Category Archives: Fretless Foibles

Hope

Hope is the creep lurking in corners pretending to be a gift, a curse hiding in blessing’s clothes.It’s the eternal spring that gives Mr. Wrong his 100th chance. Hope is the 3rd year intern who won’t call it, the ‘compassionate care’ trial that tortures the dying. Hope is the healthy “Subscribe and Save” snack subscription….

The To Do List

The space in between inaction and action, the breaks between the actions once begun. I stare. The dreaded “To Do list”. The numbers to be called, emails to be answered. The mundane minutia that  bookends my every day. Insidious in its omnipresence, my notes guilting me for inadequate effort. I yearn for ‘elseness’. Something else….

Familial Fantasies

I do not have the children I expected. They’re like me in ways I wish they weren’t. They express traits of their father’s that are not amongst my favorites. But, on some days I can see the best of myself and my spouse shimmer within them. I treasure those days. Even then, when I am…

COVID Tree: Part 1 Thanksgiving

COVID coping mechanisms are copious chez moi. Compulsive cleaning is among the more productive of our pandemic proclivities – one that has revealed actual floor space in our basement. But it is space that reopens an old wound. “Do not even think of asking me to put that monstrosity together,” my husband admonishes, pointing his…

The Faraway Nearby

“Georgia O’Keeffe moved to rural New Mexico, from which she would sign her letters to the people she loved, “from the faraway nearby.” It was a way to measure physical and psychic geography together. Emotion has its geography, affection is what is nearby, within the boundaries of the self. You can be a thousand miles…

Pandemic Fatigue

I am not a demonstrative person by nature. And yet… I want to French Kiss strangers, lick handrails and discard my mask. I am done with hand sanitizer, socially distant outside dining and doing my own nails. I hate COVID-19. I weep in frustration about this pandemic-imposed reality. I weep when this killer plague’s statistics…

We Are One

Stupidity is hard to tolerate under the best of circumstances. In today’s so-very-far-away-from-even-okay-times my tolerance for the idiotic is nonexistent. Stupidity is now lethal. Our Orange-in-Chief disbanded the White House’s pandemic response office, proposed brutalizing the CDC in Washington, slashed its staff in China. We’ve known that China is an unreliable reporter – their government…

Prescription Hope

On November 5, 2015 – the anniversary of Guy Fawkes and his Catholic crew’s attempt to blow up the British Parliament in 1605 – my world was blown up with a diagnosis. “Could it be anything else?”
I asked the head of UCLA’s Movement Disorder Clinic “No, it’s Parkinson’s Disease,”  he replied. There was never denial…

Certainty

The dishes whir in the dishwasher, the sun retires from this hemisphere. My husband responds to emails, the children collude with their computers to complete work while the dogs nuzzle them.  I am alone in the spotless kitchen. I listen to the rain and debate what will sate my soul’s parched tongue. I claim this…

Oh, Christmas Tree…

Sometime between washing the last pan and the first dollop of the leftover Thanksgiving stuffing, our thoughts turn from gluttony to gifting. Whether your tradition deems the verdant branches a Christmas Tree or a Chanukah Bush, let’s stipulate—for the purposes of this story–that a pine-smelling plant is the perfect antidote to winter’s dark chill. My…

Flu Fret

“If you’ve got your health, you’ve got everything.” Well, then, I am lacking. I am afflicted. But so are many. My conditions are my constant companions. They’ll shuffle along this mortal coil with me for as long as I shuffle along upon it.  But there is a gift in my conditional state: my chronic ailments…

Q-Tip Fret

Cleanliness is next to Godliness. And when this drought-conscious Californian vacations in a state with ample water, the showers are long and luxurious. I revel in this watery heaven enveloped in lavender steam with warm water pouring down from a rain-shower head. But these indulgences have consequences: annoying droplets of water that worm their way…

The Touch

I Have the Touch* Of a community that doesn’t want me afflicted. Of literal embrace. Of phones that would be answered in the middle of the night. I am touched. “Have you heard?” “No, what?” “I have Parkinson’s Disease,” I share my then-recent diagnosis as I join the parent posse outside of our children’s school….

