No Thank You

Sometimes I feel guilty for not answering the door when I see a salesman standing on the porch or when I interrupt callers to say, “No thank you” before they can even get to their sales pitch. Then, I tell myself I come by it naturally.  I come from a long line of cynics, people who torment both the well-intentioned, honorable salespeople of the world and the nasty no-gooders out to swindle the innocent or naïve. If it weren’t for her cynicism, my mom would believe she’s the luckiest woman … [Read more...]

Giggling Girls

Just a typical night at our house. I settle into a long-awaited moment of quiet. Finally, it’s the end of the day. Time for pajamas, a good book, a television show, a quiet conversation with my husband. Then the door bursts open. Giggling girls bust into the room. Hi Mrs. Turner! The cupboards fly open. The ice machine roars. The snacks come out. It is girl time. On the night before high school graduation, it’s different, more somber. A sudden downpour soaked their pretty … [Read more...]

Missing My Dad

This is an essay I had published in the Washington Post June 21, 2004 to honor my dad on Father's Day.   It's as relevant today as it was then... When I was 8 years old, I found a small black-and-white photograph of my dad on the kitchen table. I picked it up and stared at it for the longest time. After a heartfelt sigh, I said, "Oh, he's a beautiful man." That seemed to sum up my complete adoration of him. I'm sure that by any worldly standard, he was just an … [Read more...]