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I'm a recent graduate of a prestigious PhD program at a prestigious Ivy League school. I saw all these undergrads I had to TA who seemed really at ease with all the social graces, and now that I've got my first job and my first real grown-up apartment, I'm trying to show off the things I learned by imitating a bunch of privileged wankers.
The thing is, my degree was in the humanities, so my first grown-up apartment is barely bigger than my study carrel in the library back at grad school. I'm about to have my first dinner party (no paper or plastic for the first time!), and need to decide whom to invite.
There's my birth mother, who's recently come back into my life. My birth mother was a drunken whore who neglected me for the first five years of my life. I was fortunate enough to be adopted by a wonderful couple, who gave me a lot of love and a great education. I know they're very proud of my achievements, as they're always going on about their daughter the PhD, who they rescued from a life of poverty, neglect, and fetal alcohol syndrome (although they do sometimes say that if my birth mother hadn't been a drunk, I might have become a real doctor… although if my birth mother hadn't been a drunk, they would never have been able to adopt me, so that's neither here nor there, is it?).
My birth mother has been sober for a whole six months, and is keen to catch up on our missing 25 years. She's been treating me to a series of lunches and dinners, during which I have to give a recap of a year in my life. At every meal we've had together, she rolls a pair of D&D dice to determine the year I will recap. While I don't mind this so much, I really don't think my very first grown-up dinner party should be the place for another year-in-review.
I also think I should invite my adoptive parents. They did their best to be very modern about my adoption, and kept taking me on visits to my birth mother and her crazy family until I was 12, when I finally put my foot down and told them I didn't want to do that anymore. I didn't mind visiting my biological family that much: they were a refreshing change from my very PC, very regimented, very straightlaced adoptive family. But I just couldn't bear the sighs from my adoptive parents for days after our visits, all focused on how lucky I was to be taken from such a dreadful environment. My adoptive parents haven't seen my birth mother for over 10 years, and I don't think they'll appreciate the fact that birth mother has cleaned up her act, depriving them of the satisfaction of knowing they're better human beings than my birth mother.
Then there's my boyfriend. He's perfect in every way, except that he enjoys stabbing me with red-hot knives. He says that I must enjoy it, because I make exactly the same screams when he pokes me the knives as when he pokes me with his cock. The argument does seem strong, but I'm thinking that I've just about had enough of his impromptu cauterizations.
I also want to invite some grad school pals, as well as some of my new colleagues. I can just about squeeze everybody in, but at least one person has to go.
So my question to you, Dear Prudence, is:
Should I just wait for my birth mother to show up and borrow her dice to determine who needs to be instantly disinvited?
Not Julia, Not Julie, Just Juliette