This is dedicated to all Catholic kids who confessed to sins they didn’t commit.

“Do you remember confession?” I send the text to my brother on a Saturday while the kids eat donuts in the kitchen. “I’m not being weird; I’m trying to write an essay.”

“I do,” he says adding, “I don’t remember what I said, but I stole a lot of candy back then. I’m pretty sure I included that when I confessed.” Imagining my brother shoving handfuls of penny candy into pant pockets and running for the door when the teenager behind the counter turns to help another customer makes sense. My brother was the sort of kid teachers didn’t want…


For those of us who grew up in the 1980s, the 4th of July was the event of the summer. This year show your family what the best summer holiday was like back in the day.

Wake everyone up with a breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes covered in butter. Don’t worry, you can go jogging with the other moms tomorrow if you’re not too hungover. Dress the kids (and the mister) in the colors of the flag. Pull the girl’s hair back with their red, white, and blue ribbon barrettes.

Table cloths, napkins, and plates should not only represent…


1980’s kids doing Halloween like badasses!
1980’s kids doing Halloween like badasses!
From left to right: A girl dressed like Belinda Carlisle (maybe), a girl in a bunny costume made from her grandmother’s old bed quilts. She looks pretty fucking pissed. A girl dressed as a sequenced chicken — shhh, it’s a dance costume, a ninja, a boy dressed as Norma Bates (perhaps), and a kid with googley eyes and a black hooded cape — maybe he’s the tin fucking man.

Shit, there’s a pandemic going on out there! But we GenXers, we’ve been preparing for this for our whole lives. Our parents used a healthy fear of shit, well, everything. Then, they left us alone every day after school with just the damn key around our necks or hidden under the welcome mat on the porch, to fight off intruders or clowns or slasher movie villains or whatever other evil lurked outside. I’m still in therapy, maybe you are too. Granted, it’s teletherapy, and my therapist isn’t optimistic. She did tell me it would be worth making a list of…


The thin-veiled outline of her kitchen, a jagged halo of iridescent blue instead of the pale, diffuse yellow surrounding angels, ushered her away from her family. Lydia closed her eyes and drifted into nothingness as the wall clock, shaped like a coffee cup, ticked and the dryer pounded clothes around, a zipper banging back and forth against the metal drum. She’d disappeared a million years before but nobody had noticed. Perhaps they would this time with no breakfast, 3.75 …


Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

You are cordially invited to this fall’s smartest and most dashing garage sale in all of Braggart County hosted by Cynthia “Cindy” Caldwell President (for ten years running) of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Elementary PTA.

WHAT: Rare finds and elegant accouterments that no longer amuse my family and me.

WHEN: This Saturday from 12:15pm — 3:45pm (unless my blowout runs late)

WHERE: Sherwood Acres subdivision. Look for the first (and only) four-car garage on your left. Fashioned with doors made of Sapele Mahogany harvested from sustainable and naturally fallen forestry, you can’t miss it!

WHY: To add to the beautification and…


January 1

I purchased a book about KonMari in a resolution to declutter my life. Amy told me about it over Appletinis at Olive Garden. Our family’s journey begins tomorrow. Bruce and the twins will be as thrilled as I am to get organized in the new year.

January 2

After reading Marie Kondo’s book, I felt so inspired I removed all my husband’s clothes from his closet and donated them to Goodwill. Marie reminds us that our relationships benefit from removing clutter in our lives. Maybe this will be just the thing to save my marriage. …


For those of us who grew up in the 1980’s the 4th of July was the event of the summer. This year show your family what the best summer holiday was like back in the day.

Wake everyone up with a breakfast of eggs, bacon and pancakes covered in butter. Don’t worry, you can go jogging with the other moms tomorrow, if you’re not to hungover. Dress the kids (and the mister) in the colors of the flag. Pull the girl’s hair back with their red, white and blue ribbon barrettes.

Table clothes, napkins and plates should not only represent…


If you grew up in the 1980's renting slasher films from your local video store, you may remember them with a hazy and nostalgic fondness. With Halloween just around the corner, you may even attempt to re-watch them, but if you have young children this won’t be easy. First, you’ll have to usher your children to bed. Then, you’ll have to wait for them to fall asleep, which could mean bathroom trips, cups of water, and words of comfort or scorn. Once they are settled, you will have to monitor sound with your finger carefully placed just above the pause…


Keeping Your Privates Private

Recently my four-year-old daughter has become interested in genitalia. Not just her own, but other childrens’. While I’m not a prude, I do want to make sure I send her the right message. The one I never received.

I always taught my children the anatomically correct names for their body parts. My girls know they have a vagina and my boys, a penis.

While some criticize my choice, because my kids have, on occasion, yelled about a penis or vagina, I think it has been a smart one. I have never believed in giving silly and cute names to genitals…


random thoughts from a four minute shower

Showers used to be one of my favorite things, a time for reflection, a time to get warm, a time to get clean. Now that I am a mother, things have changed! I now take four-minute, luke-warm showers every other day. I believe even prisoners get to shower every day. I’m starting to look like that little boy on Peanuts, you know the one with the swirls of dirt following him everywhere. His name is PigPen. When I emerge from my mini-van, big swirls of dirt follow me. I am PigPen.

Since the…

Nicole Johnson

Freelance writer featured on The Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, Redbook, Huff Post & Scary MommyCheck out my FB page @ https://www.facebook.com/suburbanshitshow

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