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It’s Not New, It’s Just New to You

Something about Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, has struck a chord with white women bloggers because I sure have seen a lot of ‘I can’t believe how horrible racism is’ posts as if this is the first time they’ve realized that racism can have fatal consequences. If I wasn’t so busy being enraged about…

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More Coffee?

Every morning this week has been a test of my ability to find the narrow passageway between two indecisive people that will lead me to the coffee, then to the creamer, then to the cereal or waffle or yogurt or whatever else the free breakfast in our hotel has to offer. I love free breakfast in hotels because I want to be wealthy and I believe that the road to being wealthy is paved with a series of cheapskate decisions, like opting to decipher the mysteries of the hotel waffle maker and elbowing my way to the hard-boiled eggs instead of waiting for some nice server to bring me an…

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Social Engineering

I want them to be friends when they are 30. That’s my goal. But I’ve tried to engineer a lot of relationships in the past and have usually failed. There’s a science of trying that says if you try to hard, you will queer the deal. This lesson has been itself 30 years in the…

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Living Breathing

Remember this when the day is long and nothing is right, when people say what’s what but they’re wrong, when you wonder why you aren’t happy like other people, it’s only a fish. _________________________ #68/100: 68th in a series of 100 in 100

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Goodbye to My Old Loves

When I went home to see my parents after ten years away, I was amazed that my father wasn’t drinking. He was never a drunk, not an alcoholic, just a normal every day, drink or two before dinner, and a few or sometimes more than a few beers on a Sunday afternoon. Consistent, year in year out, winter, spring, summer, fall. My father drank, never in a damaging, scary way, but in a significant, predictable way. But late afternoon came and went that first day and he made no sign of getting the glass teacup out of the cupboard next to the sink and making his customary martini, 9 parts…

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Hard Telling

It’s interesting that, on the one hand, the U.S. government is tied in knots about children seeking refuge on our southern border and, on the other, is facilitating the adoption of thousands of children from dozens of countries by American families. In 2013, there were 7,094 kids who were citizens of other countries brought to…

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Looking Back

Boys who needed saving probably saved themselves, more able than we thought to grow on their own, sturdy weeds with shallow roots that found nourishment anywhere possible, we thought we left them behind. __________________ Boys at Father Fabretto’s  Children’s Home in Esteli, Nicaragua, 1988 __________________ #65/100: 65th in a series of 100 in 100

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The Limits of Our Experience: Understanding Depression and Suicide

A few days ago, some people had a suicide story. Now, everyone has one. If you never knew anyone who died by suicide, not a single friend or relative, someone at work, down the block, you knew Robin Williams. Everybody knew Robin Williams. We knew his face, his elastic, electric face that every second, even in repose, had the potential for explosion, a firecracker of surprise. I loved his face. He had the face of a favorite cousin, the one who could charm everyone with a new card trick learned last week at camp, who was thinking about becoming a ventriloquist, an option he would explain while helping clear the table after…

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Tell Me What Really Happened

It occurs to me that the way to change people’s attitudes is to tell them the truth. If people are never exposed to the truth, we can’t blame them for not ‘getting it’ when we try to explain things like sexism and racism. Why I remember this I can’t tell you. Maybe it’s convenient and fits my story line, I’m not sure. But I do truly remember sitting in American History class in high school in 1965, the fat textbook open in front of me, reading the paragraph about slavery in America that started the chapter on the Civil War and at the end of the chapter, reading the Emancipation…

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Zip Me Up

I keep buying dresses. But dresses aren’t for me. Other women wear dresses like it’s no big deal, but it’s a huge deal for me. It used to be that way with hats, too, but I had a breakthrough with hats. So I’m good with hats but still stuck on dresses. What differentiates people who…

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