A fifth-grade bully, a blossoming romance, a late-night crash
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C.J. Gall spent last January breaking all her New Year’s resolutions. She is a visiting professor at DeVry University and lives in Jacksonville, Florida.
There are five essential sweaters I need this season, and one must-have denim that’s guaranteed to flatter every body style, even mine. There are eleven things I could throw away today to reduce clutter immediately and start living my life more freely. Why am I waiting? There are only three more hours to purchase buy-one-get-two-free candles that provide over 150 hours of burn time.
John and I first met in an aisle of a snack shop run by a blind man named Ray. By the time we got to the register, we were deep in conversation. Ray handed me my change and said, “That guy is smitten with you.”
Then I gave him the most critical advice I could give: that he should marry someone he could divorce with civility, someone who would muscle past the hurt and want him to have happiness, too. Marry someone for whom he would wish the same. “Do that,” I said, “and, whatever the outcome is, you’ll have a pretty decent run.”
I remember clearly my grandmother’s eyes on the day she became trapped between a world of knowing and a world of confusion. She was sitting at the dining-room table in my mother’s house. My three children were poised above coloring books and other art supplies like tiny soldiers, following the orders of the day.
It’s November, almost Thanksgiving. On the phone my father is telling me how he’s been nauseated lately. He feels unstable, off balance. “Wobbly. Kind of dizzy. You know?” he says.