March 25, 2000 |
His name is Larry, and the other day, he read a column of mine that made him laugh. This seems to strike him as a minor miracle. "Before reading your column," he writes, "it is standard procedure for me to ... brace myself in case the angry black man side of you is aroused. ... "I am a white, middle-class, Southerner, baby boomer. Because most of the black man's problems appear to be blamed on me and my contemporaries or my ancestors, I tend to read many of your columns with a defensive posture.
February 7, 2012 |
Question: Am I crazy to still be friends with my ex-wife? We split up five years ago after she had an affair with the man she is married to now. We had been married 15 years and had three kids, now ages 21 to 15. I let go of any anger I had and forgave her several years ago. Now we are friends and text from time to time, and have lunch to talk about life, work, and the kids. There is nothing sexual happening. She is just a friend I have known for 21 years. All my divorced friends think I am crazy and can't really be happy unless I put her out of my life.
August 8, 2004 |
"You are ignorant. " "In addition to being ignorant . . . you are despicable. " "Dullards shouldn't be writing columns for major newspapers. " "I'm sure you and Tony Auth have a grand old time in bed together every night. " "I understand your conservative bias, but I don't understand your failure to grasp basic English. Slovenly?" "You are a child of your generation: i.e., the most overprotected, irresponsible, self-indulgent, self-absorbed generation in the history of the planet.
May 22, 1994 |
It would be easy for me to make light of the study that dubbed Philadelphia "Hostile Capital of the U.S.A.," not to take its claims seriously, to allow myself to be amused. I would be amused if studies of this sort, written by "experts" weren't reduced to damaging sound bites, which get flung all over the country by the media and which become lodged in the brains of typical Americans as truths. Philadelphia, Hostile Capital of the U.S.A., for one. No wonder the mayor was upset.
February 20, 1991 |
Most of those assembled in the small circle had been to the monthly group meetings before, so the introductions should have been quick. But they seemed to last forever. As each person spoke, the other 15 people sat riveted. With each carefully chosen phrase, expressions saddened, jaws tightened, eyes watered. The stories seemed painful for everyone. One woman said that her son died in a motorcycle accident almost nine years ago. A couple told the group that they celebrated what would have been their son's 20th birthday earlier that day by bringing a cake and balloons to his grave and singing him "Happy Birthday.
September 15, 1994 |
A play is truly successful if it goes beyond entertainment, if its message educates those in the audience about a part of life to which they might otherwise not be exposed, says director Tom Quinn. Simon's Ark by Jonathan Daly, which opens tonight at the Montgomery Theater Project, is such a play, Quinn says. Though essentially a comedy, it is also a grisly tale about the lives of an unlikely ensemble of homeless people bound together in the squalor of a skid row. Simon was once a handsome actor, his bright star rising.
October 16, 2012 |
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I am dating someone whom I love but who has a very short fuse, gets frustrated easily, and blames me when he cannot resolve a problem. I have asked him, while with our counselor, to get anger management or therapy on his own. He keeps avoiding going, even though he acknowledges this issue freely and willingly. I don't know how much more I can take, walking on eggshells. The reason I don't cut and run isn't just love, but also because I know his anger is pain that is unresolved (emotionally and physically abused as a child and a recent, sudden death of a parent)
August 11, 2007
AS I WRITE, I am angry, hurt and afraid. Angry because the case of the murder of Nicholas Santiago has been the central pain for so many for years. Hurt because three mothers have been left behind to rebuild whatever lives we can. Counting me, four mothers left behind to try figure out how to move on while keeping our families together and making sense out of madness. The mother of Nicholas Santiago has had to bury a son. It is the greatest pain for a parent to lose a child. So many what-if's plague her. I, the mother of his daughter, have struggled to raise a child who has nothing but questions about her father.
October 23, 2007 |
MY EX owed me thousands in child support, and I stayed hopping mad about it for a long time. I'd call the support hot line just to see how much he was in arrears. And then I'd say nasty things about him in my head. Years later, I found out he'd done everything he could to get out of paying the support. Even before he lost his job. Then he did the ultimate to ensure he'd never have to pay me another dime. He upped and died. Suddenly, his back child-support bill wasn't so important.
February 8, 1987 |
Every month, she opens the envelope containing her child support check and cringes. Her former husband invariably has decorated the check with a symbolic drop of blood. Another woman suspects her former husband has some bonds stashed away that he managed to hide during the property settlement. She calls the Internal Revenue Service to report him for alleged nonpayment of taxes. And yet another woman is awakened at 4 a.m. by the ringing of her telephone. She picks it up in terror, knowing whom the caller will be - her former husband, who whispers, "I'm gonna break your legs.