Monday, March 19, 2012

"How Did I Get Here?"

In the car, driving on Tyson Avenue, coming back from the doctor.

 "How did I get here?" Dad asked.

 "Where? Tyson Avenue? I didn't want to take Bustleton the whole way," I said.

"No, to this place I'm at," Dad said.

 Ah, a more existential "How did I get here," coupled with memory loss. He meant how did he wind up in an assisted living home.

 "Well, you were having trouble with the steps in your house. You kept winding up in the hospital for your tube and bag (catheter). You fell down the steps. You weren't eating right. And you didn't like being alone," I answered.

 I left out the part about him being robbed in the middle of the night.

"Oh, I see," he said.

 "You were very stubborn," I told him. "You didn't want to leave your house. You told me 'They are gonna have to carry me out of here!'"

 "I did?" he asked.

 "Oh yes," I said. "You did. But you like where you are. You like your room and TV and the meals and the nurses."

 "That's true," he said.

 "It was just hard getting you there," I said.

 "I am sorry about all that," Dad said. "I'll remember you in heaven," he joked.

"That's good, Dad, but while you are up there, send me some winning lottery numbers, too," I said. "That would be a bigger help."

"I'll see what I can do," Dad said.

Life As A Sandwich

Here is an essay I wrote for "Rowan Glassworks," the graduate literary magazine at Rowan University. It's about being part of the "sandwich generation" - women who care for their young children as well as their elderly parents. My essay starts on Page 9:

They asked the writers to reflect on their essays:
"Life as a Sandwich" My essay, "Life As a Sandwich," came out of my daily experience caring for my young son and my elderly father. The phrase "sandwich generation" is often bandied about as an apt description for those of us who care for children and parents at the same time. I remember thinking to myself: "This is a rotten sandwich."I just re-read the essay and am struck how honest and blunt I was. That is how I am as a journalist, but I usually write about things from my own life with a veil of humor. I am glad this essay came out as raw as it did. Clearly, I needed to say it. And people in my life needed to hear it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An Ode to My 20s

I like these scrunchy ankle boots
I like Philadelphia
I miss Villanova
Do I like this guy?
Should I date this guy?
When will he call?
Screw it, I will call him.
He wasn't home.
Fuck him, I am going out dancing!
The Cure
I like this guy
I love this guy
He dumped me
I hate myself
I hate my body
I will  now call all my friends and cry
More crying
Feeling better
Fuck him, I am going out dancing!
I like myself
I like writing
I love writing
Why the hell are my parents so weird?
I like this guy
But I also like THIS guy
I will date both these guys!
Wait a minute, they both came to see me tonight at my apartment!
At the same time!
I think I will drink this whole bottle
Pick one guy
That was wrong
Pick the other guy
Move to a new apartment
Then another
I love him
He loves me
He dumps me
Call all my friends and cry
Write more
Work more
Why won't they fucking edit my story already so I can GO HOME?
Oh my God. It's the copy desk calling at 11 p.m.
The mall
Move to a new city
New job
Move again to another city
New job
New friends
Lots of friends
Is every single one of my friends getting married?
Bridesmaid seven times
Sang "Ave Maria"
Sang it again
And again
I like this guy
Now this guy
I hate him
I hate myself
Write a personal ad
A lot
This time, I do the dumping
More writing
Am I any good at this?
Am I any good as a writer?
As a journalist?
I just wish I knew
Maybe I stink at this
I think I stink at this
No, I am good at this
My boobs look good
My boss hates me
Insomnia Anxiety Depression Therapy
No more beer
No more guys who make me cry
I like myself more now
I can write
Fuck it, I am gonna sing show tunes!

(My birthday is coming up soon. While I am not all that thrilled to be aging or to be over 40, there are MANY aspects of being older that are great. For one thing, a lot less angst! I know who I am, and what I am capable of, and how strong I am. I know I will survive. Hey, hey.)