There is a laundry list of important people my mom will never meet.

My editor. My new PCP. My live-in boyfriend and love of my life[1]. Our new cat. His family. My new favorite barista. And so on.

She’ll also never meet my good girlfriend Tiffany, with whom she unknowingly shared a birthday (we met within the first year of her death — that time period is hazy, but I know we drank a lot of white wine and sang a lot of 00’s alternative to each other from across the bar[2]). She smokes American Spirits and wears bright red lip stain and takes good care of me. She also takes no shit. Mom would’ve loved her.

Going out for Tiffany’s birthday is always tricky. Its like rolling a dice, except five sides of the dice say I cry and only one says I go home and happily eat pizza. (I was never very good at gambling.)

This year, feeling particularly unlucky, I struggled with the idea of leaving my apartment.

Do I really want to risk telling someone to go fuck themselves? My period is coming. And my boobs hurt. And I’m tired. And I miss my mom. But it’s Tiffany. And this is getting old. What will people think? I should probably stay the fuck away from gin[3].

I toyed with the idea for the better part of the day; pacing, snuggling Sadie, ignoring the problem, and exhaustively repeating the process until both Sadie and I were over it.

Finally, I’d come to a decision: Maybe…just maybe…I’ll sit this one out. I’ll go say hi and I’ll hug Tiffany and then I’ll bow out and get some pizza. Suck on that, you stupid dice.

Then my phone buzzed. It was a friend and former co-worker, her iMessage a photo of a framed print at home in a small Pennsylvania gift shop. Gray, to match our living room, it read: “Love you more” in all white — Mom and I’s thing, second to none other than the last seven minutes of Dirty Dancing.

“Saw this and thought of u.”


I cried (a little early, albeit, for Tiffany’s birthday celebrations), picked myself up (with absolutely no help from Sadie — she is dangerously cute and cuddly) and got myself in the shower because, even four Aprils later, I’m still celebrating Mom’s birthday.

Apparently, she wants me to.

(Sixty-four would’ve looked damn good on her.)

[1] Nothing breaks my heart like this one. He is a treasure.

[2] She also shares a birthday with the local bar Tiffany and I met in, but that is neither here nor there.

[3] I drank gin and didn’t cry!

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