Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Once upon a time there was a man who pulled beetles from blocks of metal. 
That might be the wrong way to tell his story, although scarabs are a symbol of rebirth so hopefully that works in a way. 

Other possibilities: He was a jeweler. A contractor. A fisherman. 

No, instead I will tell the story of how once he knew another man, an acquaintance, in the town in which they both lived, and this other man thought his name was Bob or Dave or Bill, something that was most definitely not his name, and he let the other man call him Bob or Dave or Bill rather than embarrass him. They did not see each other often, just the odd run-in on the street, and so it went for years that this other man knew him as the wrong name. No harm, no foul. Until one day the other man moved a few doors down from him and began to socialize with his other friends, and he had to tell him that, in fact, his name was not Bob or Dave or Bill. But rather than embarrass either of them he said it had been his name once, that he had been right to call him that other name then, but he had since changed it. And his name was now Allen.

I love that story.

He was a sailor. A tinker. He used to put blue cream soda in empty Windex bottles and squirt it into his mouth. He could fix anything.

Tonight I found out that Allen passed away, and even though things with him have been so hard for the past few years and even harder since my mom died, grim, confusing, downright awful, I know that his story is more than that.

Once upon a time he was my stepdad, and I loved him.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Tooth Fairy: An Epistolary Post

Saturday, March 22, 8:01 a.m.
Dear Tooth Fairy,
I was so excited for what I was going to get, I was really hoping for 10 dollars! I tried to lose my tooth, I wiggled it, I flicked it to the top of my mouth, I twisted it and I tried everything, nothing worked and after all that effort all you give me is 2 dollars. Just 8 more dollars please. If you don't accept what I need it's okay, I'm used to being upset. But please don't take away my 2 dollars because then I'll be broke because I only have 6 dollars!

Saturday, March 22, 10:41 p.m.

Dear Zoey,

Thank you for your letter. Not many kids write me...it's nice to hear from you.

I'm sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the $2. The thing is, that particular tooth is worth $2. That's the going rate for the Upper Left Lateral Incisor. Different teeth have different rates. For instance, the first tooth you lose is usually worth much more, which may be why you were expecting more money.

It's important to learn that you need to work for your money, earn it and save it up. If you are simply given money (and toys), then you will not appreciate what you have. Unfortunately, I've seen this happen, not just with kids but with grown-ups, too...if people are given anything and everything they want, they only want more and more, and they forget how to appreciate what they have. Eventually this makes people feel sad, and the last thing I want is for you to feel sad.

Listen--I have been alive for 1700 years, three months and 4 days. I have learned a thing or two watching kids grow up, so let me tell you this: money that you earn, a toy that you save up for? That feels so much better than money or a toy that you get just because you want it. Simply put: happiness is found when you want what you already have (and you have so, so much).

At the same time, I am also proud of you for writing a letter to me, for speaking up for what you think is right. This is an important skill. You won't always get what you are asking for, but I want to encourage you to continue to fight for what you are worth, and I don't just mean this in terms of money because you are worth more than $8, more than $800,000,000, more than any amount of money. You are worth everything, and I love that you felt confident enough to write me. So even though the tooth was only worth $2, I am going to leave you a little more because you had the guts to ask. I won't give you the $8 you are asking for, though, because I want you to earn the rest. Here's an idea: ask your parents what you can do to earn the rest of the money. I am sure that together you will be able to think of something.

Anyway, it's such a pleasure watching you grow up. Me and the other fairies are so proud of you and how well you're taking care of your teeth (although you have to remember to brush before school every day!).

You are amazing.


The Tooth Fairy

p.s.Thanks for the ring. It's too big for my finger but looks great as a belt. I love it!

Sunday, March 23, 8:17 p.m.
Dear You,

Let's just pretend I didn't disappear for a few weeks with no explanation. Because quite frankly the explanation is icky and I don't know how to write about it, if I should at all. Apologies for the vaguery--I do hate me some vaguery--I also hate hearing about dreams, though I do want to point out that teeth falling out is a symbol of anxiety, of losing something, not sure how the Tooth Fairy figures into all of that. Though I will say she is right...happiness is found when you want what you already have, and in that way I am very, very happy.

Missed you.


p.s. Ugh. I'm sorry all. I hate hate hate vague posts, and I ended this with such vaguedouchery. I am fine. My family is fine. The Ick of which I speak has to do with my mom's estate...maybe one day I will be far enough away from it to write about it. Or not, and we'll just talk about kittens.