The love of Daughters – mine – for me
By Bonnie and Emma H.
I write this in fear and with a shaking hand. When my mother (yes, daughter?) first asked me to put together this little list, I thought it had to be some kind of a trick. A way to get inside the "enemy's" mind, if you will. Yes, my mom frequently has ulterior motives. I know it sounds a bit over-dramatic but then you don't live with her do you?
I love my mom, (Now she calls me mom. Me thinks she needs something from me.) To put it very simply, she is fucking awesome. (Now I know she wants something.) But she is still my parent, my mother and with that knowledge comes a strong instinctual fear of making a list that could ultimately result in disfigurement or at the least, the denial of any request I make in the next two years. She holds grudges for a long, long, long, long, long (too many longs Bonnie) time.
Over the years, I have followed a very simple rule in order to preserve my mom's and my happiness and, no doubt, my survival. Isn't that what baby rabbits do? Stay away from your mother in case she decides to eat you?
NEVER, EVER, say something critical or negative to your mom. Just agree and nod your head. It doesn't matter what the subject is, preserving your life is worth any appeasement. (So is borrowing the car, my shampoo, my razor, my conditioner, my shoes, or my money). Especially, and this is important, don't put those thoughts into a neat, concise and simple list. My sister has yet to learn this rule. She'll argue with mom over really dumb things until my mom becomes so enraged she opens all our soda and pours it out. Some people have a harder time understanding and implementing surrender.
So against my better judgement, here is a very simple list of my mom's most annoying behaviors.
1. The Nagging
2. The 45 minute guilt trip
3. The very special "I gave birth to you!!!!" 45 minute guilt trip
4. The "Well, when I was your age" stories. My mother was never my age. Even my papa said she went from 10 to 30. She went on mission trips for her summer vacations, besides working full time since she was 15. She was a virgin when she got married at the ripe old age of 24. I don't think she even kissed. She never wore jeans to school. AND, she finished every project she ever started. Oh, hail, all powerful mother. Oh and did I mention, she never, ever, never lied. (All true, what can I say?) Everyone, move fast if you're reading this, lightening is about to hit somewhere. Yea, and she has a big nose.
5. Did I mention the guilt trips?
6. How about the drunken guilt trips? Gotcha there mom!!!! (I'm taking the fifth, besides they don't have anything on film.)
7. Her Hallmark moments. For her its all hugs and tears. For us, it's "Dear god, not again. Run, run as fast as you can." She actually made my boyfriend sit next to her at Christmas so she could share my baby book with him. Let's not even discuss what pictures she thinks are worth putting in my baby book. No, no one wants to see you giving birth to me. (18 hours of labor, I think I have the right to show pictures. And no they weren't gross. I'm not that bad.)
8. Very long lectures. She'll follow us around the house if we try to leave. Sometimes she invites us to go shopping just so she can trap us in a car. (God, I'm good.) She's very devious.
9. She refuses to listen to our dreams. She always has. I'm not kidding. Even when we were little. Her response was and still is, to hold up her palm to us and say, "I don't do dreams. They don't make sense to anyone except the person that had them and you all have really dumb dreams anyway."
10. If we ask a simple question, we will, invariably get an hour long explanation and/or a book we're forced to read or a documentary we're forced to watch.
11. Don't take her to any historical sites. She'll cry and she doesn't care who sees her. When we went to Monticello, she started sobbing in front of the whole tour group, in the entryway. Why? because she was looking at the actual objects brought back by Lewis and Clark. The tour guide had to stop talking. We just moved to the other side of the group and pretended like we didn't know her.
12. She makes us watch CNN Heroes, every single year. (Every person should be required to watch CNN Heroes.) Every single year. That bears repeating, every single year. And she cries every single year. She gets offended if we don't cry and we have to listen to a 45 minute lecture on our responsibility to the world. We've learned to cry on cue.
That's our list. My mom had to nag us forever to get it. I hope she's happy now. If you don't see us again, you'll know why.
Bonnie and Emma H.