Stories of a single mother raising four kids after her divorce while trying to reinvent herself, including dating again

Who Can You Trust?

With the fervor of a matador preparing to tease a raging bull, I waved my pink poodle skirt. “I’m ready!” I blinked with my twenty-year-old eyes and gave a come-hither look.

In 1972, I was spreading my theatrical wings in the musical Mame at the University of San Francisco. Wildly dancing the jitterbug under intense lighting, the routine was perfectly choreographed from the flip of my blonde curls to the syncopated tap in my toes. We’d practiced the number flawlessly over-and-over, and I had it […]

Photographs and Memories

Staring at the face tagged in a photo on my Facebook page, I bolted out of my chair like a missile exploding from an abandoned silo. I ran straight to the bathroom mirror, praying it wasn’t so. Pulling the folds and wrinkles back that had somehow magically appeared overnight, I shrieked horrified, “When did you become a crone?”

Not long ago, I was 55 and experiencing the prime of my life. All my body parts functioned, my hair cooperated after each cut, and my pants […]

Life as a Classroom

As Sister Mary Fidelis firmly pressed the edges of a gooey, 5-inch-long strip of electrical tape to my lips, she screamed, “Jackie, how are you ever going to learn anything if you’re constantly talking?”

It was 7th grade, and the Wicked Witch of the Convent had slapped her signature solution for excessive chattering across my 13-year-old mouth. Shortly after that, with a flick of her long black veil, she twirled and headed on to the next unsuspecting student, her mission to achieve total silence and […]

In Praise of Birthdays

 

On a cold, dreary December day seven years ago, I was having coffee with my dear friend Twinkie Lyman, at our local Starbucks. Letting out a long and disillusioned sigh, I began to cry the blues regarding my upcoming 50th birthday. Menopause had crept in years earlier, but I felt my youth truly slithering away with the onset of this momentous age.

It was becoming harder and harder to look at the image in the mirror. Where there was once smooth skin, fine lines, along with […]

Worth the Price of Admission

As the pharmacist pushed the 12” x 4” inch box across the counter, fear created searing heat that flushed my face. Seeing the apprehension in my eyes, the man in his pure white lab coat seemed sympathetic as he nudged the box a little closer. Then he giggled, “Better you than me.”

All my life, I’ve been diligent about my doctor’s appointments. I’ve been poked, prodded, scanned, pricked, and squashed. I’d gone through every possible medical investigation except one – a colonoscopy.

It wasn’t that I […]

Lessons Learned Through Technology

When it comes to technology, I’m the classic village idiot. About the only thing I know how to do is turn a gadget on, and even that doesn’t always work. When I was in the market for a new laptop, I decided to take my kid’s advice and purchase one they called “user-friendly.” Not only did this company offer classes for the challenged consumer, more importantly, my children would also be relieved of incessant questions from their mother.

I took a seat in a crowded […]