When I was young, She Who Must Be Kept had a best friend with two step kids and two children she had birthed. Her daughter was significantly older than me (and particularly bossy, so I didn't care for her at all), and her son was right around Big Brother's age, so they were about two years older than me.
As you can imagine, I really hated going over to this friend's house, because there was never anything for me to do. Big Brother and the son would run off to do secret boy things that I wasn't allowed to participate in, and the daughter would never let me color with markers--even when I was allowed to according to She Who Must Be Kept, or wouldn't let me drink my juice box, or pick a tape for the VCR or anything. She was pretty much a bitch, actually. I never did get around to liking her.
So, usually, I ended up hanging around in the kitchen where SWMBK and her friend would park themselves at Carrie's table. They'd sip on cups of coffee while I hid against the counter and tried to be inconspicuous. If I was found out, I was always told to "go play", which meant whining after my brother until he got screamed at to let me play.
Carrie and SWMBK typically complained. About their jobs, husbands, and most of all--their children.
It seemed like they saved up every naughty thing we had ever done and complained about it.
"And THEN he got an F! Can you believe that?"
"He got detention for throwing a spit ball."
"She broke curfew by thirty minutes. I was worried sick!"
"She wandered away from me in the store *again*. I'm so tired of it!"
I hated it. Hated hated hated it. Because Carrie hadn't been there, and Carrie didn't get my side of the story. Even at seven, I knew this wasn't fair. Once I burst out in tears as my mother started in.
"Do you know what Tai did earlier this week? It's terrible, she---."
"Stop it!" I cried. SWMBK turned to stare at me. "Don't tell that story! It's about me."
"I can tell whatever story about you I'd like. I'm your mother and you just have to deal with it. If you don't want me to repeat things that you've done, you'd better not do them."
I sobbed like I had a broken heart. I did, and still do, thing SWMBK was cruel to word it that way. Carrie told her off and said I was right, and if a story upset me, it shouldn't be repeated.
But it's led me to thinking, ten or so years later. What if I'm repeating stories that SWMBK wouldn't like? Do I have to ask her permission to have a blog on the Internetz? Does it even matter? All these strangers read it, but *they don't know who I am*. Does that make it better or worse?