Back Seat Driver

“The closing trunk jolts me to the present. I exit the car, help my daughter unload her backpack and dirty gym clothes, and begin to wonder whether a set of car keys was as disorienting to my mother as it is to me. In that same moment I realize I have inherited my mother’s eyes, and her genetic predisposition for worry. Why is this? I speculate. Is it written in our DNA or just the inexorable tug of motherhood? Or is it the rush of time, the way a child’s growth catches us off guard? One minute we’re strapping them into their carriers. The next, we’re buying car insurance.”


“We’re in the Floating Meditation class. The idea is to experience the calming benefits of induced meditation while we are gently elevated above the floor in a hammock and rocked to the soothing vibrations of crystal bowls. We’re meant to release our mind’s stress while we float weightlessly in the air. Only I weigh 180 pounds, and my ass isn’t all the way back, so I feel like I’m falling out of my hammock in the first row, through the picture window onto the cactus rimming the Santa Catalina mountains.”

Deperfectionism and My Botched Breast Surgery

“Except for a flash of unsteadiness in my building’s elevator, I don’t remember the hours after the procedure. If anyone was there to gawk or postulate when I toddled into my apartment and shut the door behind me, thanks to a large dose of Valium, I could not have known. The next day, a nurse named Dale stopped by to show me how to empty my drains. I guess when you hack off part of your body, it weeps.”


The Shifting Winds of El Niño and the Greatest Game on Earth

“I love the majesty of it all. The rolling hills. The curve of blooming hedges in their spring finery. I love the egg salad sandwiches in little green baggies that they sell for $1.50. And the pimiento cheese. I love the way the golfers tip their caps when you applaud their touch around the greens. And the rising, genteel simmer of the crowd.”

Monkey Bars

“Each day they come. Somewhere between lunch and arts and crafts, items from my to-do list appear in my mind—a running catalog of resentments: Take up yoga. Make gazpacho. Clean out the hall closet. I’m angry I have no time alone anymore, wondering how long this phase will last.”