Taking Cents, Making Sense of a Broken Family

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After her parents underwent a “quietly vicious” divorce, Sari Botton’s family life turned upside down. No longer receiving what she needed, she felt the need for rebellion and revolution – by stealing tiny bits of money from her annoying stepbrother. Through this moving piece of personal history, Sari explores the relationship between family, money, generosity, and caretaking.

Sometimes, instead of a loan, I thought of it as war reparations. On the outwardly civil but quietly vicious battlefield of my parents’ divorce, I had been the clear loser.

He has a temper.That’s what we called it when he threw my ceramic piggy bank at me one evening while I was sitting on my bed, doing my high school homework.

As part of the transition, my mother also suddenly became much more generous toward her daughters…Now when I visited, there was The Ritual Offering of Things.

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