No, Mom, I Won’t Ask Dad

Photo credit: Mark Hillary, CC BY 2.0.

Like many a middle-class matriarch, my mom projected a lifestyle where shopping was always quality mother-daughter time. On the way to the store she would wax nostalgic about how she’d once introduced herself to a college roommate. Taking a drag on a long, slender cigarette, she cooed, “my boyfriends don’t like me to smoke,” drawing out the ‘s’ in boyfriends for effect. I wanted to be just like her.

On this particular trip we were on the...

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