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Category: Relationships

Deconstructing the First Lady’s Jacket

Have you seen that public service announcement circulating about calling 911 but pretending to order a pizza if you’re in danger? It’s a way of getting a message out without tipping off the person who’s holding you hostage or intimidating you. This, to me, may be an apt comparison to what First Lady Melania Trump was doing wearing that now infamous jacket with the words “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” on the back en route to a Texas detention center near the southern border. First, let me clear up a few things. I am not so concerned about Melania Trump’s jacket that I’ve forgotten about families being separated at the border. I am not, as all the memes seem to suggest, “distracted” to the point where I can’t hold any other thoughts. I am quite capable of being horrified and outraged about one while still being thoughtful and curious about the other. What’s the alternative? To ignore it? Are you kidding me? Much like the national anthem story isn’t about football and the Roseanne Barr story isn’t about a TV show, this one ain’t about a fashion statement. It is, however, a statement. Make no mistake about it. The First Lady was trolling her husband. So loudly and so clearly. It was more vivid than any middle finger or vulgarity could ever be. How else can you explain...

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A Baker at the Pearly Gates

A Christian named Jack who owns a bakery dies. He appears before God and St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. You know the ones. Big and imposing, gleaming metal against a backdrop of blue sky and clouds. Jack arrives, chest held high. He’s pumped. Jack: Hello, Lord. Hello, St. Peter. St. Peter: Welcome, Jack. We’re here to determine if you get to walk through these gates. Jack: I know. I’m ready! God: What kind of life have you lived, Jack? Jack: I am a Christian. I went to church every Sunday with my wife and kids. St. Peter (checking off a box on his clipboard): Wonderful. What else? Jack: Well, I’m sure you heard that I was at the forefront of maintaining America’s true values. When I was approached to bake a wedding cake for two men who were getting married, I turned away the business. I couldn’t condone this abomination. God (with furrowed brow): Come again? Jack: According to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin. I felt that using my gift of baking to help celebrate that would make me a sinner, too. St. Peter (exchanging glances with God): Oh boy. Here we go again. Another one who didn’t get it. Jack: What do you mean? St. Peter: We’ve had a few florists and photographers come through here who said the same thing. They were trying to make...

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One Woman’s Eternity vs. Another’s

Last Friday night I watched From Here to Eternity with my mother. I’d never seen it before. In it, Deborah Kerr plays a wife named Karen who has an affair with a military sergeant played by Burt Lancaster. At the end, when he won’t go for a promotion that would allow them to be together, she tells him that now she has to stay in her loveless marriage. What choice does she have? The movie won eight Oscars and is iconic for so many reasons. But I’m sure in 1953 few flinched at that moment when a woman declared...

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A Free Spirit in the Driver’s Seat

“Nan, it’s been really fun and the greatest year – for us, not our parents.” In her tiny script, this is a fraction of what Patty Lyon wrote in my yearbook in 1979 when we graduated from Steinert High School. In her rambling style, often addressing me as “Nanny,” she waxed on about our senior year – “nites out walking, nites out partying and cruising, nites out dancing and rockin’ to The Cars.” We were in that unique group of New Jersey “kids” who were grandfathered in when the legal drinking age went from 18 to 21. And while...

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Get to Know THIS, Vito

The subject line on my recent email from eHarmony read: “Vito wants to get to know you.” Yes, Vito from Bayonne had indeed written after seeing my profile. He wrote to say he’d found his soulmate on eHarmony and was getting married in three weeks. But as he was closing his account, his friend had been “looking over his shoulder” and was bowled over by the sight of moi. It would make his heart melt if I wrote him, Vito said. He, in fact, provided a name, phone number and personal email address for this friend. The area code...

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