May 5

An Open Letter to My Fellow American Christians

Dear Fellow American Christians,

STOP WHINING! For Jesus’s sake (and I mean that literally), stop claiming that you are being “persecuted” for your faith! PLEASE! Knock. It. Off.

If you live in the U.S. and truly believe you’re being persecuted for being a Christian, one of three things is true. One, you do not understand the true meaning of the word “persecution.” Two, you have no basis for comparison between your experience and the experience of people who really are persecuted. Or three, you are an entitled, thin-skinned crybaby.

We can start with the first problem. “Persecution” is defined as punishment or harassment meant to inflict injury, grief, or suffering. Never in all my 41 years as a Christian has another person of any nationality, religion, or political persuasion ever hurt me physically or emotionally because of my personal faith. Not once. Have people annoyed me? Sure. (Usually my fellow Christians, though.) Teased me? Not that I can remember, but maybe. Certainly not enough to make a lasting impression, though, so I don’t see how it could qualify as “persecution.”

Alright, so the second issue stems from a lack of awareness. Perhaps many of you are just ignorant of what actual persecution looks like. Maybe you should reread your Bible. Jesus was persecuted. It was ugly, violent, nightmarish. He was beaten, spit on, nailed to a cross, stabbed.  Paul was imprisoned and beheaded. Many early Christians were tortured and executed. Real persecution was common for early followers of Jesus.

In modern times, true persecution is still ugly, violent, and nightmarish. You think that you’re persecuted as a Christian in the United States? Try being a Christian in Indonesia or Egypt. Try being a girl in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Try being gay in a rural or African-American community. Try being black in South Africa.

I’ve had the good fortune to work with an Indonesian man who is finishing graduate degree in social work. He is Muslim, but he is a liberal with many friends of different stripes. He told me about his Christian friends in Jakarta who have had to rebuild their tiny church three times in five years because the conservative Muslim majority keeps burning it down. I also was lucky to work with a young Coptic Christian whose family had to flee Egypt last year. Her father, an active member of the Christian church in her town, began receiving death threats after the Arab Spring. That is what Christians in other countries know as persecution.

You think you’re being persecuted? By whom? Jason Collins and the gays? Obama and the liberals? Jon Stewart and the Jews? Did ESPN hurt your feelings because they gave Jason Collins a couple days of attention when he came out as the first gay NBA player? After poor Tim Tebow got no press at all? Oh, wait. He did get press. Tebow got negative press? Well, not really. I’d say he got annoyed press. Tebow wasn’t the first Christian athlete, folks. In fact, there’s an entire Fellowship of Christian Athletes. And remember Kurt Warner? How about Joe Gibbs? Mariano Rivera? Derek Fisher? Or all the hundreds of athletes who thank God for their good fortune after a win? If Tebow did get negative press, it was because he acted like he was special, like he deserved attention for praying, like he was the only Christian on the field. And maybe also because he’s just not built for the NFL.

Jason Collins is the first guy to come out as homosexual in any major American team sport. And all the negative, mean-spirited comments I’ve seen about him have come from “Christians.” And while the press has been pretty kind in a politically correct way, I’d wager that fans, teammates, and NBA administrators will be less so. We’ll see. But if good, loving Christians can’t be supportive of Jason Collins, my guess is that he’s in for a rough time.

Hopefully, he won’t be beaten and left for dead like Matthew Shepard who was truly persecuted for his sexuality. Likewise, I hope poor Tim Tebow will never have acid thrown in his face for being a Christian as girls in Arab countries often do when they dare to go to school. I also pray no American Christians will have their businesses ransacked or burned as blacks in South Africa or Jews in Eastern Europe have often experienced.

See, THAT is what persecution looks like, my fellow Christians. It looks bloody. Burned. Broken. Anguished. Dead.

Which brings me to that third point. Y’all need to stop whining and grow up. Nobody promised you that, as a Christian, you’d never get your feelings hurt. Jesus certainly never promised that because he knew that would be a lie. You are lucky to live in the United States. You need to remember that. The next time you want to cry “Persecution!” because somebody teased you, questioned you, or criticized your faith, stop. Remember, we’re still the majority in this country if we don’t alienate all the potential converts with our entitled whining.

Shut up. Turn the other cheek. Remember what real persecution looks like.

It looks like a cross.

