Let me guess, you have a colorful row of shelves upon which is stacked rows and rows of shame.

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Over the last two weeks, I’ve bought 6 books. I have read approximately 2.15 books. Multiply…


As I write this, people who have trained their entire lives are about to have their fates decided by mere seconds of performance at the Olympics. …


Last week I went to LA, rented a convertible, and had a vacation during which I couldn’t shake a hum of anxiety. Would I make my 6 a.m. flight? I did, my bags set out by the door so I didn’t have to think at 4:30 a.m. Would I have…


The stewardess’ face creased with sympathy, looking at me.

Arms under my shirt, I gripped my goosebumped biceps and pulled my bare legs up in a ball. When they’d asked for volunteers to check their carry-ons, I had done so, forgetting my plane layers — a jacket, scarf, and socks…


A shower. That is what I needed after this email from a potential coach.

What is it about being hard sold that makes us want to wash our skin? It doesn’t seem to make intellectual sense, and yet, everyone to whom I read the email had the same reaction. Ewwww…


My love, will you hold my hand through this crisis? Ok that’s enough. Your hand’s, like, sweaty. When was the last time you washed it?

My darling, will you sit alongside me when I’m frightened? But scoot over, you’re on my hair. No, like over over. Ow, god.

My one…


When I ordered a wireless keyboard for my laptop, it had to have a 10-key, that little grid of numbers next to the regular keyboard because the joy of my 10-key is my little secret.

I learned to clack my little fingies on that board in 2010, in a three-foot…


We stood on a closed-off street at a music festival, near midnight, third or fourth beers in hand, when the musicians on stage stopped in between songs to say, “Thanks for coming. Please go to our website, double-u, double-u, double-u, dot our band’s name dot com. We’d really appreciate it.”


I’d be driving and think, “Oh damn it, I never followed up with Susan.”

I’d be shopping and realize it had been six months since that editor offered to read some pitches.

I’d look in my email for the last time I made contact with that person who would help…


My coaching student scoffed. “Why are you learning grammar?”

A part of me was with her, scoffing at grammar that meant memorizing latinate words. Grammar that was removed by the spectacles of a stickler. Grammar that was about analyzing rather than creating.

I decided to learn grammar, really damn well…

Paulette Perhach

Paulette Perhach has been published at The New York Times, ELLE, Marie Claire, and Cosmo.

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