Baby’s First


The ornament celebrated Baby’s First Christmas 23 years ago. An oversized baby crawls toward a Teddy Bear and a present and a freakishly tiny Santa peers from behind the Christmas tree.

The only flaw (besides the obvious one of proportion)? The baby is a cherubic blonde and my daughter was born with a full head of wild, wispy raven tresses.

No problem for my mother. She just pulled out her paint set and gave the baby in the ornament a dye job. Voila! Black hair!

The ornament used to be the last to be put on the tree, the one that always elicited chuckles and eyerolls because, when you examine it closely, the baby looks just a bit off in a Pebbles and Bam-Bam kind of way. Thanks, Mom, but kinda creepy.

But this year? Unpacking Baby’s First Christmas closed my throat with tears. Because this is THIS baby’s first Christmas since her mother died. And suddenly all I could see was the infinite care in every tiny black brush stroke.

Funny how such a cheap ornament can suddenly become the most precious I own. And the ornament? Pride of place right in the front of the tree. I guess even creepy, cheap holiday things can be burnished into treasure through love, right?

Made with love

Made with love

DC Metro Promoting Vapid Transit


Let’s just get this out of the way. I love shoes. I even named my blog after them.

I have way too many shoes because, well, I need shoes to walk in, to drive in, to strut in, sometimes all in the same day, which means I want shoes for each function in matching colors. Pumps, stilettos, sandals, ballet flats, boots, tennis shoes, oxfords, loafers. If I had the space, my shoes would have their own room. Maybe even their own palace.

But just because my shoes could fill a room doesn’t mean they fill my head.

A recent ad in the Washington, D.C. metro system implied that women don’t want to talk about boring stuff like metro reliability – even though it has a direct effect on getting to work on time to make money to buy those shoes – because all they want to talk about is shoes.

The women I know, young and old, love to talk. About parents, children and friendship. And healthcare. And poverty.  And music and twerking. And gay protest music in Russia. And how to stop hunger, cruelty to animals, and honor killings. And yes, about shoes.

But anyone who thinks it’s cute to diminish us by implying we ONLY talk about shiny, decorative things because we are shiny, decorative beings? They just don’t get it. Maybe they need to walk a mile in our shoes.


WMATA gives women the…shoehorn…

The Disease of Being Female


For the price of a Starbucks a day, you too can help end this deadly disease that strikes half of our population.

What is it? Is it cancer? AIDS?

No. The disease is….menopause.

Bet you didn’t know that was a disease. I sure didn’t, but I was standing in line at Barnes and Noble waiting for a book to be signed and there, in the disease section, were all the books on menopause.

Somehow – and I could be wrong – I don’t think a woman shelved those books. They were right next to the books on infertility. So, apparently, the inability to bear children, even if, good God, you’re too old for all that and good riddance…it’s all something that has to be fixed.

I have read stories about the primitive superstitions about women and fertility and have felt comforted and slightly smug that I live in a place where we are so much more advanced.

And then I saw the books on menopause.

It really made me think about we haven’t come as far as I thought in this country. We still marginalize the “female,” we just do it in a chirpy, marketing way.

Have your period? Buy a clever, stylish container that hides away your tampons so no one knows! Nursing your child? Drape yourself with a concealing poncho – or better yet, pump in privacy somewhere and give your child a bottle!

And, menopause? It can be Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, that’s for sure. Nothing easy about it some days, so it definitely leaves one at dis-ease.

But, a disease? Come on! I think the only thing that needs a cure is the silly attitude that menopause is right up there with cancer, AIDS and diabetes.

Menopause the Disease

Yep, they really categorized menopause as a disease.