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Mother Tells Me 'That's What You Get'

I stressed myself out trying to figure out which printer would best fit my needs. It was one of those rare moments that I wished some know-it-all would come up to me and point to one and say, 'This is the one you want.' But no one came.

I stood in the aisle for fifteen minutes reading reviews on my phone. I finally decided on one, picked it up with both hands, and headed for the register. I loved the weight of it in my hands, and couldn't wait to unbox it and place it at the edge of my desk. It wouldn't really be mine until I could confirm that there were no broken parts, until I could see that it could do what it had promised. 

As I fantasized about perfectly printed pages, something told me that I should wait and invest in a laser printer. My legs dragged me back to return the inkjet printer to its proper place.

When I got home, I complained to my mother about the tasteless noodles I had for dinner (it was my fault, I requested they use only half the broths and spices to reduce the sodium levels), my failure to purchase a printer, and having too much energy at night. She raised her eyebrows, pulled her pillow closer —the one with the Tea Garden print —and told me 'That's what you get.'

'What are you talking about?'

'You don't drink coffee but you drink tea, and you had too much tea. It's called Teaffeine. You don't believe me? Look it up.'

I looked it up and got nothing. I changed the spelling. Still nothing.

Still laughing, she got up to feed the dog.

My mother has always been a prankster, but maybe she actually believes it's a thing. Either way, she had had me believing it too.

Claire-Louise Bennett on What's Keeping Her Alive

Björk at 27