Advice for the Lovelorn and Mildly to Morbidly Curious...

My friend Sam started an advice column. She asked my opinion, and that was her first mistake. Now it is OUR advice column. Agreeing to this was her second mistake. We’re calling it Advice for the Lovelorn and Mildly to Morbidly Curious. We think that covers most everybody, so we’re expecting to be an instant hit. For our first column, Sam and I have asked ourselves a question. Hopefully, we won’t have to do this every time, because it might get weird. We might overshare. Also, we’re not sure a romantic advice column where we speak only to ourselves is quite the promotional material our publisher wants. Although honestly, it’s worked quite nicely up to now. Our First Official Question comes from Sam, and she pretends to ask us this: what should I get my husband for Christmas? Our friend Rosey (we cannot believe she’s still hanging out with us) suggested we divide husbands into categories. So Sam decided on four categories. Sporty Husband Okay – so looking at Sam’s blog, it is apparent that Sam doesn’t understand the term sporty. She suggested a helmet or watch. And the watch should have a barometer.  I googled “sport requiring helmet and barometer” and Sam has recommended the perfect gift for deep sea diving. In case you’re in the minority group whose sporty husbands do not deep sea dive, might I suggest tickets to a sportsball event? Look at how Not Very Hard I had to try to be more sporty than Sam. Romantically Enthusiastic Husband Sam eloquently refers to this category of husband as the Horny Husband, and she recommended lingerie. She also let it slip that she wore a French maid costume on her wedding night, which I think...

Haunted

I sat down to work on my novel. But this came out instead. She sat with me, resting in the silent wake of chaos that had been our week. Her semester was over, summer break had begun, and she was…visiting. I wanted to think she was home. But she’d arrived with only her dirty laundry and a dress to wear to her boyfriend’s college graduation. All of the boxes and laundry hampers full of stuff that usually arrived with her were sitting in a new apartment six hours away. It was Mother’s Day. We had planted new flowers and shrubs in the front yard and were enjoying the fruits of our labor from the freshly swept porch. A southern breeze enticed low, melodious notes from the new wind chime hanging above our heads. The front pasture was spread out before us, green from recent rains and mild temperatures, a refreshing sight during the current drought. She was lost in thought, staring at the pasture with a half-smile on her lips. I followed her gaze to see what she saw. Ah. It was the ghosts again. A small blond girl skipped through the pasture, both hands clutching wildflowers. She wore jeans and a striped shirt—I only like plain clothes, Mama—and a little boy followed behind. He paused to pick a flower and stick it behind his ear. Then he continued along the cow trail, walking carefully with both arms out to his sides. He didn’t want the flower to fall. Watch out for rattlesnakes! Don’t step in fire ants! These were warnings I wanted to yell. The ghostly apparitions always bring a tightening in my chest, a need to protect them, hold onto them, keep them from fading away… The little girl stopped to admonish...