Minneapolis Star Tribune

Why Do Men Hit?

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...

Mouse Wars

WHILE I WAS cleaning a mouse nest out of my car engine with a bent wire hanger one afternoon—hang on, I’ll get to that—I began to philosophize about the relationship between women and rodents. First of all, let’s abolish the myth that women freak at the site of four legs and fur. If this were true,...

Faux Family Trees

ONE DAY YEARS AGO, my daughter, Gretchen, came home from school in crisis. “I have to draw our family tree,” she wailed. It isn’t that she has trouble sketching leaves and bark. It’s that our family tree has been uprooted and replanted once or twice. OK, four times. And that’s just on my side. I was first...

Your Product Here

I'M ALL GROWN up and pragmatic and everything, so I understand that product placement in television programming is de rigeur these days. Networks must make their money, and selling countertop space in sit com kitchens to Kellogg and doughnut bag logo spots in police shows to Krispy Kreme keeps those poor, struggling media companies from...

Thanksgiving Jell-O

Past Thanksgiving Jell-O contest contenders: Diet Cherry Coke Jell-O; the Jell-O Cello; the Parting of the Red Sea in Jell-O.   SOME HOLIDAY TRADITIONS have noble roots, emerging from long-held cultural values or evolving out of time-honored family rituals. But now and then, a goofy tradition springs into being accidentally, a half-baked little casserole that ought to...

Eulogy for a Bridge

IT COULD HAVE happened to any of us, so in a sense, it happened to all of us. We were all on that bridge, some days, most days, many hours, often enough to know the bumps in the pavement, the view of the locks and the skyline and the river, the bank of trees, the river...