Inconceivable

Planet Keanu

I measure my life in temperature. I take my basal temperature the first thing every morning with a special thermometer that has an extra decimal point. Then, I record it on a paper chart that looks…

Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)

I don’t remember the exact moment the deal was struck, but sometime after I turned four, I entered into a gentlemen’s agreement with god. I would drink my milk every day, become strong like Superman, and…

Body Talk

It doesn’t surprise me that, when I finally decided to have kids, after my husband and I weighed the pros and cons and navigated the ambivalence in between, my body had other ideas. My body doesn’t…

The Lies That Women Believe

Last month, Dateline NBC did a feature about Wells Church, a cult started by two ex-frat members in Texas. In the background, there was a woman dressed in a long broomstick skirt, her white hair in…

Ave Marilla

Marilla Cuthbert is mercilessly defined in Anne of Green Gables as a tall, angular woman with narrow experience and a rigid conscience. She never married or had children of her own—an old maid in the novel’s…

Other People’s Mothers

My husband and I sit in bed, sweating, on the first night of our vacation in St. Croix. The Danish-style cottage isn’t air conditioned, and the ceiling fans—though powerful—are no match for the island’s humidity. Even…

Crimson Typhoon

The summer after I went off birth control, Hollywood outdid itself with 9/11-invoking, machismo disaster porn. And, in defiance of my years honing a feminist, Nicole Holofcener-loving palate, I loved it. If there was a giant…

The Calling

Inconceivable is a column exploring a definition of motherhood. Here’s a story I’ve been telling a lot lately. A few weeks ago, my mom announced—in an email—that she bought a house in Smithville, Texas. A few…