Category Archives: Life’s Dumbest Questions

What Are You?

cornelius-zira-taylorBy Cara Lopez Lee

The stares always come first. First the stares and then the question, which goes something like this: “What are you?”

I’ve memorized the short answer: “Mexican-Chinese-Irish-English-Swiss-French-and-Cherokee.”

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Poor With a Maid

literature-of-servantsI’m a poor author, and I’m beginning to wonder: when am I going to get the housekeeper that so many of my favorite books have promised me? Jo March, the girl who made me want to become a writer, grew up with a housekeeper named Hannah. That, even though Jo’s sister Meg lamented their family’s humble lot on page one of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, saying, “It’s awful to be poor.”

In my favorite Jane Austen novel, Sense and Sensibility, Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters lost everything because women were not allowed to inherit. Then Willoughby dumped Marianne because she had no money. Yet the impoverished Dashwoods had three servants at Barton Cottage!

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Water From the Bathroom Faucet

FaucetWhy does the coldest water in the house always come out of the bathroom sink, never the kitchen faucet? It makes sense to me that water seems colder coming from the garden hose, because I only drink from the hose when I’m outside on a hot summer day. It’s cold by comparison of course. But what is the allure of the water in the bathroom, even when that room is not hot and steamy?

Is it because the water in that private little room seems forbidden, because that’s a place meant only for washing up, or taking care of business, or sneaking in some shower sex—not for the simple pleasure of drinking water with naked hands, not so much as a glass in sight? Or is it only my bathroom that has such delicious, icy-cold water, while yours delivers the stuff at ordinary room temperature?

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