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Mary Fortune

Stories by Mary

My 9-year-old son has an important question for our hosts: “How many square feet is your house?”

It has taken me several years to adjust to the idea that I pay someone to clean my house. But over time, I have evolved from vaguely self-conscious about it to unapologetically celebratory.

A language scold recently cornered my mother and me and began carrying on about the terrible things his students are doing to our cherished English.

My friends and I do a lot of reading about careers, family, feminism and all the attendant cultural baggage.

On the way to school this morning, my boys played the car game. Spotting makes and models, spouting information about horsepower and options, keeping tabs on who called the coolest cars.

I don't generally make New Year's resolutions.

If you have ever seen an episode of “Regular Show,” then you know something about why I love being in my 40s.

There's a sound coming from the playroom upstairs -- a lilting, tuneless little thread of noise that persists through the cacophony of hundreds (thousands?) of Legos being plundered.

I was giddy at the idea of an e-reader — all those stories dozing behind the sleek screen of that slender tablet

There's a lot I can't watch; there's a lot I can't read.

I'm obsessed with narrative — with the construction of stories, the vagaries of multiple viewpoints, the power of well-told tales.

Some people just have magic, don't they? They have magic and the minute you meet them, you know. You can just feel it.

I'm about to turn 41 and I am making some unpleasant discoveries about being a woman who's about to turn 41.

There's an article in The New Republic this month that will scare you to death about waiting until you're old (relatively speaking) to have kids.

Hey, you know what's annoying? People who have terrific lives and wonderful luck and great friends and family who love them and lots of everything they need who still manage to find stuff to complain about.

My little family reads the newspaper at the breakfast table every morning, passing the sections back and forth over toast and eggs and coffee and tea while we chat about the day ahead.

They say the best humor comes from pain, so maybe that's why the people I run with are all so hilarious.

I have always loved the Frog and Toad children’s books, and my favorite story in that series is one called “Alone.”

So what is the very last column I write in my 30s supposed to be about, anyway? All the stuff I’ve learned up to now? All the mistakes I’ve made and how I’ve grown from them? Bleah. That’s so boring.

I must warn you, this column contains obnoxious gender stereotypes that used to make me seethe and fume and growl and shoot lasers from my feminist eyeballs. Then I had kids. Sons, to be specific. And the last 11 years of raising sons have left me totally incapable of even pretending that gender stereotypes don’t have a firm basis in fact.

There is nothing like family to make you really appreciate your friends.

A few weeks ago, after a long run, I walked up to the passenger side of my car, opened the door and then stared for several seconds at the completely unfamiliar contents of the vehicle.

I will be 39 years old in one week, and I am here to tell you that I do not see how that is even remotely possible.

My brain is a fun house. I have a weird, killer memory when it comes to recalling conversations, numbers, any and all dates, trivia about who was wearing what and when and where. I don’t know why I know. I just know. I don’t even have to try.

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