Navigating Estrangement During the Holidays

Before every major holiday, at some point, I find myself standing in the greeting card aisle of the grocery store. Or sometimes Target. Looking for one specific card. I need a card that is directed at my mother, but doesn’t overdo it. In a perfect world, this card would probably say something like “Merry Christmas Mom” on the front, and have a relatively vague platitude on the inside. “Wishing you happiness in the new year,” sounds about right. Finding that card sometimes takes ten minutes (lucky!) but most of the time it takes closer to thirty or forty. Then, I put the card on the floor of the store, and I snap a photo of it—outside, then inside. I put the card back, and on the way home I repeat the same text message conversation, the only text message conversation, that my mother and I have every holiday. “What’s your address, I...

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It’s About Options

On December 23rd, 2002, we got a phone call from my dermatologist. The biopsy we’d basically begged her to take came back positive. Melanoma.  My bout with cancer was brief, compared to most. It lasted only months before remission was declared and my future felt more secure. It’s funny how people minimize their experiences, and I’m no different. Still, this post isn’t meant to be about my “little” bit of cancer. It’s meant to be about my hair.

Meet Topher

When this cute face popped up on Facebook late Thursday morning, I found myself hesitating rather than scrolling by. Later, I couldn’t bring myself to close the tab. One very long gchat with my husband and eight hours later, we were out picking up a collar and toys and food bowls. I feel like that’s how adoption works (at least shelter adoptions), no matter how long it’s been since you’ve decided, yes, you plan to get an animal, it kind of blindsides you. Or maybe that’s just us: both our cats were also spur-of-the-moment adoptions.

Wait, How Do Y’all Know Each Other?

In 2009, Bryan and I moved to a suburb of North Atlanta. Living in his parents’ basement and working night shifts at restaurants did a number on our social lives, by which I mean it killed them. Interaction with anyone, outside of family and coworkers, dwindled to nothing. Our closest friends were hours away, we were broke, and lonely. We needed to meet some new people, some post-college nerdy types like ourselves… but how could we afford to court new friends while counting change to pay the phone bill, or while bringing home extra food from work instead of grocery shopping? More importantly, if the first step to finding like-minded people was figuring out where they hang out, then where were we supposed to go to find these slightly hip, mostly nerdy adult types? Bryan and I needed to find our spot, that place “our people” frequented. I envisioned them like...

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Our wedding. Portrait taken showing Lucy raising her bouquet towards a celebrating crowd after the wedding ceremony.

A Southern Tradition

Thousands of Northerners and foreigners have migrated to it… but Southerners they will not become. For this is still a place where you must have either been born or have “people” there, to feel it is your native ground. Natives will tell you this… It is a loyalty to a place where habits are strong and memories are long. If those memories could speak, they would tell stories of a region powerfully shaped by its history and determined to pass it on to future generations. — Tim Jacobson, Heritage of the South I remember the first time I hid my accent. It was in the seventh grade, as I was headed to class in the trailers that sat behind the school. My backpack was nearly my size at the time, so when two girls stepped onto the path in front of me I stopped so short the weight of it almost...

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