One day, Jen opened the closet to find that it had already been tidied and organized. Tina’s thin, spidery hand had even made labels for the plastic boxes she’d used to group together the family’s things. “Halloween” one box said, “Cal State Stuff” said another, “Photos,” “Kid Art.”

Seduction Pronto Lang Style

“Learn another language! Experience other cultures! Become a citizen of the world!”

“Learn another language and meet people from different countries!”

“Learn the language of your ancestors! Discover your heritage!”

“The easy and fast way to learn French is to meet a Frenchman!”

“Octoberfest! Join us! We will teach you how to order a beer in German!”

“Feel like dancing flamenco? No need to go to Spain! Come to Pronto Lang, and we will describe it to you in Spanish!”

“Learn Italian in two weeks! When at the Vatican, you will be able to speak to the Pope!”

Secrets Are The Glue

Sassy magazine, which was very popular in the 90s because the models looked like real teenaged girls and the articles were about bands Mom loved—Lauren and I called them the “screaming ladies.”

Mom was a teenager between 1995 and 1999. She said those years were the best of her life. She’d get very sad talking about how she and her friends went to a club called Einstein’s that’s now been turned into a Taco Bell. She spent every Friday and Saturday nights dancing to those screaming ladies. Mom had pink-streaked hair and lived in Doc Martens and striped tights and dresses from thrift stores.