My parents bought a vacation house in the Poconos back in the early nineties. Actually, my mother was the one who bought the house. She went out with realtors and scoured the area to find a little cabin backed by a rushing stream, with an empty lot on one side and a preserve behind it. An idyllic, private setting with a lake club and a pool club nearby.
No one else in the family was interested. My brother, twin sister and I were young adults by then and were starting to take our own vacations. Plus, our idea of a vacation didn’t involve lakes with water snakes and silty, muddy bottoms. We were Jersey Shore kids.
My mother wrote letters whenever she was angry. Pages and pages typed on her electric typewriter, filled with reworked accusations framed by Whiteout and multiple X’s savaged into the paper. Clearly written in a flurry of rage. It was enough to make anyone hate letters.
At least, it was enough to make me hate them. Read more →
My mother died two years ago today.
Her death was sudden yet unsurprising. She was only seventy, but her body and spirit were so very weary. Weary of weight and pain and medicine and needles and sugar counts. And of the countless limitations that ruled her: limitations on what she could eat, how far she could walk, how long she could sit in a car, on an airplane, in a chair, in a bed.
By the end, there was no comfortable place for her. Her obesity made even stillness excruciating. Read more →
When my grandmother died, I hadn’t spoken to her in over a decade. My mother was her least-favorite child, which made me and my twin sister her least favorite grandchildren. (My younger brother she could forgive for being my mother’s child since he’s a boy.)
She died recently, less than a year after my mother. We joked that she couldn’t even give my mom a full year’s peace in whatever afterlife there might be. Read more →
I like to think that, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve evolved and learned to take unexpected events in stride. That I no longer adhere to the lesson ingrained in me since childhood about how every crisis, particularly an unexpected one, requires a huge fight.
But sometimes, despite my best intentions, my early crisis management training creeps up and overwhelms me.
Take, for instance, this past Super Bowl Sunday. There was no rising above adversity, no gracious laughter in the face of a screw up.
Instead, there were massive acts of bitchiness. On my part, of course.
As if there were any question about that. Read more →
Holidays have never been easy in my family. Emotions run high, grudges resurface, nasty disagreements are aired in all their screaming glory. Read more →
A while back, my friend Shannon Bradley-Colleary, a successful screenwriter and blogger, burst upon the media scene with a series of art nude photos of herself, the first set taken when she was twenty-six and the second when she was forty-six. Read more →