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Language Log

Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2019 - 3:29 p.m.

I’ve discovered that the very prospect of seeing my mother sends my anxiety spiking. And I head into shutdown so quick once I’m with her.

We saw her again before we left. I’ve noticed she has a particular intonation she uses when she’s reporting something she disapproves of or sees as shameful. Her pitch drops to the bottom of her range and then she says things that, by their words alone, are fine. But her intonation carries affective content.

“I guess B is transgender AND homosexual.”
“Okay. So?”
“That’s what I said. I don’t care.”
Right, you don’t care so much that you had to introduce it as a topic of conversation.

There was more but I already vented to J and it makes me tired. She made fun of my cousin with lifelong struggles with her mental health for saying she loved me. “Why do you go out of your way to make fun of her even for saying something nice?” “Well, because it’s Jenny.”

Later J said she had tried to talk about it with him, framing as me being upset that everyone always talked bad about her. I mean, maybe? But in this case, no, mom. I was mad because you were making fun of her for saying something perfectly appropriate and decent, because you have a narrative going that everything she does is ridiculous.

Everyone lovvvvesss mom. She’s so sweet.

It wasn’t even that bad. Kids had a good time, nothing too dramatic. I don’t know whether we lived up to expectations. I don’t know whether I can care anymore.

Got those nectarines tho.

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