I kept finding tiny bits of white string all over the house and it was driving me crazy. I’m sure it was something Riley tore up, John shrugged, and I agreed: of the two kids, Riley’s the one prone to worrying off pieces of whatever he’s holding or eating. Paper, crumbs, plastic, he leaves a little trail wherever he goes. The strings appeared in greater numbers until I finally figured it out: the cat had been peeing on a bathmat, then ripping at the fabric in a half-assed effort to bury her deposits. It was like solving the world’s lamest mystery. A brief flash of self-satisfaction — by jove, I think I’ve got it! — then UGH.


A new friend of mine is wading through the murky waters of online dating. She sent me a screenshot of a man who had messaged her that he was 19 and looking for someone who could show him a thing or two. It’s every woman’s dream, I texted her. A man who has no idea what he’s doing and is sure to last all of two seconds. You can’t make this shit up, she says.


I managed to lose the weight I wanted to lose all summer and I will tell you what that looks like at 44: it looks like a candle that has been burned in the middle. Tapered on the top and bottom, a slurry Videodrome disaster from armpit to pubic bone. Putting on a bra is like trying to shove a half-melted sno-cone into an inadequate cage of fabric, those elusive skinny jeans finally fit but my torso looks like the forehead of a hairless cat. I’m trying to be kind and loving to this aging skinsuit of mine but jesus.


The gym I go to used to have two separate workout areas for men and women but they have finally conceded to modern times and have combined everything. Everyone is having a hard time getting used to the new locations for various machines and I must say, the men are by and large much LOUDER than the women when it comes to vocalizing their complaints. I’m sure it will all become routine soon enough but for now it is like being in a room filled with angry toddlers with access to heavy pieces of metal.


I was in Walmart today — I needed a bathmat, you know — and I saw a guy whose face was absolutely covered in tattoos. There wasn’t a theme or any kind of cohesive design, it was just a bunch of blurry blue scribbles that looked pretty old and maybe the DIY variety. You wonder about a person like that, whether they are filled with regrets and if they could do it all over again, if they wouldn’t let an ink-stained needle come anywhere near their smooth unmarked flesh. Then again, maybe we’re all a bunch of scribbled-on collection of wrong turns and what-could-have-beens, just pushing our carts at Walmart.


12 Responses to “Bits and pieces”

  1. Saskia on December 4th, 2018 4:31 am

    Thank you. i love your writing and this is so how my life echoes in my head..

  2. Jeanette on December 4th, 2018 7:35 am

    Cats! Gotta love them but ug…..Congrats on the weight loss. You should see what it looks like on a 61 year old! Actually, at that age you don’t even need to lose weight to look like that! Everything takes a down turn!!

  3. Mary Clare on December 4th, 2018 8:31 am

    I especially enjoyed that last sentence. So true.

    And what’s up with cats and bath mats? My nervous kitty marks the bath mat and front door mat when she’s anxious. Like all the time.

  4. Suzanne on December 4th, 2018 10:58 am

    Oh I love this. And each vignette made me laugh.

  5. Jamie on December 4th, 2018 3:17 pm

    The grunting at my gym is obscene. Always guys. WHY. I don’t get it. It sounds like a handful of people taking a painful crap – so much so that I bought in-ear headphones so I can use the treadmill without either gagging or laughing. Or both.

  6. Stacy on December 4th, 2018 8:02 pm

    THAT LAST SENTENCE! I’m saying it over and over in my brain. So, awesome.

  7. Gretchen on December 5th, 2018 9:06 am

    I just love your writing. Angry toddlers with access to heavy pieces of metal. Thank you. :-)

  8. TinaNZ on December 5th, 2018 11:32 pm

    So, I googled ‘hairless cat forehead’, and yes, I hear you loud and clear on that brilliant simile: https://www.catster.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Hairless-cat.jpg

  9. Liz on December 6th, 2018 1:39 pm

    I’m 38 and have been online dating for what feels like eternity, and my friend and I are screenshotting our most ridiculous encounters with the intention of starting a blog maybe someday. It’s worse than you think, at least in the PNW, land of disengaged white climber dude bros who are sooooo special, they will only accept perfection, preferably a carbon copy of Alex Honnold’s (admittedly adorable and accomplished) girlfriend.

  10. marilyn on December 6th, 2018 1:41 pm

    Trying to love my half-melted sno-cones too. You made me smile and laugh out loud. Glad you made it through your rough week.

  11. Jess on December 10th, 2018 2:16 pm

    The last sentence❤️❤️❤️❤️so perfect.

    So…. will you blog about HOW you lost the weight? I need tips, and advice from someone who’s done it!!!

  12. Shannon Mateo on December 10th, 2018 5:21 pm

    Interesting story about the tattoos. I’ve been obsessively reading books about a certain biker group lately. I cannot explain why, but I cannot stop. Anyway. One of the books, the author mentions this biker who was getting sentenced to life in prison for … I can’t remember now. He figured his life was ruined, he would cover his face in tattoos, and make a prison statement. Let everyone know what crew he was in, etc. Then, the charges got dropped. Totally dropped, zero prison time, and he was stuck with the tattoos. There is a photo of him in the book. It’s crazy awful. He’s always regretted it. He said he can’t get a decent job now, and life has been hard because of them. So in a way, he ended up with a life sentence of sorts after all.

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