Joie d’Eve

A Full Year

  Turning the calendar page to March is actually hitting me harder than I expected. I’m not really sure why. As I wrote last week, some things are starting to get back to a new kind of normal. (I hate…

A Return to Sort of Normal

  Between my work hours and my general low-key antisocial tendencies, I was sort of living like a hermit even before the pandemic. I mean, I’m not a sociopath or anything – I like most people, and I have a…

Vaccine Ethics

  Back in late December, when I learned that anyone over 70 was soon going to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, it was via a text that came from NOLA Ready to my cell phone. I immediately began trying to…

Back to School, For Real This Time

  Yesterday, as many of you no doubt already know, New Orleans K-8 public schools reopened. My older daughter is an eighth grader at Lusher, but she hasn’t been in a school building since March 13 and has no desire…

A Modern COVID Carnival

  One of the last happy memories I have of The Before Times was hitting all the parades with my older daughter, Ruby, a true Carnival die-hard. This kid attended her first parade at 9 weeks old (that may have…

Hope for the Future

  Jan. 6 was a good day for me personally. The violence at the Capitol sort of took the shine off of everything, but before that happened, I was just thrilled with the way the world was unfolding, and overall,…

Facts vs. Opinions

  Georgia, my third grader, is studying facts and opinions right now. “Pizza is the best food”: Opinion “Pizza has many different kinds of toppings”: Fact “Dogs are better than cats”: Opinion “There are almost 200 different breeds of dogs”:…

My Solemn Duty

  Every person in a family has their own role: the fixer, the clown, the rebel, the overachiever, the risk-taker, the bully. For the three kids in our blended family, for example, my stepson is the chill, cautious one; my…

A Traditional New Year’s Meal

  I am an extremely superstitious person – I avoid sidewalk cracks and black cats, hate the number 13, pick up heads-up coins, and never open umbrellas indoors – so of course I always eat my black-eyed peas and cabbage…

Circle of Life

  It’s always light and dark around here, life and death sort of flirting with each other. My favorite aunt – probably my favorite non-parental blood relative from my family of origin – died when I was pregnant with Georgia.…

COVID Panic

  Every year, for as long as I can remember, I get sick in the three weeks between Thanksgiving break and winter break. Usually it’s just a cold. Once I’m pretty sure it was the flu, although I never actually…

Holiday Resolutions

  My general inclination, even in a good year (which I don’t think I need to explain that this is not), tends toward Scrooge-like as the holidays approach. It all just feels like such a slog, honestly: the parties, the…

Thankful and Sad

  It’s been a hell of a week. I suppose that can be loosely said of every week we’ve had since March 13, all of which kind of blur together into a hellscape smoothie, if you will, but this past…

‘Tis the Season?

  It was the receptionist at my dad’s doctor’s office who gave me my first clue. “We’ll call you back right away,” she assured me. “In the meantime, have a wonderful day and happy holidays!” “Oh, uh … yeah ……

Living Blue in a Red State, Part 2

  I wrote this four years ago after Donald Trump was elected president. I was hurt and angry … but I hoped we could work together as a nation. Now, four years later with a different outcome in the latest…

Election Days Gone By

  I love voting. I registered at the DMV when I switched my residency to Missouri for college, just after my 18th birthday, and since then, I have voted in almost every single election, whether it’s a big one for…

2020 Vision

  It’s funny the things you learn about people when you’re suddenly spending completely uninterrupted time with them. Even your own husband. Even your own children. For instance, although I certainly knew that Georgia had ADHD, it wasn’t until I…

Halloween During A Pandemic

  There are, of course and unfortunately, many serious and tragic consequences of the pandemic and resulting quarantine: not only death and illness and grief, but also mental health concerns, social isolation, and economic impacts for so many families. There…

Out and Proud

  Sunday was National Coming Out Day, and I chose that day to publicly celebrate my older daughter, who came out to me about a year ago. (With her permission, obviously; I would never out her publicly without her consent.)…

Autumn Enthusiasm

  It’s no real secret that I think fall is overrated, but mostly, it’s just a grudge left over from my very first “real fall” in Missouri more than 20 years ago. At first, I thought it was beautiful –…

The Days Are Slow; the Years Are Fast

  The well-meaning older women in the grocery store line would always tell me it went by so fast, and I’d smile thinly while seething inside because it definitely didn’t seem to be going quickly. My baby was only 3…

Getting Back to Normal?

  I think I’ve forgotten whatever social skills I once had – and I’ve always been an introvert, always the kind of person who heads straight to the bar immediately upon arriving at any large social gathering because I need…

Watching and Waiting

  It’s a strange feeling, waiting for a hurricane that may or may not come. Time is lived in between the track/intensity updates at 4 a.m., 10 a.m., 4 p.m., and 10 p.m., time in which your plans keep shifting…

Required Halloween Viewing

  It used to just be my peers that I’d horrify with movies I hadn’t seen. “You haven’t seen Casablanca?” my husband yelled at me once, and then immediately made me stop everything to watch it. “What?! How have you…

A Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

  I’ve really been trying to be positive lately. Last week, I was upbeat about not losing power; last month, I was looking forward to restarting virtual school; six months ago, I was desperately hoping for a quarantine because it…

Calm Between the Storms

  I still remember Hurricane Cindy. My now-ex-husband and I were in town for the Fourth of July holiday in 2005, and it had been decent weather outside when we borrowed my dad’s truck to drive Uptown to visit a…

The Dishes Are Done, Man

  I still remember the day that my child-free-by-choice friend came over, looked into my kitchen, saw my sink piled high with dishes, and exclaimed, “My God! How long has it been since you did your dishes?” I side-eyed him…

Southern Fried With a Side of Ice Cream

  I don’t necessarily think of myself as deeply Southern – although I have worn a hoop skirt, eaten fried okra and black-eyed peas and all manner of greens, and have a decided fondness for seersucker and monograms – but…