I was ten when I encountered my first public penis. The early 80s found an innovative use for nylon: “running shorts,” a sportswear essential with cutting-edge fabric technology. The early 80s also found me, sitting with my classmates in a half-circle on our 5th-grade classroom floor with my teacher—a marathoner in training—proudly sporting a pair. […]Read more "A 300-Word Postcard from Lara Jenson’s Childhood"
Twenty-two years ago when my fiancé and I wrote our wedding vows, we agreed to incorporate particular words and phrases. Of course, “love” and “respect” were there, but I felt it important to include “extraordinary life.” That word, “extraordinary,” is something of an oxymoron, in that, the meaning is understood as “exceptional” and/or “special,” not […]Read more "The Perilous Comforts of Being Average"
She looks nice. Smart, reasonable, experienced. What is not clear by just looking at her is the immense power she holds. Last week on the day before my birthday, I called a car-care shop to schedule a full detailing of my car. Normally, this is something I’d do myself and manage to do with some […]Read more "Warning: Do Not Cross 50-year-old Women"
Years ago, a friend explained that the reason she was divorcing after fifteen years of marriage, which included grade-school-aged children, a dog, three sets of silverware, two mortgages, and one much-coveted snowmobile, was because they weren’t “farther along.” Ever since hearing of that novel unit of measurement, I have lain it on a short stack […]Read more "Why Aren’t We Farther Along?"
An Explanation for his American Rule [Tosses cellphone across the room, where it lands on the patterned, tufted couch. Stomping toward the Resolute Desk, where scant work has been done for the American people in the last three and a half years, he squeezes into the chair, glances at the corner where his predecessor had […]Read more "PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SOLILOQUY:"
With all the bread making we’d been doing since quarantine began, our oven was bound to break. When that happened, I received a recommendation for a local repair shop and scheduled a service call. After greeting the unmasked repairman in my driveway, he put one on and came inside to inspect our out-of-order appliance. […]Read more "The Un-Masked Desire for More, More, More"
One of the mantras I remember hearing, and still hear on occasion, is “You can always work at McDonald’s.” This statement rests on several assumptions, i.e., 1. McDonald’s is always hiring, 2. potential employees have a McDonald’s nearby, 3. potential employees can get to said McDonald’s, and 4. the hours offered to said potential […]Read more "The Tainted Golden Arches of a Broken System"
With the advent of social media, especially Facebook, people have been given license to say pretty much whatever they want, whenever they want, about any subject–though mostly the preferred subject is oneself. When social media was growing to the behemoth that it is today, commentators praised the democratization of thought that social media could foster, […]Read more "Asking for Child(ish) Support"
Well, it happened last week: I snapped. The accumulation of months of thoughtfully choosing my words, carefully picking my battles, and patiently awaiting spontaneous combustion to light little fires underneath my four teenagers led me to call an official “family meeting.” These gatherings, which were a regular feature of my own childhood, usually yielded both […]Read more "Shifting Expectations"
Four months ago, quarantine began for my family. After retrieving our college freshman from school in a panicked rush of stuffing boxes as our cars waited in 15-minute, loading-zone parking, my spouse and I drove home separately. Looking back, I’m grateful that Asher was with Rob; I was too overwhelmed by the anticipated enormity of […]Read more "All the Projects"