This past weekend my husband and I went to Utah where there are bunch of Mormons. Those guys are super into genealogy because a lot of people died — like, the majority of people made on Earth so far — before Mormonism happened, so they go back and retroactively save their kin who missed out on the good word. But, of course, they must know who those people were in order to ask for their salvation, so they do genealogy. (Click that link up above for a better explanation.) I'm not quite sure why they want to help everyone else trace their family histories for free at these [...]
The committee removed the “experimental” label after analyzing more than 100 studies assessing the health of eggs after the procedure and the outcome of births. The committee concluded that there have been no reported increases in chromosome abnormalities or birth defects among children born using oocyte cryopreservation, the technical term for the procedure.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine announced this week that we can freeze our eggs, no problem, go ahead, take your time. Which is fantastic news, let's go on a cruise! Just keep in mind that if you wait until 50 to have kids, your mom might not be around to love/spoil/reject/torment them. Not for too [...]
It’s August and it’s San Francisco so it’s cold. While I’m walking home from work there’s a call from a Portland number I don’t recognize. I answer. It’s a friend of my mother’s, phoning to let me know that my mother has tried to kill herself, that she’s at a hospital in an induced coma. I slump onto a cement car stop in a parking lot and listen to the details, dig in my purse for a pen, turn the phone away from the wind, write down the hospital’s name and the room number, watch people walk down Polk Street on their way home or to happy hour, thinking [...]
I have no memory of my parents telling me I’m adopted. They started talking about it so early that it was always simply a fact of my life. I know other adopted kids who had the “big reveal” happen, or worse, the “big figured-it-out-on-my-own” when they were thinking, cognizant humans, and that was always a traumatic drama bomb. For me, being adopted was normal, even before I totally understood what it meant. (As a child, I imagined Adoption Agencies were like retailers, with rows of slanted shelving like Payless Shoes, but instead of pumps and sandals, there were babies, wrapped in pink or blue, lined up for easy viewing.) [...]
But, peering intently through his windscreen in search of a landing place, the pilot saw something that should not have been there.
Smithsonian magazine, by way of Jason Kottke (who also points to a short documentary), has an incredible article about a Russian family that lived in complete isolation for 40 years.
A few questions go unanswered.
In 2001, researchers at Purdue University found that 75 percent of 566 surveyed mothers between the ages of 65 and 75 named a particular child they would want to take care of them as they aged. Seven years later, the researchers checked back in. About half of the mothers, 234 of them, had fallen sick or become injured: Some were being tended to by their golden child, others by a different child, and others not at all. The Purdue team… saw increased anxiety and sadness in mothers who didn’t get the caretaker they wanted. These moms were more unhappy than the ones receiving no help at all. (On the other hand, [...]
Day One: Boston to Philadelphia
My mom and aunt (twins) hit a big birthday this year, and, to celebrate, are taking their kids on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise to Greece and Turkey. All nine of us converge on the international terminal at Philly Airport from our various East Coast cities. Only one of us has ever been on a cruise, and no one’s been to the Mediterranean before. After having our passports checked about 16 times, we board the flight. We eat a salty dinner and watch that terrible Reese Witherspoon movie about spies dating the same woman.
Day Two: Athens
We arrive in Athens exhausted, with swollen feet. [...]
A man in California emailed recently to tell me how after Christmas dinner last year, his brother drunkenly declared his love for his sister-in-law, the man's own wife. Another man in Georgia told me how his father threatened to call the police to his holiday family gathering several years ago.
Nathan Willi, a 24-year-old electronics salesman in Peoria, Ill., is bracing for family fights about football this year. Fourteen of his family members graduated from Notre Dame. Mr. Willi went to Michigan. "I will stay at the Christmas dinner for as long as I can tolerate the extended family's arrogance," he says.
One of these things is not like [...]
I'm in a wedding Saturday, which is one of the rare occasions I get a mani/pedi instead of painting my nails myself.
I get my eyebrows waxed near my house at the cheapest place ever. It's run by a bunch of Asian ladies who wear these funny smock-shirt things with no actual shirt underneath, so I can see all their bras. My hair grows at lightning speed, so I'm in there roughly every eight days. Every eight days, I walk in and it's packed but quiet except for the sounds of foot scraping and that machine that smokes when they take off fake nails, and every time I walk in, [...]
"All my life … I’d been the woman smiling the faintly superior smile while another woman told me she had decided to take some time out or pursue a less competitive career track so that she could spend more time with her family. I’d been the woman congratulating herself on her unswerving commitment to the feminist cause, chatting smugly with her dwindling number of college or law-school friends who had reached and maintained their place on the highest rungs of their profession. I'd been the one telling young women at my lectures that you can have it all and do it all, regardless of what field you are in. Which [...]