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  • 6/19/2019 As long-time readers of The Postscript know, I do not delve into politics or current events. You might think this comes from a desire to find common ground with all my readers. You might think I am trying to bridge the divide in a time when there aren’t enough opportunities to examine the myriad of things we have in common. Or you might simply think I am a coward who wishes to avoid controversy. 
    You would all be wrong. I am simply too ill-informed to say anything intelligent about current events, certainly anything that hasn’t already been said a hundred times before. 
    But today I am breaking my silence because I have heard some news I feel compelled to comment on. I did my due diligence and found—to my shock and disappointment—this news appears to be true. 
    There is now a Twelve Step program for lipstick addicts. 
    Right away, I need to say that I am not disparaging Twelve Step programs. In fact, it’s because I have so much respect for these programs that I find this news distressing. But I decided to research what a Twelve Step program for lipstick might look like because, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what the Twelve Steps were. 
  • 6/12/2019 My husband, Peter, and I just spent a couple of days staying with our scientist friends. 
    I’ve honestly never had scientist friends before, so there is a lot to learn. One of our scientist friends, Wolfgang, is responsible for filling the ice cube trays (which is my job at home) but seeing a scientist do it made me feel like a rank amateur. If there was competitive ice cube tray filling, Wolfgang would be in the elite ranking and I would not have made the preliminaries. 
    “What is he doing?” I whispered to Mary, Wolfgang’s scientist wife. 
    “He’s checking to see if the meniscus is even on all the cubes,” she told me. 
    I tried to look as if I understood. I failed. 
    “You know, the curvature of the water caused by surface tension.”
    “Uh huh,” I answered, appreciatively. 
  • 6/5/2019 My husband, Peter, is preparing for the End Times. 
    This might not be literally true, but it would certainly appear to be if you checked out the food supplies we have stashed away. Peter hates the fact that packages now contain less than they used to while the price continues to rise. He is infuriated when products substitute less quantity and quality and try to “get away with it.”
    “Whenever I find a product I like, they discontinue it or change it!” Peter laments. 
    I tell him he sounds like an old person. 
    Peter and I are getting to be old people—although we would never admit it. We met when we were both technically past “middle-age,” although I notice that “middle-age” seems to be a very elastic term. Not a lot of us are going to be around at 120, yet sixty still qualifies as “middle-age” to every sixty-year-old I know. 
  • 5/29/2019 More than 10 years ago, I was living in Africa (Lagos, Nigeria, to be exact). My life was pretty much a shambles, but I refused to return to the U.S. 
    The reason I didn’t want to come back was because I could not for the life of me figure out what had happened. My husband of 22 years had left without warning. The company I was working my heart out for suddenly dumped me. I found myself in a foreign country (and a difficult one) with no job, no home, no husband, and the most incredible part about all of it—to me—was that I genuinely did not see any of it coming. 
    One day I came in from my run. I was living in yet another temporary apartment that I would have to vacate soon. I was doing freelance work to make enough money to get by (although I didn’t need a lot) and, on this day, I came in still covered in sweat and sat down at my computer. 
    I typed: People ask me what Lagos is like. I never tell them. It’s easier that way.
    Then I proceeded to tell myself (and these imaginary people) what Lagos was really like. I didn’t write the cheery explanations and rationalizations I’d been giving my family and friends (and myself). Instead, I wrote the truth about how afraid and lost I really was at middle-age without a husband or a home or a job and with no idea at all what would happen next. 
  • 5/22/2019 I originally joined Facebook when a long-lost cousin sent me an invitation. 
    No one had heard from this cousin in ages when I got a note out of the blue. Facebook was relatively new then and I hadn’t considered joining. But I figured if I could reconnect with family I wouldn’t hear from otherwise, why not?
    Since then, I’ve become a writer, which means I sit by myself staring out the window for hours at a time. There are about 200 yards of sidewalk I watch most of the day like some sort of hypervigilant Neighborhood Watch. (Don’t even think about committing a crime on my 200 yards!) It gets a little lonely and Facebook has turned into my virtual watercooler. I imagine that my Facebook friends are distant officemates I can hang out with for a few minutes whenever I need a break, when no one has recently tried to commit a crime on the sidewalk, or I have run fresh out of ideas. 
    So, when I finally got a signed contract for my book, I was naturally very excited and did what a lot of us do when we are excited about anything—I posted it on Facebook. 
  • 5/1/2019 Getting my hair cut has never been one of my favorite things, but lately it’s been worse than usual because the town I live in has a shortage of hair stylists and I have a shortage of hair. 
    In order to get a haircut, I had to make an appointment weeks in advance. I was complaining about this to my husband, Peter. He said, (as he always does) “I’ll cut your hair!” 
    When the big day of the appointment arrived, I was asked to fill out a full page of questions about my hair styling goals (I had none) and my body shape. My choices were: “apple, pear, or banana.” 
  • 4/24/2019 I’ll tell you what no one wants to talk about: their toes.
    I could get people to discuss intimate details of their financial or their love lives before they would open up about their feet. Oh, sure, there are exceptions. 
     “I just had my first pedicure of the season!” says a friend of mine, showing off her toes with a stylish French pedicure in a pair of bright red sandals. I am also wearing sandals and make sure my feet are hidden under my chair as I compliment her lovely toes. 
    (Lovely toes! I think. Who has lovely toes over the age of 50? It’s unnatural.)
  • 4/17/2019 I am lucky to have good neighbors. 
    It’s especially nice I get along with everyone because I spend so much time at home, sitting at my desk, looking out my window and pretending to write. Pretending to write requires a lot of time looking out the window and the neighbors I see most directly when I do are Charles and Joanna. 
    Charles and Joanna are no longer young. They have a comfortable home that sits on the edge of the forest and rarely have visitors. I don’t know the details of their life—and I don’t need to. 
    I know Charles has a routine each morning where he drives into town, picks up a free newspaper at the senior center, gets a free cup of coffee at the bank, stops by Starbucks for free cream to put in his coffee, then returns home. He does this every day the bank is open. I know he is proud of his ingenuity. 
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Thursday, June 20, 2019

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