Posts Tagged: melissa chandler

Numbers About My Mother

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 [...]


Holiday Gift Take-Backs

Many Christmases ago, I spent hours crafting a box with my bare hands to put my boyfriend’s gifts in. We broke up not so many months later, and on my way out, after I’d gathered up every trace of myself from the apartment we shared, I dumped that handcrafted box down the trash chute. Normally, I don’t believe in take-backs, but the guy was terrible, it turned out. I don't miss him, but I still miss that trash chute. It was strangely therapeutic; a long, tinny whoosh on the descent, and a loud, heavy thwump when the bag hit the barrel.

With the holidays kicking in, perhaps we should [...]


The Best Time I Got Hearing Aids at Age 32

When you’ve needed hearing aids all your life, and finally get them at the age of 32, mostly the world sounds like water. At first, you crane your neck looking for fountains, but really it’s only traffic. You keep an eye out for waterfalls, but apparently that’s just what air sounds like.

To celebrate, the first day you get your hearing aids, you go to the 540 club for a mimosa and you’re in awe because when you pay, you can hear the dollars rubbing against each other. You can hear your fingers brushing against your jeans. You tell the bartender this and he probably thinks you’re crazy, but he [...]


The Best Time I Didn't Friend My Mother on Facebook

Recently, my former adoptive mother tried to friend me on Facebook. I hadn’t spoken to her since I was a kid.

When my brother and I were taken out of our adoptive home of six years, I at 15 and he at 17, we were placed back into state custody. We were foster kids again, which hey, was fine because in the past we’d had some pretty good foster times with some pretty nice foster folk. We had to testify in court against our adoptive parents, though.

Among the most memorable things they had done:

1. Told my brother he wasn’t allowed to eat for three days, and that [...]


Quirks: Is Their Ignorance Our Bliss?

You know how sometimes people in your life do something habitually that's so strange/cute, your first instinct would be to tell them, and express how endearing it is, but then you catch yourself because you realize if you told them, they might become self-conscious and stop doing it, or even if they didn’t stop doing it, the action would forever be tainted by the acknowledgement?

My brother, a decade my senior, never got the memo on excessive lol’ing being passé, and so after each message I get from him, there is sure to be not just a "lol," but a hearty "LOLOL!" (even if the message wasn't quite as funny [...]