Representation matters

We all need to see girls and young women on the hero’s journey

I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to major in biomedical engineering, then go to med school, then design artificial body parts.

That’s how I started college – as a biomedical engineer.

I finished as an English major.

I know this is not exactly failure – so sad that I got to go to college, much less finish, but I abandoned my dreams because I didn’t think I could do it.


One of my roommates got the same grades I did freshman year in chemistry, calculus, and physics. She now has a PhD in comp sci.

I could have done it.

But I didn’t think I could.

There was nobody to tell me I could.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I should have pulled myself up by my bootstraps and all that. I should have known – I should have persisted – there are plenty of women who conquered these obstacles – etc., etc., etc.

But I didn’t.

I was weak. I was ignorant. I was scared.

Whatever.


My parents were first-generation college students. My grandparents didn’t go past 8th grade. Not because they didn’t want to but because their families needed them to work.

My dad was the first (and only one) of his siblings to go to college. He went on the GI Bill after enlisting in the Coast Guard. After he finished college, he joined the air force, which is where he spent his career.

That is, my dad risked his life to go to college. The military is great in peacetime (what is that these days?) but when there’s a war, being shot at is part of your job description.

Notice it’s the not the children of the affluent joining the military.

My mom was the first of her siblings (not the last) to go to college. She went to the University of Wisconsin on a full academic scholarship, but dropped out to get married. It was hard, she said, to be the poor girl in the dorm. Her roommate had a closet full of new clothes that still had all the tags. My mom sewed her own clothes and didn’t even have, she said, a dime to buy coffee.

My mom does not exaggerate. She meant that she literally did not have an extra dime to get coffee with her friends.


My parents didn’t know about the SATs or how to apply for college. I had a really good counselor my junior year of high school when we lived in the Panama Canal Zone, but we moved that summer and my new counselor was super busy and didn’t have time for me.

Fortunately, I had already taken my SATs and had already identified the college I wanted to attend, but a little more guidance would have been nice, such as when the recruiter from Princeton came to my high school and urged me to apply. I didn’t bother because I knew there was no way my parents could pay for Princeton and I didn’t want to pay the application fee. That’s where a counselor telling me about financial aid and the waiving of application fees might have been useful.


I started school as an engineer, taking the basic calculus, chemistry, and physics as a freshman.

All my professors were male.

Most of the other students were male. At the time, the male-female ratio at my college was about two to one.

If there were career support activities just for women, I didn’t know about them.

(Now, there is fabulous support for women at Rice, which makes me happy.)

I was too scared to ask for help because I didn’t know that was a thing. I didn’t know I was allowed to do that. I didn’t know that’s what office hours were. I thought office hours were the hours that professors worked, which made me think that being a college professor was a super-sweet gig: You work only a few hours a day!

Then there was that D in freshman calculus.

But an A in physics.

Physics was logical.

Calculus was not.

But still – a D.

I had always been an A student. Then I got to college and everyone around me was also an A student and I was no longer the smartest person in the class, which was so, so weird, but then I accepted that I was not the smartest person in the world and it was liberating.

But having been the smartest person in high school meant I had never had to study or ask for help and I didn’t know how to do so and I didn’t think that people who got a D in calculus could be engineers or doctors and I didn’t ask anyone and nobody told me otherwise so I just – quit.


Yes, I know a better woman than I would have persisted. I know better women did, including my roommate, the one who is now a college professor.

What was the difference between the two of us? Why did she keep going despite the bad grades? Why did I give up at the first sign of trouble? What does she have that I didn’t?

I honestly don’t know, but I was very alone on my college journey and she was not. Her parents were both teachers and knew how to encourage her in ways that my parents simply did not, just because of their backgrounds.

And I didn’t see anyone who looked like me in the places I wanted to be. I didn’t see female professors. I didn’t see female doctors. I didn’t know about other female students failing and then overcoming their failures and succeeding in the end.


Maybe I could have done it if I had persisted. I don’t know. Maybe I am just not smart or persistent enough to have succeeded in my desired career. I will never know now.

But for the girls and young women behind us: We can help them. If you know a girl or a young woman who is struggling or who is trying to do something hard, tell her she can do it. Help her find resources, like the Women in Tech groups. Show her the stories of Katherine Johnson and the codebreakers in WWII and Katalin Karikó and Rosalind Franklin.

They can do it.

