CategoryEssays

The Kids Are All Right

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The first thing I mothered was a turtle the size of a silver dollar pancake that I bought for 88 cents at Woolworth’s. The store clerk handed over Herman (I believe there was some legal requirement then that all turtles be named Herman) in a tiny Chinese takeout box, and his little claws scrabbled against the waxy interior all the way home in the family Dodge. In a display of largesse, my mother...

Milwaukee County Supervisor Notices Hillary is A Girl

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Milwaukee County Supervisor Deana Alexander has taken to referring to Hillary Clinton as “Ovary.” Alexander hopes her Twitter hashtags #OvaryClinton and #OperationOvary will be mistaken for insightful political commentary. They are anything but. Alexander’s rhetorical move to name-calling based on body parts is not only gender bullying, but reveals a self-loathing and desperate desire to gain the...

County Supervisor Notices Hillary Is A Girl

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Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander has taken to referring to Hillary Clinton as “Ovary.” Alexander hopes her Twitter hashtags #OvaryClinton and #OperationOvary will be mistaken for insightful political commentary. They are anything but. Alexander’s rhetorical move to name-calling based on body parts is not only gender bullying, but reveals a self-loathing and desperate desire to gain...

Alone, But Not Lonesome

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Not to get all tragic, but when I go out, I go out alone. It happens to be the way I roll these days. I dine alone. I go to movies alone. I attend the theater alone. Table for one. A single ticket. Just one ice cream cone. I am fine with this. It’s Milwaukee that seems to have a problem. I have practiced my aberrant lifestyle in New York, in London, in Lugano, Switzerland, and along the decidedly...

When Writers Write about Writers

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When the voice of a superb writer is stilled, a community of people who make their living by putting feelings into wise and nuanced words does what it does best. Writers write about writers we have lost. The colleagues and friends of New York Times media columnist David Carr have remembered and mourned him since his untimely death in the newsroom on February 12. Before he was published in The...

Why Do Men Hit?

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THINGS TO CONSIDER while dating: Do we both like Szechuan? Does he get along with my cat? Will he kill me? For women, the chief relationship issue isn’t how to find one. It’s how to survive one. If a woman is abused, beaten, or killed, it will most likely be by her husband or her boyfriend. Being hit—eventually—is a very real risk a woman runs when she agrees to go to dinner and a movie. It’s a...

The (Belated) Graduate

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I GRADUATED FROM college last month, at the ripe old age of never-you-mind. Mine might’ve been the last cohort of young people who could earn a good living without initials stuck to the end of our names. While the boys older than us stayed on in grad school to avoid Vietnam, we Nixon-era kids dropped out as often as we graduated. Back in the 1970s, I, along with half the teenage population of the...

Mother & Child Reunion

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I WASN’T TOO HAPPY about him leaving at kindergarten, either. As I watched my son Ian race up the steps to the school’s front door, he suddenly looked defenseless and tiny. I had obviously not been feeding him enough, causing malnourishment in some essential way. He bravely disguised it with that twinkle in his eye, that flashing dimple in his cheek, and that lilt in his step. When he broke...

The Best of All Worlds

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Being half Irish and half Norwegian means, among other things, never having learned to cook   MY FATHER WEARS orange on St. Patrick’s Day. According to him, it is the only honorable thing for a Norwegian to do. He maintains that the most worthwhile traits among the Irish were deposited by Vikings who visited the Emerald Shores in ancient times. My mother is Irish. She believes that...