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                                                                            Stories by 
                                                                     Mary Lou Edwards

"When You See with Your Heart"

"We found the Happy Holiday Barbie, the Stupid Barbie, the Malibu Barbie, the Doctor Barbie—a few of the many little anorexics you just had to have."

"Not Good Enough"

"This doesn’t even look like a tooth--this looks like you painted a tiny piece of Tootsie-Roll white and glued it in my mouth."

"Don't Be Cruel"

"Ma'am," the lady from the Visitors Center responded, "This is Elvis Week. There ain't a room for miles around--not even one with a bathtub never mind a swimmin' pool. Why the whole town is jam-packed. Fans come from all over the world!"










"Disgusting Four-Letter Words"

"I considered housework a form of domestic violence and C-O-O-K, I-R-O-N, and D-U-S-T offensive four-letter words." 

"Don't We All and Haven't We Always"

"When I write about my father the picture painted can be pretty harsh.  It was a thorny relationship, I joked, because we were twins born thirty-three years apart—mirror images who shared generous hearts and quick minds, but  also iron wills and fierce tempers—a volatile combination."

"The Sleeping  Baby"

“It made no sense. 

 Girls didn’t get kicked out of school.

Even boys didn’t get kicked out of school unless they were
totally incorrigible, and incorrigible was very loosely defined.”



"Always Have a Plan"

"It's always better to make your own money,"  he answered.  "Then you can be independent and take care of yourself."

"Sometimes We 

"That she thought being the delivery girl for Toppi Thai Restaurant was the perfect job for a college student amazed me, despite the fact that I had witnessed many of her imprudent decisions in the past."


"Trapped by Circumstance"

“From sweatshop to Magnificent Mile in one five-minute phone call?  Maybe this would be the Chicago version of Lana Turner’s Hollywood discovery at Schwab’s Drug Store.”

"Elephants in Limbo"

“Way before ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ became a part of America’s political lexicon, I’d been trained in ‘Don’t You Dare Ask’—a skill I so perfected a mere raised eyebrow, a simple sideward glance was enough to STOP. RIGHT. THERE.”



"Bionic-Footed Mom"

“ . . . looking good is ever so important when crawling through ruins, and crawl I did.”

"Not a Permanent Solution"

“Della, is her head supposed to smoke like that?”






"Blueprint for an Eating Disorder"

"Humiliated by the stamp of maternal failure, my mother vowed to rectify her mistake."

"Crash Course"

“My cousin told me doctors carried dead babies in their black bags and a mother gave life by breathing into the baby’s nose.”


 "Confessions of a Serial Forwarder"

"I only circulated material that would cheer-up shut-ins, brighten the days of the depressed or enlighten the imprudent who gave me their email addresses."

"Come Straight to Me"

“Life has to be hard.  Not life was hard or life is hard or life can be hard.  No, life has to be hard.  This was my father’s mantra.”

"Not Every Woman's Dream"

"Actually, it was not being a bride that bothered her, it was marriage, but Thumbelisa lived at a time when most maidens became  brides, when it was very important to be married."  

"Out of Respect"

 “. . . nothing could have prepared me for the searing image of the ghostly apparition.”







 "The Torture Hour"

“The minute my father opened the cedar-lined closet doors the drama began.”