My entire life, one of my great pet peeves has been the misuse of the word “literally.” You probably know what I’m talking about. When people misuse literally they are literally using it in the exact opposite way it is intended to be used –  i.e., your head did not literally explode when your first child was born. (Because gross.)

“Open a dictionary!” I would command those who would misuse literally. And one day my buddy (who had just made the outlandish claim that basketball star LeBron James was literally carrying his team on his back through the playoffs) retorted “You open a dictionary.”

So I pulled up Merriam-Webster on my phone. And staring right back at me was a new definition of literally, following the first formal definition:

Literally. Informal. Used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true. (Gah!!)

I recall that moment now, as I have listened over the past weeks to one sexual predator after another – captured in the media spotlight like a jail breaker scaling a fence – express regret for “mistakes” made in how they have treated female colleagues.

So I have a new grammatical pet peeve, albeit one with higher stakes now.

That. Is. Not. The. Definition. Of. Mistake.

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There are millions of women sports fanatics. We know that. But I wanna talk to the fellas right now because I literally don’t even know many guys in our population who don’t Completely Lose Their Minds when it comes to their sports teams. Do you?

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I was in Stop and Shop last Saturday, perusing the aisle for honey – not the one shaped like a bear but the normal one – and I found myself slowing to a standstill. I was being blocked by an unattended shopping cart, abandoned in the middle of the aisle like a burned out Toyota in a zombie apocalypse.

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29 Nov 2017, by

Failure and Goose Poop

If you don’t know what goose poop looks like, lemme tell you something – it looks a whole lot like a mossy little rock. And you’re probably asking “Who cares what goose poop looks like?” But you’re only asking that because you weren’t the one skipping stones with your son and you weren’t the one who picked up goose poop with your bare hands. If you were, then I promise you, you’d be very interested in what goose poop looks like.

I was only picking up that goose poop in the first place because Liz and Finn were tossing stones into the lake. Lucy was next to them, picking what I assume were poison berries. I didn’t feel like picking poison berries with my daughter (though I did say “Try not to eat those poison berries!” so I feel like I did my job there). So stones it was.

I heard Finn and Liz talking as they threw. Or rather, I heard them pause, each with a stone in hand, look at each other, each say something, and then throw. I got closer to listen to them. (Which is probably why I was distracted and picking up goose poop instead of stones.)

What they were saying was pretty cool. They would name a thing that they wanted to get rid of, thoughts and fears they wanted out of their lives, and then hurl the stone into the lake.

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27 Nov 2017, by

Social Detox

Liz is going through a Facebook detox for Advent – she says she’s starting a little early. Which is the thing I wanted to bring up here.

But first I have to confess that I wrote that first sentence and then realized that I wasn’t totally sure when Advent was supposed to start. Or  if  the word “Advent” was supposed to be capitalized.

I’m also not completely positive what Advent is.

Look, I’m not an idiot – I know it’s around December. And I know it has to do with the Christmas season because we have an Advent Calendar. You open these little doors every day and bam – chocolate.

I use the word Advent for one reason – I’m a Christian and I’m supposed to know what it means. I’m pretty good at using the word in a sentence to sound like I know what I’m talking about. For example, if I’m walking through the lobby in church and I pass some cinnamon-scented potpourri or something, I’ll smile serenely at the person next to me and say, “Don’t you just love this holy season of Advent?”

There are times when I find myself caught up in the air using a Christian term and I realize that I don’t actually know precisely what I’m talking about. And I know that I should know, but I became a Christian in my thirties and so I have these embarrassing gaps in my knowledge. I also know that the first commandment ain’t “learn what Advent is,” it’s “Love Your Neighbor” and so I’m gonna focus on that one. For everything else I have Wikipedia.

But here’s the thing – I’m not one to actually admit that I don’t know things like that.

I, my friends, am a gifted faker.

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