My Probable Life, As I Choose To See It


(Most of the essays I share on this website have been previously published, but here’s a rare one that I never sent out…)

The following events, as depicted in my upcoming memoir, may or may not have happened depending on your definition of absolute truth, imagination, the art of possibility, memory repression, literary license, embellishment, Oprah-baiting, or telling lies for money.

…..I may or may not have eaten all the chocolate frosting off my birthday cake when I was four years old and all of my relatives were in the back yard getting drunk.
…..All of my relatives have drinking problems.
…..I drink, but it’s not a problem.

…..I am the beloved oldest sibling, unwaveringly adored by my five sisters and baby brother (he’s fifty now, but he’ll always be my baby brother.)
…..My siblings all resent me, but tolerate me because I am financially solvent and can be hit up for cash when they are in a crunch (by our family’s standards you are well-off if you do not live in Happy Acres Mobile Home Park and do not have to depend on the government cheese to get your protein.)
…..My favorite sister is Avis.
…..I love my husband, but if Clive Owen asked me to run away with him, I’d have to think about it.
…..I have never in my life been naked in a hot tub, even when I lived in southern California.
…..The most reckless act I ever do in my life now is maybe every couple of years I take half an Ambien after drinking a glass of Pinot Noir.
…..I may or may not have directed murderous thoughts at my husband after he has snored like a freight train for two hours straight.
…..I love to hear my husband snore because the cessation of snoring would mean that I had put a pillow over his face while I was in an Ambien and Pinot-fueled trance.
…..When describing my longtime “career” as a newspaper columnist I may or may not have used the following terms, “widely-published,” “sought-after,” “award-winning,” “Pulitzer material.”
…..My children and sisters can’t wait until I die or get Alzheimer’s so they can write their own memoirs.
…..I have never parked in a handicap parking space even when it was sleeting sideways and I just had to get some quick cash out of the ATM for lunch. (I thought about it though, and even watched while another woman did so. I did feel rather sanctimonious, an unflattering trait I have often been known to exhibit.)
…..I have never liked dogs, and have always had to pretend otherwise.
…..I met my second husband when we were abducted by pirates from a “singles” cruise ship going from Los Angeles to Baja. We communicated by passing notes written on tissues and a stub of a pencil I had tucked in my bra for just such an emergency.
…..The only other thing I have ever tucked in my bra was wadded-up Kleenex, when I was fifteen, and only weighed eighty-five pounds and was, as they say, “flat as a board.”
…..If I am sitting in the exit row of an airplane and it catches on fire, I’m really not sure I will help others out first. I’d like to say I would, because I really like exit row seats, but I’m just not one hundred percent on this. For purposes of this memoir though, let’s just say I would.
…..I have never been in rehab or had my stomach pumped or been imprisoned against my will. My parents were actually not all that bad. My kids seem to be normal so far. Or maybe I’m just making that part up!

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