Online Dating: A Return

I’ve returned to the fascinating world of online dating. I never do this at a sensible time— I’m in the middle of my busiest time at work, among other things. Why not add dating? But there’s never a good time for this— there’s a time when I have enough energy for it and a time when I can’t make myself do it. And right now, I inexplicably have the energy for it (even if it’s nervous energy.) Continue reading


Shawarma of Memories

I went to a monthly Girls’ Night Out dinner tonight that I’ve been invited to for many months, but never attended. I know one or two of the women who go, but am not close with all of them. But tonight, they went for Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food, and despite my introvert’s nightmare of a week (haven’t had a night entirely to myself in about 10 days, and don’t know when that’s going to change), I sucked it up and kept my RSVP.
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Family Pictures

I’m away, attending a family celebration, with two of my three brothers, most of my nieces and nephews, my mom and some of my aunts. Last night, one brother toasted the other. I was sitting next to a friend of the honored brother, to whom I’d been introduced, and after the toast, he turned to me, confused, and said, “who are you, again?”

My youngest brother has a habit of telling stories from before I was born, so from his toast, the guy got the impression that there were three boys in our family. There were. And just two weeks short of 11 years later, I came along. My two older brothers never forget to mention me, but I’ve mentioned it to the youngest multiple times, now. Maybe every youngest child feels this way, but I’m about over feeling like an afterthought or an also-ran. And whether it should be or not, it’s a thing, for me.

I went up to him a little while later and said “seriously, I need to start showing up in the family pictures. I know I missed the first 10 years, but I’ve been here almost 40, and I deserve to be in the pictures.”

When we have these conversations he swears he doesn’t mean to omit me. That it’s not about leaving me out. But this one wasn’t even specific to their childhoods: “(Oldest) got the brains, (middle) got the brawn, and I got the mouth.” I know there’s a certain rhythm to three siblings, but there are four in this family. Even if it’s “this was before M. came along…” or “M. was so little…” I want to be acknowledged.

I always feel childish bringing this up with him, but I know it’s the sort of thing that will become a cancer on our relationship (from my end), if I don’t bring it up. And I don’t want that. I found him, I told him quietly, and I tried to let it go, from there.

And if the problem was that he didn’t get to know me well enough before he left home to have stories in which I figured? Well then there’s just no time like the present.

To the Mattresses!

As sleepers go, I’m rather more interesting than is at all helpful, to me or those around me. I’ve frequently struggled to fall asleep, and to this day, if it’s warmer than 73 degrees, I just can’t do it. On the hottest nights of the summer, I have to put ice packs on the small of my back, to manage. As a child, once I did fall asleep, I moved around a lot, and sometimes did bizarre things (one night, I went to bed in a pair of red pajamas and woke up freezing in my underwear, the pajamas in a heap across the room.) Continue reading

What Do I Want My Life to Be, When It Grows Up?

I can’t help feeling I should have a better answer to this question, by this point in my life and career. But I also can’t help but be cynical about the idea that I can know what’s around the bend, that there is a single right answer to that question, and that such an answer, if it existed, would be knowable by me. My life tends to regularly disabuse me of the notion that I control all the factors I’d need to, to perfectly predict my future. I’m not a naturally cynical person, so this streak doesn’t go that well with the rest of my personality. Continue reading


It’s coming on that time of year— canning season.

Sweet pickles

Sweet pickles

There are two main kinds of canning that result in shelf-stable canned goods: pressure canning and hot water bath canning. Pressure canning requires some specialized equipment, and I have a tiny, overachieving kitchen. As a result, I use hot water bath canning, and I can’t just can plain green beans or tomatoes— the things that I can must balance acids and sugars carefully or risk spoiling. If they spoil, I risk spreading food-borne illness to all the people I give my canned goods. And many of them know where I live. So I mostly stick to pickled things, fruits preserved in syrup, and jams and jellies. Continue reading


My semiannual trip to the dentist, this morning. I am a spoiled one, when it comes to dentists. I didn’t have any cavities until I approached middle school, when my molars started to show some wear and tear. I didn’t take it well. It was an evening appointment, and from there, we went somewhere that I got hot tea. They studded the lemon with cloves, which was delicious, but the cloves reminded me of cavities and I melted down into hysterics.

Not long after that, I got braces, so I had to get pretty comfortable with dentists and tooth pain. I learned to relax, and I’m a bit of a Pollyanna, so regular dentist attention meant that my tooth hygiene was pretty impeccable. 

After the braces came off, I had to have my wisdom teeth out. I tried to be brave, but my wisdom teeth were stubborn and had to be removed in pieces. It was pretty unpleasant, but I got really sick that first night and ended up with dry sockets. Talk about unpleasant. 

I avoided dentists for awhile after college, and when I finally went, I had several cavities that needed attending to. I lucked out, and that was the worst of it. We had to address my mouth in quadrants, which was unfortunate, but I survived. I became manic about flossing, and that’s kept the dental drama to a minimum, since then.

A few years after that, I had a tooth break, necessitating a dental implant. Overall, that went well (the extraction of what remained of my tooth was no picnic, and it’s a lengthy and very expensive process), but it’s been trouble-free, as promised. 

I’m entering the crown stage in my life. My first one was not my favorite thing of all time, and they see more in my future, but we can wait.

I have what sounds like the beginnings of a tiny cavity. I cannot express my disappointment over this— the dentist blamed it on the person who did my crown and said it looks like they nicked the other tooth, really made it sound like nothing— but I really was wanting my commitment to dental hygiene to be basically the end of all this. I like to be patted on the head and told that they’ll see me in six months. I take cavities very personally, as a failure of effort on my part. 

One day, I may get less ridiculous. I anxiously await that day.