dance in your family photo just because he knows you want to. He will love you. Turns out, that's enough for most days, and when it's not, he will stay and walk through whatever valley faces you both. 

Happy Valentine's Day, Single Lady. Go ahead and make that stuffed bear into a voodoo pin cushion today, but hold on. Good things are coming and if you're smart, you won't let him go.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Winter Fashion: I Have Concerns

I'm battling a raging sinus infection and you know what I'm wearing? An infinity scarf. In case you missed last week, we have an infinity scarf issue in our house. Marc is opposed; I am in favor. We aren't quite as heated about neckwear as we were about getting Mr. Trump out of our state Monday evening. I was pretty whipped up about that. Marc was, as is his nature, more measured in his language. This is why I love him. Also, he would never wear orange make-up or a hairpiece.
So I'm feeling sick and a little whiny and worried about the world. More specifically, I worry about tweens. Sure, I have the normal worries about drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll, but today I'm mostly worried about their winter apparel.

In short, tweens appear to be coat-adverse. They don't wear coats. They wear sweatshirts and flowy sweaters and flat-ironed hair but they do not wear coats.
(Don't get distracted by how cute these outfits are. Don't do it! I'm making a point!)

Sometimes we pass these shivering girls or boys (this no-coat thing is no respecter of gender), and Marc will erupt at the insanity of it all. "What are they thinking? It's fifteen degrees outside!" I will join him: "They don't look cool. They just look cold!" Even Thea will pipe in. "That girl is wearing leggings that don't even go to her ankles! She will probably get frostbite." "Aha!" Marc will add, triumphant. "Good, Thea! And what ankle looks pretty with black and purple dead flesh?!"

He tends to go just a wee bit too far. 

Nevertheless, we have planted this kind of propaganda into the minds and hearts of our children for years, and it's totally working. Our children wear coats. OK, Mitch not so much. But if he's sledding, he totally wears a coat! 

Ana is doing us proud as a tween in so many ways, not the least of which is her willingness to wear clothes in winter. She, like her father, loves to be warm. She loves her coat and wears it with pride. She also wears a stocking hat because she is a very smart young woman. (NOTE: I have purchased two infinity scarves for her. Smart + stylish = world changer.)

My throat hurts. And I'm feeling dizzy. That photo of The Donald isn't helping. Time for a nap. I, for one, will be dreaming of the day when junior highers wear warm clothes and vote responsibly, in that order. We can do it, America!