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God-Peddlers: Beware of Resident

When Jehovah’s Witnesses Come A-Knockin’ …

In an un-trafficked corner of our living room sits a humble, lumpy pet bed. It’s our dog’s safe place. When he’s curled up in his stinky, duct-tape-patched bed, no one in the family is allowed to mess with him: no tug of war, no wrestling, no stealing his ball to play fetch. It’s the only place he can claim as his own in this big ole tug-of-war world — the tiny, impenetrable corner of the universe where he can let his guard down, sigh deeply, and be at peace. Where he can let his fur flag fly.

That’s the way I feel about my home: It’s sacred, personal space where I’m protected from the hubbub just beyond, where I don’t have to make excuses for blasting John Fogerty’s “Rock and Roll Girls” and dancing through the house until I’m out of breath, or apologize to anyone for still being in my skivvies at 11 a.m. on a Saturday.

So I didn’t apologize to the cheap-suited salvation peddlers who darkened my doorstep last weekend. First, I let my dog lunge and snarl at them through the glass window of the front door. They could see inside and we made eye contact, but I made no move to answer the door because (1) I didn’t invite them here, (2) I wasn’t wearing much, and (3) I could see they didn’t have cookies. Continue reading God-Peddlers: Beware of Resident

13 Reasons Why Parenting Is Frightening

With Wisdom Comes Age … And Fear

Last month saw the launch of two unrelated cultural phenomena that enchanted teens and horrified adults: the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino and the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

The frothy, rainbow-swirled beverage was mercifully short-lived; ashes to ICEEs, fluff to fluff. But the controversial television drama lives on as the most-Tweeted-about show of 2017.

13 Reasons Why tells the story of a high school girl who committed suicide by slitting her wrists in a bathtub. But first, she recorded audiotapes detailing why she was ending her life and instructed that these tapes be passed around to the friends and classmates whose particular cruelties stung her so badly — the people “responsible for my death,” as she puts it.

The show has experts crying foul. Schools are advising parents not to let their kids watch it. New Zealand created a whole new rating category for it; those under 18 are forbidden from watching without an adult. Mental-health experts say the series — which depicts the bloody death in horrific, drawn-out detail — glamorizes suicide and could inspire copycats. Netflix met the backlash by adding more warnings to the first episode.

But no one listens to warnings. Continue reading 13 Reasons Why Parenting Is Frightening

Trump Plump: Post-Election Stress Eating Is a Thing

You used to be fun, they say. You used to make us titter with your escapist jaunts into the lighter side of life. What happened, a few restless readers have asked, to the ribald soccer-mom confessions and largely superficial rants about bass players and fallopian tubes?

Trump happened, you guys. He golden showered all over the fun.

I’m sorry if I’ve been weighing you down with ponderous political tirades. Now more than ever, we all need a moment’s respite from the political onslaught. And I want to offer you lighter fare; I do. But I’m just … heavier than I used to be.

See, I’ve put on a few pounds since Election Night from stress eating. And, okay, stress drinking. My husband deemed my new squishiness “Trump Plump,” and purely because I enjoy a good rhyme and a snappy hashtag, he is still among us. But I’m not alone in my plight. Though Lena Dunham claims election despondence killed her appetite and left her svelte, my friends and I have inhaled every last crumb of Lena’s untouched food and then some.

Continue reading Trump Plump: Post-Election Stress Eating Is a Thing

My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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