Glamour in the Age of Macy’s

About seventy-five people who had not won the lottery waited outside the Department Store Formerly Known as Dayton’s at Rosedale Center. The manager of the store talked into a microphone that rendered his voice unintelligible, then some instigators tried to incite the crowd with a rousing countdown. After a lackluster “ … two, one,” the […]

A Thrift Affair

Shopping is supposed to be about getting stuff and the resultant happy glow of ownership. Yet how did it come to be that retail, as we know it today, is based around wanting but not necessarily getting? While it’s counterintuitive, it does explain the stacks of miserable, desperate-looking people at the mall. Jeans, perfume, boobs—there […]

Under the Needle

The Chinese have been using acupuncture for cosmetic purposes for centuries; while here, in the medically advanced West, we like to suffer for our beauty by winching away the years or injecting our faces with bovine toxin. But these methods give some people pause, especially when they can no longer even furrow their brows to […]


It has come to my attention that I’m a messy eater, which wouldn’t be such a problem were I not so often clothed at the scene of the crime. Properly seated at a dining table, kitted out with a shroud-sized napkin, seltzer water, and an array of absorbent paper products, I can confidently churn through […]

Why Race?

When we were all younger and firmer, my husband was a competitive runner and our daughters were Dad groupies. Upon returning from the crusades, battle scarred and sweaty, the girls would surround him, hopping around with Barbies in their fists and shrieking, “Did you win Dad, did you win?” The situation was such that sometimes […]

Rake Appeal { Fashion

I’m missing something. Not like glasses or dignity, things easily mislaid. No, it’s something essential, like a helix of DNA that should have come matched with my two X chromosomes. It’s the handbag gene. I exhibit other double-X-linked traits. For example, I’m exquisitely literate in clothing and shoes. I can identify a handmade buttonhole on […]


Death begins in the colon. I had incorrectly placed its origins in algebra class; nevertheless, I have it on good authority (Dr. Natura, as seen on TV, creator of the Colonix Program) that death begins in the colon. On this happy note, we enter into spring, a time of rebirth, renewal, refunds, and spring cleaning. […]

Rake Appeal { Home

Gardening trends come and go. Vegetable gardens were big (literally) when families had great hordes of kids. English gardens had their day—along with Laura Ashley. “Naturalizing,” in the nineties, reflected a permissive era, but proved a natural habitat for neighbor complaints. Without coming right out and saying I wanted to school the scarecrow next door, […]

Diamonds in the Rough

Karl Commers was first up. The earnest mail carrier went through a door behind the stage and came out a few minutes later in a comprehensively sparkly shirt, the spitting image of … James Taylor. He gets that a lot, he said, but has no immediate plans to impersonate James Taylor. Firing up the fog […]

"I Made a Pig of Myself!"

The Mother-Goose-does-Vegas tone of the TCF Holidazzle Parade seemed at odds with my method acting background. With more than two hundred and fifty lighted characters brought to life by a different group of volunteer actors each of the twenty-one evenings the parade marches between November 25 and December 23, a cohort of dressers, lighting technicians, […]