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April 7

Balance in the Force

Endor and Naboo versus Tatooine and Hoth.

Ewoks and Gungans versus Sand People and Tauntauns.

Most Star Wars fans would readily admit that they prefer Tatooine and Hoth and their inhabitants to anything featuring Endor or Naboo. Among the geeks, the sappy ending of Return of the Jedi with its dancing teddy bears and Episode One’s ridiculous Jar Jar Binks are considered travesties that nearly sunk George Lucas’ epic.

Judging from my Facebook wall, though, most people seem to want to live on Endor or Naboo. They post all these maudlin, cheesy pictures of unicorns and rainbows. They share positive thinking memes with rainbows and puppies. They wish away winter for “flip-flop weather” and sunshine. And I fight my gag reflex.

Things that make other people giddy with joy leave me cold or make shudder. Let me show you what I mean. Here is a list:

  • Morning
  • Sunshine
  • Warm weather
  • Dogs
  • Sleeping with windows open
  • Dinners out with groups of friends

Does this list make you happy? You’re not alone. Seems like 99% of my 500 Facebook friends love all that crap too.

I don’t.

In fact, a few of those things would be on a list of things I despise. Mornings? Ugh. Sunshine, well, thanks to a childhood eye injury, bright light gives me a migraine. Warm weather? No, thanks. I’m always hot anyway, plus I don’t want to see my neighbor’s fat rolls in a tank top or Uncle Bob’s hairy, sweaty back as he mows the laws. Not to mention the fact that warm weather makes people temperamental, loud, and obnoxious.

Dogs would not be on my “hate list,” but their barking sure would be. You know that show, Inside the Actor’s Studio? And the host acts famous actors what sound they hate? Yeah, dogs barking would be on that list. Growing up, I was traumatized by too many nasty neighborhood dogs to ever truly trust any of them, but I have made a few canine friends over the years.  Still, I scroll right past most dog pics on my Facebook wall, and if you’re one of those people who has to rush home from a wedding, a holiday, or a party to take care of poor little Snookems who might be lonely because you’ve been gone for two hours, I’m not sure we can ever be real friends.

Now sleeping with the windows open does SOUND nice. We did have a long, cold March, so I understood when people were excitedly posting about getting to open up their windows at last. Unfortunately, in our house, leaving the windows open after sundown is an invitation for a major asthma attack and/or laryngitis.

Dinners out with groups of friends always sound like a great idea too. And I admit that when I see Facebook pics of some of my friends eating at a long table at some restaurant, I get a momentary pang of envy. Then I remember: I HATE going to restaurants with big groups of people! First, those pictures on my wall are lies of perspective. Sure, it looks great: all those friends gathered together, enjoying food I didn’t have to cook, smiling happily for the camera. But most of the time, if you’re actually sitting at the long table, you don’t get to talk to even half the people gathered. (Since I usually have to bring my kids with me, two of the people are always my own ubiquitous offspring.) That is, if you can even hear your friends. The kinds of restaurants where people tend to gather for such chatty, informal meals are usually so noisy, I can’t hear anyone beyond the person next to me. And then, there’s the problem of service. As a former server, I remember all too well the feeling I got whenever “a 10-top” or larger. I cringe every time one of my friends asks for another drink, sends back an order or makes a special request from the kitchen. Too many painful memories. So whenever my parents or husband ask what I want to do for my birthday, I tend to beg for a gathering at home. I want to be able to see ALL my friends, hear what they say and not worry about the server spitting in their drinks in an act of passive-aggressive frustration.

After all that, I guess it’s no wonder that my friends think I’m a morose freak.

Ahhh,  but here’s the twist. My friends hate things I LOVE!

  • Long, dark nights
  • Cold weather
  • Snow
  • Cooking
  • Hosting large parties
  • Grocery shopping
  • Laundry
  • Grammar
  • Public speaking
  • Writing essays
  • Classic literature
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Snakes
  • Old movies
  • Teenagers
  • Desolate, empty landscapes

So when my wall is full of whiny grumblings about how much people hate winter, how much they hate black and white films, how much they hate doing laundry or going grocery shopping, I’m shaking my head, wondering what is WRONG with these people?!

