Let me take you back to 1964 when this southern girl didn’t have a nose full of hair and didn’t need lip liner.  But as you can see fromthe photo above, I was trying mighty hard to be alluring just the same!


My latest book, HALLEY, awarded 2015 Jefferson Cup Honor for Historical Fiction, awarded the Moonbeam Silver Medal for Young Adult Fiction,  and awarded the 2016 Frank Yerby Award for Fiction.  Available at: NewSouth Books: and Amazon.


Recently I was reading to one of my grandsons and, instead of hanging on to every word of the story, as usual, Isaac was staring up at me.  When I paused to turn a page he said, “Grandma, do you know you have hair up your nose?”

Lord!  My grandsons are joining the army of people feeding me information I don’t want!

At one time, it was mainly TV commercials pointing out that I might have unsightly, yellowing teeth and nobody has had the guts to tell me.  Or maybe I had underarm odor that I was totally unaware of (Fat chance!).  Then there were those unsightly bulges that I hadn’t noticed (Really?  How could you not notice?).  And panty lines—I never realized how repugnant these were until the commercials aired.  Silly me—I thought those lines meant my pants were too tight.  Then “senior” health bulletins joined the information overload:  “Do you notice that people seem to be mumbling more than in the past?” ”Are you having to go more frequently?”  “Do you fall more often these days?”

YES, and I can’t get up!

Then my sister joined the chorus.  “Why do you have those bags under your eyes?” she asked one day when I was showing her some knitting I was working on. “What bags?” I answered.

That’s STILL my story, and I’m sticking with it.

Then there were make-up problems I didn’t know existed until well-meaning people filled me in.  A while back a friend asked which lipliner I used.  “I don’t use lipliner,” I said.

She looked at me as she might an alien from Mars. “Then what do you do about lipstick ‘bleeds’ into the vertical lines around your mouth?”

“What lines?” I asked.  Of course, as soon as I got home, I checked.  Sure enough, there they were, like offshoots from the San Andreas Fault.  I’m certain they hadn’t existed until she mentioned them.  In fact, that is the theory I’m going with!

As if I don’t have enough real problems to deal with, people are making them up out of thin air! Hardly a day goes by that well-meaning people add to the list.

So here’s my resolution for this new year—Don’t take on problems other people create for you.  Stick to the ones you don’t need help finding.  There will be an adequate supply, trust me! For instance, what to do about hair that increasingly has a mind of its own?  Nothing—mousse, hairspray, styling brushes, or expensive styling gels—will make mine cooperate.  How to keep doctors and other health professionals from preceding or ending each statement with “at your age”  or “considering your age.”  How to avoid listening to people on the extreme left—or right—politically, and being informed of all the latest conspiracy theories going around.  Can’t we just meet in the middle for a change?

Sometimes being “in the dark” is a good place to be.  For sure, it saves me from lipliner!

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