Everything has beauty. Even this 2020 holiday.

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2020 Santa. Photo by the author.

I love the Peanuts holiday special. As a boy, I never tired of watching those kids do their weird little dances to that iconic piano music. I wondered where Snoopy stored all the elaborate decorations in his tiny dog house. And I was always moved by Linus standing in the spotlight each year telling the story of the first Christmas. Even though Charles Schulz has been gone for twenty years, the lesson of Charlie Brown’s sad little tree lives on: Everything has beauty…maybe even this 2020 holiday.

Last night my husband Saul and I decorated our own Christmas tree. It…

Optimism for each day of the week

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“You are being tested, my darling, and being tested makes you stronger.” — Cora (Elizabeth McGovern)

Autumn…the crisp hint of winter in the air. As the year begins to wind down, we all begin to dream of the holidays to come.

But this year is different. This year can’t wind down fast enough.

Many of us are bracing for fall like we are leaning into a punch. Too many experts predict COVID will come back strong hand in hand with the flu, and politics will only get uglier and more overwhelming as tensions rise in a nation increasingly divided.

Negativity pops up on our phones 24/7 and it’s hard to keep up….taxes, debates, the Supreme Court…

Finding Mr. Write

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Photo: Philippe Renaud/Depositphotos.com/License

Finishing my book was easy. Well, not really. It took about twenty-five years, but it still doesn’t feel as challenging as trying to get it published. I’ve heard it all.
These are tough times in publishing.
These are changing times in publishing.
No one publishes memoirs anymore.
No one reads memoirs anymore.

All those things may be true, but I also heard the same types of things when I was forty-five and single.
No one in New York is looking to settle down.
If you are over forty your chances for marriage are less than zero.
Maybe you’re too overbearing.

These really are the dog days.

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Alfie. Photo by the author.

I dislike February and August for similar reasons. They are both times of the year when seasons outstay their welcome.

Don’t get me wrong. I love seasons. That is why I moved from LA back to the east coast, and also why I get anxious for them to move on and give us some variety.

And this summer of 2020 without vacations, parties, plays, concerts, movies and restaurants — I will take any variety I can get.

In Hot Water

My husband Saul loves the ocean. I am not quite as enamored. I love playing in the waves but loathe the glare of…

How I barely survived 4 trips to the dentist and 3 trips to the optometrist in the time of COVID

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Yep, that’s me.

Even in normal times, I hate going to the doctor. When mine asks why I’m so nervous, I remind him that if I am going to hear terrible medical news, I will most likely be sitting in a doctor’s office. The odds are that sooner or later, one of my routine check-ups is going to end badly.

Giving up the crown

I got a notice from my dentist a few weeks ago that he was retiring. I was pretty sure COVID made it happen sooner than he would have liked. For the 10 years I had gone to him, I felt comfortable like he…

Five Tips To Keep Marriage Alive During 2020

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Photo taken by the author.

The Best Policy?

“I’m sorry I’m so sick of you,” I said to my husband Saul the other day as we settled in to watch TV.

“I’m sorry I’m tired of hearing you breathe,” he replied nonchalantly.

Psychologists say honest and clear communication is key to a successful relationship. Apparently after 20 weeks of quarantine, Saul and I are pretty successful.

I had no idea when I wrote How to Stay Married During a Pandemic in the middle of April, that Coronavirus would not only still be around but thriving in July.

My husband and I aren’t those people who decided we were…

Teachers come in weird shapes and sizes

A chocolate Labrador in a living room.
A chocolate Labrador in a living room.
Sasha. Photo: Keith Hoffman

You can’t always choose your angels

Sasha literally showed up on my doorstep one morning.

I was living in LA, rushing to work when I opened my front door to find a weird-looking, weather-beaten dog staring up at me. I quickly slammed the door between us. It was a pit bull, for God’s sake! I opened the door a tiny bit to take a closer look through the crack. She seemed pretty harmless. Her face was scarred, and she looked like she had recently had puppies.

Pit bulls in the section of LA I lived in often came from hard lives, and it was pretty clear…

Pandemics and protests can’t dim my city’s spark.

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Photo by the author.

Abandoning ship (and a friendship with roots)

I woke up nervous. It was the middle of June and I was heading to my office in New York City for the first time since March 12th. That was the day my life changed in major ways without me even quite noticing.

Back then this pandemic thing seemed overblown, but we were being sent home from work for an indefinite period of time — perhaps an entire two weeks until the end of March! I walked several blocks through the crowded city to my car, seeming to hear the word coronavirus on everyone’s lips. It was surreal. …

When the end of a pandemic causes panic

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(Photo/Depositphotos.com, used under license)

My dirty little secret

“I’m nervous about the idea of going back to the office,” my coworker admitted.

I understood, but felt like that’s something one shouldn’t admit out loud.

“I’m over it!” a lot of other people have been saying. “I’m done with this pandemic!”

My anxiety actually went down during the peak of the lockdown.

I know that makes me sound selfish. Of course, I don’t want people getting sick and dying and losing their jobs just so I can feel more relaxed. But the fantasy of everyone staying in quarantine forever is more than a little appealing.

What I didn’t miss during lockdown

I didn’t have to…

My disastrous dating life

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Depositphotos.com, used under license.

Recently a good friend asked to have a Zoom chat to talk about how I ended up married after being single for fifteen years.

Ahh! I thought. This will be a great opportunity to pass on my fabulous wisdom. How lucky can my lonely friend get?

But by the time we got to our scheduled chat, I realized I had nothing profound to offer — just the same old clichés.

It happens when you least expect it.
Learn to love yourself first.
They won’t buy the cow if they get the milk for free?

The only thing I could think…

Keith Hoffman

Keith Hoffman lives with his husband Saul and is finishing up a memoir. Until that is published you can read his blog https://theravenlunatic.com.

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