Monthly Archives: September 2021

A Slice of Soon to Be

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

STBXH” stands for “Soon To Be Ex-husband” in internet acronym language.

I’m thinking of that as I drive to my 9th grader’s choir concert.
The van is packed with my daughter’s college stuff.
Soon To Be, Soon To Be, Soon To Be . . .

Bins and boxes and bags are stuffed in the van.

We leave tomorrow.

But she was just a baby last week, I think.
And I was just in college, wasn’t I?

I’m Soon To Be Missing Her. STBMH

It’s a four hour drive
I bet it will go too fast though.

I’m Soon To Be Driving Home Alone. STBDHA

I’m feeling pretty dramatic about this.


I lock the van
packed with my daughter’s college stuff
and walk into the high school
for my middle son’s first high school concert
He was just a baby yesterday, I think.

I’m Soon To Be Watching Him Graduate. STBWHG

My youngest is in 6th grade.
I think you know how this goes.
He was just a baby this morning, I think.

I’m Soon To Be Watching His Freshman Concert. STBWHFC
Well, actually he doesn’t love to sing – But maybe he’ll change his mind

He’s Soon To Be More Confident. STBMC

I sit alone.
The concert is beautiful.
What is it about many voices singing?

Now I am Soon To Be Waking Up To Drive My Baby To College.

Trigger at TJ Maxx: A Slice

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

L and I went to TJ Maxx this evening. She needs a few more things for college, and… it doesn’t take much to convince me to run to TJ Maxx.

“I’m going to invite you NOT to look at the clothes this time.” I said to her, remembering her stuffed closet and her current state of packing for college.

She agreed, and we started walking our usual route.

I ignored the fuzzy socks, laughed at the leather pants, and stopped at the mugs.

The mugs. I love mugs. You’d think I’d get tired of them, or that I have been gifted too many as a teacher.
But nope. I hardly ever get them as gifts, aside from the ones I buy myself at TJ Maxx. I am definitely not tired of mugs.

A year ago (or maybe a lifetime. . . ) the kids and I went to TJ Maxx to pick out a mug for someone who I thought was a friend. She was starting a new teaching job, and we got her a cute mug, some pens, a pencil case and some Mickey Mouse hand sanitizer. (2020: The year hand sanitizer became an official school supply.)

I delivered her gift to her house about a month before I found out she was no friend of mine. No. Friend. Of. Mine.

Nowadays, I stand at the mugs and I make what can only be called the cringe-laugh face of the betrayed. All these months later, when I pass the mugs on display, I stop and remember. I remember walking to her gate, congratulating her on her job, trying to be a good person. I remember all the lies that I didn’t know were lies.

Tonight after I made my cringe-laugh face of the betrayed, I looked at the mugs. I got momentarily distracted by one that felt perfect in my hands. It said “Hope.”

I wondered what mug I would get her now. I scanned the display, but unfortunately Rae Dunn doesn’t make enough snarky mugs.

This was the best I could do:

What? It’s Halloween season!

A Slice of Guilt

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

I’ve been feeling guilty lately.

In my sophomore year of college I asked my roommates if I could get a kitten. They said okay, and that weekend I went to philadelphia to pick a kitten from my boyfriend’s brother’s friend’s cat’s litter.

I named her Soma and I loved her so much.

When I got home from Philadelphia, I found out that one of my roommates had driven all the way to Iowa to get a cat.

It was strange – how she brought a farm cat home. I remember feeling startled by the Single White Female feeling, but just figuring it was one of those things.

But then for some reason she wouldn’t take the cat to the vet. And I was so upset. I was righteous. I was scared that Soma would get worms or fleas or some other disease. I did not want that cat near mine before I knew it was safe.

So while Soma took naps in tissue boxes, climbed up sliding glass door screens, sat next to me while I did my homework and ran around the house, the other cat lived in a room. Her cat cried sometimes, and my roommate started to not stay at our house anymore.

It was a strange time. No wonder my memory is so fuzzy.

I don’t know why I didn’t just take care of the vet stuff myself. I’m sure I didn’t have the money, but I’m more sure I was standing up for my righteous beliefs.

One day, my other roommate had enough, I guess. She let the cat out, brushed his fur, cleaned the whole house even! I remember coming home from class, and taking a deep breath, feeling like maybe it would be okay.

The next day the roommate who had moved out came and took the cat to the SPCA.

So now forever, I have imagined that that poor cat’s fate. She was taken from a lovely outside farm life, stuck in a college bedroom for a bit, then most likely, put down at the SPCA… all because I had the principled feeling that things had to be done a certain way. For an animal rights activist, this is a very wrong story.

I told that story to my therapist the other day to make the point that I have been trying to figure out how to know what the right thing is at any given point. How do you know if the thing you are feeling so sure about is the right thing?

I feel so guilty about that cat. What other decisions have I made, have I stuck by like that? What have the ramifications been?

My therapist paused after my story. She may have sighed, I don’t know.

“So let me get this right,” she said “You took care of your cat, which is what you are supposed to do. Your roommate did not take care of her cat, which is not okay.”

I nodded, and she continued. “I think maybe you should explore why you feel responsible for that cat.”

So, I guess I’m not done with therapy!

PS. My memory is hazzy. It may have been 2 cats from Iowa. I don’t know.