The Metamorphosis in Miami: On Motherhood and “the Mati”

When I walked into this bathroom this morning and saw the dying cockroach, flailing it’s little feelers and all six legs, that’s when I knew I needed an exorcism. I know what you’re thinking: an exorcism is a bit of an overreaction. Surely some Raid would do the trick? But the cockroach was just the […]

From Pumpkin Spice Latte to Pitaya Juice: An Autumnal Journey

As a folklorist, I often feel that marketing messes with holidays. I don’t want to think about Halloween the day after the fourth of July, but the drugstore and the “seasonal” aisle of the supermarket and the forests worth of catalogs that arrive at my door want me to, because there’s really no big ticket […]

Confessions of a Bad Mother

In the last two weeks I’ve been called self-satisfied, low-class, controlling, shallow, sexist, smug, priggish, crazed, repulsive, creepy, trashy, frivolous, provincial, disgusting, and just plain horrible. My crime?  I pierced my six-month-old daughter’s ears at the request of my Nicaraguan husband, an experience I wrote about for the nytimes.com‘s “Townies” column. It was fun to […]

Mini in Miami

Amalía and I are in New York, but we brought a little bit of Miami with us. Two little bits actually: the shiny gold studs in Amalía’s tiny ears. Read all about it in the post “Baby’s First Bling”, which I wrote for the Townies column of the Opinionator blog in the New York Times’ […]

Spiritual Spring Break

It’s that time of year again–empty beer bottles are sprouting in my garden like so many crocuses, flocks of young chicks in bikini tops and belly rings keep swooping into my neighborhood Starbucks, and, if the boys who have rented the apartment across the courtyard are any indication, young men’s fancy is turning to lust. […]

The Naked Truth

More people have seen me topless in the last two months than in my entire life leading up to this point–and I’m including the first five years or so when I ran around many a Greek beach in nothing but a diaper. I came to this realization last week when I opened the door for […]

Striking a Cord

Two days after giving birth, when we arrived back at our house and I burst into tears overwhelmed by the enormity of how my life had just changed, and how I was now responsible for a little being who depended on me for her survival and whom I was still learning to feed, hold, and […]

Beauty from Birth

At our childbirth prep class on Sunday I bravely asked the visiting pediatrician the question my husband wanted answered, but was too shy to articulate: When is it appropriate to pierce the baby’s ears? We had already covered how soon a baby can fly in an airplane, and spent 10 minutes on the pros and […]

Swimming Upstream During Miami Swim Week

In life, if not yet in art, I have mastered the art of irony. And all it took was managing to be eight months and three weeks pregnant during the cultural phenomenon that is Miami Swim Week. I mean, just look at this photo. That girl and I, we’re the same genus and species. The […]

Oedipus Wrecks or Oh, How the Mighty Have Swollen

At almost nine months pregnant (I’m pushing 35 weeks), I’ve been thinking a lot about Oedipus. Not because I’m carrying a son whom we plan to abandon in the mountains shortly after birth in order to avoid a prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother. That’s what happened to Oedipus, and […]