Archive | Age Matters

Kinsey Millhone Is My Kind of Dick

One very terrible summer, I was jobless, in the wake of a breakup, and looking at the wrong side of thirty-five. “I don’t know what to do with myself,” I told a librarian friend. “Read the Kinsey Millhone mysteries,” she said. “They’re bestsellers for a reason and there’s a ton of them.”

By the summer’s end, lone-wolf private detective Kinsey had become my first fictional bestie since I’d ostensibly grown out of rereading Harriet the Spy. Grumpy, idiosyncratic, and eminently decent, the subject of Sue Grafton’s bestselling alphabet series is the sort of tough-guy tomboy rarely found outside of children’s literature, to all of our detriment. Like the love child of Mickey Spillane and Ramona Quimby, Kinsey suffers no fools and is only partially domesticated. Orphaned young, divorced twice, and child-free, she’s a former cop who prefers pickle and peanut butter sandwiches over salads, lifts free weights, cuts her own hair with nail scissors, and owns only one dress–a wrinkle-resistant black number for when she can’t get away with jeans and turtlenecks. She lives with Japanese bobtail cat Ed in a garage apartment owned by her best friend Henry, an eighty-eight-year-old retired baker who designs crossword puzzles, and she regularly swills cheap white wine and frightening goulash at the local tavern with a handful of cops whom she sometimes dates and often consults in the delightfully lo-fi world of 1980s Santa Teresa, a fictionalized Southern California town resembling Santa Barbara, where Grafton lives part-time. Continue Reading →

Blood in His Tracks (Indigo Grownups)

I have come to accept my sadness as holy. I don’t mean to fetishize depression. I don’t even think the great grief I experience is depression because it is situationally appropriate and does not rise up to wall me from my day, duties, you.

But I think of my sadness—this heavy, grave stillness I often carry—as holy because it is true and because, after all these years, I am grateful to feel even when it is very, very hard.

As a young empath my daily prayer was to not stop feeling. I worried that I’d grow as numb as most adults, that I’d stop registering the sorrows and struggles and triumphs of bugs, birds, plants, people–of every soul quietly hurtling on its forceful fateful path. I felt everything so deeply that it made me cry in fast food restaurants and plastic playgrounds paved over meadows, at birthday parties where the parents didn’t seem happy their kids had been born. Oh, Lisa, she’s so sensitive. That’s what they always say, isn’t it, when we can’t block out the miracles and savagery of everyday life.  Continue Reading →

From the Department of Extremely Shallow, Let-Them-Eat-Cake, Barely-Tolerable-Before-Rome-Was-Burning Blog Posts

I can tell my grand love affair with this natural brown-grey hair color is over, oooover, we-need-a-new-word-for-over* because yesterday at the beach I caught myself squeezing lemon after lemon on my hair to “lighten it just the tiniest bit.” Bring in the big-gun chemical blonde STAT, please; I’m over looking like the earnest, granola-baking, leftist bumpersticker-sporting Cambridge mothers of my 1970s childhood. (Hey, I warned you re: shallow.)

*yep, to make matters worse, I am quoting Sex and the City Season 3 here.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy