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MCSWEENEY'S

Below is an essay I had published in McSweeney's years ago during the pandemic.

A FORCE OUTSIDE MYSELF:

CITIZENS OVER 60 SPEAK

IT FALLS INTO PLACE NICELY

Nancy Davidoff Kelton

New York, NY

Born in 1947


I am 72, a writer, and live in Manhattan. I used to talk to myself. My husband, Jonathan, now works at home, so now I have to talk to him.


Other than that, I have not much changed my routine. My clothes, Or my hair which my husband and I now cut.



The only people who have seen my haircuts are Jonathan, grocery store cashiers and shoppers, and the Union Square Whole Foods security guard who lets senior citizens in at 7:30 am.




About my haircut, my mother would have said, “it falls into place nicely.” She and I talked about my hair and clothes. She called my black tops “dreary” and always urged me to wear bright designs with flowers and flamingos.


I miss our talks about my dreary clothes.


I miss my New School classroom. I have been teaching there since 1980. A substitute more technically competent than I am is teaching my April sessions remotely. My students are probably as grateful as I am that I do not have to Zoom.


I am grateful my sister returned my call. It had been a while. My messages about our being a family got to her. We spoke at length and laughed.


I miss hugging my family out west. I miss feeling safe back east.


I am grateful for my loving husband, who plays Scrabble with me. I am grateful I usually win.



5 Comments


Guest
May 08

❤️

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Joel Stevens
Joel Stevens
Apr 25

Here's wishing everyone has a chance to hug their families as often as they can!!

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Guest
Apr 25

You’re never too old to wear flamingos…Thank you for sharing a memory of life during COVID. It brings us back with reflection, insight, and your special brand humor.

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Guest
Apr 25

Hi Nancy. It's nice to connect with you. I can picture your mom and your sister when you write about them, and your house on North Drive (Tacoma?).

Sandy (Irwin) Sherman

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Barbara Rosenfeld Vaccai
Barbara Rosenfeld Vaccai
Apr 25

Thanks for a second read. I remember those days very well. You're NEVER dreary! ♥️

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