October 28, 2021

Mary Keyes Rogers | Author


Alcohol 101

Sept. 18, 2021

Sometimes, in the interest of good parenting, I have broken the law.

Ask any drivers ed instructor how many times they're accompanying a kid who's getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time ever. Next to none would be the answer. 

Moms and dads find a quiet ... Read More >>

Apologizing in Advance, Just in Case

July 24, 2021

Even in casual conversations, I find myself, and I bet you do too, presenting a cautiously crafted preamble meant to apologize in advance for anything that I might say in the next few sentences, which, although unintentional, might be considered insensitive to a microscopic slice of the p... Read More >>

The Sharpened Edge of Privilege

May 29, 2021

One of the greatest speeches of all time was delivered at the 1976 Democratic Convention by keynote speaker, Barbara Jordan, the first Black woman to serve as a senator from Texas. Her address to delegates, the first-ever keynote at a political convention to be delivered by a black woman,... Read More >>

The Surprising Magnitude of Trust

April 3, 2021

It’s here! It’s here! The 2021 World Happiness Report is here! Maybe you missed the big news?

I understand. When you are trying to stay alive, happiness becomes a low priority. Happy? Who’s happy? I’m happy to have toilet paper and a ham in my freezer.

... Read More >>

Peekaboo, America

Jan. 30, 2021

As infants, we take delight in playing the timeless game of peekaboo. 

Mommy or Daddy’s happy, loving, and reassuring face momentarily disappears, only to return with a loving smile and a happy face when we uncover our eyes. This is more than just fun and folly. In play... Read More >>

Grand Gestures, Signaling Nothing

Dec. 19, 2020

Who doesn’t like a fresh start? 

We set off for new horizons with grand gestures, like a newly committed dieter tossing all the junk food from the pantry into the trash or spending an outrageous amount of money on exercise equipment. Big, bold moves.

Thoughts of... Read More >>

Greetings From the Planet Surrender

Oct. 31, 2020

As I write this, the 2020 election is more than a week away, which lends mystery to the state of our country as you join me here in these words on this page.

Would you agree that the predictability of election outcomes life feels like a long-lost friend? Far beyond weighing the od... Read More >>

You’ll be Needed When Things Go Sideways

Aug. 29, 2020

Earlier this month, in Traverse City, the scene was set for a perfect demonstration of our failed national response to the mental health crisis. Similar situations take place every day in cities and towns across the country. On Aug. 10, it was just our turn, in a house on Eighth Street.Read More >>

Could our Independence be Problematic?

June 27, 2020

Independence Day, our nation’s birthday party, is almost upon us. This year, it appears that our party balloons are deflated a bit, someone has pawed an early taste of frosting off the cake, and the pretty little candles stand a bit askew. Many party guests are behaving as exha... Read More >>

Ageism in action: From “OK, Kiddo” to “OK, Boomer”

Nov. 30, 2019

Ageism is not attractive coming off the tongues of those demanding I become “woke.” This Baby Boomer would like to state the obvious, that ageism is no different than racism, sexism or any of the other discriminatory “-isms.” To know my age tells you nothing about ... Read More >>

Please Don’t Make Me Almost Kill You

Oct. 5, 2019

I wish I could tell you that on the many occasions when I’ve said, “Oh my God, I almost just killed that person,” that it was simply a figure of speech. But in fact, I do almost kill people on a fairly regular basis. Maybe I almost killed you.
 
Countless ... Read More >>

A Case for Patriotism

July 27, 2019

Well, that was unexpected.
 
On the Fourth of July, my husband’s USA cap and my American flag shirt evoked dirty looks and obscene words about our current president as we walked in downtown Traverse City.
 
“Are they talking to us?” Honestl... Read More >>

Parents, Get a Life!

June 1, 2019

I spoke with a woman whose 30-year-old children still drop off their dirty laundry to her each and every week. She doesn’t mind because she figures this is the only way she will get to see them. Are you kidding me?
 
Just as teenagers go through a healthy and natural ... Read More >>

Believe It or Not

March 23, 2019

Back in high school, there was a week each year when the Life Skills class would bestow a baby doll with an egg inside to each student who then attempted to balance the lifestyle of a teenager with the 24/7 reality of caring for a helpless infant.
 
Real parents, with real ... Read More >>

Modern Elders

Jan. 12, 2019

Each of us has a role to play in keeping young professionals in our region. In my case, it’s a matter of returning a favor granted to me when I was a young professional. 

There is a new business term: modern elder. Like other cultures hold their elders in high esteem, d... Read More >>

A Family Reunion Gone Very Badly

Nov. 17, 2018

When it came to my attention that my deadline for this column would coincide with the midterm elections, I figured my rage or joy would fuel my words. Hardly.
 
Election day came, and then it went. Meh. Some wins, some losses. I am happy to see the U.S. House go blue, but I... Read More >>

Bystander failure?

Sept. 15, 2018

From across a four-lane thoroughfare, I witnessed something. It was Labor Day weekend, and I now find myself feeling ashamed by how I responded — or rather, how I failed to fully respond. Maybe.
 
I think when you and I hear stories of bystanders failing to help a str... Read More >>

A Shew of Illumination

May 19, 2018

For anyone with an overactive love for snow, they can still find a dirty pile of winter stubbornly refusing to melt. But there is reason to believe that this seemingly never-ending season is in fact behind us. I ask you to look ahead a bit, I ask that you think about where you will find y... Read More >>

Something Surprising

March 24, 2018

Full disclosure: I have never touched a gun. I am terrified by guns. My only interaction with guns has been my emotional response to the aftermath of horrible events. My position has always been this: The fewer guns, the better.

Honestly, have you read an opinion piece (i... Read More >>

Prisons and Jails: The New Asylums

Jan. 20, 2018

When did Americans decide that incarceration was acceptable housing for the seriously mentally ill?

According to one advocacy agency for inmates: In 44 states, a jail or prison holds more mentally ill individuals than the largest remaining state psychiatric hospital; in every coun... Read More >>