Mom in the Mirror

Dear Mom in the Mirror:

You didn’t make anything homemade today.

All you do was heat up leftovers, slacker.

Your kid was bad in the store today, so you had to withdraw a privilege, and now you feel like crap.

You know it had to be done, but you work so much Mom, that when you have to be Bad Cop, which it always seems that that role is on you, it hurts.

Shouldn’t you have predicted your kid would act out? Shouldn’t you have known Mom?

What are you doing wrong to make your kid act so out of character?

Are you a bad Mom, mom?

Continue reading

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How to Get Divorced in 5 Easy Steps: A go-to-guide for people who don’t know any better.

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Are you unhappily married?

Are you too lazy to bother trying anymore?

Do you not give a crap?

Do you remember your wife’s/husband’s name?

Were you in a coma or under severe sedation during your wedding?

Think about those answers, and let’s talk about how to ruin your marriage and get divorced in just 5 easy steps. Continue reading

In the Hands of Men: a memoir excerpt by Laura Lifshitz, previously published in the Oklahoma Review

This is an excerpt from my memoir, and was previously published in the Oklahoma Review, a literary journal. I will warn you all before reading that it is graphic at times, and very dark, so if you can’t handle the heat, then this isn’t your kitchen.

**Background  before you read: at this point in my memoir,  I am a 14 year old girl, recently gone through puberty and discovering that suddenly, my body is more important than who I am as a person –i.e.,  my breasts, which are the focus of apparently everyone’s conversations, have now sexualized and shamed me. I have been bullied and stared at, yet I am still just an eighth grader trying to figure out what is happening to me.  In general, the confident girl I once was has gone by the way side. I have started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and I am extremely vulnerable.

In the Hands of Men

Now it’s a year later, and the summer before my freshman year is dragging. I spend my time at the swim club or with friends, especially Buddy, but I never tell them about the “Newton Boys” or Jimmy.  After that one phone call, I talk with a few of the guys over the phone, even though I haven’t met them. The one guy who does call me all the time, is Jimmy.  And after talking with him on the phone off and on for almost a year, the only things I know about Jimmy are that he loves music— Jane’s Addiction in particular, has long hair, and is twenty-two. He says the word dude a lot, and has a gritty like rocks against bare feet type of voice, as if he’s twenty-two going on eighty.

“When am I gonna meet you, girl?”

“I don’t know,” I tell him, terrified.

What if he doesn’t like me?

I don’t know what twenty-two year old men want; I can barely figure out guys my own age.

“Well, I’m nervous,” I admit as the little hairs on my arms stand at attention. A man wanting to meet little old me!

“Girl, it’s all good. Don’t worry.” and that is it.

Jimmy has short explanations and opinions on everything. To me, that’s just strange considering that in my house if someone wants to tell you what he or she thinks, which is always, you better sit your butt down.  So after a long period of coaxing with short words, and claims that, “Girl, it will be all good,” at the end of June, I meet Jimmy. Continue reading