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Damn! You see? That’s why I hate people.

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My friend Lisa just called me and said that her daughter and son-in-law don’t won’t pay her over 1.70 an hour for taking care of her toddler granddaughter. I said those are slave sweatshop wages. Her daughter has disrespected her for years. Lisa loves her granddaughter and wants to keep her safe and  I don’t know what to tell her. If she tries to get paid 2.50 an hour they will take her granddaughter somewhere else. The daughter is irresponsible and disgusting. I feel sad for Lisa. She’s one of these people who always wanted grandchildren and now this. What should she do? She just needs money to cover groceries. She’s gotta get a part-time job or go hungry. Her granddaughter is the one who will suffer the most. I just hate hearing this. That’s why I stay up in my library with the door shut. People make me sick!

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Diagnosis by Sharon Olds

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“Diagnosis”

By the time I was six months old, she knew something
was wrong with me. I got looks on my face
she had not seen on any child
in the family, or the extended family,
or the neighborhood. My mother took me in
to the pediatrician with the kind hands,
a doctor with a name like a suit size for a wheel:
Hub Long. My mom did not tell him
what she thought in truth, that I was Possessed.
It was just these strange looks on my face—
he held me, and conversed with me,
chatting as one does with a baby, and my mother
said, She’s doing it now! Look!
She’s doing it now! and the doctor said,
What your daughter has
is called a sense
of humor. Ohhh, she said, and took me
back to the house where that sense would be tested
and found to be incurable.

“Diagnosis” by Sharon Olds, from One Secret Thing. © Random House, Inc., 2009.

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