Whoppers

It’s important to me to be considered a “good” house. At the entrance to my neighborhood is a small seventies-era split-level home. It’s not well kept: over-grown bushes, peeling paint and an eroded set-back—that eight-foot parking strip between the street and the lawn in rural neighborhoods like mine. There are no curbs denoting the start of … Continue reading Whoppers

Olivia’s

Dinnertime: Family conversation. Out of nowhere, Sophie announces her career change: “I’m going to get a job at Olivia’s.” My first response: “Who’s going to drive you to Olivia’s every night?” Sophie already has a job. She’s a babysitter at the Y. When parents with young children come in to exercise, Sophie’s the girl who … Continue reading Olivia’s

Gratitude

“Don’t let your attitude affect your gratitude!” That’s me talking. “Dad! Shut up! You sound like a stupid kids’ TV show.” This is Eli, he’s eleven. Is he allowed to tell me to shut up? I guess so—when I’m being obnoxious. I’ve been saying the attitude/gratitude thing over and over. I say it like this: … Continue reading Gratitude

Paradise

Like a campy hallucination scene from a cautionary drug-addiction movie, pin-head sized white spiders skitter across my laptop keyboard and screen. But these are real (I think). As genuine as the warm, wafting breezes crossing the main living space of our rental house. And the mosquitoes so engorged they sit on the floor, unable to … Continue reading Paradise

The Hair Wiz

Self-reflection: I’m notoriously cheap. At least when it comes to buying stuff for myself. I’ll wear my clothes to the point of disintegration; dinner leftovers, no matter how unappealing, I throw together and take to work for my lunch (pasta mixed with rice and doused with Cholula?); and paying for a haircut strikes me as equivalent to throwing … Continue reading The Hair Wiz