If you don’t enjoy secondhand embarrassment, you should probably just skip this post. Or, if you don't like secondhand embarrassment but do enjoy book recs, just skip to the last paragraph.
I flew back home again this weekend to visit family and check in with/take care of my mom. Since she has cancer (and a cold to boot), she’s been off work for the past week. And, since she’s part of our family, she’s made some thoroughly tasteless jokes. Which have apparently lodged themselves in my brain.
We drove to pick my brother up from school, but arrived twenty or so minutes early. Since neither of us wanted to wait around in the car, my mom sent me in to sign Ian out early.
The receptionist, who's worked there since when I went to school (whose name I'm withholding because she probably doesn't want to be associated with this nonsense): “Hi! What are you doing back already?”
Me, very offhand and before I could stop myself: “Visiting my dying mother.”
The receptionist and I exchanged horrified looks. (Another parent who had stopped by the school office to pick up their kid gave me a very unimpressed stare. Looking back, I don't think my blue hair and leather jacket got us off to a good start, either.)
Me: I cannot believe I just said that. What the hell.
The receptionist: “Cal! Don’t say things like that!”
Me, backpedaling all the way to China: “I’m so sorry. I have no idea why I said that.”
The receptionist, laughing: “Visit your dying mother.”
Me: “She made some awful joke like that last night, and I guess it stuck.”
She just shook her head, quite possibly giving up on me ever becoming a model citizen. Which I doubt she would ever admit to, because she's a nice person who probably doesn't make jokes at her sick mother's expense.
The receptionist, still chuckling: “I guess if she’s making them, too…”
The receptionist: “Be sure to give your mom a hug for me, all right?”
Me: “I will! Nice seeing you!”
My only explanation (aside from remarkably poor impulse control, which I should probably get checked out) is that my family tends to abide by the Prince Kheldar/Silk school of thought: “I've looked at the world for quite a few years now and I've found that if I don't laugh, I'll probably end up crying.” Which isn’t an explanation quite so much as something I offer up in the vain hope that it’ll make you judge me less. Let me know if it works.
Sidenote: If you haven’t read the Belgariad/Malloreon series (where that quote was from) and you like fantasy, I highly recommend it. Seriously. Go read it.
I have no idea what I'm doing.