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Susan Orlins
Award-winning journalist, Susan Orlins, is author of Confessions of a Worrywart: Husbands, Lovers, Mothers, and Others as well as of the blog Confessions of a Worrywart: Meditations on All that Could Go Wrong. A multi-faceted worrywart, she casts a wide net in her writing; fears, stuff that creeps her out, and obsessions make frequent appearances.

She is also co-author of 2015-08-19-1439951869-682639-GERALDStillStandingCoverFront.jpg

In Washington, D.C., where she resides, she leads a nonfiction workshop for homeless people and others. Her publishing credits include The New York Times, Newsday, and The Washington Post Magazine. Susan is a former associate editor at Moment Magazine where she wrote about the Chinese perceptions of Jews as well as about people searching for their Jewish gangster roots. She received a Rockower Award for her profile of sociolinguist Deborah Tannen.

She is an editor at Street Sense, Washington, DC's street newspaper.

Susan is the divorced mother of three daughters in their twenties and thirties.

Entries by Susan Orlins

A Poetry Collection to Read Again and Again

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 10:23 AM

Poetry has always been a tough sell, a small world made up of a few big names that most of us were forced to read in school. How refreshing then to come across Kenneth Baron's debut collection, Semi-Sleep (Spuyten Duyvil Publishing). This collection overflows with memorable lines about...

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Homeless Lives: Unforgettable Personal Stories

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 4:08 PM

I'll say, "Tell us a story about heartbreak," and someone breaks all of our hearts with his tender memory of a long ago, lost love.

I'll ask, "What's the hardest thing you ever experienced?" And someone else bares himself raw about the joy of finding the first thing that ever...

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What You May Not Know About Street Sense, Washington's Homeless Newspaper

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 11:09 AM

With the cold weather upon us, I have been thinking about the day I sold Street Sense, Washington's homeless newspaper.

When I woke up and saw the clear blue sky, I said to myself, Oh, goody. It's lovely weather for selling Street Sense. The temperature would be...

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More Than a Matchmaker

(2) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 5:19 PM

Francesca Hogi is more than just a matchmaker. She will literally pound the pavement to find matches for her clients. As a former lawyer, "Survivor" contestant and lifelong romantic, Hogi has what it takes to help singles stop relying on chance meetings to find their destinies.

What makes...

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Find Love: Start a Date a Month Club

(3) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 6:47 PM

Creating a Date a Month Club is a great way to make love happen. Just ask my friend's daughter, Jenny, who also happens to be my friend.

At age 28, Jenny -- a bright, attractive, worldly woman -- was single, living in New York City, and so swamped with work...

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Saving Email, Saving Voicemail, My Mom's Voice

(3) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 3:44 PM

Mom had often complained that I'd thrown away her bag collection when I helped her move. So, for her birthday, we gave her a gift of gift bags... and she cracked up.

I'm a saver. Every time my inbox mounts to the limit of 4,000 emails, I move a few...

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Starter Marriage, The Serial: Part 1

(5) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 6:39 PM

This is the first segment of the serialized chapter "Starter Marriage" from my new memoir, Confessions of a Worrywart: Husbands, Lovers, Mothers, and Others.

Starter Marraige, Part 1

1965. One of my least evolved relationships was with Saul, my first husband. His dimpled cheeks and large, almost...

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Secret to Good Sex, Myth of the Large Penis, and More

(176) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 5:12 PM

Sexual relationships are important to healthy marriages. But not every healthy marriage is the same.

Sex therapist Laurie Watson, author of Wanting Sex Again: How to Rediscover Your Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage, has helped thousands of couples rekindle their desire. Recently, I...

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Confessions of a Lowbrow

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 8:05 PM

I like Oprah not Opera.
Country not Classical.
I prefer Silence to any Music at all.

I choose Breakfast at Tiffany's over My Dinner With Andre.
I'm all about Story, not at all about History.

Some words whose meanings I never retain
Are insipid, insidious and...

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Rebuilding a Marriage After an Affair

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2013 | 11:40 AM

What makes a marriage successful? What can be done to rebuild your marriage after an affair? Valentine's Day, despite the Hallmark hoopla, offers an opportunity to reflect on how to be happily married.

Recently, I interviewed Victoria, who discovered her husband was having an affair. She decided she wanted to...

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Should You Split the Bill? Dating and More

(7) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 1:01 PM

Should you split the bill?

This story about saying what you mean when paying or splitting the bill makes me sad. (Is it only worrywarts who experience recurring snapshots from the distant past that still make them sad?)

Years ago, my parents went to dinner with...

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Confessions of a Campaign Wife

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 2:45 PM

I never prayed for Steve to win the election, only to keep our sanity intact.

With President Obama's inauguration, my thoughts turn to election night of my husband's campaign for the U. S. Congress.

1992. Family and friends stream into my husband's campaign headquarters to await returns. The...

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13 Resolutions for 2013

(2) Comments | Posted December 31, 2012 | 5:15 PM

'Tis the season to obsess... about New Year's resolutions. For a worrywart, it is challenging to come up with just one resolution when there are so many choices, so I have selected several from my 2012 grab bag to inspire you to worry less and indulge more in 2013.

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Newtown Shooting and Campaign Finance Reform

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 1:23 PM

Like President Obama and everyone else, I am heartbroken for the families of the murdered children, teachers, and others in Newtown, Conn. last week. And I'm worried about our society in which this kind of massacre happens with alarming frequency.

By now the news has been so saturated with this...

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Worrying the Details of Political Campaigns

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2012 | 4:33 AM

While watching the 2012 political campaigns unfold, it reminds me of my ex's 1992 race for U.S. Congress. As a worrywart I multi-minutiae-worried my way through the entire campaign.

Here is my story of one of many details I focused on:

My husband, Steve, sets up headquarters to launch his...

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Are Working Mothers the Only Ones to Want it All?

(4) Comments | Posted June 26, 2012 | 12:20 PM

There is no question that it is a luxury to even have the choice to be a stay-at-home mom. When my first daughter was born, I was a working mother, a stockbroker for Morgan Stanley making more money than my lawyer husband. I began working at home for a few...

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Mother's Day: The Downside

(2) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 12:33 PM

For me, the dreading begins the Friday before, when my daughters, brimful with anticipation, arrive home with the crafts they have made at school. If history repeats itself, only two of the three gifts will be intact by Sunday, Mother's Day. What do teachers do about children who...

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Marathon Women

(15) Comments | Posted April 27, 2012 | 6:58 PM

Who knew we were marathon women?

On an ordinary afternoon in 1998, Eliza, my sixteen-year-old daughter, plopped her backpack at my feet, waved a brochure so close it grazed my nose and declared, "I'm signing up for the Marine Corps Marathon. I'll be running with a group that raises money...

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A Week in New York: Lessons Learned, Worries Amassed

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2011 | 3:04 PM

There's a lot to learn during a week in New York.

I learned I can go far north or south on dedicated bike lanes. And once a day someone grouses at me for wheeling crosstown on the sidewalk, not that I blame them.

But I do blame the guy who...

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Death by Tchotchke

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2011 | 1:22 PM

I'm drowning in junk, buried in boxes, suffocating with stuff. It doesn't surprise me that all these metaphors point to an untimely end.

There would be irony in getting snuffed out by my stuff, since one of my biggest worries happens to be that I'll drop dead and my children...

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