I try to toe the line, though. People get mad if I post about how much I love snow; contrariwise, people get mad if I complain about the travesty that is Daylight Savings Time. Instead, I keep my preferences quiet these days, posting on individuals’ walls rather than on my own. I know the few soul mates who share my love of the long, cold nights of winter, classic books and films, homework and Tatooine-like deserts. I share my strange loves with them individually. We are a dark and twisted group, but there should be room in the world for us. We’re heavy, so we provide some balance to those light-hearted folks who cannot sustain their smiles in shadows.  Even George Lucas recognized that a universe with too many goody-goody Jedi Knights could not be maintained. The Force must have its Dark Side.

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February 4

Super Bowl 2013? Meh.

If you are not a fan of either team in the Super Bowl (nor of the halftime act), you have a few options to make the show more fun. You can host a party, go to a party, or make bets on the game (or pretty much on any aspect of the broadcast). If you just sit at home and watch the game in the same way you watched 60 or more previous regular-season games, you have a more objective view of the whole event. That was me this year. My hubby is on call this weekend, so we couldn’t do much of anything. I made some snacks, and we watched the game on the same couch, in the same room, in much the same way as I watched nearly every other game since August. Overall, it was okay.

The Game

As I said, I didn’t have strong feelings either way. My hubby did. He hates both teams; they make a lot of dirty tackles. The game was, as Bob Costas euphemistically put it, “chippy,” even early on. The refs kept pretty busy separating players, and one of the officials got shoved for his efforts. The first half was a rout. Things got a little more interesting in the second half, but if you were an objective, experienced observer, you could see that San Francisco had a slim-to-none chance of pulling this off. The 49ers kept making sloppy mistakes that led to costly penalties. Baltimore’s defense was getting away with murder. Kaepernick was a nervous colt. Flacco was having a good night. Over the years, I’ve watched many games in which I had no favorite that got me excited nonetheless. Last night’s game wasn’t one of them.

The Commercials

A friend of mine who is in marketing tweeted, “Creativity is dead.” I agree. This year’s crop of commercials was, overall, safe and predictable. The standouts were either disgusting (Thanks a lot, GoDaddy, for running my son out of the room) or weepy (the Budweiser Clydesdale made me tear up). Many of the ads were out weeks ago on the web, so the punch lines were already stale. I did laugh at the M&M “I Would Do Anything for Love” spot, but that was very early on. Many other ads were just derivatives of previous spots (still with e-Trade baby?) or pop culture trends (I like “Gangnam Style,” but can’t we be done with it now?). With just a couple minor exceptions, I agree with Amber Lee’s evaluations.

Halftime

First, let me announce loud and clear (because some of my friends are already really annoyed with my opinion on halftime) that I like Beyonce. I have a couple of her songs on my iPod. She’s beautiful. She’s a great dancer. She’s got a great voice. But I thought the halftime show was just okay. First, I have long believed that the Super Bowl halftime act should be mainstream, American pop-rock. Prince, Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, Madonna. Good. Country, hip-hop, and non-American acts marginalize your audience. You have a really broad spectrum to appeal to, and very specific musical styles aren’t going to do it. I knew three of the songs Beyonce did, and “Halo,” while a pretty ballad that she performed well, was a low note on which to end the show. She brought out Destiny’s Child, only to make them sing HER songs, which seemed a bit rude. The special effects were cool, but the sound was AWFUL. (My musician hubby was very annoyed.) Overall, I was a bit offended by the peep-show quality of the performance. The whole stage was full of beautiful women. There were some “musicians,” but only a couple were actually playing; most weren’t even holding the instruments properly. All the others were decked in sky-high heels and black leather a la Madonna in the “Open Your Heart” video, dancing and vamping for the men in the crowd. Ew. But at least Beyonce didn’t lip-synch; that seemed to the most important thing about her performance. And she was definitely better than the Black-Eyed Peas.

The Power Outage

Up to that point, the blackout in the Super Dome was the part of the broadcast I found most entertaining. I needed a break from Phil Simms. (Does ANY NFL fan like Phil Simms? What’s he doing broadcasting the championship anyway? All I can say for him is that he’s marginally better than Chris Collinsworth.) Watching the CBS crew scramble was the best play up to that point. I live in Indianapolis, so my Facebook and Twitter instantly lit up with “Well, at least Lucas Oil Stadium pays their light bill,” “Our Super Bowl had electricity. For the whole game.” and “This year’s Indy 500 will be well lit.” “Ray Lewis killed the lights” and variations on that theme popped up quite a bit. The whole situation was an amusing diversion.

