Rough edges

“Mom where are you going?”

13-year-old me felt serious separation anxiety when it came to Mom. Seventh grade sucked and we relocated back to Brooklyn so my sister could start school earlier.

“I’ll be right back. Your Aunt Rein will watch you.”


“MOM! NO! Why Aunt Rein?” I whined loudly in protest.

Mom turned in her office chair to look at me before defensively asking, “What’s wrong with Aunt Rein?”

More like what isn’t wrong with her! She’s mean, she makes fun of me, she yells a lot, she has an attitude, and she scares me.

“I don’t like her! She’s mean!”

Mom paused a moment to think. I knew she agreed with me. I saw it in her conflicted facial movements.

“Patrick don’t be like that. She’s just……. rough around the edges.”


This sugar-coated euphemism throw me into a bigger temper tantrum.

“MOOOOOM! No! Rough around the edges?! She’s rough around the whole perimeter!!!”

Basic geometry at work – Barry


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