A World War II color poster depicting ‘Rosie the Riveter’ encourages American women to show their strength and go to work for the war effort by J. Howard Miller in circa 1940. (Photo courtesy National Archives/Getty Images)

Leave Britney alone. Leave all of us alone.

Pro tip for men: If the only female humans who will pay attention to you are underage, you’re the problem. Lolita is not a guidebook.

I know I keep using this image of ‘Medusa With the Head of Perseus’, by artist Luciano Garbati, but it’s so appropriate for so many things.

A grown man (loud, obnoxious, entitled) was hassling a teenager in the coffee shop where Mr T and I were ordering our cafecitos to go.

(We were the only ones masked, including the person preparing the coffee. Not relevant to this story, but noteworthy considering we were in northern Wisconsin, in the area with the lowest vax rates in the state.)

The five of us – barista, grown man, teenage girl, Mr T and I – were the only ones in the shop.

As we walked in, the man was asking the barista if the girl could pose with the sweatshirts he had brought in. (My guess is he is a vendor to the shop, maybe selling on consignment?)

Man: I want her to pose with them and then post the photos. Is that OK?

Barista (shrugging): OK.

That’s a little weird. I get using youth and beauty to sell stuff. It works. But it’s still gross when and when you don’t even know the person, it’s worse.

Man: Would you hold these while I take some photos?

Say no! Say no!

Girl: OK.

He finishes and she returns to her table, where she is doing homework.

The man sits at the table with her.

There are a million empty tables around her.

Man: How old are you? Fifteen?

If you have to ask how old she is and your first guess is 15, then you shouldn’t be asking.

Girl (head down, looking at book, still writing): Sixteen.

This is where the man should laugh in embarrassment and leave. Yet that is not what happens.

Man: Sweet sixteen! Did you have a sweet sixteen party? I bet you did!

Girl (still not making eye contact, still writing): No.

Man: Hey! Do you want to come to this harvest festival?

Me to Mr T and barista: Did that grown man just ask out that underage girl?

Barista: He wouldn’t. She’s my sister.

Me (and you are OK pimping her out for him to take photos of her?): UM, OK.

Man: What’s your profile name? I can send you an invitation.

Girl (still not making eye contact, still writing): Yeah I’ll have to check my work schedule.

First, you shouldn’t be asking underage girls on a date.

Second, with grown women, “I’ll have to check my schedule” means “Leave me alone you creep.”

Third, if you want to ask out a grown woman, wait until she makes eye contact with you before you do. Lack of eye contact is a sign. That sign is that she does not want to talk to you.


What do we do, fellow warriors? How do we protect girls and other women from men? What do we say? What do we do?

One friend suggested asking the girl, “Is everything OK?”

Another suggested, “Is this man bothering you?”

What do we say? I like both of those ideas. I also like the idea of just sitting next to the girl and smiling at the man.


It makes me angry that I have to think of a way to protect a girl when I am scared myself. We don’t know what reaction we might get if we challenge an asshole. And it makes me even angrier at myself for putting my own worries ahead of protecting a sixteen-year-old girl.

The things I wish I could take back

They made sense at the time, which terrifies me, because what makes sense now that’s making other people shake their heads in sorrow?

It’s a good thing I didn’t have cats yet back then or I would have been really insufferable. What if I had just brought a cat into my friends’ apartment? Without asking?

The older I get, the more horrified I am at the things I did when I was younger. These things seemed fine at the time, but now I shudder.

Here’s one. I finished college a semester early (to save money, which, again, in retrospect, I am horrified at because I saved $2,000. That’s it, y’all: two thousand dollars. That is all I saved. When I could have had another semester of learning and being with my friends. I was so dumb. But $2,000 was a lot of money back then. That’s when tuition was a mere $4,000 a year. FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR! Can you imagine?)

Anyhow. I finished early and decided the best thing to do with my time was go back to school, only this time at the University of Texas in the English graduate program. I don’t know – to be a writer or something. I didn’t pick wisely, though: I enrolled in a rhetoric class and a medieval lit class, where I learned (and still know) that in Middle English, the “k” and the “gh” in words like “knight” were pronounced, so it was “Sir Gawain and the green kah-nicht.”

This knowledge has not been useful to me in my career. Or even in Trivial Pursuit.

I also took a squash class. The sport, not the food.

