“It is dangerous and illegal to walk on the highway.”
—Quote from the Michigan driver’s ed manual 
I grew up in Detroit, Motor City, and so my delight in carless transportation has always seemed a bit perverse. But anybody who is a writer knows the feeling. What we do might not be dangerous or illegal, but it can sometimes look a little crazy from the outside.
Currently Browsing: Motherhood and Other Head Coverings

Enough Said? Maybe not.

People always talk to me on the plane, except last night. I sat in the middle and ate the roast beef sandwich I’d stuffed into my messenger bag. Then I leaned back, closed my eyes, and imagined no one could see me. Finally, soundless and still, I let the tears fall. I don’t usually cry in public. It’s one of our last taboos. You can appear to strangers in your underwear, but letting them see you cry feels...

Season of Grief

My blog has been quiet lately. It’s been hard to know what to say at a time like this. I’ve found, when trying to comfort my family, that sometimes silence works best. Just listening. At first I tried to tell my husband, who lost his father last week: The situation could be worse. A long, happy life and a peaceful end are all any of us can hope for. But those platitudes weren’t helpful. Grief is not like...

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

This could be a test. Multiple choice: A, B, or C. You get a text message. You barely know how to use the feature, owning not only a dumb phone, but a keyboardless one. The message has only this text: “Response?” The picture to be responded to is a tattoo, which is actually text, too: “Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo.” Whose tattoo is it? The message is from your son, but the arm couldn’t be his; he just...

Paris Journal: Super-Chouette

It’s happening already. We’re still in the one-month countdown before our year in Paris, but the humbling has begun. I don’t expect sympathy, since every time I tell people I’m moving to Paris for a year I cede the right to complain. Everything is “super-chouette.” My daughter started using that phrase after returning from her two-week French immersion camp. From what I can tell, it means “awesome.”...

Mother’s Day and Other Things I’ve Been Utterly Certain Yet Completely Wrong About

Last Sunday, we reprised a tradition we’ve been keeping every year since we moved to Charlottesville: breakfast at La Taza on Mother’s Day. This year, only two other people were at the restaurant. I wasn’t offered a complimentary mimosa, unlike all the other years. The server didn’t even wish me a happy Mother’s Day. We brought the New York Times and the local paper’s Sunday funnies. Not one mention of...

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