Fiction

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Marita Mercer adjusted the icicle-thin strap of her leopard print camisole and then tugged once, twice, three times. Perfect. Enough cleavage to look casually sexy, but not so much that Jim could brand her a wanton woman unworthy of her own daughter.

“Mom, do you have to wear that?” Twelve-year-old Charli flopped onto Marita’s bed. “Isn’t it bad enough that Dad’s dragging us through this mediation? Are you trying to make it easy for him to win?”

“Of course not. Besides, you’ll barely see it.” Marita slipped a black jacket on over the camisole. “See? A sensible black suit. Sober and appropriate for all proceedings.”

“Didn’t you wear that to work yesterday?”

“As a matter of fact, I did. But yesterday, this suit was a uniform for a court reporter. Today, it’s outward proof that I can be boring and follow the rules.”

Can two women united by a man one loves and the other despises work together for the good of a child?

Non-fiction

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When it comes to organizing, there are two kinds of people. There are Type A organizers, for whom organizing is easy and automatic. Practical, time-tested tools work for them. They’ve successfully (and consistently) mastered the use of three-ring binders, file cabinets, and pocket folders. Type A organizers are the embodiment of the phrase “a place for every- thing and everything in its place.”

And then there are the rest of us.

We want to get organized, we really do. Tired of feeling scattered, we buy three-hole punches so we can corral all those loose papers into binders. We buy boxes of multi-colored file folders in an effort to restore order; and we spend hours setting up filing systems only to be stymied by them later and revert to stuffing, cramming, jamming, and putting things in “safe places.”

We know that getting organized is a worthwhile goal — a life skill we should cultivate. We understand that we save time and energy when we can find what we need when we need it. We secretly (or not so secretly) envy our put-together, Type A organized friends who make it look so simple.

But for us, it’s not.

When it comes to organizing, one size doesn't fit all.