That was the only class I got an A in, even though I stopped going to classes in the middle of the semester. I did not formally withdraw, because I needed to be a full-time student to stay on my mom and dad’s insurance. I just stopped going to class. My squash teacher didn’t notice because she had just gotten engaged and I guess she just gave everyone an A.

This is relevant only because I had to move from Houston to Austin. I found a place to live: My friend K, with whom I worked as a lifeguard in the summers, was an undergrad at UT. She and her roommate, R, needed a third roommate – theirs had moved out after the first semester.

I moved in.

I moved in a week before classes started so I could spend time with my then-boyfriend, whose mom and dad lived in Austin.

K and R hadn’t returned to Austin yet, so I would be alone in the apartment, the dream of young people in love/lust.

(Alas, Austin had a historic ice storm that week that made the highways impassible, so not only did I not see my boyfriend, I had to trudge through snow to find an open grocery store once I had eaten all the food in the apartment, which consisted of a box of fudgesicles.)

Anyhow. In all this aloneness, I had decided – I still can’t believe I did this but it made perfect sense to me at the time – I would redecorate the apartment.

I had brought with me, from my mom and dad’s in San Antonio, a bunch of paintings.

I don’t even remember how that came to pass – if my mom offered them to me or if I asked for them.

But I had paintings my mom and dad had gotten in Spain.

And I decided these paintings – street scenes of Madrid – belonged not in my bedroom but in the living room.

So that’s where I put them.

Without asking my roommates.

One of whom I had never met.

And I used nails.

In the walls of an apartment.

Is it obvious I had never

  1. Rented an apartment before?
  2. Shared an apartment with roommates before?

When K and B returned, K saw the paintings. She, a drama major, said brightly, “Isn’t it – kind – of you to share these paintings with us!”

Wait.

It gets worse.

When we moved out at the end of the semester, we still had a month left on the lease. The apartment was going to sit empty.

So I gave the key to my college friend Warren, who was starting a job at Texas Instruments or someplace like that.

Neither K nor B had ever met Warren.

I did not ask K or B if it was OK.

I WAS NOT ON THE LEASE. I HAD NOT EVEN PAID PART OF THE DEPOSIT.

Oh my Lord.

When Warren moved out, I went up to Austin and cleaned the apartment again. All it needed was vacuuming – he had left it clean and tidy. But K was angry with me. She came over to my mom and dad’s house and yelled at me.

What if Warren had left the place a mess? What if he had damaged the place? What if they’d lost their deposit?

I was super defensive – and I was defensive because she was right and I was wrong.

That was the last time we spoke. In a fight. After years of being friends.

A few years ago, I found K on facebook and apologized.

She replied that she didn’t even remember the incident.

Which is the beauty of being lucky enough to have good people as friends in the first place – they will forget and forgive.

I hope my current friends are as forgetting.

Women’s pain is normal and we don’t even bother to talk about it because it would be like talking about inhaling and exhaling air

Also, Blue Cross of Michigan is the worst insurance company in the US

I have always been convinced I could do a tracheotomy if I had to.

In an emergency, I mean. If someone were choking. Not just for the heck of it. Not as a hobby.

I always have a Swiss army knife in my purse and I always have a pen. (A pen that people so often, in the Before Times, would want to borrow but I would not let them because people who don’t carry their own pens also do not return borrowed pens.)

I don’t carry alcohol to sterilize the equipment but honestly, if you are choking to death, would you rather die an sterilized death or take your chances with a pen that I had not let other people use?

I have never been called to do a tracheotomy.

I did, however, come close the other night.

I was taking the bus home and the driver stopped the bus, got off, closed the door, and disappeared.

I was the only one on the bus.

I waited. And waited. And wondered if it was some weird psychological experiment, like the time in PSYC 201 in college when there was an irregular pinging sound during one whole class session but nobody had the guts to ask the prof what was going on. (Which may have been the experiment.)

Anyhow. I was wondering if I could walk home (if I could get out of the bus) when the driver reappeared.

I asked if everything was OK.

She said she had needed to use the bathroom.

I did the math. She had also used the bathroom at the beer garden at the start of the route only 20 minutes prior.

MY SISTER.

“That has to be a hassle in this job,” I said.

She agreed that it was.

And I knew my moment had come. The moment I had been waiting for – to give medical advice.

I dug into my purse – this wasn’t even my regular purse with the SAK and the pen – it was my festival purse that is small enough to get past the search teams and search teams don’t let you take knives into festivals, not even in Wisconsin, and pulled out a foil of generic AZO.

