Can I Touch Your Hair?

I was raised in the city of Philadelphia in the 1960s.

My friends in the neighborhood were mainly the children of Irish immigrants as was I. There was Annmarie O’Sullivan whose mom always seemed to be having another baby. We both had the perpetually skinned knees of city kids who grew up where there is no grass.

There were the Tierney’s across the back alley. My mom frantically rushed me to their back door when I woke up covered in spots that turned out to be chicken pox.

There was also Jack, the 35 year old mentally handicapped man who lived next door with his elderly parents and was one of the best friends a six-year-old can have.

There was the Jewish family down the street, the Loves. My mom hemmed their skirts for pocket money and they gave me hand me downs through my teen years. They seemed very glamorous to me.

This was the late sixties though, which brought an end to segregation and an influx of African American families to our neighborhood. I had no idea that this was supposed to be scary and bad and would soon lead to the white flight of neighborhood families to the idyllic suburbs.

I just thought it meant some new friends. (I maintain that it was my six year old self  who was correct, not the hand wringing grown-ups.)

Most notably was Dolores, who would soon be my closest friend, albeit for probably less than a year before we also left for the suburbs.

We played in the alley, on the sidewalk and in my house. We were pretty much inseparable. One day Dolores, who wore her hair in little braids all over her head secured by plastic clips, shyly asked if she could touch my hair. I said sure, not really understanding was was interesting about my very straight long hair.

She reached a hand out and stroked my hair gently, whispering, “It feels like cotton candy.”

The next day there were half a dozen African American girls who I didn’t even know waiting outside to touch my hair.

We moved away soon as well and Dolores and I didn’t keep in touch, but I think if her from time to time and wonder if she remembers the little white girl with the long straight hair.

(this is written in response to the “Besties” challenge from my writing challenge group.

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Spenser The Dog Looks At Me When I Leave For Work In The Morning


Like a small child who knows he will be left alone all day with nothing but some chew toys and a bowl of kibble.

Not that I ever did that with a small child.

And the statute of limitations is long past anyway.

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There Are Things in the Back of My Fridge Older Than This Fitness Blogger

There Are Things in the Back of My Fridge Older Than This Fitness Blogger.

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Wouldn’t You Like to Be a Checker, Too?

I’m a checker.

There. I’ve said it.

When I get on a plane, I check all the exits, count the seats to each and  make sure I know how to operate my mask and floatation devices. (You’re welcome, Flight Attendants. It’s me, the one who was paying attention.)

When I go to the movies, a show or concert, I note the exits.

I go to tons of general admission concerts and I am always near the front, but I would wager that there are never more than maybe 12 people between me an the exits.

I know where the fire extinguishers and defibrillators are every place I frequent. You can quiz me.

This may all sound a bit neurotic, admittedly, but it’s not borne out of fear or anxiety. I don’t worry about it or even think about it once I have made my visual rounds.

I enter, look around, file away my mental notes and enjoy the evening.

Any other checkers out there?

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The League of Extraordinary Gentlepersons

The League of Extraordinary Gentlepersons.

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The Final Countdown

The Final Countdown.

An entry from one of my other blogs

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I Love My Twenty Dollar Target Man Bag

I stumbled across this at Target a few months back and I’ve been carrying it ever since.


I devote entirely too much time to finding the perfect bag. I don’t buy expensive bags or designer labels. I don’t think I’ve broken the fifty dollar mark, but I’m always on the hunt.

The perfect bag for me would be like Hermione’s evening bag; a tiny bag of infinite capacity.

So I have resigned myself to multiple bags. This one for daily hauling, a cute black leather studded number for weekends and a wristlet for concerts and the like, which also serves as an everyday wallet.

This bag is great for hauling things to the office, or setting up for a couple of hours at a coffee shop


It has room for:

My gen 1 iPad

Action Day Planner

Copies of Wired and Writer’s Digest

Touchscreen sensitive gloves




For smaller things, there is a zippered pocket and I bought a small insert for assorted girl stuff and accoutrements:

Sharpie Pens



Mascara (Clinique Lash-Doubling)

Eyeliner (Buxom Black Insider)

Lipstick or gloss (Dior Show Lipbalm and Burts Bees tinted balm.)

I can even toss a cardigan or bottle of water in there.

Update– I took the pictures in this post a couple of weeks ago, but I’m posting it now after seeing this on Lifehacker– one of my favorite websites:

Show us your bag.


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