Molly Jong-Fast, a writer and journalist, is a columnist for The Forward and a regular contributor to The Bulwark. She is the author of a memoir, Girl, Maladjusted (2004), and two novels, Normal Girl (2000) and The Social Climber’s Handbook (2011). (February 2019)

Follow Molly Jong-Fast on Twitter: @MollyJongFast.

NYR DAILY

My Mother’s Daughter

Kaufman Desert House, designed by Austrian architect Richard Neutra, Palm Springs, California, 1970

When my mother took the flustered German filmmaker to see her elderly shrink, I snuck into the bedroom and called my father who had recently moved to Palm Springs, California. “Did you know that you and mom had an open marriage?” I asked him. We had a sort of jovial relationship; we shared the experience of having a crushingly powerful parent and it was a sort of bond. By the time I was three years old, my parents embarked upon the hippie version of irreconcilable differences. As a consequence, I don’t remember them ever being together, which is probably a good thing. There was a brief pause on the line. “Oh, is that what she’s calling it now?”