Pet Peeves

by Gina Gareri-Watkins It’s early Saturday morning and the dogs have apparently eaten the one remaining holiday assortment of chocolate candy and dried fruit. Having just walked into a morning and living room literally filled with crap, I’m once again reminded that pets do not lower your blood pressure in my house: Family pets have historically given me nothing but headaches. This past month I flushed the family fish, the box turtle escaped its outdoor pen, and my youngest daughter’s mouse died after three years and one last spin on the wheel while I was dusting its cage. To make … Continue reading Pet Peeves


by Gina Gareri-Watkins   He knew what he was doing when He gave her to me.  If not for her smile, my feet would be under the earth instead of on it.   Each morning she scales the rails on her crib, swings her slender legs over, dismounts, and pads across the hall to the edge of my mattress.               “Good morning, Mama!” she chirps.              I lay still and take inventory.              Stomach nauseous?  Heart racing?  Skin crawling?              All three, but her powder scent pulls me to shore.    I take three breaths and dive up.   … Continue reading Innocence

Out of the Closet, or How to Dress Your Age. Part 4

By Gina Gareri-Watkins “Selena?” I call out frantically. “Yes?” she answers with irritation.  I can just make out the top of her glossy blond head beyond the distant racks. “I think this is a phenomenally bad idea.  Help me, please?”  I whimper. Selena has dragged me to an upscale mall in downtown Atlanta for a lesson in lingerie, and I’m already searching for the exit door.  We’re here, looking for replacements, after the underwear drawer massacre: “No!  I will NOT let you have them!!” My back is against the wardrobe, heels dug into the carpeting, with arms thrown wide in … Continue reading Out of the Closet, or How to Dress Your Age. Part 4

Out of the Closet, or How to Dress Your Age. Part 3

By Gina Gareri-Watkins I’m still sorting the clothes in my closet when Selena decides to tackle my shoes. Preoccupied with my clothing discards, I fail to notice that Selena has methodically rounded up my footwear for review and is barely concealing her impatience as she waits for me to join her.  I drag myself over as she admires their new positions on the wire shelf that spans the bottom of my closet.  Bless her anal heart — my shoes are now grouped according to color and heel height, their backs standing at military attention with their toes nudging the scuffed wall.  They have no idea we’re arguing over their fate. “This pair has … Continue reading Out of the Closet, or How to Dress Your Age. Part 3

Out of the Closet, or How to Dress Your Age. Part 2

By Gina Gareri-Watkins “So, what’s the latest salvo in the divorce wars?” I ask Selena as I balance my second margarita on the closet shelf above our heads. Selena snorts. “Please. I told his lawyer yesterday that hubby had better come to Jesus soon about the porn thing, or we’re talking big dollars here. Rod Stewart dollars.” “Don’t ya just hate it when that happens?” I laugh. “Shut UP!” Selena barks. Selena’s in the middle of a protracted divorce that started with a basic dilemma — she hated her husband — which escalated into a full-out war when she hacked … Continue reading Out of the Closet, or How to Dress Your Age. Part 2

Gina Gareri-Watkins

Gina Gareri-Watkins Gina Gareri-Watkins is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Professional Writing program at Kennesaw State University.  Gina’s columns focus on life after 50 and doing time down south, although very few people outside of grad class have actually read them.  She has spent 27 years as a wife — and nearly 20 as a mother — with the recent addition of two dogs increasing caretaking issues exponentially.  Her work has yet to appear in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad, but if the Sweet Potato Queens can do it, so can she. In her spare time Gina does not … Continue reading Gina Gareri-Watkins