I’m Begging You to Stop Before Civilization As We Know It Ends

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Dearest Manglers,

Is there some reason why you insist on using nouns as verbs?

For the record, “journaling” is not a word. A journal is a book in which you chronicle your thoughts. You write in a journal. But you do not “journal.” Do I see you “diarying” instead of…

“I’m ready for a new cat,” my 97-year-old Mom tells me.

“Dixie,” my mother’s last cat, had died two months earlier. Back when the beloved cat was still alive, mom had said it was her last. But she’d said the same thing about Dixie’s predecessor, “Curry” and before that, “Lucky.”

photo courtesy of

“I’m going to call your daughter,” my Mom said. “She’s probably getting nervous.”

My mother is 97, and my daughter is in her ninth month of pregnancy with her first child. This is what happens when life expectancy increases and more women delay childbirth.

“That’s nice of you, Mom. She’s…

Sally and Kate, freshman year

I feel sorry for today’s college students for many reasons, like mountainous debt and pandemic restrictions. While this seems minor by comparison, I also feel bad that kids are now asked what they’re looking for in a roommate.

Back in the day, we weren’t surveyed on our musical tastes, sleep…

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

One of my dearest friends is a recovering alcoholic with 27 years of sobriety under her belt. This is how she describes her drinking: “I was having fun. And then I wasn’t.”

This is how I feel about my anxiety. It was working well for me. And then it wasn’t.

Two years ago, I was forced to clean out my home office. A realtor who’d looked at our home for possible sale shook her head at the dark faux wood paneling. Millennial buyers, she said, want everything flat and painted white or grey.

Before renovations began, I had to tackle…

(Chris O’Reiley, Getty images)

The English language is missing a word. Why does no term exist to describe the relationship between fellow mothers-in-law? I’ve tripped over “my daughter’s mother-in-law,” my “son-in-law’s mother,” and the vague “extended family” or “in-laws.” …

Maybe it’s the Baby Boomer in me, but Women’s History Month has catapulted me back in time to Home Economics class. In the 1960s and ’70s, our public schools reflected exactly what was expected of us girls. …

Dancing Alone With My Daughter

Katie Wallich leads a Dance Church Go class

“When you come out here, we’ll go to Dance Church together,” my daughter told me.

“Church?” I asked, thinking I misheard her. Jeanie was walking her dog, and our cell connection was spotty. Church? Organized religion was not something either of us went in for.

“No, Mom, it’s not a…

“Get Cat”

I know, I know — they look angelic. That’s Lily, on the left, with her paws daintily crossed. Her brother Van Gogh is on the right. Lily’s nickname is “Magpie” because the girl is a thief. It started when she began picking up earrings off my bureau, carrying…

Kate Stone Lombardi

Journalist/author. Contributor NYT 20+ years. Also WSJ,, GH, more. Author: Mama’s Boy Myth (Penguin/Avery 2012). Cook. Parent. Queen Latifah fan.

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