By Alice Boher


Alice here. 

My dad in Georgia doesn't know we have this little pipe enterprise.

My mom knows, but she thinks if Dad knew he'd freak out.  I want to tell him, but one of our particular familial dysfunctions is that she is the controller of knowledge.  And maybe she's right, maybe he would freak out and all hell would break loose. (*also curious to know what that would look like) Because yeah, like a lot of southerners, Dad wholeheartedly approves of getting trashed, but his view is that weed is for lazy weirdos and draft dodgers (*although he was technically a draft dodger himself, but I digress*).  And okay, yes, Dad was a college dorm mate of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. So yes, there is a big possibility he'll freak out, but I still want to tell him because I want to live a new kind of life where I don't have secrets. 

I asked Mom while drinking wine at a Chili's in the Atlanta airport:

 ME: I sure wish I could tell Dad about our pipe business.

MOTHER: Oh I wish you could too. But you can't. 

ME: Right. But what if I just tell him? Not telling him feels like some weird shameful secret. I'm kinda over those. 

MOTHER: Oh honey, I know it, I know it. But oh well.

ME: But I feel like I'm lying about who I am, trying to conform to some guess as to what he will or won't approve of. 

MOTHER: Hoo wee, he will not approve of this, I can tell you that much. 

*this is where I freak out because I haven't matured correctly*

ME: But what a fucking nerd though!

MOTHER: Don't call your father a nerd, now...

ME: I'm proud of this damn company! I have done so much businessing around, y'all have no idea! I, I, do shit like accounting, okay or not accounting but bookkeeping! I had to go to City Hall to get a tobacco license-

MOTHER: AND WHILE that certainly makes me proud...

ME: Could any of you people figure out how to do business things? I'm a business lady!

MOTHER: You are a business lady, we all know you're a business lady. 

ME:  Dad doesn't know I'm a business lady.  

*Mother shrugs and takes a sip of her wine*

MOTHER:  I could say, "You know what, Phil? What about all these Hindus and Muslims who own all the liquor stores now, you think they ever take a drink? No. They just sell it."

*I take her hands and look into her eyes*

ME: Okay, but mom: I need you to hear this: I smoke weed.

MOTHER: (pursing her lips) I heard you. 

ME: We are not pretending I don't smoke weed, that's another secret again.

MOTHER: I said I heard you.

ME: Okay so what you said about the Hindus and the Muslims doesn't work in my case. Sebastian doesn't smoke weed...

*note: Sebastian is her favorite*

MOTHER: (quiet) Well that's good. 

ME: ...he smoked too much when he was a kid. 


ME: But now he doesn't. 

MOTHER: Good! 

ME: I kind of wish he would. I wish you would too. You know mom, they say there are two kinds of people in this world: those who smoke weed and those who should. 

MOTHER: (rolls her eyes) Ha ha ha. Very cute. 

*Mom shrugs, then looks at me with a squint*

MOTHER: You think I'm a big ol' nerd, don't you?

*this breaks my heart and I'm a terrible person*

ME: No way. I just think a cool person and a nerd are fighting for control over our minds, and sometimes the cool guy wins and sometimes the nerd wins. I say let the cool guy win a little more often. You won't go off the rails. 

*She looks at me skeptically, then shakes her head*

MOTHER: I guess all y'all in California just want to live in a world with no shame, where there are no bad guys, only misunderstood guys. How on earth will we not fall into utter chaos in a world with no shame?






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