Ibuy meat at Whole Foods because I think I know where it comes from. I buy fruits and vegetables at Magruder's because they're cheap. I wash them well and convince myself I'm making up for pesticides in Chilean soil. I look for breads and snacks without partially hydrogenated oils. They're hard to find. They're usually awful. Homemade is the only recourse. I bought a cast-iron skillet -- too much worry about nonstick pans and cancer. The new one weighs 10 pounds.

I long for the ground-beef-and-noodles-on-a-Teflon-skillet suppers of my happy youth.

Amy Byrne


Define frustration: Upon entering a room, having every conversation begin with "You are so tall!" or the equally predictable "You must be good at basketball!" To particularly short conversationalists, I itch to fire back: "You must be a great jockey!" The question "Have you grown?" is instinctually dismissed with a smile and a curt nod: "Probably." There's nothing quite like shopping for size-15 shoes and receiving glares worthy of a convicted felon. Then again, there's nothing quite like standing out in a crowd, reaching the top shelf of a cupboard or dunking a basketball.

David Lassiter


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