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Charlotte asked me to spend the day with her in San Francisco. She wants to see the Vivienne Westwood exhibit at the De Young, and then go shopping to H&M, with lunch in between. How could I possibly refuse? a day with my dear daughter all to myself. Plus, H&M is one of my favorite stores anyway. Once in the store, I am seized with a frenetic urge I know all too well. Gone my resolutions to no longer consume, my determination to boycot slave labor. Nothing is left, except guilt, that keeps nagging at me whenever I grab yet another dress, another cute top, another deal too good to pass up. The whole experience is a mixed bag of excitement, and disappointment. I am disappointed with myself for not being stronger, for giving in, once again. The spectacle of my other fellow shoppers, all shopping like mad, just like me, transport me for a minute in a place I would rather ignore. The earth has become dark, and a huge landfill with mountains of discarded clothes, that leave no more room for us to be and breathe. Charlotte calls me, she has found a white dress she wants me to look at. I push the fleeting image of doom into the recesses of my thinking brain. Charlotte and I are on a mission and nothing will stop us.

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Filled with motherly love, I woke up this morning determined to dazzle Catherine with a breakfast extavaganza. Nothing spared. My green conscience, Prad that is, had not woken up yet, but I could hear his voice. Why are you making so much? She never has time to eat her breakfast. Why are you wasting? Still, I had to do it. One English muffin, both halves, toasted. A full cup of hot chocolate milk. An orange from our garden, cut up nicely. Goat cheese from France, it’s made near my grandmother’s village, so I can’t resist. Smoked salmon. Mixed berry jam, and butter. I was pleased with my efforts. It all looked nice on the table. Waiting for my daughter to show up and enjoy. Of course, she showed up at the last minute, pushing the two muffin halves and half of the orange onto a plate, for her to eat in the car. Upon my return, I felt guilty about the cup of chocolate milk, untouched, daring me at the center of the table. The thought brushed me, of drinking it, but then, I had used whole milk, and my strict diet won’t allow. The kitchen sink became the scene of yet another crime, the dumping of a whole cup of chocolate milk. Not good. I started thinking of the cows, eating the corn, and the corn crops depleting the earth, and of the slave labor used to harvest the sugar and the cocoa. Still, I found comfort in the organic orange from our garden. How much more green can you get?

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