Life Advice



Making a List and Checking It Twice

Of all the things I haven't expected in my life, I didn't expect that I'd need to retake second grade. But, thanks to COVID-19, here we are. Here are many of us, back to thinking we escaped worksheets and algebra, only to be pulled back in like an old and tired Michael Corleone in his kitchen.

I remember my first go-around with the second ...Read more

Beyond the Divide

My favorite picture of my grandparents hangs in my hallway. They are in the middle of what seems like a joke, both smiling with their eyes closed and leaning into each other. It was taken by a cousin once removed who was able to be at their wedding anniversary celebration.

Due to time and distance, I could not. I was both pleased and sad to ...Read more

Unmasking Our Social Contracts

I'll admit it; I had been holding out on wearing a mask in one situation -- walking around my neighborhood early in the morning. Two things made me change: knowing the story of someone I encountered and a droll analysis of my generation by the one coming up behind me.

A few weeks back, my family debated getting another dog, a playmate for our...Read more

What We Gain From What We Lost

The walks framed our days during the beginning of quarantine. They started and ended the day. My dog became slimmer; I did not.

While discussing the abrupt end of my daughter's school year with my mom during one of the walks, I told my mom about a recent article I had read, a data-laden piece that somehow was still tinged with anxiety-...Read more

Stories of the Helpers

My accountant was trying to get her internet to connect. She hadn't been in the office in a while, as she had worked at home like many others for the past few months. While we waited, she fiddled with her mask and joked about the heat but started explaining that she knew why wearing the mask was important. There had been several deaths in her ...Read more

Minding Our Business

A woman in my town was slapped for asking someone to wear a mask. As it plays out nowadays, outrage immediately happened on both sides.

The early reporting gave her side of the story, chiefly because she stayed at Walgreens to report the slapper to the police. I was shocked because this is "my" store, the closest one for those 2 a.m. ...Read more

Becoming the Fae

The Tooth Fairy claimed to have borrowed my dad's computer. In fact, she mentioned that she had to kick him off to type but was quite happy to be able to print out her note with our fancy dot matrix printer. Her enthusiasm with our computer was suspiciously just as high as my father's, who had just bought the best 1980s state-of-the-art home ...Read more

Crossing the Borders

Borders have been on my mind throughout my life, many dictating the actions of my family. The thoughts bumped up again recently in listening to a new podcast, "Forgotten: Women of Juarez," when co-host and journalist Monica Ortiz Uribe discussed her feelings about being on one side of a border versus another.

"I identify so strongly with the ...Read more

Millenial Life: Disrupting the Myths

I have explained to my kids that your gender doesn't limit your dreams. I have explained to them that love is love. I have explained the stupidity of people believing that the color of your skin assigns your soul a specific value. I have even managed to explain the vague threat of a pandemic. But when I watched the evening news with my daughter ...Read more

Changing the Policies of Oppression

It all started with some mail for my husband and ended with me sitting on my porch with a law enforcement officer. I asked him to come. I sat with him without fear. I was able to do that because I'm white and I have privileges that minorities don't.

Let's backtrack. Earlier in the year, my husband opened an official-looking letter that I ...Read more

Millennial Life: A Succession of Once-in-a-Lifetime Events

Nothing has made me feel my status as a middle-aged millennial quite like the increased use of a face mask. I followed a college-aged group out of the grocery store, who I had seen inside. They had been shopping like newly minted roommates, testing out the edges of bawdy humor but still carefully polite with one another, and still sliding in "...Read more

Masking our humanity

I've been feeling a wide pendulum of emotions this week. At the beginning, I've had sharp pangs of missing humanity, especially, and perhaps strangely, while standing masked at a checkout line. Here's a secret: I'm an introvert who used small talk as a way to break out of her shyness.

I figured that chatting while shopping was a low-risk ...Read more



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