Strange Days Indeed

Photo by Jace & Afsoon on Unsplash

By MICHAEL PHELAN

NOV 23, 2020 AT 10:31 PM

My late-September 1980 birthday took place only a week after my parents were divorced, an event which brought some peace to our home after years of turmoil and stress, but did create a vacancy which had not existed before. I would only see my father on a few more occasions after that month.

The anniversary of my birth resulted in a few memorable gifts, but I did receive my annual box of hand-me-downs from my older cousin. That year, in addition to the usual corduroys and sweaters, a…


We’re not so different — you, me, and that person far away, perhaps in a so-called “flyover” state. I try to keep these topics from my children, but the 8-year-old heard and asked about George Floyd this past summer. At the same time I discussed the topic, I was sure to discuss the dangers of police work and the experiences of our family members who are in law enforcement.

Her sister, usually more likely to discuss unicorns, really surprised me a few weeks back:

“When I grow up, I don’t ever want to get married, but I do want to…


We’re not so different — you, me, and those between the east and west coasts.

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

Although I try to keep such topics from my children, the 8-year-old did hear about and discuss George Floyd this summer. By now, nothing escapes her thanks to her friend Alexa. At the same time, we discussed how dangerous the job of law enforcement officers can be, and the experiences of our family members and friends who are police officers or other law enforcement professionals.

But my 7-year-old daughter (going on 13), usually more likely to discuss unicorns and moonbeams, really surprised me a few…


It’s not me; it’s you.

Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

I was single for quite a while, not marrying until I was nearly forty.

There are lots of reasons for that, which I can explore at a later point, but for now, before my memory starts to fail me, here are some awful memories from those two decades or so.

Dating, much like job interviewing whilst unemployed, is often an undignified and embarrassing process leading to humiliation or ghosting.

Daddy, writer, D&I guy, INFJ, Exhausted Empath, COVID Long-Hauler, Rose-colored dreamer; persistent NJ Legal Investigator. John Lennon in a world of Pete Bests.

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