I remember being obsessed with woven friendship bracelets and scratch n’ sniff stickers and jelly shoes and beaded safety pins when I was Riley’s age, and I suspect some of you who are of a similar vintage know exactly what I’m talking about. How did these things even come to be? One day we’re fighting over the last Cabbage Patch doll, the next we’ve all inexplicably decided to spend our recess time buried under piles of embroidery floss in pursuit of that pain-in-the-ass chevron pattern.

80’s fads may have been cheesy and overly dependent on neon-tinted silicone, but at least they weren’t noisy. I wish my kids would beg for a certain style of pants or a nice silent Trapper Keeper, but no, everything they’re into is LOUD AS HELL.

Dabbing was mostly quiet, if visually annoying, but it came with an unfortunate side serving of that godawful Migos song (lyrics: “Look at my dab! Bitch, dab!” *repeat 9034829537329856 times), plus the WTFuckery of yelling “Dab out!” before leaving a room. Bottle flipping — kerthunk! Kerthunk! Kerthunk! — was banished to the garage, where it still echoed throughout the house and was constantly accompanied by earsplitting shouts of “OHHHHHHHH” and “I AM THE ONE DON’T WEIGH A TON!!!”

Now it’s fidget spinners. All day long: VSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, and then the startling clonk! of someone inevitably dropping one on a hard surface, not to mention the constant bickering over whose fidget is spinning faster it’s mine no it’s mine hey you cheated no you cheated OMG KNOCK IT OFF BEFORE I CRAM THAT THING WHERE IT’S REALLY GOING TO MAKE YOU FIDGET.

I have no idea what will come sweeping through the elementary-school set next, but I hope it doesn’t involve any sort of vocalization or movement. In fact, I say us parents band together to bring back the mannequin challenge, only without the song and featuring today’s hottest new trend: a fashionable strip of duct tape across the mouth.


John and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary on Friday. 1) Yes, we got married on Cinco de Mayo, shut up, and 2) gosh, sixteen years. This was an occasion for which I had a terrible time finding the right card, let me tell you. Most anniversary cards are spectacularly gooey, festooned with chirpy/insipid romantic declarations and zero mention of the far-more-important issues of compromise and forgiveness and sacrifice and fuckups and repair that accumulate along the way, not to mention all the heartbreak and limitations of being human, even (especially?) a loving human. I mean, long-term marriages are packed with so much heavy-duty adulting I feel like that’s what should be acknowledged as opposed to flowery-script soulmate poetry, but I suppose “Let us recognize the complex and sometimes-shiteous terrain we have navigated together while solemnly exchanging no-whammy fist bumps for making it this far because damn” might not jive with the soft-focus clinking champagne glasses.

Well. After sixteen years, no card is needed to express what I feel above all else: I’m so deeply grateful for this beautiful, messy, amazing life we’ve built together.


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