woman alone, maggie mcreynolds blog

Alone, Not Lonely

The first night Barb spent on her own in 20 years, she lit candles, opened a bottle of wine, rented a chick flick, and ordered in Chinese with a Ben & Jerry’s chaser. She had a fabulous time.

The second night, she cried her eyes out.

By the third night, she had made alternative and admittedly somewhat conflicting plans for remodeling the entire first floor, ditching her current job to become a massage therapist, dyeing her hair blond (or possibly just cutting it off altogether and letting it go grey), and moving to Spain.

Barb spent the fourth night in a combination of rage and exhilaration, cleaning out closets and tossing everything that had any negative associations.

The fifth night, she dug some of the more sentimental items back out of the trash.

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triumphant woman boxer, maggie mcreynolds blog

How to Win a Fight without Throwing a Single Punch

Anybody, kid or parent, knows there are all sorts of rules—good ones—to protect kids from cars on school grounds. Rules about where you can pick up and drop off. Rules about where to park. And, above all, an iron-clad rule that you stop if you see someone of any age entering the crosswalk from the parking lot to the school’s door.

On this particular morning, school had already started, and I was arriving late to drop off the lunch bag my son had forgotten at home. As I approached the crosswalk, I saw a woman hesitating at the school side of it. I slowed, and prepared to stop. But instead of stepping into the crosswalk, she made a spasmodic gesture with her hands that confused me. I interpreted the gesture to mean, “No, go ahead, I’m just standing here, waiting for someone,” and so I slowly proceeded.

Imagine my surprise and dismay when she hollered like a banshee, leapt into the crosswalk into the wake of my passing car, and kicked my bumper as hard as she could. Guess that wasn’t what her hand signals had meant, after all.

By the time I’d parked my car, prepared to approach her, explain, and apologize, she was standing outside hers, halfway across the lot, and screaming at me.

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