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Index of Stories
Introduction ‘Hi, Mommy!’: Sarah’s surprise 1-2 His Baby Buggy versus Her Cigarette: Turf wars at the beach 13-14
Fat, Hairy and Thonged: TMI from the next blanket over 14
Sand Castles and Boundary Play 15-16
Chapter One: Secrets and Secrecy
Lessons from a Lost Testicle 21-22
My Twin Sister Got Pregnant 28
A Hundred Dollars down the Toilet 28-29
My Mother, My Period, and the Bra under My Pillow 30
C-Section Bonding 31
He Broke My Water 31-32
Kissed by the Camp Director 32-33
Forrest Didn’t Brush His Teeth 36
Did Daddy Hear That -- or Not? 42-43
Throwing Up is Your Own Business 43-44
Sharing a Sick Daughter’s Secret 44-45
If You’re Going to Get Hurt, I’m Going to Tell 46-47
Naked and Bound on the First Floor 48-49
The Lesbian Professor Who Outed Her Students 49-50
Joan, an Incest Victim 50-51
The Joy of Medicine Cabinets 52-53
The College Years: Mastering the Art of Camouflage and Intimidation 53-55
Firing the Center’s Director 55-56
I Thought I Had Lice, Sweetheart, But Never Mind 56-58
I Tell Myself to Forget It – and I Do 58-59
College Roommates Swap Journals 59-60
Undercover Police Work 61-64
A Daughter’s Eye Twitch and a Mom’s Conclusion 65-66
Outed in the New York Times 66-67
Managing Projects for Rival Clients 67-70
Journals and Letters: There are things about parents you don’t want to know 71
Sorry, but that Friendly Guy with the Dog is a Child Molester 73-74
What People Make: Securing the company’s most valuable information 74-75
Well, Of Course I’m Gay – It’s My Divorce I don’t Want You to Know About 77
I Have No Place to Hide Anything 78
Family Collusion: Christmas Presents and Parental Sex 79
Police Surveillance 80-81
Working for the Signal Corp 82
I Have Something I Have to Tell You: My son is gay 83
An Oath Signed in Blood 88
Tonsillectomy Torment: What did I say?! What did I say?! 88
Truth or Dare, Sealed with a Kiss 89
Transgendered Secrets 89-96
Chapter Two: Wallets and Purses
Grandma’s Purse is Private 97
The Diabetic on the Sidewalk 98-99
My Purse Spilled Out in Public 119-120
A Sobering Case of Identity Theft 121-123
How I Handle My Purse 126
Platinum -- with a Zero Balance! 138
Family Vacation Souvenir: Put it on the card 138
My Well-Organized Money: Thanks, Dad 149
Carry the Medal or Buy the Drinks 150
I Don’t Need Any Help in Not Forgetting 151
Chapter Three: Cell Phones and Email
Note to Flashers: I’m Not Looking Anymore 166
A Dripping Baby Across the Floor 171
Telephone Etiquette Transformation 172-173
Telemarketers Be Gone! You Have No Power Here! 174
My Boss Calls My Boyfriend’s Cell 172-176
When Your Son is Your Sys Admin 190-191
Caller ID, the PBA, and Famous Friends 193-194
There are Penalties to be Paid: From our Telezapper to our new curtains 205-208
Chapter Four: Doorbells and Windows
Answering the Door: Our dogs and the Halloween Rule 217-218
A Close Call at the Front Door? 219-220
To Escape or Not to Escape: It’s the Jehovah’s Witnesses 222
The Code: Drapes open or closed? 223-224
The Bachelor Down the Block (Yes, we see your muscles) 224
Inner Offices are for Bigger Secrets 226
Splashing in the Sink: The neighbors are watching 227
We Love What You’ve Done With the Place …and Your Pajamas, Too 228-229
I See Them Watching TV and Him Sneaking a Smoke 229-230
Hi From the El 230
They Actually Stopped and Stared In 231
I Don’t Care Anymore If They See Me Changing 231-232
A Beard and a Mohawk and Not Much Else 232
Shred It, Soak It, Burn It 234-235
On the Job Training – Question: Should you throw this out? 235
In the City, Trash is Fair Game 236
Interesting Garbage on the Top, Please 237
The Old “Rip then Distribute across Different Cans” Trick 238
The Case of the Missing Prototype – and My Wife’s Burn Bag 239-240
I Bought a Shredder; I Haven’t Opened It 241
Time to Sneak Out the Christmas Tree 242-243
Military Intelligence 101: You can learn a lot about people from their mail 244-245
Unforgiveable: My neighbor wrote on my mail 248-247
Creepy Mailmen 247-248
Return to (Adulterous) Sender 248-249
It’s Snowing: ‘Time to get my chairs out’ 249-250
Don’t the Neighbors Complain About Your Lawn? 252
‘It Takes Nine Years and a Dog’ 253-254
The Doggie Group Grapevine 255
Swirl the Squirrel and His Canine Friends 256-257
A Gate Designed to be Climbed Over 259
Section Eight Kids: No respect 260
This Funny Little Dance 261
Oops! Caught Looking, Now What? 262-263
Avoiding the Ever-present Neighbor 263
A Seinfeld Moment: Cookies from the lady downstairs 264-265
A Garage Sale Fight, Some Overgrown Bushes, and the Isolated Nanny 265-266
Growing up Black in the South 267-268
Wind Chimes and Electric Guitars 272-273
The Projects versus the Dorms 273-274
The Condo Board and the Teenagers from Hell 274-275
A Block Full of Parties 277
The Civility of the South and the Anonymity of the North 278-279
No Privacy for Those on Welfare 279
Small Town Inconsistencies from Grandma 280
Cat with a Condom, Christians on the Couch 283
Bellowing Names at the Gynecologist’s 285
Encounters on the Bus 286
A Foul-Mouthed Guy in the Restaurant 286
Hands off My Food 287
The Co-worker Who Wouldn’t Stop Talking 287
Tracking His Wife’s Cycle So Everyone Could See 287-288
The Meaning of ‘Yeah?’ 288
My Mother, the Vulture 288-289
Transvaginal Hysterectomy: Invasion of privacy? 291-292
Just Take Out the Stitches 295-296
Why My Phone Number is Unlisted 296
I Told My Landlord I Would Cut Him 296-297
Sam’s, Gillette, Dominick’s and Amazon 299-300
Adaptations: ATM fraud, now what? 301-302
Finding a Happy Medium: No propping the door, but skip the second lock 302-303
A Lost To-Do List 303-304
The Left-Handed Mouse and Other Ways to Fend off Intruders at Work 306-309
Animal Rights Terrorists: Protecting your family 309-310
No Paper Trails for Medical Insurers 311
The Stranger on the Desk 314-315
Post-9/11 Worries for a Christian Arab-American 317
A Thirteen-Year-Old Identity Thief? 318
Security Versus Privacy in New York’s Financial District 319-321
I Worry that I Don’t Worry Enough 322