As a teen, I used to read my Aunt Donna’s True Confessions magazine whenever she was foolish enough to leave it lying around. Oh, I loved those trashy stories, just like a soft-porn version of Letters to the Editor in Penthouse, although I didn’t know about that publication until a few years later. I wonder if the magazine is still published. I bet the stories are remarkably similar, just like soap operas. I think if I turned General Hospital on tomorrow, half the characters and story lines from 1988 would still be active.

Other teen flashbacks: leg warmers, sweatshirts with the neck-band cut out (oh la la) and permed hair. I believe all those things are back in style now. I wonder if I could find the matching purple and white striped miniskirts that my sister and I got for Christmas in 1985? They were made of sweatshirt material, and had matching shirts. Beautiful. My mom saves everything, and probably has them packed away in the basement.

My older daughter told me a joke today, “Yo Momma is so fat that her Patronus is a cake.” She said she has been assessing every person she meets for a few days, trying to figure out if they have a good enough sense of humor for the joke! We all tried to pick our Patronus after that. I thought maybe mine might be a cake, but the kids picked a mother bat for me, like the one in Stellaluna. I can’t figure out if that is good or bad. She was absent for much of the book, after all. Mother-guilt is a pervasive and powerful force.