I've done some challenging things in my life. I've earned graduate degrees, worked with some of Georgia's most hardened criminals, even managed to keep a small business afloat during these scary economic times.
Molly, our oldest daughter, had been driving for three months when she totaled her car. She hit a patch of black ice and skidded nose-first into a ditch. The driver behind her hit the same patch and slammed into the back of her car. Her little green Honda was compressed to the size of a Mini Cooper.
Our Ginger was adopted from the Hall County Animal Shelter in February 2010. Just as most parents are certain their child is exceptional, most rescue pet owners are sure that they lucked up on an extraordinary dog or cat. We're no different.
I almost called in sick this week.
Jay Rodgers and his family were on their way home from a Tim McGraw concert last month when they stopped at a gas station in Atlanta. As he was going into the station, he held the door for another man to enter.
It was one of those stupid, senseless things, the kind that makes me shake my head and mutter, "Damn fool kids."
One April afternoon I was having a feel-good moment watching a mother and her adult daughter shop together. They were holding up blouses and gently teasing one another about their choices and preferences.
I've never cared for reality television. That sometimes puts me at odds with the rest of the family. My husband never misses a "Cops" marathon. One daughter loves "America's Next Top Model" and "Ace of Cakes," while the other, inexplicably, sets out hors d'oeuvres and invites friends over to watch "Jersey Shore."
All Fools Day is upon us. It's a day spent plastering an absent co-worker's office with thousands of Post-It notes, forwarding spoof emails or, conversely, writing tirades in opposition to emails that you didn't realize were spoofs and discovering all too late that your car door handle has been coated in Vaseline.
For the past couple of months, I've written on topics that I find disturbing: parenting methods that I feel are harmful, adult cosmetics marketed to pre-teen girls, a teacher being forced to resign for absurd reasons and a state representative who seems to primarily represent his own dingbat agendas.
There always seems to be at least one kid in every class who will do absolutely anything for attention. He doesn't care who he hurts or what the consequences are. Empathy isn't in his vocabulary. When I say he has no shame, I mean he has no shame.
I feel for Ashley Payne. By any measure, she did everything right. She is a 2007 honors graduate of the University of Georgia. She had worked for two years as a literature teacher at Appalachee High School in Barrow County. In the summer she traveled, broadening her horizons, walking in the steps of Shakespeare, Milton, Ovid and Dante.
What little girl doesn't love makeup? I remember when my grandmother gave me her old gold tube of siren red lipstick right after the Avon lady had delivered her new supply. I delighted in smearing on its sticky balm and then blotting it off onto a folded tissue just like my mother and grandmother before me. The whole family had a good laugh at my grade school face half-covered in scarlet residue.
There's an old joke about a man being urged to make a public confession in church. After each increasingly lurid admission, the preacher encourages him with, "Tell it all, brother, tell it all!" until the man makes the final, most graphic confession of all and the preacher gasps, "Man, I don't believe I would have told that!"
Late the other night, my husband, Arthur, and I were watching one of those true life disaster programs on a high-numbered cable channel. There's not much else to watch at 3 a.m. except for infomercials on real estate investing and making a fortune on eBay.
In less than two weeks I'll celebrate my 60th birthday. Just for giggles, I perused some 60th birthday cards and, well, the outlook suddenly seems sort of grim. The creepiest of all pictured an empty deck chair on an emptier beach and contained these heartwarming words: "A sunrise is beautiful but so is a sunset. /For turning 60 today don't harbor any regret. / The autumn of your life will be so serene./ You will be the happiest that you have ever been."
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