Yes. Even if I can’t carry a knife, I always have pee pills with me.

I pulled the cord and walked to the front of the bus as she stopped the bus.

“Here,” I said as I passed the pills to her. “Even if you don’t want to take pills from a stranger, this has the name on it. This will help you not feel like you need to pee all the time.”

She gave me a bewildered thanks as I sauntered off the bus, happy that I had done A Good Deed.


The really sad thing?

I really did do a Good Deed.

How did you find out about AZO, generic or otherwise?

How did you learn that it’s possible to relieve bladder and UTI pain?

Wait.

Let’s back up.

Guess what – bladder pain is not normal.

It’s not normal to think you have a UTI all the time.

It’s not normal for your bladder to feel like it’s on fire.

But again – I never thought too deeply about it. It’s just one of those things that goes with being a woman, right?

Even when I have mentioned it to my doctor. And have asked for a solution. And have been tested and the result has been nope, not a UTI.

Even when I have been sure to pee right after sex. And to always wear scrupulously clean underwear. (In The Vagina Bible, Dr Jen Gunter says ALL THAT IS BS. BLADDER PROBLEMS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH PEEING AFTER SEX.)

Even when I have been scoped up the hoo-ha and the doc has said nope, your bladder is a normal size with normal capacity and there is nothing wrong with it.

(Thank you, Blue Cross of Michigan, for considering that doctor office visit as a hospital visit for $700 and not an office visit for a $45 copay merely because the doc’s office happens to be in a hospital, which is not uncommon for teaching hospitals. You are the most evil of insurance companies. United HealthCare paid all visits to docs in this hospital as office visits. Blue Cross of Michigan? YOU ARE AWFUL.)

Even when I have had to call my doctor when I was on vacation and ask for pain relief because I was in such pain I could barely move, I thought it was normal.

This was normal.

Of course my bladder bothers me.

I am a woman. We have pain.

I didn’t even learn about AZO, an OTC painkiller for bladder pain, from a doctor. A pharmacist told me about it.

And the words “interstitial cystitis,” with which I have not been diagnosed, mind you, have never been said to me at a doc’s office. Even when I have asked for more UTI drugs and they say it’s probably not a UTI and I need to be checked out, nobody has said, “Because it might be this thing that can’t be cured and nobody knows what it is but hey it might help to stay super hydrated and avoid tomatoes.”

But I have AZO. Well, I have Walgreen’s version of AZO. So I guess that’s OK? No definition, really. No cure. No truly effective treatment.

But at least we have Viagra. Right?

Let’s talk about pain

They think it’s in our heads and if it’s in our heads, they can dismiss us

Have you ever experienced pain during a procedure involving your uterus? I passed out once during a biopsy.

I remember the doctor warning me that it might be “slightly uncomfortable.”

And then passing out.

And then my (male) doctor telling me I had a “highly-developed vasovagal response,” which means not, “I pass out when I feel pain” but “I pass out easily.”

Turns out I am not the only one who finds “slightly uncomfortable” to be closer to “really painful.” Read Caroline Criado Perez’s brilliant newsletter about this issue.

… for many women, IUD insertion isn’t, as the NHS website says simply “uncomfortable,” and no, 400mg of ibuprofen isn’t cutting it. Several women who wrote to me compared it UNFAVOURABLY with the pain they experienced GIVING BIRTH WITHOUT PAIN RELIEF.

Starting when I was a teenager, I would get sinus headaches. I lived on aspirin and sudafed.

I was at my friend Heather’s one day and got a headache. No aspirin in my purse, so I asked Heather if she had any.

No. She had no aspirin. None.

“What do you do when you get a headache?” I asked her.

“I don’t get headaches,” she said.

That was the first time I had ever heard someone say that.

I thought getting headaches was normal.

I thought getting headaches all the time was normal.

Turns out it is not.

Even so, it still did not occur to me until years later to mention my headaches to a doctor. Who goes to a doctor for a headache?

And, possibly, I had internalized the idea that women’s pain does not matter – that we are to endure it. After all, nobody had ever really solved my menstrual cramps problem. One of the few outcomes from getting medication for cramps was that my insurance company, while I was in grad school and had to get individual health insurance, refused to cover me for any problems of the reproductive system.

And UTIs – again, who goes to the doc for that? And when we do, we’re told – well, we’re told to pee after sex and drink a lot of water.