Semiconductor Fret

There is a “law” in the semi-conductor industry that semiconductor speed — since extrapolated to knowledge — will double every 18 months. True. The technology in my phone exponentially trumps the semiconductor speed and knowledge that originally sent man to the moon.  Extraordinary… Frightening? Inspiring. So, why do mothers everywhere, across generations commiserate about the…

A Terrible Beauty

Throughout time, great physicists and soldiers put their heads together to create.  In Wuppertal-Elberfeld Germany in 1938, in Los Alamos in 1945. They combined their superior intellect for its seemingly highest purpose— to create a stronger pesticide, to split the atom—all to improve our lives. Instead they gave us the threads to sew our own…

Wrong Fret, Listen Fret

I was wrong. Turns out that that young onset Parkinson’s Disease starts at 50 not 40. That explains why the medical community hasn’t jumped at the chance to use the term ‘Precocious Onset Parkinson’s Disease’. On the plus side, at least ‘young’ is a descriptor that I can still claim on one front. I’ve been…

Election Apology

At a recent school meeting our headmaster reported that he’d apologized to the older students for the tenor of this presidential campaign.  Unable to use this race as a teachable moment — like normal elections — he’d told the children that adults had failed them – and urged the assembled adolescents to do better. He’s…

Compliment Fret

“That’s a pretty necklace,” I said to a random woman with a lovely heart pendant who I passed on a bathroom run.  “Thank you,” she replied with a smile.  And the intersection of our lives was over. I ‘practice’ yoga as much as the next privileged gal in search of a stretch. I think kind…

Room to Fail

“…becoming insolvent or bankrupt” is a definition of failure per Dictionary.com.  Our two party political system has failed.  We are in the tail end of a presidential campaign between two candidates with the highest unfavorables in history.  The resulting negative campaign has been a horror to watch.  I read the news as if driving by a car accident…

Pop Culture Fretting

Sadly, for my listening and opining pleasure, music tastes change. “Kids’ Place Live,” “is for little kids,” both my ‘older’ kids grumble should I dare select the station when we’re driving together — a forced intimacy that will remain a constant for at least a few more years. Sadly, driving in silence isn’t going to…

50th Medical Tour Fret

“Beauty Contests are stupid,” my daughter said, in response to my cheer upon hearing that Univision had ditched the Miss Universe pageant, and that, in response to Donald Trump’s “thoughtful commentary” about immigrants crossing our Southern border.  “Everyone is beautiful in his own way,” she said, completing her thought.  Gee, maybe she does hear what…

Ritus-Challengius Fret

I suffer from several, self-diagnosed maladies. In addition to No-a-ti-tis, I am afflicted with Ritus-Challengius (R-C), which is characterized by a neurotic avoidance of rituals and ceremonies where I am the center of attention. I’m also directionally dysfunctional, but that is fodder for another post… now where was I? I’m comfortable speaking publicly, happy to mingle and munch at other…

Room Parent Fret

When we last ‘spoke’ I had finished an entire mug of coffee and was lounging in my bed, having successfully repressed my inclination to volunteer as a Room Parent for my daughter’s class. Well… sometimes, if you’re already known as a ‘Yes Woman’, your hand is forced – especially if you’re close friends include other,…

To Be or Not to Be Seen… That is the Question.

I’m two weeks post carnival. I’ve written 50 ‘thank you’ notes on behalf of my harder-working-than-I co-chairs – We really meant what I said in the notes; we are grateful to all of the ‘department heads’. Whether you did it how we would’ve or not, each of you rocked your duties. Thank you – and attended several ‘wrap up’…

The Event- The Final Volunteer Fret

The only rain that my drought-stricken state has seen of late occurred intermittently in the two days before the OUTDOOR (lest you have forgotten) event I was co-chairing.  During these two, soggy days we were setting up the rides and decorating the grounds, of course. Is everything I do destined to be tinged with irony?…

Uber Volunteer Part 2

California is experiencing a serious, dangerous, lifestyle-threatening drought.  So, like any good Angelino, I do a happy dance every time rain is forecast.  I Tweet odes to the wet stuff and take the kids out to play in this sad novelty known as precipitation.  I long to finally ‘break in’ my rain gear even though…

Fret About The Other Side

“No woman is ever happy with her boobs or her hair,” observed a friend of mine as we tried on t-shirts advertising an upcoming event we’re working on together. And she’s right. Those with curly hair want it straight. As my Drybar stylist noted when I went last… okay, earlier today, “If a woman walks in with…

Bowling Fret

When I was working on my 50 Fret, my writing teacher – the gifted nurturer Bruce Gelfand – told me that I couldn’t talk about the vagina enough.  So, originally I was going to fret about yet another indignity of aging – southern sweating… it’s not just my tummy that perspires… and the sympathy I suddenly feel with ‘manspreaders’ ……

Fret About Vacation

I just read the ‘welcome back from mid-winter break’ email from my daughter’s room mom – one of the many volunteer ‘opportunities’ at my children’s school – which started off with, “Trust you had a wonderful, relaxing and renewing break,” before going on to list reminders for the week. My break was neither relaxing nor…

Don’t Fret.  Just Say, “No”.

NO-A-TI-TIS (noun). Noatitis is the inability to decline those lovely folks who ask ‘one’ to volunteer time and treasure for worthy causes.  The malady is characterized by a severe swelling of the throat when trying to utter the word ‘no’ to a righteous cause even though one should refuse. I am afflicted with Noatitis, which explains why I…