Photo by author.

My mother is ninety-three and lives above my sister’s garage in a converted apartment, but not really. Her body is there, diapered and hunched and mostly immobile, but she is elsewhere. I guide her fingers to the soft ear of a toy rabbit. She smiles wide. This, she never would…


When Americans are born on third base and think they hit a triple.

I’m in line at the Target pharmacy watching a woman edge a baby stroller back and forth. Lena, the pharmacy tech, tilts her screen toward the woman and points. The information hits hard. The woman’s hands fly…


Remember the ’80s, when men preferred Hanes and could legally rape their wives?

Credit: Fanatic Studio/Getty Images

In 1982, Donald Trump was 36 years old and he preferred Hanes pantyhose. Not because other leading brands constricted his balls, but because women belonged in dresses; it pleased the male eye.

If you’re a Gen-Xer, you undoubtedly remember these ads. For nearly two decades Hanes ran television, print, and…


“Folks of privilege don’t understand how $17 can ruin you”

Image: ANASTASIA BASIL

I met this woman named Mae. She’s a van driver for a production company. She works 14-hour days but says she doesn’t mind, says she keeps one eye on the road and the other on the prize — a paycheck that has to last through the dead months.

We’re driving…


It takes a certain kind of person, not a certain amount of alcohol, to assault another human being

Photo: Photography by Andrew Katsaitis/Moment/Getty Images

I knew a boy who was murdered. Late one night I was up nursing my daughter and Googling my past, like you do. I saw his name in the Saint Petersburg Times. Murdered. I marveled at the story the way I marvel at those spectacular, hard-to-believe photographs from the Hubble…


Photo by author

A Story in 500 Words

No one believed me when I said I wasn’t lying this time. The empty cans we’d tied to the tripwire had gone flying. I sprang ten feet when I heard the clanging. I’m not lying about that either. …


This Is Us

Why parents should think twice before granting kids absolute digital privacy

Dark photo of a young girl on a smartphone.
Photo: Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia/Getty Images

So, I had the talk with my 11-year-old daughter. (Not that talk, I had that talk a couple years ago.) She stared, unblinking, as I explained how sextortion works. I began with the story of Aaron Coleman. Five years ago, when Aaron was 14 years old, he tormented middle school…


Her name is Cindy Hyde-Smith. She’s a Republican Senator from Mississippi. Her website says she’s a Jesus-loving lifetime member of The National Rifle Association.

On the morning of November 14th, the Senate was on the floor debating legislation for background checks as a gunman opened fire at a high school


Our education system is killing learning, one standardized test at a time

Photo: Florian Gaertner/Getty Images

For a long time you will say I am not listening, not paying attention. You will insist I do not care, that I am lazy. At best, a daydreamer.

A neurological explanation will be found. You will give me cures: Here is extra time to complete the test. And a…


I don’t want to tell my kids what to eat — but maybe I should tell them why I’m vegetarian

Illustration: Armando Veve

My daughter and her best friend are in the kitchen rummaging through the cabinets. They find what they’re looking for: gummy bears.

“Those might be old,” I say.

We don’t care.

“Fine, but before you eat them I want you to watch this video.”

I’ve been meaning to show my…

Anastasia Basil

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