The Outcome

I still have a Jim Harbaugh jersey from his time as the QB for the Indianapolis Colts. I guess I would have preferred to see him win. (According to their brother-in-law, my beloved Hoosiers’ coach Tom Crean, the Harbaugh brothers are crazy-competitive, so I worry about their relationship now!) But Baltimore’s team includes a player from my high school, so it was nice to see a hometown kid get a Super Bowl ring.

Unfortunately, Baltimore also includes Ray Lewis. I feel the same about his winning a championship as I would if OJ Simpson had won one after he was found innocent of murder. And Lewis’ Bible-thumping, God-loves-me-best speeches seem to have no effect on his on-field ethics, but I’m sure he’ll feel quite justified now. As one of my minister-friends put it: “Positive outcomes do not validate bad theology. In other words, The fact that the Ravens won doesn’t PROVE anything. Just because Ray Lewis says God is on his side and his side won the game, doesn’t mean that God is on his side.” But he’ll retire now, on top, sure that his “journey” proves he’s been right about all the decisions he’s made. Even though some of those decisions involved a double-murder.

I avoided #52’s tearful farewells (and Joe Flacco’s f-bomb) by flipping the channel the moment the score was final. Then I watched the episode of “Downton Abbey” I had DVR’d. It was the best entertainment of the night.

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June 20

From Mo Willems to Thomas Pynchon with Some Pitstops Between

I read constantly. Anything. Everything.

I read for my job – academic articles, nonfiction books, textbooks, literature and lots of student papers in any and all subjects.

I read online – mostly news from the various feeds to which I subscribe: BBC, NPR, ABCNews.

I read to my children – everything from Mo Willems to Jeff Kinney to J.K. Rowling.

Occasionally, I even get to read for my own enjoyment. Between September and May, I usually collect 10-20 books I think would be entertaining. And in the summer I read as many as I can before school starts and I’m back to reading for work.

When I get to choose my own books, I love historical fiction. Caleb Carr’s “The Alienist” and Glen David Gold’s “Carter Beats the Devil” were lots of fun. I also like straight history, though I prefer it on the dark side: “Sex with Kings” by Eleanor Herman (2005) was fascinating.

Comedy and satire are great for the summer as well. The amazing Carrie Fisher has written two disturbingly funny autobiographies – “Wishful Drinking” and “Shockaholic” that I highly recommend. Jon Stewart’s “America: The Book,” Stephen Colbert’s “I Am America and So Can You,” and all the late, great George Carlin’s books made me laugh out loud.

And I’m not one of those literary snobs who turns up their noses at popular fiction. I’ve read some Stephen King, some Anne Rice, and some John Grisham. And my guiltiest pleasure (don’t tell the PhD’s in my literature department!) is Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels, all of which are hilarious.

Reading is my life.

So the first time, I picked up a book and simply couldn’t get through it, I felt like a failure.

The book was “The Bridges of Madison County.” A sorority sister had recommended it, let me borrow it, and she was all aglow about how wonderful it was.

I forced my way through the first chapter. It was awful. I put it away for a few days. Tried again. Still terrible. The plot was okay. The characters were mildly interesting, but the style was so overblown and romanticized, I felt like gagging. I gave up, read a synopsis of it so I could report back to my sorority sister, and returned the book to her. I don’t remember much about the story.

The experience of having to abandon a book, however, left an indelible impression. I was in my early 20’s, and I’d never given up on a book before. The very idea of doing so seemed like heresy. I’d grown up in a house full of great books, so I’d never really even considered that some books just weren’t that great.

It happened again about two years later. I was dating a guy who was really into fantasy fiction, and he was aghast that I hadn’t read “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. I’d read “The Hobbit,” and it had been alright, so I picked up “The Fellowship of the Ring.”

I couldn’t get through it.

It reminded me of William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury,” which I’d had to read for a college course, full of so many characters with their own backstories and quests and missions, I needed a chart to keep them all straight. And all the characters’ names started with “A” and ended in “N.” Honestly! There are 26 letters in our alphabet, Dr. Tolkein! Couldn’t you have used some of the rest of them?  And I didn’t even have any markers, any recognizable landmarks I could employ to keep all these characters, places and histories straight because it was ALL make-believe.

