Today’s column tells you what whirls around in my head on any given day.
• Where is the line between aging gracefully and letting yourself go? Asking for a friend.
• It’s funny how, when some people need you, they blow up your phone with texts and emojis and BFF icons… and then when the need is gone, so are they. It’s crickets. Months of silence, then only to be summoned for a favor? That takes a lot of gall, as my grandmother would say.
• Why do teachers keep having sex with students? That’s not a rhetorical question, I’m actually asking how a 28-year-old can look at a 13-year-old and think, “This might work.” Last week an Arizona teacher was handed a 20-year prison term for preying on her teenage student. Good for Arizona.
• Evan Dennison, the Indiana high school kid who posed for senior pictures in his bathrobe, is my spirit animal. “Most graduation pictures are really formal… I didn't want to do that,” he said. Opting for comfy and ironic, he decided to wear his bathrobe. The resulting shots of him in a sunny field, robe blowing gently in the breeze, are classic. The photographer, who’s his cousin, initially objected. “We argued for about five minutes and I won, clearly,” Evan said. Some might find his choice disrespectful; I say, to thine own self be true. If I could go back, my senior portrait would be me shoveling out my horse’s stall as he chewed on my shirt. THAT was real.
• Is it just me, or is young adult fiction better than 90 percent of so-called adult fiction? "Hunger Games" got me started, then someone recommended John Green, and the rest is history.
• I don’t cook, but I love to eat. Lately I’ve been craving those grape salads people bring to potlucks. I’ve never made one, but the time is nigh. After searching online, here’s the winner: Combine 4 pounds seedless green and/or red grapes, 16 ounces low-fat sour cream, 16 ounces low-fat cream cheese, 1 cup of your favorite sweetener (we use monkfruit, others prefer Swerve or turbinado sugar), 4 cups pecans, 2 tablespoons vanilla and a quart of hulled strawberries. Set aside some pecans and strawberries for garnish, mix everything else in a huge disposable pan and chill. It’s delicious, but if you’re doing strict keto it will put you in a coma.
• I’ve carefully filled out, printed and signed my Five Wishes living will document, but I can’t get Widdle to read it. Just because it’s in a folder marked DEATH FILE (with all my financial info, updated will, computer passwords, etc.), is that any reason to avoid it? Five Wishes is available online; it costs $5 and you can edit it for up to a year. In other words, if you decide you don’t want a feeding tube in June, you can change your mind in April. (Mine still has to be notarized: This internationally-renowned document must be stamped in only four out of the 50 states, and of course South Carolina is one.)
• Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be 58 years old and not have a dishwasher. Yes, I know some 58-year-olds don’t have a bed. But I’ve been drawing a paycheck since age 15, and just figured I’d be on my fourth stainless steel Kenmore by now. Instead—because there’s no room for one—I have dishpan hands. Cry for me, Argentina!
• A 16-year-old kid just won $3 million playing Fortnite. Maybe he’ll give his parents an allowance.
Julie R. Smith, whose thoughts are usually scrambled, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.