Alert the Emergency Room: I'm Using the Snowblower
Last week I learned now to use the new snowblower we finally bought after 13 years of either shoveling by hand or paying some embarrassing fee for a guy with a big shovel...read more
Contact Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org
But What If Mom is, Well, Dead?
How do you celebrate Mother’s Day when the guest of honor is conspicuously absent? What if she’s been gone from the scene or the seen, for a full 30 years? What exactly is the right way to get your arms around such a Mom? That was the question my sisters and I posed as we marked both Mother’s Day and the 30th anniversary of Blanche’s transition from a pixie in jeans and gray hair, to the woman who appears in our dreams...
The Male Spanx Experiment
I was so surprised to see Spanx in the men's department at Nordstrom, I thought I would accidentally release the permanent suck from wearing Spanx of my own. "Is this a joke?" I blurted, as images of beer bellies and love handles morphed into super heroes shaped like a V. "Are guys buying these?"...
The Meaning of Life
You are insignificant, unnecessary, meaningless and worse, temporary. Countless species are anxiously waiting for your obsolete kind to suddenly, mysteriously, eternally vanish — leaving but a few fossils, a handful of credit card bills, and a half-eaten container of gelato...
Donna Debs writes the slice-of-life column, "Upside Down," found Sundays in The Daily Local News in Chester County, PA and The Times-Herald, The Reporter, and The Mercury in Montgomery County, PA. She's also a long-time freelance writer and a former radio news reporter/editor for Philadelphia's KYW Radio. You can often find Donna "upside down" in a headstand or handstand; she doubles as an Iyengar Yoga teacher with an active yoga studio.
Telling the Whole Messy Truth
This story is about a divorced man, a sink, a cookie and a few questions. The first question: “Why is the sink leaking?” That was easy. It was busted. The second was asked while the sink was being fixed. While installing a new faucet, the man, the plumber, chatted about his life as tradesmen tend to do when they find you in your nightgown with your oatmeal, complaining. The two of you surrounded by the intimacy of leaky water, uncombed hair, and a stench arising from either soggy waste or your bare feet...
What Aunts are Good For
Aunts are a mother, a sister and a best friend all rolled into one. I’m not making this up. I’m reading from a poem given to me by two nieces and a nephew. It’s hanging on my wall because I take the job seriously which means I invite one of these young people shopping at the busiest time of year. That would be my 25-year-old niece who can’t find anything to wear...
Go On, Have a Hot Toddy
Being a lightweight runs in my family. When it comes to food, alcohol, caffeine, dust — anything solid or liquid that goes in or near the body, anything that flies by or drips down — we have a reaction. We get food poisoning, sea sickness, air sickness, rashes. When everyone else is smiling, we’re ducking for cover. When one of us travels, we ask “How’d it go?” We don’t mean did you have fun or great adventures. In my family, we mean did you embarrass yourself in front of friends, strangers...
Real Men Do Salsa
Salsa isn’t one of those dances you do with a bunch of tipsy girlfriends while a group of comatose guys look on. And it’s not one of those dances where girls do all the wiggling and men lend a helping hand. The guys I’m looking at are into every bump and grind. “They’re not being forced by the women at all,” I shout, “just look at them!”
I know I’m gushing, but, but, but . . .