All posts by Meryl Selig

About Meryl Selig

I'm an anthropologist at heart, intrigued and engaged by observing how we live: what we do, what we think, what we say (you get the idea)... all of the "stuff" that defines our lives. I've been amusing or boring people with my opinions and observations in person or by writing (too) long narratives in not-the-best-places: emails, texts and Facebook comments. These word-weary fans asked me to go public, and to stop clogging their inboxes. As you can see, I am not quite blonde. Not convinced that the universe needs another blogger, but with consideration for friends' sensibilities, I've turned to blogging as a place to report on what's going on in that space between my ears.

Five Easy Clues That You’re Growing Up, and Up

A somewhat scary thing happened to me recently. As I slid into the passenger seat of my friend’s car one evening, micro-tiny, super-bright, golden-colored lightning bolts suddenly started flashing at the edge of my field of vision. At first, I figured that her car was doing something slick and fancy.

“Do your car’s lights have a kind of strobe-y thing that they do at night?”

She assured me they didn’t. The flashing became persistent, about every ten seconds or so. Being a concerned friend, she suggested that I call the ophthalmologist right away. I caught him just as he was leaving his office.

“Come in at nine tomorrow morning,” he said. “If your vision gets bad, go straight to the emergency room.”

We promptly added martinis to our plans for the Continue reading Five Easy Clues That You’re Growing Up, and Up

“Cursing Mommy” Saves the Day

January 9, 2011

I first posted “Cursing Mommy” on December 17, 2010, promising to link you to Ian Frazier’s “Cursing Mommy” story as soon as it became available as a New Yorker archive. It remains unavailable for linking. I think The New Yorker is trying to drive business to their digital edition. So sad! This Post-Holiday Season needs a good antidote. “The Cursing Mommy’s Serenity Prayer” is just the thing.

Still working on connecting you with this stress-buster.

It rained like mad all day today, and we’re in for a weekend-full of water. Having spent 25 winters in Chicago, I am in no position to complain about “bad weather” in the Bay Area. Comparatively, though, a good snowstorm does have a special allure. It’s beautiful to watch and walk in. Falling snow makes everything quieter and slower. And snowflakes look so magical on whatever they touch. Unlike relentless rain, snow doesn’t soak your skin and hair, or drench through your clothes and shoes. Every year at about this time, as I chain-drink hot tea to offset the chilly dampness, I need an extra shot of humor to get through the long, dark, soggy day.

Rainy day at the Golden Gate

The latest issue of The New Yorker arrived a few hours ago. Thumbing through the pages, I found a new addition to Ian Frazier’s riotously funny “Cursing Mommy” series. I read it and laughed my head off. Brilliant humor brightened up an otherwise dismal, midwinter day. (Sorry friends. I cannot link you to the riot-fest; it’s protected for subscribers-only. I’ll check back in a few weeks and will connect you with the whole thing. In the meantime, buy, borrow or steal the December 20 & 27 issue.)

Cursing Mommy's Goal for Today

Mohair Sweaters: Fashion Statement, Medieval Hairshirt or Terrorist Plot?

Last month, I went to Amsterdam on an annual business trip. Mid-November in North Sea countries usually means cold rain or damp blustery days. It’s pretty chilly there, (even for a cold-hardened, former Midwesterner), setting up perfect conditions for sweater shopping.

This year, mohair seemed to be everywhere. Amsterdam was wrapped in the stuff.

“You’d have to be stoned (a reasonable possibility in Holland) or clueless to miss the message: if you’re on-trend, you’d better be in an earth-toned longish, bulky-knit mohair blend sweater.”

I endorse shopping while straight, having made a few serious purchase mistakes in the past when not-entirely-alert. It was easy to succumb to the pull of Euro-style. Sweater-y shops were on every street. Continue reading Mohair Sweaters: Fashion Statement, Medieval Hairshirt or Terrorist Plot?

How to Keep Your “Bah Humbug” Humming

I love Christmas. It’s just that over the decades, a few things that come with the holiday are now taxing my tolerance and spirit. I’m trying hard, really hard, to focus on what still works for me.

Here are 7 things I like, in no significant order:

1. Carols, hymns, the religious story and celebration. (OK, that’s four things in point #1. I’m cheating.)

2. Christmas trees – fresh ones

3. Fresh, fluffy snow, but not blizzard-level

4. Sweet indulgences: cookies, etc.

5. Small parties featuring memorable people, food and wine

6. Gifts that surprise and delight the recipient (i.e., me)

7. Clever, amusing holiday cards (Thanks, Inky! You made my Christmas with your “normal family” photo.)

This list is nice, predictable, traditional and therefore not worth discussing here.

The other list, the scrooge-y one, is a different story.

Santa at Our House

Here are the top 5 things that make me want to file my teeth into points and indulge in lots of X-rated language. XXX words always improve my mood. Continue reading How to Keep Your “Bah Humbug” Humming

One Last Thanksgiving Burp

If the United States devolves into a theocracy, Thanksgiving would surely be its central rite.

It’s a few days after the holiday. Reading this morning’s newspapers (I prefer to dribble my coffee and spew muffin crumbs on the papers instead of on my wireless keyboard), I couldn’t help but notice the hand-wringing over two topics that are also part of our national liturgy: overeating and football. Continue reading One Last Thanksgiving Burp