Seriously. We’ve come to this.

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

It’s one thing to read or hear about COVID-related conspiracies on Reddit or Twitter. It’s a whole other thing to have someone you’ve known for over twenty years tell you that he was interrogated by people who thought he was part of the Deep State.

About three weeks ago a childhood friend called and told me that he’d contracted COVID-19. His symptoms weren’t bad enough to put him in the hospital, but they were close. He’d been told that his lungs had “brown glass opacity” and to go straight to the ER if his breathing got any worse. We talked…


And it was right outside my house.

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Photo by Sierra Bell on Unsplash

Last year my husband and I decided that our cracked concrete slab of a back patio needed to look more inviting, so we had it covered in paving stones and added outdoor seating surrounded by pots of flowers. My British friend looked at the pictures I sent her and she called it a “beautiful garden.”

Still, we were so used to never going out there that it became more of an afterthought. For way too long, the broiling Florida heat gave us a valid excuse to not get out there much. But we didn’t even make it out there when…


It really didn’t do any good to hijack my highjacked thread

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Beautiful Photo by Omar Al Farooq Pn from Pexels

Over the weekend I made a post on Facebook about Chadwick Boseman’s death. I’d just finished Infinity War, ironically, and loved the Black Panther character, as well as the actor who portrayed him. The last thing to enter my mind was that I’d wake up the next day and find that a troll had tried to take over the comments section.

The first comment under my post was penned by a guy I’d known since elementary school: “Who is this person? Really what has he done for you”

Who says that under a RIP post about anyone? …


A cautionary tale about trusting the wrong people

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Photo by Mohamed Hassan from Pexels

In the pre-COVID era, my husband David and I would regularly throw parties at our place. Pool parties in the summer, holiday parties around December, movie-themed parties. Aside from the occasional drunk guy who might fall asleep in the bathtub, they were pretty predictable. So when we had about ten people over for a small pool party not too long ago, we had no idea that one of the people we trusted would go into our house and take our stuff.

For several years we’d had this friend of ours in our circle. He’d gone to our annual Christmas parties…


And other things I’ve heard as a mom of an Aspie kid

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Image by LysogSalt from Pixabay

My son got kicked out of 3K because he was throwing chairs and destroying school property.

What kind of kid does that?

Maybe a kid with Autism Spectrum Disorder that hasn’t been diagnosed yet.

My son Preston was showing signs that something was wrong from the time he was a baby. He had trouble with nursing, and later, he choked on any baby food that had texture. He was late on his first word, he was very late on potty training, and he had other developmental delays that weren’t severe enough to cause alarm. He was a pretty happy toddler…


I didn’t mean for this to be an experiment.

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Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

My last story was published at the end of July. And then I switched gears — just for a couple of days, I told myself, so I could work on my Etsy store. After a couple of days, though, emails from Quora that had new questions were ignored, and over twenty drafts sat untouched in my Medium account. I kept telling myself that I’d work on writing tomorrow, or maybe on the weekend. Or maybe next week.

Before I knew it, I’d written my writing habit out of the script.

Writing is like working out. The longer I put off…


After a self-destructive former friend ended up in a coma, I’ve changed my stance

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Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

The other day I got the news that someone I didn’t really like anymore was in a motorcycle accident over the weekend and was currently in a coma.

It was estimated that she was going around 60 mph when she hit a tree.

The impact broke her full shield helmet. She flew out of her boots. Her face and jaws — and the rest of her body — have been all but crushed. There is swelling on her brain. The coma is not medically induced. …


Confessions of a formerly lifelong member of the GOP

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Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

I’m officially done being a Republican.

I voted for Bush in 1992. It was my first opportunity to vote in a presidential election, and it was done via absentee ballot.

Being a Republican was just in my blood. It was my heritage, really. I was a member of a Southern Baptist church, almost everyone I knew was a proud Republican, and I’d been raised to have Republican values. So for years I voted straight up Republican on everything.

It was how I had been raised. I had no reason to question anything. It’s just how everything was.

There was one…


Yes, it’s possible.

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Photo by Amber Kipp on Unsplash

“She’s really a great mom,” my husband told me for years. “She’s totally unselfish.”

He was talking about his ex-wife, the mother of their only child.

It seemed to be true. Kathy had been completely dedicated to their son Jackson from the second he entered the world in late summer of 1999. She couldn’t bear to be away from him. She and David, who had been married for a few years prior to starting a family, stayed home most nights because she didn’t trust babysitters.

I’d been a stay-at-home mom on and off myself since my own children were little…


Apparently my mind cache needed clearing

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Almost two weeks ago I removed myself from Facebook after finding out that my daughter had been around a girl her age who tested positive for COVID-19 a few days later.

I’ll back up.

I currently live in one of the biggest Coronavirus hotspots — The Florida Man state. My social media, particularly my Facebook feed, has for months been stuffed with posts and comments by conspiracy theorist mask-denying Trump lovers just gunning for a fight. This includes people in some of my friend circles. And a doctor I know. …

Pepper Lowe

Editor for Selftastic. Writer for Illumination, Creatures, and Playback Memoirs. Lifelong learner. Psychology grad. Never growing up. pepper@self-tastic.com

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