By Matthew Salesses

Matthew Salesses is the author of The Hundred-Year Flood. He has written for NPR Code Switch, The New York Times Motherlode blog, Salon, the Center for Asian American Media, and The Good Men Project. Follow him @salesses.

  1. Adoption has such a huge effect on how I see gifts now. If I am expected to be grateful for anything, I would rather not have it. I don’t want to feel in debt. I find it hard even to write the word grateful in an email. I feel both overly thankful for any offer, for any help, and yet extremely stressed out about having to pay it back.

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  2. When I was in high school, I saw myself as someone who moved between cliques. My main friend group included smart athletic types, potheads, and nerds (we wouldn’t have classified ourselves in that way—we would have said we were “normal”). Many of us were in Model U.N., mostly because it meant a trip every year. A few of us were friends with the more popular kids. A few of us who played sports were friends…

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