I got about a third of the way through before I threw the book across the room. (I think another “A—n” character had just been introduced.) The guy dumped me about two weeks later.

Then there was “The Crying of Lot 49.” I was in grad school and a little embarrassed by my ignorance of 20th-century American literature. I shamefacedly asked my advisor for some recommendations, so I could do some outside reading and catch up to my peers in my cohort. He quickly jotted down some names: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, and Pynchon. I powered my way through a couple of each author’s works and came to the conclusion that I was born in the wrong country. (I much prefer British fiction to American, in general.) Then I picked up Pynchon’s “The Crying of Lot 49.”

Yuck.

I hated every character in the first half of that novel. Maybe there was a redeemable human being in the second half, but I’ll never know. I sold it in a garage sale for a quarter.
Many years later, I ran into “Twilight.” Everyone was raving about this series being the “next step from ‘Harry Potter.'” I’d loved the Harry Potters, and I did a lot of graduate work on “Dracula.” Vampires were right up my alley.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe in glittery vampires. Not that I ever got that far in the book. (I only know Meyer’s vampires glitter because Twilight film fans say so.) Nope, her writing style was what turned me off. If she’d been in one of my composition courses, I’m not sure she would even have earned a C.

And then there was “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” I wanted to like this book. It’s dark. It’s mysterious. It’s weird. The guy who wrote it seems like an amazing man. But it suffers a combination of Lord of the Rings and Thomas Pynchon problems. I can’t keep the characters straight, and I don’t really care if I do. Maybe it’s the English translation, but it feels so aloof, distant, cold and well, boring. I got through three chapters. It’s been sitting there with it’s mocking bookmark for about 6 months now. I might try again.

For me, the worst sin an author can commit is to be self-absorbed, self-important, self-centered. And in different ways, each of these books is the result of that that sin. Some authors commit it through style: “I’m such an amazing writer – just look what I can do with the WORDS! Oh, you can’t follow them? Well, that’s your problem! Stupid reader.”

Some commit it through overkill: “Look at all the fantastical, complicated characters, places and mythologies I can invent! No, I will NOT provide you with any means of anchoring them and keeping them all straight. Stupid reader.”

And some, especially in post-modern American literature, commit it through character development: “I’m going to create all these broken, soulless, irreparable characters to illustrate how ruined our modern society truly is. What? You can’t identify with them? You’re not supposed to! You’re just supposed to appreciate my amazing work, and I don’t care if you don’t care what happens to the characters. If you don’t want to invest time in my brilliant output, then you’re stupid, reader.”

It’s a fine line. I’ve written novels. I don’t presume to be anywhere near Tolkein or Pynchon or Larsson. But I am an excellent reader. I know other writers who have done very similar things and done them better. Tolkein could learn a thing or thirty from J.K. Rowling. (And Meyer, read some Anne Rice, for God’s sake!)

And yet, these abandoned books haunt me. I may have to go look at “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Just one more time.

June 14

The Myth of Summer

“Summertime, and the living is eee-saaaay.” From George Gershwin to Will Smith, songwriters have extolled the delights of the summer season along with countless poets, playwrights, and artists. But I prefer Bananarama. It’s a cruel, cruel summer.

Summer’s charms are lost on me. Even as a kid, I was never under summer’s spell for very long. Sure, I’d get swept up in my classmates’ excitement that school was almost over, but after a couple weeks, I was over it. I was sick of being hot and sweaty. Sick of allergies and asthma attacks. Sick of my bike and the neighborhood pool and every toy in my house.

As I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten worse. Especially now that I have my own children, I dread summer. Count the days until it’s over. I just can’t help it.

Summer is not easy. It’s not relaxing or even enjoyable. Summer sucks.

SIBLING RIVALRY

I’m lucky that my two children like each other. Despite their gender difference and 4-year age gap, they usually get along. And when I say “get along,” I mean that they don’t fight. But they also don’t agree on anything either.

My daughter wakes up every day and asks, “Where are we going today? What are we going to do today?” She’s a little dynamo, ready to go on the next big adventure. She’s up for pretty much anything. Which would be fine except that her brother is happiest sitting in front of a computer or video game or reading a comic book. No matter what I choose for us to do – swimming, visiting the zoo, going to the park – he’ll be miserable. But if I decide we’ll humor him and stay home for the day, I condemn my daughter to boredom and myself to dealing with her constant need for attention and stimulation.

