“If your own parents didn’t want you, what are you doing here?” — Olivier Rousteing, Wonder Boy
We sit at her small glass kitchen table. The Scrabble board she’s had since college takes up most of it, the ceramic napkin holder with neatly folded paper napkins takes up the rest. We haven’t seen each other since before Covid and waste no time getting to our favorite activity: cutthroat, take-no-prisoners Scrabble. That no one likes to play with us is a badge of honor.
I haven’t seen my mom in real life in almost two years. Now, sitting in her house…
Reunion porn and the fairy tale mythology it promotes.
The plane descended towards Logan Airport and the two Bloody Mary’s wore off. My heart pounded and pulse quickened. Regretting making this trip alone, I imagined standing up and shouting to my fellow Delta passengers, So listen, when I get to baggage claim, I’m meeting my biological father for the first time. I searched for him for 26 years and here I am, alone. Can someone get video of all of this and text it to me? Who’s in?
My story rivals The Odyssey and the world should know! Sure, I…
“If I’d known, I would have raised you. I don’t know if you would’ve had a better life. My parents would have wanted you too. They would have helped.”
My biological father said that to me when I found him two years ago. I was 50 — the same age my birth mother was when she died of colon cancer. She died before I found her. She told no one about me, not even my father.
I was born in 1968 to an unwed woman who did not know she was pregnant. Conventional wisdom assumed my life would be better…
It was 1987, my freshman year at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The First Intifada had just begun. Young Arabs with keffiyehs around their necks stood at a long table near the cafeteria’s exit, a Palestinian flag hanging behind them.
“Sign the petition! Free Palestine!”
They terrified me; I walked by as fast as I could. To me, a keffiyeh stood for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and Palestinians weren’t human beings, they were terrorists. Right in front of me, in real life.
I wasn’t alone. The main student cafeteria, the Marvin Center, had its own imaginary Green…
November is National Adoption Awareness Month.
She surrendered me for adoption upon my birth. In three months, they took me from the womb to the NICU to the foster care to my adoptive parents. Gloria, my biological mother, did not know she was pregnant, she entered the emergency room for abdominal pains and exited traumatized in a way only birth mothers understand. She died at 50, one day before my birthday. I found her four years too late.
Eighteen months ago I found my biological father. He did not know about me. He has spent the last year and a…
“Mac-don-alds! Mac-don-alds!” they chanted from the back seat of the brown Volvo wagon, their car seats secure as Fort Knox. Ugh, again? The 101 freeway was a packed field of bright red back-up lights. There was no dinner at home, meltdowns were guaranteed.
“Okay!” I said with the forced enthusiasm of a mother on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The kids cheered. My bar was low. Just make sure everyone stays alive. And you know what they say, Happy Meal, happy mom. Then Charlie coughed with such terrifying force, I forgot to be happy.
We had just left the…
I sneak into a dressing room to take a back at my side gig! selfie. I tilt my head, suck in my stomach, suck it in some more but that only goes so far before asphyxiation starts. So I turn this way then that way. Now it’s taking too long. Get back on the sales floor. As I try to hide my belly bulge and downplay my Covid enlarged ass, I recall those memes that remind people (women) to speak kindly to themselves, so I give up and get back to work.
This was not the plan. To be the…
When I woke up this morning, I swallowed a pill for my thyroid and dissolved a tablet of testosterone under my tongue. While I peed, I rubbed estrogen gel on my thigh. I washed my hands and dried them on the white towel that needs to be washed, but who cares.
I took off my lightweight pajama top, the one supposedly light enough to prevent night sweats, but doesn’t. In its place, I put on a black sweatshirt sprinkled with white dog hair and warm fuzzy socks. It was 46 degrees in Los Angeles. Real winter. Finally.
I made my…
I refresh my Twitter feed. Again. Trump, fraud, election, yada yada yada. Next, Instagram. I scroll for a while, liking the occasional post, wondering if I’ll ever have her fabulous wallpaper or their romantic Italian vacation. I recently went back on Facebook after deleting my account a year ago. Everything yet nothing has changed. Posts from the same four people over and over again. I check out the New York Times and the LA Times. Everything is terrible. Blah blah blah.
A ain’t for apple, kids.
This cartoon really inspired me. I mean, if there was ever a year made for the alphabet, it’s 2020.
I swapped out Ativan for Anxiety because, well, anxiety. Boredom works for B but C feels a little, dull. May I suggest Clusterfuck?
Susan Orlean’s Twitter feed would agree, D is for Day Drinking. E is tough. Election, duh. But Egregious pops into my head. So does Egg Salad (I’ve been panic buying eggs for 8 months).
F is too easy. FUCK FUCK FUCKITY FUCK FUCK. Also, Fatter.
G conjures images of icy Gin & Tonics…