Forty Years After Graduation, No Career in Sight

Five years ago I mentioned here that I was going to my high school class reunion and had forgotten to come up with a believable profession. Gearing up for my quinquennial visit back to see my classmates, I got through almost everything on my to-do list: I remembered to get a plane ticket, I remembered to buy a new outfit, I remembered almost everyone’s name, and I remembered to drink loads of water the day of the reunion, as well as pack some Excedrin. But I forgot to put together a good answer to the inevitable question, “What do you do?”

Well, guess what? It’s that half decade again, and I still don’t know what I do for a living.

Of course I know what I do for a living; I just don’t know how to present it so my former classmates don’t think I’m a slacker, an eccentric or a concubine. (more…)

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New York Without Hamilton is What Exactly?

I’m going to New York in a couple of months. I might as well be going to Nebraska, because – swallow whatever’s in your mouth and sit down because I don’t want you to choke and hurt yourself from the shock – I’m not going to see Hamilton.

Why bother? you ask. Is there anything else going on the entire 23-square mile island of Manhattan? Will they even let me off the plane at JFK without a ticket in my hand and will I be put on a terrorist watch list if I try to leave the city without a Playbill signed by at least three cast members?

Why is she even here?          No clue. Better frisk her and check for gunpowder residue.

The first part of my visit will be during my husband’s business meetings, so I’ll be on my own during the day. I will probably go to Chelsea Market shops, where I hear there is a vendor who sells lockets containing the dustpan sweepings from the stage at the Richard Rogers Theater, collected after each Hamilton performance.  And I’ll definitely go to Greenwich Village and hit my favorite indie bookstore, where they sell the few remaining books that aren’t about Hamilton in a newly built annex, constructed from hardback copies of Hamilton: The Revolution, the book about Hamilton. Which I am not seeing. (more…)

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This Is No Way to Get a Crick in Your Neck

For those of you not from Northeastern Ohio or Western Pennsylvania, a crick is either a small stream where you can wade with your pant legs rolled up hunting  for crawdads, making Tom Sawyer and Becky look like preppy Archie and Veronica, or it’s an equally Midwestern condition that lies somewhere between a pulled muscle and a nerve that is being obnoxious.

I refer to the latter.

If you look up What is a crick in the neck you’ll learn that there’s something called cervical radiculopathy, which must be what I have because how I got this is radiculous.  I won’t swear to it, but I think I got it from letting a Vietnamese stranger give me a neck massage in a Dallas nail salon. (more…)

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Return to Sender

I got a Christmas card returned as Undeliverable by the U.S. Postal Service yesterday. Yesterday, as in the second week of March. As in I’m a third of the way through the bottle of perfume my husband bought me. As in the leftover turkey and ham are long gone from the freezer, having been casseroled to the nth degree. Where has this card been for three months?

This makes me wonder if we shouldn’t rethink this thing we call sending things through the mail.

When the people of the future excavate our landfills and realize that we spent valuable December hours addressing and stamping cards, many containing photographs that had to be scheduled, shot, rejected, reshot, bickered over, paid for, printed and decorated, some of them blood spattered from paper cuts, they will surely say, “What the eff? All that work and money, just to express the hope that these quasi-friends will have a happy holiday or that the season will be greeted? What a bunch of shits-for brains.”

And just wait until they get a load of the yellow strips saying UNABLE TO DELIVER.

“And they just kept on sending them,” Excavator Nicole will say. “Looky here. This one chick in San Francisco seems to have just kept sending cards out to the wrong address for five freaking years.”

I’ve got three words for you.

Jacquie. Lawson. E-Cards. (more…)

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A Letter to My Cousin’s Husband, Bob, Who is a Dentist

Dear Bob,

Don’t be alarmed that I’m writing a letter to you. You aren’t being visited by a 19th century Pride and Prejudice character. It’s just me, your wife’s cousin.

I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately, because I’ve been taking care of some dentistry problems. Nothing serious, just your average everyday stuff that people have to deal with when their “permanent” teeth stop living up to their nickname.

I have not skipped a biannual visit to the dentist since I was in college. And I take excellent care of my teeth. (I do, you know. I honestly do. Despite what you may have heard and the “little bit of perio” that one nasty-ass dental hygienist said she could see in my Facebook profile picture. Yes, that happened.) But despite all the  twice daily flossing, the $150 Sonicare toothbrush, toothpaste so expensive it’s behind lock and key in Walgreens, and not having popcorn since 1989, my teeth are being assholes. (more…)

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Who Needs the President at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?

So. President Donald Trump is skipping the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year. People, let’s just all calm down, and that includes you Samantha “I’ll Put on My Own Dinner” Bee. This is not a huge deal. If this were high school, the class president would be refusing to attend the Chess Club Banquet. His absence is not worthy of your outrage. In fact, it might be a lot more fun if the comedians don’t have to face their accuser.

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is affectionately referred to as the Nerd Prom. So it’s no wonder the political and media celebs and the smattering of Hollywood types who love the event are saying the equivalent of, “Um, like, whatever” while adjusting their pocket protectors.

Trump won’t be the first president to ditch this event. But he is the first one to do it for no adult reason. Jimmy Carter missed one year because he was exhausted. Ronald Reagan’s excuse (“Um, I was shot? In the lung?”) was more valid, plus he phoned in jokes that killed. Trump isn’t imaginative enough to come up with a good excuse. He said it wouldn’t make sense to go to the dinner and “pretend” like he doesn’t hate the White House correspondents. He’s never had to muster up good manners and protocol and he’s not going to start now.

So that’s fine. Because the White House Correspondents’ Dinner isn’t about the president. It’s about the other people who show up. (more…)

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