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The Vomit Broke Me (OS:S in the E-T on the 03/02/14)

When I send these columns in to the Editress in Chief, I never know which section I’ll fall into when they lay out the issue, nor how many words my little corner will accommodate for a title. So I include a couple of alternative headlines.

More accurately, early on in my illustrious community columnist career I wrote a column about miscarriage. I sent it in with one headline: “The Miscarriage ‘me too.’” When I picked up the paper that Sunday, it was titled differently. Having just days before watched our baby’s heartbeat cease, I was . . . abundantly rational and emotionally stable and not at all feeling outrage at a world that kept spinning as if our baby hadn’t just died, as if a miscarriage wasn’t worth noting. So I e-mailed the Editress to question whether I’d run afoul of some rule of titling. She generously refrained from lopping off my head for questioning her judgment, instead sending back the instruction to include alternate headlines from then on and when spacing was an issue they would review my preferred alternates for something more workable.

Having been on the other side of the EIC desk once upon a time, I’ve had some dealings with authors suffering from Allergic Redpenitis. One had such a severe case of it that I can recall his name and the seemingly endless back-and-forth we exchanged, but cannot describe with any reliability the substance of his scholarly article. I think it was about minutiae. I mean, it must have been.ย Mercy, but I’d never dreamed I could become one of those writers. But sorta I had.


So, I’ve done that, the alternate titles thing.

Most months they’ve used the first headline I sent. Some months, one of the alternates.

When I sent in the column for March, I left the primary title set to one that amuses me. The stomach bug that had leveled my children was far enough in the rear view that I’d found humor in the description of it.

I fully expected the Editress to use the alternate — the one that didn’t put the vomit in bold print.

But very quickly she e-mailed back her amusement and that she’d be running it with the first one I sent.

Well color me chartreuse because it’s aย celebration!

41 - The vomit broke me (03-02-14)

When I opened the paper Sunday I got to thinking that the lovely lovey couple professing their lovey lovingness and upcoming nuptials were quite possibly not as amused at the neighboring column’s title as I was. I could picture their faces as they opened their paper across town. So naturally I photoshopped their dismay. Also naturally my photoshopping skills are lagging behind my imagination such that about all I can manage are white ovals and crooked paintbrush strokes in varying thicknesses and colors. I hope the attentiveness to getting their eyes somewhat level is appreciated because that took me a bunch of tries, at least three or six or fourteen or so.

Well, I have some unfortunate news for you love birds: there is vomit in your future. I’m sorry. It’s true. Hopefully not for a long, long time. Hopefully you’ll have years and years of seeing each other at your best before you find yourselves hovering over a child hovering over a toilet in the middle of the night, stroking her hair and assuring her that you canย and will wash her beloved, befouled stuffed toy in the scorching-hottest germ-killing water known to man.

And hopefully by then any “thanks a lot, Slawson woman” thoughts you may be having now will be long-since forgotten.

If not, then perhaps draw comfort in this irony:

I was so busy measuring the distance between us and that putrid bug in my rear-view that I missed whatever signs there might have been of the impending disaster ahead. And then boom — all of the sudden it’s 2 a.m. and in sleep-deprived desperation I have agreed to the baby’s demands to teethe on my person when from my bedside I hear those whispered words that cause every reasonably-germ-averse mother to panic: “Mama, my tummy feels kind of ooey-gooey . . . .”

March 6
Return of The Teething No-Sleeper
Return of The Stomach Bug
Return of The Monthly Visitor

If 5 p.m. does not equate to Return of Mr. OtherSuch, I will certainly understand.

And then I will hunt him down.

And breathe on him.

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Don’t Read This! (In 7.5 Reasons) (OS:S in the E-T on the 02/02/14)


Headlines with enumerated lists annoy me.

Mainly because they’re overused.

But also because I fall for them.

40 - Don't Read This (in 7-5 reasons) (02-02-14)

Not that I’m above intentionally doing something that I find annoying while telling you to pay no attention to the annoyingness.



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It’s Your Love (and Your Move), Mr. Slawson (OS:S in the E-T on the 01/05/14)


Pop quiz: how many song lyrics and/or titles appear in this column?

39 - It's Your Love (and Your Move) Mr Slawson (01-05-14)

Mr. OtherSuch has yet to give me the answer. Pretty sure every time he starts reading he is so quickly absorbed in reflexive singing that his counter short-circuits.

Thereย is a definitive answer though . . . .


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Elves, Dinos, Reindeer & Psychos (OS:S in the E-T on the 12/03/13)


December’s column:

38 - Elves Dinos Reindeer and Psychos (12-03-13)

Our elf, Cosmo, has never been one for mayhem. He’s expected to behave better than that. Fun: fine. Naughty: no. Last December, inspired by a friend’s advent-themed elf, Cosmo ended up bringing Bible verses with him each day. That *might* have bought him another year with us.

Might have.


Easier said in March than done in December . . . .


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Thankful for the Blah-Blah-Blah (OS:S in the E-T on the 11/06/13)

It’s good to be thankful.

It’s also good not to be boring.

It’s also good not to be five months behind.

But if I can’t be all three of these things (and clearly I cannot) then I’ll focus on those first two. Or at least that thankful thing.

Blah, blah, blah.

. . . → Read More: Thankful for the Blah-Blah-Blah (OS:S in the E-T on the 11/06/13)

Whoa March

Hi. It’s March.

I don’t know how that happened.

One minute it was December 31st and now it’s March.

I must’ve been caught up in the ‘just breathing.’

Which, you know, excellent. Breathing is super important.

Catch up time now.

And then probably disappearing time again.

It’s like that.

I know you know.

Thank you . . . → Read More: Whoa March

Let’s Just Breathe

Last day of another year.

This is customarily when I dump all of the heretofore untransferred photos from my phone+camera to computer to blog. And/or when I tell you about a pregnancy test.

But not this year.

To that last thing, anyway.

That’s right: 2013, the year that I . . . → Read More: Let’s Just Breathe

We, The Juxtaposed

The only one who could ever reach me, was the son of a roofer man . . . .

I married the son of a roofer man.

Some elevenish years ago, as I was finishing up law school and making big-city plans in my head, my father-in-law . . . → Read More: We, The Juxtaposed

Nothing Ends a Debate Like ‘Skinny’ (OS:S in the ET on the 09/01/13)

Preface: I love him despite conversations like this. Also because of conversations like this. Also because he doesn’t care that I publish them. Also just because.

(click image to enlarge)

Acknowledgement: Without him, I would have substantially less writing material. And laughter. And, well . . .

. . . → Read More: Nothing Ends a Debate Like ‘Skinny’ (OS:S in the ET on the 09/01/13)

The Nuthouse, in a Nutshell

This right here?

This is my life.

Those people.

They are my greatest loves.

In the early morning hours, I lay awake making lists of the things I need to do for my family or our businesses during the day; marveling at the chronology . . . → Read More: The Nuthouse, in a Nutshell