Published Essays

Is there karma?

My body hit the pavement like an asteroid entering Earth’s atmosphere. My face and knee absorbed the initial impact, and I would soon have black and blue marbling like a slab of prime beef served at a high-end restaurant. I lay on the ground stunned until I could confidently roll over and dust off my pride. Some would call this a clumsy accident because I wasn’t looking where I was going, but as I recalled my previous days’ actions, I decided once and for all: Karma is real.

A teenagers’ guide to calling out ‘sick’ from work

I think death is knocking on my bedroom door ready to put me out of my snotty misery, but it’s only my father with a cup of tea and a thermometer to take my temperature. I have a flair for the dramatic and cough loudly. I want to call out sick from my part-time weekend job, but I am in no condition for responsibility. I’m too impossibly weak to lift the telephone receiver to call my boss and tell him I won’t be able to come to work this Saturday.

The rules of the game

At the edge of town, we have a stubborn red traffic light that refuses to turn green, especially on Sunday mornings. This is when I chaperone a car full of neophytes to their driver’s education class. Part of me wants to wait hours, if not days, for the traffic light to turn green because it’s the law. The other part of me wants to unleash an inner rebel that craves some action. She wants to simultaneously run the red light and yell obscenities while watching it fade away in the rearview mirror.

Wisdom my graduate will learn from someone else

We were young, naïve backpackers about to embark on a trek through Europe with no plan, no money, and no return ticket home. We told our parents our goal was to spend a year abroad. We made it three months, and I can now concede — 25 years later — part of that was because we ignored their guidance. We came home with wisdom that was best given on the road by someone other than our parents, and it couldn’t have come to us any other way.

Why I finally said goodbye to my best friend

Beer introduced itself to me in high school and hitched a ride with me when I went away to college. We became sloppy roommates and our intimacy peaked over party kegs, a toilet bowl, and pints of ice cream. One day, beer introduced me to tequila, and I fell hard. We were passionate with one another, and our nights often ended in great sex and a better story the next day. We hooked up only occasionally because our love for one another was so intense.

Should you take a road trip with your parents?

As a risk-taker, I agreed to go on a road trip to Mexico … with my parents. A better daughter would have said yes without reservation, but I’m the kind of child that weighs the pros and cons with this type of family togetherness. I accepted the challenge, and included my daughter, knowing we would strengthen our family’s bond and simultaneously fray the delicate tapestry we’ve stitched together over the years. I put my trust in the ride.

Advocacy for the transgender few does not take rights away from the many

Some individuals claim the LGBTQIA+ population is sinful, harmful, and broken. A local school district disagrees and developed a plan to support their LGBTQIA+ students from further ostracism, demonization, and ignorance against a backdrop of survey results and national statistics indicating this population is at a dramatically increased risk for depression and suicide compared to their peers. These are the facts.

Do I hang onto Halloween when I’m the only one?

I’m in the garage looking for the bin labeled Halloween when I’m told, “It’s way too soon to bring out the skeletons and spider webs.” I try to defend my enthusiasm for the ghoulish tchotchkes that have been buried away for a year, but my youngest child walks out before I can respond. With sweat dripping down my back because the sun still suffocates this time of year, I wonder when everyone in my family turned into such autumnal killjoys.
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