Too-Tight Jaws

Jaws, TMJIt all begins with a plaintive complaint.

I don’t know who to send it to – my long-winded grievance – so I find the website of the hospital where my mom is recovering from unexpected surgery. On the long 9-hour ride back home from visiting her, I locate a blank “your concerns” form.

With one succinct sentence (“I am unhappy with the lack of support and communication during my mom’s stay”), the surprise transpires. Continue reading

Bench Review and Reflection

reflections, new year's thoughts, San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge

Truly, madly, and a bit guilty, I sit on one of my favorite benches and ponder the fates and furies that have followed me over the year.

heartburn, Nora EphronAlthough I faithfully follow a life of joy, I’m nobody’s fool. Some days give me heartburn, as if I’ve just swallowed vinegar. Some days I wonder if god is in ruins, even when the nights are tender. Sometimes I feel like a distinguished guest in my own home, but then, suddenly…. Continue reading

A Nutty Gift

the Nutcracker, Boston Ballet, balletMany years ago I dated a guy who loved the ballet.

Not any ballet, though.

Specifically, the Nutcracker.

I thought he was rather nuts.

Not that I had anything against the ballet. At the time, I liked it in principle: incredibly ‘fit’ people in tights and leotards and sometimes sequins performing astonishing leaps and bounds.Nutcracker Ballet, Boston Ballet

But then on our fifth date, this man took me to see a performance of the wooden implement that turns into a prince. My date hummed along to every symphonic number, much to my amazement. Turns out, this was his sixth year of attending the December extravaganza.

I was kinda deciding I liked this guy, but really….a grown man enjoying a kid’s ballet every Christmas? Continue reading

Blue Tooth Tête-à-Tête

Blue tooth, car conversation“Mom’s hospital stay wasn’t covered?” I ask, trying to not sound as disturbed as I feel.

“No, that’s not what I said,” my brother replies, raising his voice during our blue-toothed conversation. “The hospital didn’t think she was covered.”

“How could they possibly think that?” I protest from the driver’s seat of my car. “We’ve only filled out dozens of forms in the past year with all that information.”

I hear Chuck’s groan, hundreds of miles away. He’s in Maryland driving home from work. I’m racing in my car in New England on the way to teach an evening class.

“Toll Booth in ½ mile,”

           an alien-sounding female voice intones loudly from Chuck’s car, just as he says, “…called (garble garble) insurance (garble garble) card!” Continue reading