columnists

    “Welcome. You have reached the customer assistance center for National Grid. . . . The estimated wait time to speak to a representative is 10 minutes or less. . . . At the end of this call, your representative may ask you...
    Having taken a peek at Geoff Gehman’s memoir before it went to press, before it went to print last week, I ran through the office saying I had been canonized.     But, as Geoff later correctly said in an e-...
    I had to go to the post office two Tuesdays ago to get the mail for the office. Russell Bennett usually goes but had no car, so I offered. I opened our box, extracted all of the mail, and was headed to the mail counter to pay...
    When the thought crossed my mind well before my family headed out to the Sag Harbor carnival last week to get a fishbowl ready, I should have acted on the impulse. Instead, we returned with a bag of three goldfish from one of...
    My wife got up to take communion at Tom Bergmann’s funeral at Most Holy Trinity Church the other day, and I must admit I, unshriven as usual, was a bit surprised.     But she reminded me later that she...
One of the surprises in growing older, at least for me, is that you have trouble recognizing people you’ve known for ages. It’s not that you start forgetting who your friends are — again, at least in my case — but that they...

    On a brilliant afternoon at Mecox Bay, while one of our friends made lunch, the other offered to take my husband and me for a spin in their Boston Whaler. We three walked barefoot to the end of the dock for a short, unserious...
Birthdays come but once a year, which is a drag because on that one day I’m treated like a queen and even get away with not having to cook dinner. Mine was yesterday, and I’m sure by the time this is published I will be basking in the...
    With no preliminaries or even a “How do you do,” a man walked up to me as I was looking at the surf on Sunday afternoon and asked, “Can anyone be here?”     I knew what he was trying to...