(Turns out that’s BS as well: Read Jen Gunter‘s book, The Vagina Bible.)

Why is our pain ignored? (And the pain of Black women is discounted even more than the pain of white women.)

Because nobody – wait, NOBODY WITH POWER – believes it’s real.

Or, if they think it’s real, they don’t care.

Faherty and Grier studied the administration of pain medication after abdominal surgery and found that, controlling for patient weight, physicians prescribed less pain medication for women aged 55 and older than for men in the same age group…

Calderone found that male patients undergoing a coronary artery bypass graft received narcotics more often than female patients, although the female patients received sedative agents more often, suggesting that female patients were more often perceived as anxious rather than in pain.

Another study, comparing post-operative pain in children, found that significantly more codeine was given to boys than girls and that girls were more likely to be given acetaminophen.

The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain, Diane E. Hoffmann, Associate Dean & Professor, U. of Maryland School of Law, Anita J. Tarzian, Professor, U. of Maryland Baltimore County

But why?

Because they think we are making it up. Because they think it’s all in our heads. Because how can they study women’s bodies? Our hormones make it so hard!

perceivers judged female patients as relatively more likely to benefit from psychotherapy, whereas male patients were judged to benefit more from pain medicine.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33684539/

Women weren’t included in clinical trials until the 1990s. While we make up 70% of chronic pain patients, 80% of pain medication has been tested only on men. Even in preclinical trials with cell lines and rodents, males have been favoured over females. Researchers have justified this bias by claiming that oestrous cycles in female rodents – and menstrual cycles in human women – would potentially corrupt results. If that were so, wouldn’t it be quite important to find out before selling the drug to women?

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/sep/02/why-dont-doctors-trust-women-because-they-dont-know-much-about-us

And let’s not forget the main reason: it’s more important to spend research money on erectile dysfunction, which, may I remind you again, DOES NOT CAUSE PAIN AND DOES NOT INHIBIT EVERYDAY LIFE, than it is to study and resolve women’s problems.

Five times as many clinical trials have been conducted on the topic of male sexual pleasure, such as for erectile dysfunction, as on female sexual pain….Pubmed, which publishes medical research studies and found 446 studies of dyspareunia, vaginismus, and vulvodynia, all highly painful conditions affecting women’s ability to have sex. Studies of erectile dysfunction? 1,954. As one doctor she quotes explains, women will silently provide sex “with their teeth tightly clenched.”

Rage Becomes Her, Soroya Chemaly

Once you’ve tasted freedom, it’s hard to go back

The siren call of semi-retirement

We have been renting the same cottage on Lake Superior for the past 13 summers. It’s the best place on earth.

I have been trying to quit my job.

“Trying?” you ask.

Yes. Trying.


When Mr T and I returned from vacation two weeks ago, I gave my two weeks’ notice.

I thought that would be it.

But my boss has been trying to figure out how to keep me.

Which is completely bizarre to me. It’s never happened before.


Not that there is anything that could have made me stay in some of my previous jobs. Except for quitting to go to grad school, I quit because I hated the situation (and the boss) and there is nothing – not even more money – that could have made me stay.

But this time, I am quitting because – this is not how I want to spend my remaining work years.

Last week, Mr T and I learned that a classmate has cancer and has less than six months to live.

The next day, I found out that a friend of mine from when we worked together in Austin had died of natural causes at 64. Sixty four is not that old, y’all.

And last year, a good friend of mine died after three years of cancer. Her husband had finally retired and they were going to Do All The Things – and she was diagnosed of cancer and they never did any of the things.

I spent all of 2020 unemployed. It was stressful not having an income, but we were still so lucky compared to other people. And outside the lack of income and a global pandemic, it was, oddly, a good year for me. I did all kinds of great volunteer projects that made me feel my time mattered: Mr T and I volunteered at the food bank, I managed a project to donate free face shields to health-care workers (Mr T delivered the shields and our house was the western pickup point), and I helped an anti-racism group define their messaging and develop a website.

Most importantly, I helped get rid of the former president by doing everything I could to make sure that eligible voters in Milwaukee, a swing city in a swing state, cast a ballot. I volunteered for two months at the election commission, processing voter registrations and absentee ballot applications, and Mr T and I volunteered as pollworkers on election day.


Last winter, I went back to work full time.