Today, my son lost the daily toss, and I took them to the water park. Nice, right? Hey, what are you complaining about? You get to spend time at the pool, in the beautiful summer sunshine.

Oh, yes, that’s me. See me? Lounging by the pool, working on my tan, sipping a mai tai? No? That’s right, that’s some childless 21-year-old.

Turn around.

I’m over there – the frazzled, frumpy fortysomething frantically trying to keep on an eye on one kid at the snack bar, one kid in the pool and a canvas bag containing my entire life – credit card, keys and cell phone: “No, Sally, I can’t get in the water right now; I have to keep an eye on your brother. Besides that water’s freezing. Your teeth are chattering. In fact, you’d better get out so I can put some more sunscreen on you. Oh wait, your brother’s coming, and he bought too much stuff at the snack bar. I have to go help him before he spills his soda. C’mon, Sally! Oh, never mind. There it goes. Good-bye, soda. No, Sam, you can’t have another soda; you spent all our cash, and they don’t take cards at the snack bar. No, I can’t get any more cash because there’s no ATM here. No, I’m not going to the bank. Because I don’t want to pack all this stuff up and trek us all the way out to the car, drive across the street, get cash and then pay again to get back into the pool. Stop crying, Sally, or I’ll give you a reason to cry! I paid $20 to get us into this place, so you’d just better enjoy it!”

Fun, fun, fun.

I don’t know how people with more kids do it. Trying to get just two to agree on any activity is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

EXTRAS AND STRAYS

I have two children because that’s all I wanted and really all we could deal with financially, mentally or emotionally. What I didn’t count on was that my house would somehow become a magnet for LOTS of other kids.

On any given summer day, I have between 3 and 10 children in my house.

Now they are good kids for the most part. And if they aren’t, I send ‘em away for a few days until they come back contrite and apologetic. I genuinely like them all.

Individually.

But even if you have 10 great children in your house, they’re still TEN CHILDREN! They’re loud and needy. “Can we have a drink?” “Can we have a snack?” “Can we play in the sprinkler?” “Can we play on the Xbox?” “Can So-and-So have dinner with us?” “Can So-and-So have a sleepover?”

Sigh.

DRAMA AND DELINQUENTS

In the summer, everyone’s outside. Our neighborhood has a LOT of kids, so they’re all in each others’ faces all summer long. My kids come home with stories that make my anxiety level go through the roof: “Jimmy told Billy if he didn’t give him back his Nerf gun, he’s gonna punch him the nose!” “Leslie won’t talk to Katie any more, and Leslie told me if I talk to Katie, then she won’t be my friend anymore either!”

The neighborhood teenagers are out in full force too. Ringing-and-running becomes an Olympic sport. Cars get broken into or vandalized. They’re out walking around at 1am, laughing loud enough to wake everyone or shooting fireworks just to be jerks.

SWEAT, CELLULITE AND BODY HAIR

It’s hot. Oppressively so. In Indiana at least, we are just as much prisoners of the heat in July and August as we are prisoners of the cold in January and February. And if we do go outside, we are treated to eye-popping fashion statements.

The obese guy with more hair on his back than on his head – he’s decided to beat the heat by going shirtless while he mows his lawn.

The skeletal teenager in the wife-beater t-shirt and ridiculously huge shorts that hang somewhere around his knees – he has to hold them up to walk, but we have a great view of his boxers.

The plus-size young woman in the hot pants and halter top – both garments straining to keep her rolls of fat covered.

Even good-looking people make bad fashion decisions in an effort to beat the heat.  It’s not pretty.

THE END OF MY KVETCHING

Mosquitos. Bees. Wasps. Astronomical air-conditioning and water bills. Allergies. Constant cooking. Constant cleaning. Playing taxi driver to play dates, summer camps and sports practices. Summer is just NOT the relaxing season everyone pretends it to be.

I know there are moms who claim to love it. I see their joyful posts on Facebook: “YAY! Last day of school! The kids are out for the summer!” I think they’re being disingenuous.  Or maybe I’m just weird. But I can’t wait for September 21st.

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