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Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016 - 5:13 p.m.

1. A "gift" of a jacket she knew was too small for me. An admonition to "not let it go too long" to return it. Now I have to find time to return it. Hours out of a day, to go to a place I hate, to try to pick out something I don't want.

2. I am picking up the floor in the playroom, self-conscious at being judged for having a messy floor, because she always comments in my messy floor. "Why is mommy picking up?", a he asks my children. "Why is she picking up your toys? I thought that was your job to help mommy pick up." My children ignore her. Now I am self conscious that my floor is messy, that my children are unhelpful and unresponsive. I leave.

3. I offer to make the bread and the pound cake for the New Year's Eve fondue fest we have planned. "Now, you don't need to make that! Just buy one! You have too much to do to make all that." She doesn't know I am not really planning on doing anything else. I am not planning on picking up, vacuuming, tidying, napping. I just want to make the damn cake and make my contribution. But my own favorite contribution is superfluous as I fail in my real duties.

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