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Erika Hoffman

A Cup Half Empty

By Erika Hoffman

Trudging down an endless, dusty road to the tour bus parking lot on a stifling summer day in Italy, I complained to one of my traveling companions about the heat, my feet, and the lengthy bus drives. Pam stopped and stared at me. “Erika, you always see the cup as half empty!” This remark startled […]

Twenty-twenty vision was mine until age 42. The morning after I turned 42, I woke to blurry eyesight, not due to any celebratory libation the night before. I saw the optometrist. He diagnosed bifocals, and for the next twenty years every photo taken of me is of a bespectacled person. As time passed, my prescriptions […]

Snip, snip, snip. Scissors clicked away. My eyes were closed, as instructed. My ears alerted me to this cosmetic alteration. I felt her hand and the blade brushing my cheek. Why did I decide on a make-over only hours before my son’s uptown, out-of-state wedding: a make-over done by a stranger in a salon where […]

My husband and I have season tickets to Broadway musicals at DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center). It’s our monthly date which gets us off the couch, away from the refrigerator, and forced to mingle with the outside world. When we were young, I’d have had trouble committing my husband to spend a night each month […]

Destination What?

By Erika Hoffman

“I’d like a destination wedding,” my daughter stated as I picked her up from the airport. I didn’t look over at her but kept my eyes fixed on the road instead. “Lots of my friends have them now.” I remained mute. I turned on the signal as we approached our neighborhood. “I’ve been to ones […]

“Cense,” the lady said. “Sense?” I repeated. “As in it makes sense?” “No. It’s spelled with a ‘C.’ C-E-N-S-E. It’s wine from New Zealand.” “Don’t they know how to spell in New Zealand?” I asked. “Careful. I used to live there.” I laughed. Susan went on to tell the meeting that this wine used up […]

Teaching is Teaching

By Erika Hoffman

At 22, I took the teacher examination, received my certificate and sought a job in public schools. For ten years, I plied my trade in suburban New Jersey; urban Atlanta; and rural North Carolina. Whether the kids were rich or poor, from educated parents or high school dropouts, white or black, I found certain types […]

New Year’s Eve

By Erika Hoffman

New Year’s Eve – it’s to twenty-something bachelors and bachelorettes what Christmas is to Santa-loving tots – a time of anticipation, of excitement, of satisfaction, of wild dreams and unbridled passion. So what’s NYE for the rest of us? Usually, I watch the speckled ball drop in Times Square via television. My tradition of whom […]

Same Old, Same Old

By Erika Hoffman

I must be insane. Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant humans of all time, stated, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” How many times have I nagged my husband about picking up his messes, to no avail? Or complained about folks who disappoint me over and […]

Ma Raison d’ Etre!

By Erika Hoffman

“You’re to blame!” The voice on the line scolded, half laughing. “For what?” I answered. “My life!” “Huh?” “And my four siblings’ lives, too!” “Hold on, now!” “Mom told us the story. We exist solely because of you.” “Carol, what on earth…” “Dad changed his mind. When he married, he told Mom flatly he wanted […]

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