Poor Lucky Me was born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago with two older brothers, and a suspiciously smart Chocolate Lab named Casey. It was a simpler time, and life was colored only by the drama of teenaged hormonal angst. Two funny, smart, loving parents encouraged adventuring, and at age 16 Poor Lucky Me headed to boarding school in Hudson Ohio. Between writing faux horoscopes for the school newspaper and begging for term paper extensions, she learned that being more articulate than smart could be a dangerous trap.

For the next step in her education, the University of Massachusetts was chosen as much for it’s single page application as it’s academic merits. Really just a stopping ground for the much longed for year abroad, UMass provided an unexpected wealth of mental stimulation. Sitting in on lectures by such legendary figures as Tim O’Brien, Kurt Vonnegut, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and Noam Chompsky made Poor Lucky Me feel less guilty about only taking classes where her grade could be improved by reading Newsweek.

A year abroad in Rome was a whirlwind of longing, ripe with the anxiety of leaving and haunted by the pursuit of good Mexican food. One can get so tired of the most beautiful cuisine in the world and yearn for just a small plate of nachos. Still protected womb-like from the normal tragedies of life, Poor Lucky Me walked for hours along the streets of Rome, smoking cigarettes and listening to Portishead and Bjork on a Disc Man. It was a sophisticatedly self-indulgent year. Occasional solitary weekend trips fed Poor Lucky Me’s dramatic nature like the finest fertilizer bullshit can make.

Returning to UMass made time speed up exponentially. In a matter of minutes came the death of a dear grandmother, graduation, a first job and apartment in the city, the death of the family dog Casey, the acquisition of a dog named Peanut, bills, parties, parental revocation of the use of their credit card, a new job, a night job, a new apartment, a starter boyfriend, more bills, another apartment, countless parking tickets and the unpredictable onslaught of bouts of depression. Many people were too polite to wonder aloud what the hell Poor Lucky Me was so depressed about. Although the grandmother’s death left a gash on her heart, Poor Lucky Me knew that she was lucky to know such a wonderful woman so long. It wasn’t a tragedy as much as a hint that one could suffer a loss and still wake up in the morning…but that lesson wasn’t understood until much later.

Poor Lucky Me met the perfect man in 2004. Tom G was tall and handsome and sensitive and intent on understanding the mood swings and quick to laugh. In a matter of weeks they knew it was love, and in a matter of months they moved in together. Poor Lucky Me understood for the first time why people wanted to get married and have children, and decided she would do so with Tom G.

Time sped up again. The euthanasia of the beloved Biting Dog Peanut was suffered by both Poor Lucky Me and Tom G. They cried together as they watched her life slip away at the vet, even as they knew that the experience was inevitable as the owners of a Biting Dog. Peanut went to sleep knowing she was loved, and that’s the most they could have hoped to give her.

A week later Ramona Quimby was rescued from the animal shelter, and the orange mutt was content to rule a home still quieted by mourning. Soon life took over again: Tom G asked Poor Lucky Me to marry him, they moved again, traveled, changed jobs, got raises, joined civic groups, started blogs, played on softball teams, got married, went on a honeymoon, had an apartment building burn down while on vacation, moved again, went to Europe, came home and got pregnant.

And that’s where the story really starts.


  1. Colleen Karabetsos says:

    Dear Poor Lucky Me (Heather),

    I have laughed and cried with you, enjoyed all your rants, musings and the beautiful story of Tommy Jr.

    You have a gift (more than one actually) and I will become your new devoted follower (stalker) online.

    I hope you have a “painless” labor and beautiful daughter in your arms shortly (not too shortly).

    Colleen at Butler Rubin

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