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1. Half a degree from a college whose linen service I could no longer even afford, even if I did want to re-insert myself among a gaggle of brilliant, eccentric heiresses (with the occasional aimless horny straight guy thrown in.)
2. A former career as a professional modern dancer. My retirement package includes a rapidly disintegrating arabesque, a double pirouette (down from a triple), bone spurs, and an eating disorder, but no 401K plan.
3. A ski habit, generously passed on to my son, that I can no longer afford, but which I indulge anyway.
4. A small but elegant condo whose enormous picture windows with views of beautiful San Francisco are covered with grime because I’m convinced I can no longer afford a window washer. Ditto carpet/carpet cleaner.
5. A floridly blossoming case of paranoia about money.
6. Questionably useful skills such as throwing a football, hitting a fast ball, playing Chopin’s Nocturne in e-minor with great emotion, charming the PG&E guy who’s burying the power cables in front of the house into helping me change a light bulb, making elaborate, extremely labor-intensive hors d’ouevres.
7. A deeply flawed ex-husband who despite everything – and “everything” is a hefty boat to tow – is also a pretty good guy and a damned good father.
8. A sweet, charming, beloved 16-year-old son who is somehow surviving with grace and aplomb the irregularly configured life concocted by his rather odd mama.


How it's all gone wrong, how it's all gone right, reading, writing, dancing, surfing, kids (all of them but some more than others), adults (mostly what they do to one another), you know, that kind of stuff.