Last week was kind of a weird week. I had a sort of fight with my sister. We’re Southern-y Midwestern girls with nice upbringings, so we have spiteful but coolly pronounced disagreements. It is as awful as it sounds, in case you wondered. She suggested that perhaps I was jealous of her. I suggested that perhaps I’d set my hair on fire if given a choice between that and living any portion of her stupid life. We’ve since made up. After I got off the phone after our sort of fight, though, I was weirdly happy–and not just on account of my large and unholy love of conflict. What I’d said was true. I really will take my shit over other people’s version of happiness.

It is, in my estimation, better to be stuck and screwed and laboring at a job I mostly love and running and writing all the time than living in the suburbs, eating fast food, and dating an insurance agent whose only conversational topics are sports and killing animals. I’m not saying the latter are, strictly speaking, bad decisions. They’re fine. They’re just not, you know, decisions I would make in one hundred years.

I live with my parents, in the most Emily Dickinson of fashions. I love my parents. I try to think about how pleasant it will be to look back on these times when I am old and they are old. But mostly I just wish for any fucking measure of privacy. Or, rather, my description of privacy. My mother, bless her heart, knocks before coming to my floor of the house–despite the fact I can’t actually hear this knocking and have told her so many times. On the other hand, she insists on doing my laundry and collecting my garbage and opining on both. The horror, the horror.

My mother’s bff also has an adult daughter living at home. In my worst moments I search for my similarities to this AD. There aren’t many. She’s truly odd and prone to having internet relationships with reality stars. No. Really. It’s happened. Twice. On the other hand, we’re both on the shy side, and we both read a lot. And we both have terrible jobs and rely on our parents for some measure of support. AD is sort of my nightmare doppelganger.

BFF and my mom, after years of teaching elementary school, are incapable of having a quiet conversation. And that’s why I recently overheard them talking about me.

Churchrat has a lot of passion about life, doesn’t she?

I am standing some distance away and can still see my mother is making that “who is my daughter making out with these days?” face.

There are just so many things she’s interested in. Weird things*. But things. And she’s a real little go-getter, a hard worker. She’ll get over this hump. But AD… I don’t know about her.

But AD has… a, um, Masters Degree!

So does everyone else.

My mom hates awkward situations, so she quickly turned the subject back to who I might be making out with. Because that’s not awkward at all.

I don’t know what the point of this post is. I do know it possibly makes me sound like an asshole. I don’t know. I do know that for a while there I was getting pretty close to despair, and lately I’m better. And these conversations are two of the reasons why. I’m sending out my damn resume and plotting a church newsletter entirely written by kids instead of by me. I’m taking a vacation. I’m writing a novel and publishing a zine and running a marathon. I’m keeping that dog. And I’m not going to discuss making out with you. Or with my mom.

*Weird as defined by a Midwestern school teacher in her 60s. I just want to make that clear. I’m not going around town in a bird mask discussing earwax or anything.

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