I like to play a little game with my mother called “Married, In Jail, or Dead.”
It goes like this: Mom calls me, and says: “Did you know a Mark Smith in grade school?”
At this point, I know “Mark Smith” is either experiencing some domestic milestone, in trouble with the law, or dead. I get to guess which.
Mom also sends me clippings from my hometown newspaper, describing in great “how the heck are we going to fill the pages of this small town rag” detail, how the girl I barely knew in seventh grade just had her fourth kid, or how the guy one year ahead than me just drove himself into a bridge embankment.
I’m grateful my mother wasn’t Hitler’s mother. Adolf would have been opening envelope after envelope of newspaper clippings about old classmates, some of which I’m sure didn’t want to be found.
“Adolf, didn’t you go to camp with a Harvey Katz?”
Mom has appointed herself Sea Isle City, New Jersey’s Minister of Communication, and thanks to her, not one obscure ex-classmate has made a move in 30 years that I did not know about.
If you were in grade school with me, yes, I know everything you do. I’m sorry. It’s not my fault.
My mother invented Facebook without even knowing it.
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