Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things

Sometimes…

A Letter To The Demon Child Next To Me On This Flight To Boston

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I too am not pleased about heading to New England, land of our forefathers and a thousand future leaders of America. I’ve been called on this journey because of love — love for friends, which makes us do crazy things, like breathe in the crisp fall air of the Northeast that has probably already begun to sour.

I too have wondered before, “Where’s Boston?” Where indeed.

You have been called here by your parents, to visit an Uncle Dan for Thanksgiving. You seem to, if not disdain them, show them little respect. Perhaps this is because your mother’s constant threat that she is going to “wash your mouth out with soap.” You seem smart enough to, at the age of approximately 3 or 4, realize that this threat is almost entirely empty; you’ve even told her that she has stinky breath as a retort (though I am unclear if you’re old enough to realize the subtle irony between her threat and your comment).

You’ve sung both that terrible “song” “Gangnam Style” and some of the complete works of ABBA. You’ve disregarded any instruction to not kick both the people in front of you and behind you, a feat I wasn’t sure was possible. You’ve lost your shoe multiple times.

Somehow, your father, who has been blessed in the inevitable parental coin toss with the seat behind you (or in the game of chance that is a set of XY chromosomes), has managed to fall asleep. Your mother has not been so lucky. You’ve made her get up three times during a two hour flight to go to the bathroom. I know this because I am in the aisle seat. I saw you and thought, I’ll take a gamble on this kid. Everyone else seems to be avoiding her like the plague, but pickings are slim and I need to stow my carry-on baggage and get this show on the road.

Little did I know what kind of show I would be receiving.

You have been the victim of the phrase “AVERY! GOD!” so many times that I assume by the tone your mother is using that it’s been said a time or two before I was first blessed with your presence.

Your one moment of silence was, unsurprisingly, when you were brought apple juice. That was also the moment we locked eyes, for a fleeting second, a moment when I dared to look a demon in the face. You seemed calm, but those cheeks were too red; your hair, matching. It was messy, as if tousled by spirits themselves.

You are, unequivocally, a terror. And yet, I have something to say to you: It Gets Better. Hopefully for your parents, and whoever accidentally sits next to you because if this flight was crowded, the one you’ll be taking back next week sure as hell isn’t going to be any more spacious.

The Suburbs’ Favorite Holiday

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There are few days in the year when my family literally fights over the newspaper. The competition is toughest on Thanksgiving day, when we plan the route for Black Friday, comparing the doorbusters and making sure we have the opening hours correct. These days its mostly all talk, however, as most of my family can’t be bothered to wake up at what has become a truly ridiculous hour for what is really a low-grade war zone. In the good old days, my parents would lay a map out on the kitchen table, and label the stores with the opening hours and the goals in each. But then some woman tried to run my mother over with a cart and as she lay there, sprawled on the floor, while savages climbed the toy aisles eventually dominoe-ing the aisles, she decided it wasn’t worth the great deals.

Me, with my great deals.

In any case, my younger sister and I arrived at the mall just before 9 am. We meant to get up at 4 for the opening, but we overslept. Anyways, there were no parking spaces, so we engaged in the polite searching method also known as stalking people. The polite ones point to their cars and sort of walk you to them. The rude ones cut through different lanes to throw you off their scent. We found polite ones. And then we found Gap – 50% off your entire purchase before 10 am (the line was twice around the store and everyone looked pissed, plus the entire store was already trashed), and Banana Republic – 40% off your entire purchase til noon. Macy’s had about 30 people in every line, and they have a lot of registers. The mall got some business back; I helped. I finished all my Christmas shopping, and there were carolers! ¬†Another happy holiday.

Mr. Lincoln: ‘the sexiest man in American history’

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This Thanksgiving, while perusing the ol’ Nytimes.com, I discovered a heartwarming tale on the origins of President Abraham Lincoln’s sexy beard. When the dinner conversation threatened to veer to the point of no return, the area which makes me greatly fear ever, ever introducing a potential husband to my extended family, I steered the family away from personal stories and to the heartwarming tale of little Grace Bedell, who recommended Lincoln grow a beard, so she might convince her brothers to vote for him. She added, “All the ladies like the whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President.” Guess what Miss Bedell? You were quite on the money!

My lovely Nana chose this moment to announce, quite out of the blue, that my great-great-grandmother was one such woman. She shook Lincoln’s hand in fact. And, moreover, my great-grandfather bought bookends of his face! Whiskers and all. Mr. Lincoln, I know you saved the union, but also contributing to the 19th century Renaissance of beards? How can I ever repay you.

Nana, with her Grandfather’s Lincoln bookends, circa 1910. They will be mine when I settle down and/or when i get married, or when she dies. But not right now because it’s “just a phase.”

Thanksgiving Can’t Come Soon Enough

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I considered making a joke about giving thanks, or being thankful, but you get the idea.

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