From "Mrs. P and l'Heure Bleue" by A.M. Homes

My favorite passage from the story:
"My mother was a philosopher and a pushpin heiress who grew up in Washington, DC. Her family was in the government. They were spies. Often dismissed as a lightweight by those who didn't know any better, my mother was in fact the ballast. But she played along; she was elegant, a little distant, people thought she was cold, but she wasn't, she just wasn't interested in nonsense. She was a philosopher living a life of the mind in the middle of a cocktail party that never ended. We used to tease her and say that she kept a party in her purse; a scarf, a brush, a lipstick—she could make herself quite glamorous in two minutes or less. As a couple, my parents were passionate and charming. I was often alone at the center of a movable feast."
"Observe Everything. Always think for yourself. Never let other people make important decisions for you." — from Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn