In Spite



And it gets harder

and harder

not to

see you


and it’s almost sad


because I know

you think

you’re trying

so much harder.


I liked it better

and it was easier


when you didn’t

try at all


when you

told yourself

it was all

for me


but never

told me

a thing.




There’s a word for
how I feel when
I’ve got you
under my

but I think it’s
so old that
it’s lost.

I like
what I do
with you.
And how.
And why.



The snow has been
falling for hours.

For what seems
like days.

I’m not going
And I know
you aren’t

But I’m
kinda wishing
you were
not going out

from here
instead of


Dear Powers that Be,

While I’ve been thinking about this note for weeks, I’m finally sitting down to write it at 1PM on New Years’ Eve. And while I’ve had a productive day, I can’t believe how fast it’s slipping away. I’m not concerned with holding on to 2017 by any means, so it’s not that tragic. Just surprising. Like this year wants to escape from itself as badly as many people I know want to escape it.

I feel like I have a tenuous – at best – grasp on things that don’t belong to me in the first place, and I’m more comfortable with that fact than I have a right to be. But for now it’s all that I’ve got. I used to get so maudlin when writing these year end letters, if I found myself in the same situation from one to the next. Now, it pleases me. Which I guess means I finally found it. That balance I’m always looking for. This passage from last year remains true, and still just out of reach. Which I think is a fine place for it to be as the new year begins: I’ll be honest, Powers, and say that another year or two that went the way this year went would be welcome. On the other hand, I’d be happy to have someone to root me to the earth as well. Floating about is fairly freeing, but gets really exhausting, not to mention lonely, after awhile.

I like me a whole lot. I like the way I think. The way I move through the world. The insight I send out into it. What I get back doesn’t feel sufficient, but I’m not sure anyone could say that honestly.

I read a quote a while back about self care being the opportunity to build yourself a life you don’t need to escape from.

And I’m in if you are.

Fondest regards,

Betsy Rose


2017 Year End Quiz

1. What did you do this year that you’d never done before? Spoke on a panel at a symposium. Pretty sure I’ve never done that before.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I read at least 10 more books this year than I said I was going to.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Magdi had Mateo.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes.

5. What countries did you visit? 😦 Does East Toledo count?

6. Who was the best new person you met? Eddy moving back to town has exposed me to a few new interesting people.

7. What date from this year will remain etched upon your memory, and why? December 12, Election Day, because always. Go Doug Jones!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I’ve got a rep, and I’ve protected and defended it well. #IWasRaisedByRefugees

9. What was your biggest failure? I spent many months during 2017 looking at potential new office spaces, and I was unable to convince Bob to pick any of them.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? My sinusitis is flaring up pretty bad this winter. Happens every few years.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Oh man, I spent so much money on new apartment accouterments. And I love all of it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Brittany deciding both of us should leave the house more often means a lot to me. Not to mention she asked me to apply for a spot on the WelcomeTLC board.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Too easy.

14. Where did most of your money go? Ha. Rent.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Cross-stitch. Reading. Being able to do both without being bothered by someone who just assumes “you’re not busy.”

16. What song/bands will always remind you of this year? It’s been a lot of Lady Gaga and Beyonce this year. And the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? the same? Happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? Slightly fatter. But also happier.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? I only have dirty answers to this question. I abstain.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Feeling guilty about not feeling guilty about not doing certain things.

20. How did you spend Christmas Eve? We celebrated family Christmas on the 23rd, so I spent the 24th packing and then riding shotgun in the car while Suzy drove Andy and I to Kriszy and Peter’s house, where we pulled in at 7AM on Christmas Day, then left around noon for OBX.

21. Did you fall in love this year? Only once. Twice, if you count me.

22. How many one-night stands? Haha. More like 45 minute intervals.

23. What was your favorite TV program? Handmaid’s Tale. OF COURSE.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Roy Moore. Does he count?

25. What was the best book you read? Sleeping Beauties. I conquered Stephen King this year. Woot!

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Lady Gaga’s new album made me happy, in that she’s talented all on her own. No meat dress required.

27. What did you want and get? My new coffee table is pretty boss. I also got a bean bag that converts into a full mattress. Be jealous.

28. What did you want and not get? A new job.🙂

29. What was your favorite film of this year? Wonder Woman was epic.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 35 in Toledo, Ohio, where Eddy took me to Homeslice for pizza, beer, cigarette smoking on the deck with a Fireball shot for dessert, and then I got to watch the fireworks at Kurt’s office with all my LCYD besties.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I haven’t had the most fun spending the last month of the year packing up and moving the office, even if it is only right around the corner and right across the street from my apartment.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept this year? It was really cold in my office. How do I best keep warm?

33. What kept you sane? He knows who he is.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? The Pod Save America team has been my gateway drug into finally listening to podcasts.

35. What one word best describes this year? “Alleged.”

36. Who did you miss? Eva. Always Eva.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year: It’s not my fault.

In 2018
What do you plan to do that you didn’t do this year? I’m going to spend a large part of the first months of the year really getting everything organized at the office. The past 2 years have felt like a holding pattern, knowing we’d have to move sooner rather than later. But I hope we’ll be at the Secor for awhile, so I’d really like to get it together.

Who are you spending New Year’s Eve with? Unless some last minute plans shake out (this is not an invitation or request!) think I might stay home with a rum and Mexican Coke this year. And cross stitch.

What one thing would you like to say as the year is almost done? More of this, please. With a little less dying. I know that’s a tall order, but I’d appreciate it, Powers.