My mom totally adores flashy stuff, like jewelry or gold or super shiny gems. Her nickname's 'Valerie the Magpie' because anything glittering is just too tempting for her-she just has to have that thing. Note: I said 'have that thing', not buy. So she casually walks up to the thing and pop, it goes into her pocket or anywhere she desires it to be. All of you might call it thievery, but Mom calls it 'sharing'. But I can't shout 'thief' and get my OWN mom in jail, right? She's truly addicted to it. She says she can't stop herself, and the worst thing is that she doesn't just take stuff, but other things like credit cards and money too.
Because of that I have my own room in our condominium, a twelve-inch plasma TV, three different coloured ipods, a new phone every month and a laptop. But I'm not living the dream life. I love mom and I know she does too, but sometimes I wish she was a normal mom, the sort of mom who earns a decent living and brings her kids out for a dinner once a week. But I can't come out right and tell her how i feel about stealing and all those-she's gonna go into a volcano-sized temper and head off to the shops to keep herself happy. I don't wanna upset her.
The next day, after school, we get down to work, writing down super long shopping lists for the weekend. Mom says she's gotten a windfall of money lately, and I'm hoping that it was earned legally. I write "Clare" (my name) down on one half of a piece of paper, and put down "Valerie" on the other half. I'm drawing a squiggly line to divide the halves when the front door swings open and mom walks in.
"Crush the list, honey! We've got bags and bags of cash to splash, so let's get onto it." Mom totters, giggling.
"OK. But no funny business in the shops." I say. We both know what that means.
"Promise." Mom winks, blowing me a kiss.
After some retail therapy (when mom actually managed to keep her fingers to herself and pay for our treaties),Mom decides to head over to her friend Victoria's saloon for a beauty makeover. I want to go to the library, but mom gets her way as usual.
"Cooeeee, Viccy!" Mom shrieks as she wobbles into the saloon on her twig thin heels. Victoria spots mom almost immediately and waves to her behind the counter.
"Look what Xanthe got me!" Victoria raises a basket and places it on the counter top. In the basket are three teeny puppies! Mom just goes mad over them, and when Victoria tells her to keep one of the puppies, Mom starts bopping up and down like crazy.
When we reach home, Mom gets her best white wine, a Chardonnay, out and pours herself a glass. Suddenly, while she's sipping the wine, she lets out a shriek.
"I've got it! The pup's a pretty little Chardonnay from head to tail! Call her Chardonnay."
I can't and I won't argue, so I get out my brush and start to give Chardonnay a comb. Then we go bonkers over an online pet shop, buying collars and other puppy stuff that we think Chardonnay will like. We're planning on ordering a takeout when Mom's phone suddenly springs into life, blaring a show tune.
"Charmaine, honey!" Mom chirps. She listens for a while and I notice that she's chewing her newly manicured nails.
Mom snaps her phone shut and starts for the door.
"Babe I'm gonna head out now. Why don't you call Samantha and invite her over? And maybe we'll go on another exotic holiday soon." Mom blows me a kiss and then the front door snaps shut behind her.
I sigh and stroke Chardonnay's soft head.