FARGO — You know how most people look after a vacation? They're rested and golden brown from lazing on the beach. They may be sporting the cool LouBoutin heels they bought in Paris or the $300 haircut they got from a Manhattan salon. They regale people with wonderful stories of running into Jon Bon Jovi at that northern California winery or zip lining over the Grand Canyon at sunset. I don't look like these people.
We can hang onto grudges, slights, insults and snubs for years. But who knew that a single act of kindness could last longer than all of them? My mother is a kind person — the type who quietly sends money when a niece composes a Facebook post about a financial worry — and tells no one about it. She's a faithful churchgoer, but her demonstrations of faith don't end when Sunday Mass does.
It was love at first sight. I still remember my first glimpse of her, languishing across the room in a beam of sunlight and wearing that perfect shade of citrus green. Her name was Sofia "Comfortsleeper" Davenport, and I knew she would be mine. She was the first piece of furniture I bought after my divorce, and she seemed to represent more than somewhere to sit.
FARGO — Many years ago, I attended some sort of leadership training course. The woman conducting the course was memorable for several reasons. For one, she didn't allow us to take bathroom breaks or to take notes, as she believed either habit would distract us from really listening. (Apparently, squirming with a full bladder and covertly taking notes on crumpled Kleenexes really enhances your retention skills.) For another, she looked a little like Katie Couric, especially if Katie Couric wore nothing but the
It never fails. Whenever a royal wedding crops up, there's a resurgence of interest in life as a Windsor. There's something about the pageantry, the beauty and the tradition of these royal occasions that transforms me from someone who lives for the next McRib season and binge-watching "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" to someone who pins clotted cream recipes and starts calling juice "orange squash."
I often wonder what it was like for Rembrandt's son. What could he give his dad for Father's Day? Surely he couldn't present him with his macaroni art of a monster truck and think his dad was going to take time out of painting "The Night Watch" to coo over his pasta project and hang it on the refrigerator. (Humor me for a moment as we all envision Rembrandt using the in-door icemaker on his stainless steel Frigidaire to chill a Red Bull.)
FARGO — A funny thing happens when your dog gets old. You find yourself willing to try anything to somehow "cheat" the circle the life. Suddenly, you're plunking down money for any snake oil, therapy or $40,000 bionic hip that could potentially prolong her life. Who can blame us? Dogs are pretty much the best thing on earth. They are angels, adoring children and wacky best friends all wrapped up in one furry package. So it makes sense that we struggle to accept the inevitable. Of course, we don't want them to suffer or — worst of all — leave us.
When you're young, you want to hang out where it's cool. You want to be where the music is loud, the waiters are appropriately surly, the beer is trendy and the food is adventurous. (Sous-Vide Shark with Sour Beer-Pickled Watermelon-Rind Kimchi, anyone?) At that stage of life, it's all about exploration and adventure. You can take it. You have supple ear drums, fully-functioning knees and a robust digestive system. But as we age, things change.
When scientists explored the male genome — searching for the reasons why men are pathologically afraid of both crying females and asking for directions — researchers stumbled across another native trait. It was called the "Real men don't sort" gene, and it was directly tied to a biological aversion to laundry.
Recently, during a "getting to know you" chat with a woman, she told me she had two children, ages 2 and 7. "Do you have kids?" she asked. "No," I responded. "But I have an air fryer." And then I opened up my phone and showed her a picture. It's hard to describe why I'm so obsessed with this trendy, egg-shaped appliance, which makes food crispy and delightful on the outside by circulating hot air.