Friday, September 21, 2007

I love my mom. I really do.

And so I'm living with my mother again. I haven't mentioned it much because A. it's humiliating, and B. it's mortifying. My mother and I, like most mothers and daughters, have an interesting history. My parents divorced when I was 13, leaving me to live alone with her full time. My mother quickly established our new roles - she would revert to being a teenager, and I would be responsible for her daily happiness. In other words, complete role reversal. It was an excellent arrangement for her.

Not to say that I didn't get to be a teenager - I worked very hard to meet every underachieving teenage stereotype ever invented. My primary goal during my adolescent years was to get as far from her as humanly possible without ending up in juvi. I rebelled against our role reversals with every fiber of my being. It was no coincidence that I moved out the day after my 21st birthday. And then went on to travel around the world. Twice.

Don't get me wrong, I love my mom. I really do. In many ways she is my best friend. Perhaps we are just not meant to live together. We get along swimmingly when we have our own abodes. Living at home again seems to be bringing out my inner teenage rebel. I find myself trying to sneak out without her knowing. I tiptoe around the apartment so she can't hear what I'm up to. I close the door to my room even when I'm just sitting around watching my goldfish troll for food.

At first I felt guilty for doing this, but then I realized why I was behaving in this manner. My mother was, and still is, the ultimate master in getting others to do things for her. After 30 some years, I have come to dread the words "While you're up, do you think you could...." with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns.

"While you're up, do you think you could
- do my laundry. And make sure to separate the colors.
- bring me a blanket. No not that one, it doesn't match my socks.
- fetch me my slippers. No not those. They don't match my blanket.
- change the channel, no I don't like that show. Keep going. I don't like that either. Go on.
- get my book I'm reading, it's around here somewhere.
- give me a ride to this place. I don't know where it is. Where are your directions? And gas up the car while you're at it.
- carry this 100 pound thing around for a while so I can figure out where to put it.
- work out today's prime lending rate.
- find that thing, you know, that thing I was looking at yesterday.

- and my all time favorite: get me a glass of ice water. But not too much ice!"

You get the idea.

It's harder to get annoyed now that she is using a walker and is getting -
dare I say it - old. But being that this is how she's been since I could navigate stairs, it's now one of those old wounds that festers with age. It's hard to keep a smile on my face after so many years of indentured servitude. I try to be sweet when she interrupts my homework* so I can help her figure out the remote control yet again; or so I can search around the apartment for her glasses only to find that she is sitting on them; or so I can get her yet another glass of water; but it's not easy. I've fetched more water than an African village girl.

I'm hoping she will calm down soon. Perhaps she's just making up for lost time. It's been many years since she's had me here at her beck and call. I still remember her first words to me when I came home from Australia after two years. There she stood waving wildly at the bottom of the escalator at JFK - I had been traveling for 28 hours from Sydney - I had spent the better part of the last two years driving on the wrong side of the road - and her first words to me were, "Welcome back! Here's the keys to the car, thought you'd like to drive us home."

At least this place is beachfront.

*No, this isn't the teenage me talking, I have homework! I'm a grad student now, thank you very much.


Bizarro-Flounder said...

Could be worse. Could be raining.

Valley Girl said...

I hated my parents as a teen; its only now that we're able to tolerate each other's presence. Thank god for the beach, huh?

Übermilf said...

This post makes my tummy hurt.

See, I don't even live with my mom and I have to take anti-anxiety meds.

I think I know what you're talking about. Scratch that -- I feel you, dawg.

Sizzle said...

i love my mother but if i had to live in the same house with her? forget that. we'd kill each other. and she doesn't even ask me to fetch stuff for her.

how long do you have to live with her?

Anonymous said...

The similarities continue ... I have a love-hate relationship with my mom as well ... notice that I call her "Sybil" in my blog ... never know who I am going to be talking to from one conversation to the next.

The picture is priceless.

Melliferous Pants said...

Living with my parents has me drinking Crystal Lite and vodka in my closet, so as not to disturb my Mormon parent's lifestyle.

Scarlet Hip said...

Flounder - best movie line ever.

Valley Girl - the beach makes all things right. Must be the salt air corroding our brains.

Ubie - could you send some of those meds this way? Thank you.

Sizz - til I have enough money to buy my own place. It's going to be a long winter.

Cajunvegan - our nickname for mom is "The Contessa." I'll start referring to her that way from here on in.

Pants - I drink gin and tonic while I chat. Turn on your IM so we can drink together!

Spinning Girl said...

You are so adorable!

I cope with my parents by deciding to be amused -- rather than annoyed -- by them. This tiny shift has saved me, i think.

Hang in there. And don't you slam that door, young lady!!!!

Hypersonic said...

Oh Jeez, you've just described my relationship with my mum.Except she and my dad are still together!

BV said...

Grad school, huh? I need to be heading down that path myself. BUT I WILL NOT be living with my mother. There is not enough gin and tonics in the world.

Übermilf said...

My mother always made me get her Kleenex.

Naynayfazz said...

Shit! I keep forgetting to update my blog with your new blog.

I don't think it is embarrassing that you live with your mother. I think it is sweet. Honestly.

Tits McGee said...

Aw, honey.

My mom and I can't spend more than a week together without wanting to kill each other. I honestly think that's the rule and not the exception.

I heart you, sweetie.

Bill said...

You know, since you're up and online, do you think you could write a post for me? No, not for your blog. For mine. And not too long. But not too short either. And could you make it a funny one? But not too funny ...

I shall have a gin & tonic for you. Hell, I'll have two!

Ropinator said...

I can get along with my father better but I am fine with both of my parents. I really like rules. I am an Iron Chancellor kind of so it is not surprising.

yournamehere said...

While you're up, could you get me a beer?

Bill said...

I should add that I can relate to this since almost all relationships I have are dysfunctional (meaning, they're normal). But both my parents have been gone a long time, so I'm some distance from the immediacy of this. And memory is so disagreeable ... I loved both of them, but ... well, you know ...

What was my point?

Think Frustrated said...

That's why we have kids. We need someone who can legally be in servitude. Kids solve that becuase you're just being nice to your mom (all the while muttering under your breath).

Scarlet Hip said...

Spinning Girl - I'm taking that attitude too, right to the mental institute.

Hyper - ah! Double whammy!

BV - we do what we must. Fortunately this is temporary.
Kin ahora.

Ubie - mine does too.

NayNay - liar!

Tits - I heart you too. Can I come live in your bosom?

Scarlet Hip said...

Bill - first you want me to do something, and then you steal my drinks.

Ropinator - Budapest! I love it there. Well I was only there once and it was a long time ago, but I loved it. Welcome!

Todd - only because it's your birthday. Otherwise fuck off.

Bill - I was hoping you'd tell me.

Jacob - I was actually bitching that because I don't have kids, I'll never get to do this. Good thing I'm a teacher.

sue said...

I feel your pain.

Nance said...

dearest--i so sympathize. when my mother is at my other sibs' homes, she cooks, cleans, and does everything. but at my house, she sits and waits to be entertained. i keep telling myself that i'm racking up Heaven Points.

dammit, i'd better be.

Leezer said...


I felt the same way about my Mom until I had kids. Now I have two daughters. Tell me, oh tell me please - HOW do I get them not to hate me when they grow up? Is there any trick to this? I didn't think so.