Ki$$ & Sell: Chapter Ten

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Chapter Ten

By the time I got home that night, the table had already been set and dinner was beginning to cool.

            “Sorry I’m late, Mom. We were hanging over at McCartney’s,” I said and let my bag fall to the floor before slipping into one of the empty seats.

            “And how are things over at the Janning’s?” Mom asked, placing a heaping spoonful of what appeared to be tuna noodle casserole onto my plate.

            “Fine. The usual,” I answered and poured myself a glass of milk.

            “And where are McCartney’s parents this week?”

            “Um, I think Paris, maybe,” I said, scratching my head. “Or maybe it’s China. I can never keep track.”

            “Well, you guys let me know if she needs to stay here for a few days,” she answered, taking a bite of her food.

            “Thanks, Mom, but it’s not exactly like McCartney’s alone in the house,” I said, my mouth full of cheesy goodness. “She’s got Teddy, and like, three other housekeepers hanging around 24/7.”

            “I know, but it’s not the same as having family around,” mom started to lecture.

            “Mom. That is her family,” I tried to explain for about the hundredth time. We were constantly having this same conversation. Mom feeling bad over the fact that McCartney was basically raising herself, and me insisting that not only was McCartney used to it, but she preferred it that way. Changing the subject, I added, “Speaking of family, how are things going with you?”

If all else failed, ask people about themselves. People love talking about themselves.

            As I thought this, Mom smiled at me as if I’d just announced that I decided to run for Daughter of the Year.

            “Thank you for asking, Arielle. That is so thoughtful,” Mom said, placing her fork down on her plate. “I just got another client today. And this couple is a doozy. I can’t tell you who it is, but I can tell you that they’re in the entertainment industry. It’s going to be a challenge with these two, because neither have really had successful relationships in the past and their lives are so public.”

            My mom must have thought I never turned on the TV or walked past those gossip mags, because if she did, she wouldn’t be giving me such easy clues as to who her newest famous clientele were. I was already making a mental list of who she could be talking about as she continued to chatter on distractedly.

            “I mean, after my book came out and I started doing guest appearances on talk shows, I began to realize what these celebrities’ lives must be like. To lose your anonymity like that…” she said thoughtfully. “But, oh well, that’s the life that I chose—I guess giving up some of my privacy to the public is a small thing compared to helping people.”

            I began to tune her out, since this was also a conversation we’d had before—that is, if you could call my mom rambling on while I stared off into space a conversation. My attention was piqued though, when I heard my name.

            “I just want to make sure that you understand what being in the public eye could mean for you. Before you decide whether to agree to this or not,” Mom was saying.

            “Huh? Agree to what?” I asked, my forkful of food stopping halfway to my mouth.

            “The interview. With The Kennedy Daily?” she said. And then she narrowed her eyes at me like she was just realizing I hadn’t actually been listening to her after all. This was her biggest pet peeve and I wasn’t about to endure another lecture about being a mindful conversationalist. So I played along.

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