The Mama Curse

Well, I hope you’re happy, Mom. That mama curse you put on me so long ago is now working overtime and I am, indeed, “paying for my raising.” For those not familiar with this brand of maternal magic, let me explain. The “mama curse” is spewed out at an exasperating child when the mama is at her wit’s end. There are countless variations on it, but the gist of it goes like this: “One day I hope you have a child who acts exactly the way you’re acting right now! Then you’ll know how it feels.” When my mom hexed me, I was young and just rolled my eyes in the charming way children sometimes do. Little did I know [...]

My life as a dog washer

For years I’ve said that the main reason I became a writer is because it’s my only marketable skill. Lucky for me, I’m nerdy enough to like stringing words together and have a genuine interest in prepositions and participles, which comes in handy. But before my first writing gig, I tried other jobs. I was 18 when I snagged my first real position as a dog washer at a local grooming salon. I loved dogs and had plenty of experience washing my own so it sounded like a fun, easy summer job.And it did turn out to be fun, but it was never easy – especially the first day. I’m not sure if the owner was trying to get me [...]

Why I clean before the cleaners come

Today will be a good day. Because by early afternoon, the kitchen and bathroom counters will be clean, the floors shiny and there’ll be fresh vacuum cleaner tracks throughout the house. Every other Wednesday by 2 p.m., life is good and orderly and smells like lemons. It’s wonderful. But before that happens, I’ve got to clean up around here. Why? Because the house cleaners are coming! Tom always thinks I’m nuts when I fly into my pre-cleaning routine before our bi-weekly Swat Team of Clean arrives. But women understand the two reasons why we clean right before the house cleaners come: Because we don’t want the house cleaners to think we’re slobs. Because the cleaners will be able to clean [...]