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  • My sister calls home. She's excited about something, asks to talk to our mom. "Guess who I just saw?!" she'll exclaim, or maybe "Guess who just friended me, mom?" bubbly as she is wont to be and eager to share a cool story from her cool life. "Who did you see?" we ask. Her enthusiasm is somewhat contagious but is also a reminder- taken by you this way, not intentional on her part- that the things you do aren't as cool as the things she does on a routine basis.

    She tells an elaborate, funny story about seeing someone who she hasn't seen in years. Maybe they recognized her; perhaps she initiated the conversation. Sometimes it is the height of serendipity, and they end up being best friends for years after; sometimes it is just a fun story to tell.

    On most days, my mother delights in her daughter's escapades, these small exhibitions of her charisma and recognizability.

    On other days, she sighs and say, "When Abby finds old friends, they're working as a junior ambassador from the United States to Iran. When I find old friends, it turns out they died of cancer ten years."
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