No Apologies Necessary


It was my first time meeting a new friend’s spouse. We’d just finished dinner at our place, and my friend and I were in the kitchen, washing dishes and packing up leftovers. Our husbands chatted at the table while our children played in the living room, happy one minute, squabbling the next. After they left, the warmth of their easy company had lingered, and so I couldn’t have been more surprised when the next day, she called me, apologizing. “I am sorry my husband was so quiet last night,” she s … [Read more...]

Weighty Ghosts


Back when people called me Her Excellency, I routinely attended gatherings at the home of Bahrain’s First Lady. Cardamom-flavored coffee appeared in demitasse cups. The servers, always women dressed in traditional robes, poured the golden elixir from a gently sloped carafe called a dullah. The women returned at regular intervals with refills until you shook the cup to signify that you wanted no more.My marriage felt like a fragile container that held the riches of the world, and one that I t … [Read more...]

Brown Girl Dreaming


I remember being three, face deep in a mango, my mosquito legs poking out from the shade of a palm tree, the Caribbean sun hot and deliberate. One of my Aunties came around the corner, and, with her heavy hand, began beating my legs back into the shade, yelling in her creamy patois (that always sounded more like singing), “You are going to get too dark!”It was the first time that I ever looked at my skin and realized that people weren’t just black or white.I remember being eight, riding s … [Read more...]

Winners of the Eleventh Annual Brass Crescent Awards


Thank you to our readers for voting us 1st and 2nd in our respective nominated categories of Best Female Blogger and Best Blog!Congratulations to all the nominees and winners! Check them out for some wonderful reads. … [Read more...]

My Absurdly Attractive Doctor & Other Misadventures in Love


I’ve never been one to get along with conventionally attractive people – probably a residual internal bias against the “popular” crowd in grade school that incessantly teased me for my Otherness. As an adult, my wariness of attractive people has manifested in awkward conversations (which I’ve masked well with my quirky personality… I hope).Interviews are the worst – whether I’m interviewing for a job or being interviewed by the media. If the person I’m supposed to make eye contact with is att … [Read more...]

Happy 2015 & thank you!


Thank you so much to our wonderful readers for the Brass Crescent Award nominations for Best Blog & Best Female Blogger for the third year running! Last two days to vote, here :)Happy 2015! … [Read more...]

And In The Morning, I’m Making Pancakes!


It's a rare experience in our adult lives for us to think, "Oh, I've never had this food before!" But the childhood memories I have of that novel sensation survive for good reason.I remember the first time I tried popcorn. I didn’t like it much so I fed it to the fish in the lake. I also remember the sweet, tangy sensation of my first sip of lemonade. But neither of these compares to the first time I tried the best breakfast food known to humans: Pancakes.I know it sounds ridiculous, but … [Read more...]

Heidelberg and Huckleberries


On the surface, Mark Twain and I have nothing in common. Twain was a cranky Southern gentleman (with occasional bursts of quite ungentlemanly language), the quintessential Mississippian with that very American cockiness that most of our fellow travelers have. In Innocents Abroad and the subsequent A Tramp Abroad, Twain turns an unforgiving and merrily satirical eye on all things foreign, and writes about Europe at the end of the 19th century. He makes fun of customs and linguistic hangups, t … [Read more...]

The View From Here


In seventeen years of marriage, my husband and I have lived in one foreign country and three different states. At each of these locations, we've changed our homes at least twice, shrinking and expanding from a tiny apartment to a bigger apartment, from a smaller duplex to a larger high-rise, from a modest townhome to single-family home. And, within each of these homes, we've been different people and a different couple.Our first apartment was a one-bedroom in Santa Clara, California with … [Read more...]

If God gives me the privilege of giving birth to a daughter


Eds. Note: We are pleased to welcome our newest columnist, Key Ballah! Catch her column - Brown Girl Dreaming - the second Wednesday of every month. You are a woman every part of you reaches toward that identity, but you hesitate, cutting your tongue on the way that it sounds. Because your mother is a woman and the word rests against her so gently. Her hips are full, her mouth is wide, the word “woman” just seems to embrace her. But you feel it hanging off of you, like a  … [Read more...]