I wanted to start the New Year off with enthusiasm, inspiration, and motivation. I really did but you can’t force that type of stuff. As I was sending out my Happy New Years texts, my phone autocorrected me on numerous occasions, sending out the ominous greeting “Happy New Tears” to friends and family.


Like a lot of families, my family is not good with open, frank conversations about emotions. I can’t even name my feelings most of the time. My emotional vocabulary consists of –Good, Tired, and Bloated. Bloated usually means other things like cranky, lazy, uncomfortable in my own skin.

That sentence was erroneously written ending with “uncomfortable in my own sin”.


I’ve been “bloated” for about three months now. My mother can sense I’m in a funk three days in. I’m not even aware I’m experiencing anything yet. I’m convinced I’m simply bound up.

Mum: Are you ok? You don’t sound good.

Me: Yeah I’m fine. My stomach is lethargic.

Mum:  You sound depressed.

There’s nothing like you’re mother telling you “you sound depressed” to under mind your happiness.

Once she gets it in her mind there’s something wrong, you’re doomed. The line of questioning gets more telling and painful.

Mum: Well, I mean, if you feel like you’re not where you should be in life at this age, I can understand that.

Me: No I’m fine.

Mum: I’m sure you want to find someone, I’m not talking marriage but …. It’d just be nice to have someone.

Me: Ok, I gotta go. I’ll talk to you later.

Mum: Ok, well if you need me to give you money let me know.

Me: Mum I’m fine.

Mum: You don’t sound fine.

Me: Can we don’t talk about my emotional state for two consecutive days in a row.

Mum: Awareness is the first step.


You see what I’m saying.

Houdini couldn’t get out of this conversation loop.



This will go on for weeks. It’s a verbal form of Chinese Water Torture. She always wins. Whether  she prompts my self awareness or simply convinces me that I am in fact, in the dumps, I finally admit it.

Me: Yeah I think I am a little depressed.

Mum: Oh, you’ll be fine, honey.  Did you ever get that Ralph Lauren sweater at Marshalls? If not I’ll send it to you. It’s a great color for you.


Like any good Cunningham once you’ve acquiesced and she has that “Seeeee, I was RIGHT!” moment, she’s more than happy to douse you with compliments.

And clothes.

“I like your new sweater, Kendra”

“Thanks I got it for agreeing with my mother. It’s a wardrobe reminder that she was right”


Water torture

Thanks for listening!



Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.













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