Browsing Tag

Ruth Deming

Family, Guest Posts

A Modern Woman

July 2, 2015

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Ruth Deming

iPhone. The “I” stands for idiot. That’s me, the iPhone idiot, taking lessons from my son Dan and his four-year-old daughter Grace. Yes, I want to be one of those people who look down when they walk. I want to bump into telephone poles and fall off the curb. I want music to soar, like the Eroica Symphony, from the barely audible speakers. I want to check my emails every two seconds to see if anyone is thinking of me or if they’ve all forgotten that I exist.

I hate being lonely. I want to be a modern woman and know the meaning of “apps” and learn how to text. If Grace Catherine can text, then so can I.

Is the iPhone a thing of beauty as the late Steve Jobs claimed? Mine is an older version. A hand-me-down. As heavy in the hand as a small slice of peach pie, with no whipped cream on top. An indention like a chin dimple turns it on and off. Since both indentation and the frame around the phone are black, I paint the dimple with pink nail polish so I can see it.

On its no-slip back is the logo of the Macintosh apple with a small bite that Eve has taken out of it. But is an apple just an apple? Turning it over I discover a baby’s bib with a slash of sunlight entering the kitchen.

I have also pasted my phone number onto the back. This is in case I lose it. My late friend the poet Elaine Restifo taught me how to do it. Postage stamps come with extra sticky strips you can peel off. This I do and print in two strips:  784 and 2009. The 215 area code of Philadelphia is unnecessary.

The first thing I notice when I press the pink dimple and the phone switches on with nary a flourish or a sound is:  the time of day. This shocks me. I do not like to be reminded. I am sixty-nine years old – can’t figure out how I got so old already – and almost died four years ago from faltering kidneys. My daughter Sarah rode in like Sir Gallahad and donated her left kidney to me.


On Facebook she cheers me on. “Mom,” she says. “You can do it! You can master the iPhone.”

My granddaughter Grace comforts me. I have gone over this evening for a steak dinner. Continue Reading…

Binders, depression, Guest Posts

The Napkin Thief

March 31, 2015

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Ruth Deming

I’m not much of a thief. But to console myself during the five sad years of my marriage to the lately deceased Mike Deming, who gave me two beautiful children, I began to pilfer little things.  Can’t rightly remember if he ever knew of this. Probably not since we had a bad habit of not speaking.

Born in Texas, Mike took a job up in Ossining, New York, home of “Sing Sing” Prison. We lived on the top of a two-story furnished dump, with a lumpy bed where we forgot how to make love. He worked as a counselor at a bad boy’s school, founded by Eleanor Roosevelt, while I worked as a secretary at aryknoll Missioners, founded by Jesus Christ. I was the only Jew on the premises.

It was like working in a castle, an old castle in Scotland, with its stone walls and ringing footsteps when you walked down the corridors. Father Meehan was my boss, a dour thick-jowled man who would come into the secretary’s pool and say, “Take a letter, Mrs. Deming.”

But my favorite was Father Morgan O’Hara, who looked like Richard Burton, but instead of being a drunk, he had manic-depression. When his psychosis hit, you’d find him out in the parking lot jotting down license plate numbers. He was trying to solve the mystery of the universe, the great pastime of all successful manic-depressives, myself included. Continue Reading…