If your little brother finally started talking to you again: There were a few years there where, boy, that kid just would not say a word to you. Teenagers get like that, you guess, but your brother was an extreme case. He was all sullen and sarcastic on the rare occasion that he did speak to you, but was mostly locked up in his room doing god knows what. (You'd rather not know what, you suspect.) Once in a while he'd come downstairs to get food while you had friends over and he'd be all gross and stare at Ashley, thinking you didn't notice, but that was about all the socializing you did. But since you left for college things have been a little different. He actually texted you a few times in October and once, holy hell, called you on the phone to complain about some dumb new rule of Dad's. And then, when you got home from the train station yesterday? He almost gave you a hug. He caught himself and tried to pass it off as a shoulder punch, but you could tell. So act like you didn't notice so you dont freak him out and sometime this weekend say, "I'm bored, wanna got to a movie or something?" and take him to see Red Dawn, 'cause he'll like that and, swoon, Thor is in it. Maybe on the car ride home you can casually try to get some info out of him about this "girlfriend" he supposedly has, who your mom told you about. You're not sure you like the sound of her, some girl named Madison, but you'd be happy to talk to him about it anyway.
If you want to tell your parents about your "roommate": Look, it's time. You're old enough. You've been living with your "roommate" for like six years and things are getting serious with your "roommate," and it's time your parents knew what was up. You think they'll be cool with it, you don't know why you've waited this long to tell them really, but you are still a little nervous. So try to make a post-Thanksgiving night out with them as normal as possible. Go to the movies and tell them sometime afterward at dinner. And what better way to prime them for accepting your socially taboo love by showing them the disastrous consequences that denying that love can have, as it does in Anna Karenina. Sure, you and your "roommate" aren't exactly pariahs of society — you're on a pub trivia team together for god's sake — but you think your folks, your mom especially, will be in an extra sympathetic mood after seeing something like that. If they're really not the type of people to see something so frilly, you could always go see Lincoln. Then you can say to them afterwards, "You know what some people say about Abraham Lincoln..."
If you're trying to convince everyone that your big city life is fabulous: They didn't want you to move. Your mother thinks it's too dangerous, your dad thinks it's too expensive and impractical, and your sister said you were just trying to be a "lame hipster." But dammit, you wanted to move to the city and so you have. It's been six months and things, well, uh, things are, yes, a little difficult. That neighborhood that Craigslist said was "super convenient!" is a little more out-the-way than you hoped. The job your friend Deedee said she could get you turned out to be mostly parttime and it's kind of shady and under-the-table and you think it's a drug front. Everyone there walks really fast and the food costs like three times as much as it does back home and what is that smell? But. You are resolute. It will get better, and you cannot show any signs of weakness to your family. You need to show them what a cultured person you've become since you moved. So, take them to the new French film Rust & Bone, starring Marion Cotillard and directed by the guy who did that other French movie you think you read about, A Prophet. It's really serious and dramatic with lots of artsy filming and they'll think you're so with-it. Of course never let on that a) you'd much rather be watching Rise of the Guardians, and b) the thought of going back to that nightmare hellscape of a city fills you with teary dread. They don't need to know that. Especially your sister, who rolled her eyes so hard when you referred to the movie using its original French title. She can't know. No one can know. Everything's great. Look at everything you're learning. Look at how far you've come.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.