• DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    by Mary Beth Ellis
  • Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
    Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
    Random House Trade Paperbacks
This area does not yet contain any content.

At Arlington

You are lions to little me, and what's more, you never thought of yourselves as such.

You stood in straight lines at attention where my legs buckle with fear, with fatigue, with laziness.

You stayed kept your politics to yourself so that I might speak of reality television and infomercials.

You bent with the weight of heavy gear and heavy responsibility so that I could stand impatiently in amusement park ride lines, cell phone in one hand, cold drink in the other.

Your family followed you without complaint so that I can lay my head down at night without any real concern as to whether or not mine is safe.

You drank dirty, warm water so that I could have my choice of bottled Perrier in the endless aisles of a well-swept grocery store.

You submitted to the orders of others so that I can pick up and lay down work at will.

You stayed up all night, watching, so that I could sleep in and roll my eyes at the cost of a Frappuccino.

You missed the birth of your first child so that I could weep over not having had a vacation in the past year.

You put your entire career on hold so that I could fret over the low pay for freelance writers these days.

You endured desert heat so that I could smack at the thermostat and make a single phone call to fix it.

You live in assigned quarters, tents even, so that I could complain about property taxes.

You hauled crates of humanitarian aid into Jeeps so that I could tap the softness of my arms and complain about the terrible shape I was in--how fat, how underdeveloped.

You drove tanks into sniper fire so that I could look around the quiet streets of my small suburb and say, "There's nothing going on around here."

You put off higher education so that I could gnash my teeth over my alma mater's poor football showing.

You shivered in driving rains so that I could tell everyone from my heated home that I was having trouble adjusting to these terrible Virginia winters after five years in Florida.

You climbed into fighter jets so that I could balk at the poor customer service of the airlines.

You read technical manuals so that I could kill twenty minutes with a gardening magazine.

You deferred credit to others when I said, "Why aren't I famous yet?"

You ate another MRE so I could sigh over microwaved leftovers from a bulging refrigerator.

You said, "Give me a gun," when I said, "But a rerun of Golden Girls is on."

You said, "I'll go," when I said, "I'm too important here."

You said, "Send me," when I said, "I'm afraid to die."

You said, "For others," when I said, "For me."

And I thank you.

very grateful at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


His Holy Halfpipe

Here is a lovely Victorian painting of St. Joseph, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Child Jesus, and the Child Jesus' snowboard:

What seals it is the nervous attitude of Mary: "Oh, dear. I just know He's going to dump some fresh powder so He can jib off the side of the house and frontside ollie into some sick 1080's before He air-to-fakies down the halfpipe." And Joseph's like, "Well, if He breaks an arm, that'll learn Him, and He'll just instantaneously heal it anyway."

straight to at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


At the Banquet Table

Since the National Honor Society event last week was closed, here's your very own video of the performance. I do hope you can make out what I am saying, for the sound system had two settings: BLLLLLAAAAARRRRE! and "...Wha'd she say?"

Anyway, you will notice I am wearing the same dress I did for my wedding rehearsal dinner, which makes two re-wearings of a bridesmaid's dress, which is two re-wearings above the national average. Basically, I enjoy busting it out because it's from Julie The Nephew Mama's wedding eight years ago, and I cherish the fact that I can still somehow zip it with minimum wriggling. I might not wear it again, though, because when I saw the first few seconds of my appearance video, I felt very sad that my butt looks so big in it, until Josh pointed out that it might be because at the time my butt was, in fact, about an inch and a half from the lens, and nobody looks good flailing her way to a podium when her name is called just as she hits an ice cube in her water glass.


honoring at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


On Being a Blogger Media Person

Yesterday's appearance on "Extraordinary Life" has been archived. I come in at the twelve-minute mark. Thanks to all who tuned in.

show prep at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com


Welcome MSNBC.com Readers