My mother is throwing a Christmas party today. I live with her, so I have to go. With her friends, who I haven't seen in at least 8 years. These are the people who would be invited to my wedding, so I better be nice. I really don't want to answer the same questions, about how long I'm here, where I'm (not) working now, what I plan to do next. Oh my god. I'm living Garden State.

Okay, I admit, I haven't seen that movie in a long time, but still. I remember the reluctant mood of the protagonist around hometown people. I am so feeling that. There will be liquor at this party. There will also be my 17-month-old niece. I will have to choose which will make me happier, and stick with it.

In her preparations for the party, she's made dozens of dozens of Christmas cookies, from scratch, because that's what she does. On Wednesday, she fat-shamed me for volunteering to eat a large portion of my favorite cookie, which she had just said made 8 dozen cookies. I chalked it up to stress, and called her on it, and we moved on. She's been baking for a week and a half, and this morning she decided to clean the oven, 6 hours before her party. It smells like she threw a rubber glove into the woodstove. She wanted the ovens clean, so her friends wouldn't see them dirty, while they were eating the wide variety of food she'd just made in them. Apparently, she is now OCD about cleaning, too.

My niece is cute, but I think I'm gonna have to go with the liquor on this one.