"The Girls of Usually" by Lori Horvitz

Essayist Lori Horvitz is afflicted with wanderlust, and many of her expeditions are guided by execrable exes. But when you date women who are out of it, you get some good stories.


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Right off the bat mitzvah, essayist Lori Horvitz believes in magic in a young girl’s heart―and it’s a heart that’s in the write place.

 

A wandering Jew whose travels take her to and through her identity, Horvitz documents each sojourn with truth and chutzpah.

 

As her sexual orientation evolves, Horvitz feels farmisht and tries to resist her attraction to women, lest her loved ones start kvetching and kibitzing. As a child, she owned a lesbian lapdog. Wasn’t that enough mishegas for one lifetime?

 

Not for Horvitz, who schleps from a kibbutz to Pompeii to a feminist Christmas tree farm. Somewhere along the way, she discovers that she can Yiddish it out and take it: “No one could mess with me because I was a hipster bisexual artsy chick who had it all.”

 

That being said, there’s more to life than just getting bi.

 

Or by, for that matter.

 

But her wanderlust has not been for bupkis, especially the lust leg of her expedition. These exes include a Nazi sympathizer, a literary loxsmith, and a maddeningly mendacious mad scientist. Okay, queerly she dated women who were out of it. At least she got some good stories out of it.

 

And as a storyteller, Horvitz is a matzo ball of fire. She writes of frustration and temptation, liberation and Jewbilation in a style that’s full of gaiety and free of schmaltz. Some essays will make your eyes light up like a menorah. Others will cause your head to spin like a dreidel. Still others will have your heart chanting “Hava Nagila.”

 

So pour yourself a glass of grape juice and propose a toast to The Girls of Usually: L’Chaim―and a gay old time.

 

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