I went on a run today. Voluntarily. That’s what this has all come to. The first day of sunshine since the world has been on quarantine and I go all Brittany Runs a Marathon. I mean, yes, I do work out five days a week. But I am not a runner. Yet being quarantined in my home with three other people – even three other people I love dearly – has taught me much about myself. Namely, I need alone time. And apparently I need it enough that going on a run sounded like something I should do. Continue reading “Going On a Run, 1970’s Style”
Today is my daughter’s fifteenth birthday. I thought it a fitting occasion to post this piece I wrote for the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition in 2016. It didn’t win, but it was a Final Round Qualifier in the Global Humor category and received a very nice comment from one of the judges: “Excellent story in the Bombeck tradition. Light and funny with great structure and writing.” Quite flattering, especially considering the panel of judges was made up of several accomplished writers, along with Nancy Cartwright, the award-winning actress better known as the voice of Bart Simpson. I can’t be sure she is the one who made that comment about my piece, but let’s just say it was her. I was pretty over the moon about it at the time, so it’s kind of weird that I never celebrated it publicly. Chalk one up to humility for a change. And I never shared the piece elsewhere; I had almost forgotten about it entirely. But I came across it the other day as I was taking advantage of my COVID-19 “social distancing” by doing some Spring cleaning on my neglected little blog here. And since my daughter is the topic of the piece, I figured her birthday is the perfect time to share it. So here it is (and preemptive apologies to anyone named Brandy)…
Continue reading “What’s In a Name? Only Your Daughter’s Future Chastity.”
I believe there is power in prayer. Deep in my bones, down into the tips of the roots of what I feel to be true, I believe it has power. But too often I find myself at a loss for how to use that power. It’s a daunting task to know what to request when God is there with what is always an open-ended question.
This past year in particular has tested me. I haven’t always known what to ask of God.
In that time, we lost our dog, searched for guidance over my daughter’s scoliosis progression, helped her through two knee surgeries, watched my dad continue his battle against Parkinson’s disease, witnessed my grandma’s health and mental decline, and were heartbroken by the sudden passing of my father-in-law in November. For some of these, it has been easier to know my prayer. For others, I’ve been at a loss. Continue reading “Imperfect Prayers: When You Don’t Know What To Pray For”
It was supposed to be just a quick haircut.
A few weeks ago, I spontaneously swung into Great Clips to get a trim because I 1) was passing by, 2) only ever remember to get haircuts when I’m either passing a Great Clips or I see someone on television with a cute short hairdo, and 3) am cheap.
As the stylist began snipping away, she started hitting all the typical small talk topics. The weather today. The weather for tomorrow. How effed up the weather has been and can’t we just have Spring already. Your hair feels kind of dry and we have this really great product I can sell you that won’t actually work and will sit in your cabinet for years because dammit you paid good money for it and maybe it will work better for you after you go through menopause or something. Continue reading “The Existential Haircut: You Say Therefore I Am”
“Are you reporting for jury duty? Here’s some information. Please line up over there.”
I open the pamphlet I have just been handed. The first thing I read in bold letters is “to serve as a juror is an honor.”
Why don’t I feel very honored?
I’m 41 years old, and this is the first time I’ve ever been called for jury duty. I’m feeling lots of things about this experience…annoyed, nervous, mildly misanthropic. But I’m not feeling honored.
When I check in, I want to say, “You know, this really isn’t a convenient time for me. Continue reading “Reporting for Jury Duty”
When I first created an account on Pinterest years ago, I did what everyone else on Pinterest does. I feverishly crafted an online dream board of everything I was going to do to make myself better. The gourmet recipes I would cook. The design ideas to spruce up the house. The life hacks that would make cleaning and organization a breeze. The crafts I would do with my kids (*cough* yeah, right *cough*). And because a better version of me certainly included a svelt body, I made a board for exercise routines. But even the all-powerful state of Pinterest delusion, the one that makes us truly think we will ever come back to those pins and actually DO something with them, couldn’t work it’s voodoo on my fitness goals. Because right off the bat, I named the board, “Exercise…Let Me Get Right On That.” (Sarcasm totally intended.) Continue reading “How Exercise Got Personal: The Hair Tie That Changed The Game”
“Remember in grade school when the boys would snap your bra strap against your back?” Several of the other ladies looked at me with a knowing glance. Yes, they remembered.
Recently, a friend was talking about how excited her niece was to get her first training bra. My mind immediately transported me back to that awkward time of adolescence when I was half fired up to begin wearing the badge of womanhood and half totally embarrassed. The latter feeling mostly stemmed from the fact that the boys in my class were also noticing this milestone. And their way of letting us girls know they were clued in was to come up from behind, grab and pull back our bra straps, then swiftly let them go so they smacked against our backs as they ran away laughing.
Another friend smirked, “If they had done that to me, I would have turned around and punched them.” Continue reading “The Female Normal: A Million “Harmless” Messages”
Creative Copywriter. Greater St. Louis Area. Two alumni from my university work there.
Normally when I get email notifications from LinkedIn, I hit delete without even opening them. But for whatever reason, as I sat in the school parking lot waiting for dismissal, I was curious to see what job picks were being suggested for me. My eyes immediately focused on the third listing for a creative copywriter.
I’m creative. I can write copy.
Fifteen minutes earlier, I had been at Home Depot purchasing supplies to make a New Orleans style lamp post for our school’s upcoming Mardi Gras themed auction. That’s pretty typical of where my head and my time have been for the last few years or so: firmly entrenched in things like PTO, school board, and squeezing every last bit of experiential juice out of our time in this elementary school community we love so much…time that seems to be moving more quickly each day. My writing, my book, my professional aspirations have been barely even percolating on the back burner, mostly by my own choice. And let’s be honest: I haven’t had what most would consider a REAL job in over thirteen years. But suddenly there I was, sitting in my minivan, still in my workout clothes from boot camp class that morning (because honestly, what do I need to dress up for?), feeling my heart balloon at the possibility of applying for a job. A real one. Continue reading “Not Hiring: Outdated, Unmarketable, Unhirable 41 Year Olds”
Last month, I lost my maternal grandmother, less than three months after losing my paternal grandfather. Where once there were four, and then three, there is quite suddenly now only one: my paternal grandmother. I count myself so very lucky to have had all four of my grandparents into adulthood. In a way, it feels selfish to be upset about having to let them go. But the most extraordinary thing about knowing your grandparents as an adult is that you come to know them as people. They aren’t just the ones who let you eat cookies past your bedtime or think you played the recorder the best during the school performance. You are able to see their complexities of character, understand sacrifices they made, and come to appreciate them as the people everyone else around you knows them as. I was blessed to find out that not only were all my grandparents extraordinary grandmothers and grandfathers, but they were also extraordinary people. Because of this, I wanted to share the eulogy I read for my grandmother at her funeral. I’ve written about her before on this blog…about the memories that were stirred up when I had the chance to revisit her old home, and about her battle with Alzheimer’s. But she was more than that. So very much more… Continue reading “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”