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.
Natalie has gotten a job at McDonald’s. With her first paycheck she and Augusten go on a whale watching trip. Due to the fact that she has no other clean clothes, Natalie wears her uniform for the entire trip.
While eating at a lobster restaurant, the two discuss their futures. Both feel they are running after something ("running with scissors" adds Augusten)
Natalie endearingly and convincingly encourages Augusten to become a writer. She herself would like to be a psychologist and/or a singer.
Back at their hotel room, Natalie is convinced that the maid has stolen her earrings. After the manager takes the side of the maid, Natalie and Augusten sink a good portion of their room’s furniture into the hotel’s swimming pool and run away.