“You got your creativity from me,” my mother says. “Your father was good at many things, but he didn’t have a creative bone in his body.”
My father passed away in April. He was an inventor, a construction engineer. A brilliant blue collar man. He wasn’t a very talkative person — unless you got him going about something he was passionate about — » Read more
“So when are you going to have kids?” “You should really get started on that.”
I can’t tell you how many times I heard that from people. Especially my own mother.
I suppose it made sense, since having four kids was a big part of her identity. A peak experience. And if pressed, » Read more
I made a deal with my parents when I was a teenager. If I got confirmed Catholic, I could stop attending mass. I hear a lot of other kids who were raised Catholic were offered the same deal.
Confirmation is a ritual that normally happens in the teenage years (around 14 or so). » Read more
Ever since my father passed away in April, I’ve been talking to my mother a lot more. We haven’t had the best relationship, my mother and I. It’s long and complicated. Mostly, she’s wanted to be close to me, although she doesn’t actually like me as a person (and I don’t much like her). » Read more
“If you want people to like you,” my mother said. “Be quiet and smile.”
“People love a mystery,” she advised. “And when they don’t know who you are, they fill in the gaps with good stuff.”
That was her advice to me. And for her, it certainly worked. She was a cheerleader in high school. » Read more
I used to be a chronic apologizer.
Ask anyone who knew me back in the day. The words “I’m sorry” were a reflex. I said them more than just about any other phrase.
Because I was sorry. I forever saw how I made little mistakes. Got in people’s way. » Read more
I’m sitting in a pew, attending mass at the church I attended growing up.
It’s been 7 years since I went to a service here, on another visit to my hometown, but surprisingly little has changed since then.
Actually, surprisingly little has changed from 30 years ago, when I was a small child doing my best to remain quiet and tolerate the unending boredom, » Read more
It was something I was told a thousand times growing up. If you’re going to go out, leave a note.
By my mother when I was staying at my parents’ house. But not just her and not just there. Everywhere. At all the other places I stayed. Friends’ houses. With other relatives. » Read more
Video games have been a constant presence in my life for basically as long as I can remember. There are a multitude of people that I wouldn’t know at all if it weren’t for my love of video games, like the guildies I met back in the days when I essentially lived inside MMORPGs.
And there are still others who I would have known but wouldn’t have been nearly as close to, » Read more
Being a Young Girl Was All About Mixed Messages
When I was a young girl, it often seemed like I was toeing a very thin invisible line, walking through the most narrow passage opening, sandwiched between two hard rock walls.
On one wall was the pressure to succeed, and on the other side, » Read more