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Month: October 2015

Month: October 2015

Spooked by the Specter

This Halloween marks a mere 40 days until my next milestone birthday. Moses fasted during his 40 days, but not I, no matter how fit I hope to look in my birthday party dress. I will, however, have a deluxe facial (an early birthday gift from a bosom pal) from the esthetician who enthusiastically declared she could remove my many forehead lines which for years have rested without complaint beneath my bangs. In my 20s I fell in love and married. In my 30s I got divorced. In my 40s I fell in love and married. In my 50s I
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Evidence of Eggshells

They walk on the most fragile of eggshells. One uneasily shifted in her seat before pushing up her sleeves – revealing the black and blue polka dots on her upper arms. Another whispered to me with her eyes cast downward that she slept with a hammer underneath her pillow. And another told me of the time he kicked her when she was pregnant, leaving the beets she had been boiling in a mess all around the kitchen. I take in these stories that are soaked in shame, reported to me with fear. I brace myself for the helpless feeling that
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Surviving Salsa

People have two fears, he claimed at the start of the class. Fear of public speaking and fear of dancing. I’m comfortable at a podium in front of hundreds of people. But I was scared of my salsa lesson. My anxiety soared when the statuesque Svetlana made her entrance onto the dance floor with her perfect dance shoes, short skirt, and red flower tucked into her beautifully braided hear. I was the only beginner that night, and I was about to be used as an example. I felt like I was back in summer camp where, at the end of
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Following Orders

“I don’t want to go,” she said imploringly with her big brown eyes starting to fill with the flicker of tears. “Can’t you tell him that I can stay with you? Please Mom? I want to be with you.”              “No. I can’t. That isn’t how it works,” was my stoic reply.  This was not the first time, nor will it be the last, that one of my daughters did not want to go to their Dad’s for the weekend. He was committing the offensive act of taking her to a hog roast in Kansas for the weekend. For my
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To Tell the Truth

I lied more than a little during my marriage. I lied that everything was okay. I lied by accepting words of denigration and acts of humiliation. I lied because I lacked the courage to tell the truth. To tell the truth meant that I would be giving up on my wedding vows. And as anyone who knows me can attest, giving up is not Susan’s strong suit. I once was convinced a job was meant for me, and it took six rejected applications before I finally surrendered. To tell the truth about the abusive aspects of my marriage meant that
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