Tag Archives: motherhood

Maura: Outside Session 1

I chose her because looked young. Because she’s young, and probably because she’s Jewish. Steinhauser. Jewish, I think. Jewish people are okay with abortions. This is the only choice for Tiffany, and she can’t be convinced any other way.

I’m being sensible.

Outside Dr. Steinhauser’s office there is a carpeted seating area with five chairs, all black leather, which I think might be fake but it doesn’t really matter because it’s comfy, and I’m alone. Tiffany has been inside for fifteen minutes. We are no longer in Haightford. It’s too polluted. Too many people know her story. There are too many news trucks, and everyone is talking about Keith Rose when they should be talking about Tiffany. Well, they shouldn’t be talking about Tiffany. They should be minding their own goddamn business. But what I mean here isn’t lost. Longington, this office—it isn’t a place that has room for people like us, but I know I’m kidding myself that Haightford isn’t just like that, too. We are relegated to our apartment complex, to our corner of the town. Tiffany does not fit with the Haightford girls, and I’ve always known that.

Is this really what she deserved?

I reach for the keys in the outside pocket of my purse and keep turning them over in my hands. The triangular one, the one that opens up the dental office, that’s the best one to touch.

Dr. Steinhauser—Rachel—is she one of those doctors you call by their first names? The doctor had a website with a pretty picture. She looked young. I already said that. She graduated from Yale and Columbia. I specialize in assisting families and young women. Out here, in Longington, no one takes insurance.

I get up and start pacing the waiting room, and check my phone. Patrick has called again. Son of a bitch—doesn’t he get that I haven’t called back? It’s too much. It’s all just too much. There is a tabloid, an Us Weekly, that I pick up, relieved to see it, and surprised to see it in the stacks of the Harpers’ and the New Yorkers and the Psychology Todays, but it’s three weeks old, and I’ve read it already at the office. Somebody must have left it behind. I drop it back on the stack.

What is she doing in there? What are they talking about? Has she mentioned me? She’s mentioned me. I can feel it.

I bring up Rachel Steinhauser’s website again on my phone. A Southern Connecticut native, I established my practice in Longington with a focus on providing support to the community and its members. I specialize in assisting families and young women. 

I can’t do more of this. Why her? Why us? Why me?

A Portrait of My Mother

My mother has never been like the other mothers. She has always worn more makeup and different clothes, and she has never been very good at cooking dinner, or signing permission slips, or making decisions. She likes the Lean Cuisines because they have the most appealing names and make her feel the best about herself, and she eats them at the kitchen table putting down her fork between each bite like one of the magazines has told her to. She uses a lot of salt. Once I asked her whether or not she thought that was a good idea and at the same time she took a bite of one of the frozen parts of the meal that hadn’t cooked through.

When I go to my poetry club meetings after school and in the evenings at Mr. Rose’s house she watches Hollywood Insider and Extra and shows about people that she would like to look like, and these are the people she brings pictures of to the salon when she gets her hair cut. She has always made a point to tell me that she’s proud of me that I go to Mr. Rose’s, and that I take AP English as a junior, and that she thinks that the Italian women who work the hair-washing stations at the salon are trashy-looking with their “talon nails”. My mother keeps her nails pretty short. She asks why I do not paint mine.

For my mother’s thirty-fourth birthday this year, she asked for a sushi dinner, and told me I could bring a friend along. I told her I would ask De’Andra, and she asked if there was a boy I would like to bring instead.

Tonight, she sits on the couch, and she is plucking her eyebrows. They are the only hair she has left that is brown. I know, because I have seen it all.