My boss is super nice. My co-workers are super nice. Everyone is really nice.

But – it’s a big company with lots of bureaucracy. I put together a monthly department newsletter with hard deadlines.

It’s hard. It’s hard to be on a deadline all the time and to be responsible for getting work and approvals from other people when you have no authority over them.

I was cranky all the time. I started taking migraine meds again. I woke up every morning dreading what might happen at work. (Not from my boss, but from others outside of the group.)

It’s like that everywhere, at all corporations, I think. A former boss lamented to me, “I just want to be a floor manager at Home Depot.”

I decided to quit. I decided to quit and look for something part time, just enough money to pay for our health insurance. With our remaining time, we would volunteer on causes we care about. Mr T is going to volunteer for his friend who is running against Ron Johnson (we have got to get rid of him) and I want to work on voting rights and systemic racism and prison reform.


After Mr T and I returned from vacation last month, I gave my notice.

That was a week ago and my boss has been brainstorming to figure out a way for me to stay: would I work part time? What if they got rid of all the work except the newsletter? Would I stay until the end of August to get the August issue out? Am I interested in being a contractor to work on projects?

I have to tell you, it’s really flattering to be wanted.

He’s talking to HR to figure out what these options would look like.

And I am thinking, “Maybe I don’t need to look for a part-time job that pays $15/hour and requires me to be onsite. Maybe I can work ten hours a week for my current pay and pay for health insurance and be liberated the rest of the time.”

So that’s where I am. I will let you know what happens.

Y’all, it’s a good market for job seekers right now. It’s bizarre.

Let’s make rich people richer!

UNION

I worked at an engineering company for five years. My first four years were wonderful: I had an amazing boss, whom we shall call Amazing Boss henceforth, and we had a great time working together.

Then the company was acquired.

And the new owners hired a bunch of people, including the new CEO, from GE.

If you know anything about how GE works, this is the part that should make you start to worry.

The new CEO started having quarterly town halls.

That part is fine.

But every town hall – indeed, every communication from him, was about the company goal: To earn $3 billion in revenue.

That was it: To Earn A Lot of Money.

Not to Make Great Products. Not to Be The Best in Our Field. Not to Make Customers Happy.

But to Earn A Lot of Money.

I tried to explain to my new boss, who also came from GE and who was in charge of internal communications, that perhaps engineers would relate more to a different goal – one that wasn’t, “Let’s make sure shareholders and executives get rich.”

I told her many many times that the CEO’s message was bad.

“This company leads our space in patents,” I said. “The engineers are super smart people who want to do cool things. That’s what motivates them – not making money for someone else.”

She ignored me and, in less than a year, she re-org’d me out of the company.


While Mr T and I were on vacation, my boss texted me with a question. I understand why he did it – my company is highly bureaucratic and there can be Drama.

It took me less than two minutes to answer the question and – done.

But it was the first time in my entire life that work has contacted me while I was on vacation.

I was not happy.

A dear friend told me that I don’t understand nature of work these days.

Maybe.

But I am not paid enough and I am really not important enough that I need to be available all the time.


A few years ago, as I sat next to a co-worker waiting for a meeting to start, I read that the Teamsters had led a successful initiative to cut executive pay at McKesson.

“Rock on, my union siblings!” I said as I summarized the story for my co-worker.

“They’re just jealous,” he said.

It wasn’t until I was about to fall asleep that night that I came up with the perfect answer, which was, “Oh? Do you think you’re management? Because you’re not. You and I? WE ARE LABOR.”

It took me a long time to reach that realization, but now?

I am labor. And I don’t really care if the execs get rich.

This is Wisconsin not New York here we get up early

Yeah I know it’s August and I’m closed but this is quick

It’s Sunday morning.

Unfortunately, I woke up a little after 7:00 instead of sleeping gloriously late.

When I got to my computer, I discovered messages from two of the people I am giving stuff to via my neighborhood’s Buy Nothing group.

They both want to come by before 10:00 a.m.

On a weekend.

Bless their hearts – who does chores early on a Sunday? (I mean, besides farmers?)

The European August

Ferme’ pour vacances

Mr T and me enjoying very expensive cane sugar Coke in Madrid, but the price did include sitting at a table in a beautiful park for as long as we wanted, so it was worth it.

To quote my friend Lisa at Privilege, I am “taking August off like I was European or something.”

I will be back in September.

(Everything’s fine. I’m just lazy.)