So, are you sick of hearing about Stuck in the Onesies yet? Don’t answer that. Do you have a clue (or care to have one) about just what the phrase, Stuck in the Onesies means? It dawned on me that the subject might make for a good blog. Even if you know what the saying intends, you might just enjoy the few minute read. I’ll try to make you smile somewhere along the way.

So, rather than type out the instructions on how to play, I decided to just post an excerpt from Stuck in the Onesies. This scene is in the first chapter when Barb (the narrator) and Ellie first meet and they’re trying to get their daughters to play with each other. Here goes:

“They both shrugged. Ellie reached in her pocket and handed me a handful of jacks and a little red ball. Karen and Ginger’s faces lit up.

I picked up the ball, tossed the jacks on the floor, and started to practice while Ellie cleared a bigger spot for all of us to play. One by one, I picked up the jacks as I tossed and bounced the ball. I got all the way to foursies before I had to stop for the real challenge to begin.

“Okay, girls, let’s start with Karen since she’s company.” Ellie sat down, pulling her dress over her knees, and I handed the jacks to Karen.

Karen dropped the jacks onto the linoleum porch floor. She tossed the ball in the air and bounced it once on the floor, swooped in with the same hand, and picked up the jacks one at a time without moving any of the others. She got halfway through her twosies before she fumbled.

And the competition began. Karen and Ginger got on to twosies, but I had a lousy throw and got stuck in the onesies.

Getting stuck in onesies is lethal to a jacks player. It’s considered the easiest step, and if you don’t sail right through it the first time, you play catch-up for the rest of the game.

“Stuck in the onesies, huh?” Ellie asked.

“Yeah, kinda like getting behind in the laundry. You go one day without hanging something on the line, and you’re forever playing catch-up.” I scooped up the rest of the jacks and handed them to Ellie.

“Yeah, I know what you mean. The last time I caught up on laundry, I think Truman was still president.”

Ellie uncrossed her legs and knelt down on the floor. She sailed through the onesies and got all the way to fivesies before she goofed. In no time, she’d whooped us all. I was determined to learn to be as coordinated as her, but it was apparent that it was going to take some practice.

“You’re the champ for now,” I said. “But just wait until Karen and I get some practice under our belts.” I tossed the jacks to take a practice turn.”


Stuck in the Onesies the metaphor that flows through the story as Barb and Ellie are raising kids and husbands in the D.C. suburbs back in the 1960s. They try hard to become independent women working within the confines of the of their responsibilities as wives and mothers.

We’ve all been Stuck in the Onesies at one time or another whether it’s been with our jobs, a friend, or just life in general. In the end, love is what brings us through this life, so pay attention and keep pushing towards