Historically speaking, I’d have to pick Christmas as my favorite holiday. The decorating, the meals on good china, the kids’ excitement over presents and surprises in stockings.
On the other hand, watching a child ooh and aah over fireworks or running about with a sparkler in hand on a summer night is a pretty good time. But have you ever noticed that the 4th of July doesn’t have a candy? No candy corn, no chocolate bunnies, no tiny hearts printed with funny stuff, no peppermint sticks. Really, every holiday needs a candy.
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“Let’s paint the kitchen,” I said.
He glanced up from his bowl of Cheerios and looked around. “Okay. What color?”
“Orange,” I said. “I love orange. It’s cheerful and bright. It makes me feel good.”
“It would be like living inside a pumpkin!” he exclaimed. “How about that gray color that’s so popular now?”
Reason number 1,347 leading up to my divorce.
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As a kid I was a big tomboy. An only child, I became my father’s son and companion for hunting, fishing, and golf. My mom taught me to cook and made me responsible for washing the dishes every day before she got home from work. I rode my bike all over my small Colorado town without fear. I read millions of books and played all four sides of a Monopoly board by myself. I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.
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Sometimes you have to wonder about the strange and mysterious things in life. For example, why do I need close captions to understand the people talking on the TV when I can understand the person reading an audio book? Or why is hot tea still good on a really hot day? Or why do dogs want me to like them when I clearly do not? Why?
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Nobody tells you to buckle up anymore. It isn’t necessary. Everyone just does it. But when seat belts first came along and the government was telling people to to use them, there were very controversial.
Why do we protest so much about things that are good for us? The human animals is so full of contradictions it’s hard to keep up with the nonsense we argue about. As Mr. Spock would say, “Humans are not logical.”
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You can do a lot of things in six weeks. You can lose 5 pounds. You can watch 6 episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy.” You can paint your kitchen. You can read “Americanah” and discuss it with your book club. You can drive to Montana to see your family.
On the other hand, there are some things that are almost impossible to do in six weeks. Like sell everything, find a new job, and move out of Texas.
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It only happened once. Just once. And I regretted immediately.
Oh, who was I kidding? That was like saying I only murdered someone just once. I knew the effect it would have on me, on my relationship, to cheat. Just once. What was I going to do now? Tell?
No, I couldn’t tell. That would be the end of my marriage. But how could I keep it quiet?
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Angie leaned against the risers at the side of the gym, watching other kids dance. She wished Aaron had asked her to the dance and regretted deciding to come alone. Then a hand appeared, outstretched in front of her. It was Maya. “Care to dance?” Maya asked. Angie froze. She’d been avoiding Maya after Maya confessed that she really liked her. She liked Maya, too, but was conflicted about admitting it. Doing anything in public like dancing would be too much. Angie couldn’t get her mouth to work or her feet to move. . . .
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It took me a minute to recall where I was. Right – I’d gone home with a woman from the bar last night. It was her bedroom I was in. What was her name? Rhonda? Rhoda? She had amazing red hair.
I pulled on my smoky clothes and wandered out of the bedroom. There she was, in the kitchen.
“Good morning,” she said.
Then two little red headed boys about 4 years old came into the kitchen. “What’s for breakfast,” one said. “I’m starving,” the other said.
A woman who looked like an older version of Rhonda? Rhoda? came in a walked to the coffee pot. “Want your coffee in a to-go cup or are you staying for breakfast?” she asked.
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“Let’s do lunch,” Ally said. “We haven’t seen each other in so long. We need to catch up.”
I was a bit nervous to answer yes. I hadn’t eaten in a restaurant since the pandemic lockdown started easing up.
Ally seemed to catch my caution. “I know a place with shaded outside dining and a big airy indoor space with good circulation,” she said. “Would you be interested in going there?”
Would I? Of course. “Let’s do lunch!” I said.
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