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Melissa T. Shultz
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Melissa T. Shultz is a writer who contributes to newspapers and magazines, and an acquisitions editor for a literary agency. Prior to freelance work, Ms. Shultz was Director of Creative Services for a trade association in Washington, D.C. Her writing has appeared in publications such as The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Ladies’ Home Journal, The L.A. Times,,,, Table Magazine,, The New York Times, and has aired on Mother Earth News (formerly CNN Radio). Ms. Shultz's first book will be published in July (Sourcebooks). Follow her on Twitter: @MelissaTShultz and visit her blog:


Entries by Melissa T. Shultz

How Laptops Go Missing At Airports

(42) Comments | Posted February 15, 2016 | 5:24 AM


We waited and watched until he passed through the brief security line at the airport, the same way we always did after one of his visits home. Seeing him across those barriers, far from my reach, never failed to remind me that he...

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Why The Best Time To Take A Nap Is Right Before Bedtime

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 6:11 AM

My husband likes to go to sleep early. In analog clock terms, he calls it a day when the big hand is on the 30 and the little hand is on the nine.

That's because he knows when he's ready for bed. Me? I'm a night owl, and I...

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Two Little Girls, One Recurring Dream: How A Race Riot Changed Me

(1) Comments | Posted September 13, 2014 | 7:57 AM

My mother's parting words were about tear gas. "If you're hit by some and can't breathe and your eyes begin to burn, cover your face with this cloth," she said.

It was 1968 and my family was living in Washington, D.C., where I was born. Our townhouse was in...

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What Would You Write On Your Gravestone?

(5) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 7:55 AM

If you had to sum up your life in 30 characters, what would they be?

She had no children, our 97-year-old aunt, though there are nieces and nephews aplenty, some by marriage, some by blood. When she died we came together, most of us strangers, to pay our respects...

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How To Be A Better Daughter -- And Why It's Important For You

(5) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 7:08 AM

Last week, I saw an elderly woman strolling along, holding hands with a 50-something woman, when I heard the younger of the two refer to her companion as Mom. It made me well with tears. Fluctuating hormones? That part of my life has passed, so it had nothing to do...

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Confessions Of An Email Hoarder

(4) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 8:43 AM

My name is Melissa and I hoard emails.

My reason for hoarding them is simple: I might need them some day. Emails serve as written proof of a conversation. This is helpful for a number of reasons, from memory nudging and legal/historical documentation, to spousal argument proof (See, hon,...

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My Mother At 80: The Lessons She Whispered In My Ear

(4) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 8:06 AM

My mother just turned 80. She doesn't look 80, or whatever I thought 80 looked like. She doesn't act 80, or whatever I thought 80 acted like. Florence Henderson is 80. Cicely Tyson is 80. Willie Nelson, Barbara Feldon, Joan Rivers -- all 80. It doesn't seem possible to me...

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Have You Tried Breakwinda Yoga?

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 6:21 AM

I'm not proud of it: I make grunting noises whenever I bend over to pick something up. The same kinds of noises made by people 25 years my senior. For someone who once took ballet, who was fluid and quiet as a mouse while dancing -- let's just say I'm...

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Are You Still A Mother After They Leave?

(6) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 7:24 AM

He was sitting in his high chair when I handed him a baby spoon filled with pureed carrots. I'd done this countless times before -- watched as my son grabbed the spoon with both hands, only to see the contents splatter everywhere before reaching his mouth. But this time was...

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How To Make Your Husband Feel Like A Kid Again

(1) Comments | Posted January 13, 2014 | 6:53 AM

If I were writing the ad, it would read: Life weighing you down? We can lift you up.

Skydiving is falling, technically, but it's uplifting nonetheless, and about as close as we humans can come to flying. Seems there are quite a few of us who want to experience feeling...

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And Then There Were Two: What I've Learned About Transitioning To An Empty Nest

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 6:07 AM

It seemed only fair that I take the time to do it right.

After all, I had 9 months to prepare myself for each child's arrival, why not prepare for their departures, as well? So last Christmas I made a promise to transition in stages, and the transition began...

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The Truth That Sleeping Alone Made Me Face

(19) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 7:02 AM

Sleeping alone can take some getting used to. The middle of the bed really is the way to go.

It's not as if my husband and I have shared a bed every single night of our lives together -- we haven't -- usually because one or the other of...

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Parenting: What I'd Do Differently If I Could Do It All Again

(12) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 5:57 AM

If I could do it all again -- raise a family -- I would, in an instant.

But I'd do it a little differently, because hindsight, it turns out, really is 20/20.

I realized this not long after my kids left for college, when I had...

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The Truism That's Difficult For Many Parents To Come To Terms With

(18) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 7:51 AM

We've celebrated the holidays together for 21 years. But change is in the air. With two kids in college, traditions that have been givens are givens no more.

It's a gradual process, this change. From college applications to move-in day their freshman year, you're so focused on the logistics...

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How I Re-Connected With My Husband After The Kids Went Off To College

(20) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 6:23 AM

I can't tell if there are more parents getting divorced at mid-life or I'm just paying more attention.

Let's face it, we change as we get older. Not just the obvious physical changes, but emotionally, too. As we should. A lot has happened since we fell in love and...

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How I Found The Old Me After My Kids Went To College

(12) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 6:33 AM

They're coming home for Thanksgiving in search of homemade meals, a warm bed, and sleep. So I've been thinking... maybe I could leave town for awhile?

I love my two kids with all my heart. It's just that while they were away for a few months and going through roller...

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How To Fix The Damage From A Bad Father/Daughter Relationship

(4) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 10:57 AM

It was the second time in a matter of weeks that I'd heard a woman open up about her relationship with her father. The first was a movie star on national television. The second was during a writing workshop, when one of my students -- a woman whom I assumed...

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Freaky Friday's Coming -- Are You Prepared?

(2) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 8:43 AM

Last month, a friend of mine, a widower who lives alone, woke at 5 a.m. with a crushing pain in the middle of his chest. He told me later that three thoughts came to mind. The first was that he was having a heart attack and needed to call 911;...

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The Real Secret To Finding Happiness

(9) Comments | Posted October 21, 2013 | 8:24 AM

Lately, people ask me about happiness as if I know the secret to finding it. I'm not sure why, exactly. There's no smile painted on my face, or sign that reads "I'm really happy" around my neck. Perhaps it's a matter of perception -- my kids are off to college,...

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The Surprising Thing That Happened When I Lost Connectivity

(8) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 7:51 AM

What's the city equivalent of being stranded on a desert island these days? It's being without a landline, Internet, or television service.

That was me last week, and I wasn't sure I'd survive. Yes, I had plenty of food, and I had electricity, and a warm bed, but it...

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