Running With Scissors is a memoir in which Augusten Burroughs recounts his unusual childhood after his mother sends him to live with her psychiatrist, Dr. Finch, at age twelve. There are few rules in the Finch household, and both Augusten and Dr. Finch's other children do mostly as they please, including smoking pot and having sex. At age thirteen, Augusten begins a sexual relationship with Finch's thirty-three-year-old son. Despite this unorthodox, and at times damaging, parenting method, Augusten comes to think of the Finches as his family.
Nine year old Augusten admires his mother as she readies herself to give a formal reading of her poetry at a Northampton bookstore. While looking in the mirror she proclaims "Something isn’t right" and then asks Augusten to hand her a box of maxi-pads from which she fashions two shoulder pads.
Augusten adores his mother for her southern accent and for the fact that she is (in his eyes) a "star". She leaves when Augusten’ father arrives. Augusten looks forward to an evening of dressing up in his Mother’s clothes and giving a faux poetry reading in his room surrounded by numerous shiny objects (polished cans, mirrors glued in patterns on the closet door, shelves covered in tin foil) which are his prized possessions.