If it’s not one thing, it’s my mother.
I think every daughter will agree, including my own. There’s just something about the mother-daughter relationship that is filled with raw honesty, undying love and just a smidge of judgment.
From standing up straight to marriage advice mothers have all the answers. Along with their undying devotion comes their assumption that they know best when it comes to everything from your parenting skills to your love life. They are our staunchest critics as well as our biggest fans.
The bond between mother and daughter cannot be broken, but it can be tested. Oh boy, can it be tested.
My mother has the ability to make me want to hug her neck one minute and choke her out the next. She has perfected the art of the compliment/criticism one-two punch. For example, she can’t believe as hard as I work that I’m not skinnier.
Try as I may to be a good daughter some days I’m just not up to par.
I am fifty years old and my whites have never been white enough, my dog is too fat and my kids are too skinny. One day my children are spoiled, the next day my children don’t get enough attention. If I lose weight I look haggard and she wants to know if I’m doing drugs but if I gain weight it’s because I don’t prepare enough home-cooked meals.
As hard as I work at being the best daughter I can be I know I’m just one late birthday card away from being the black sheep of the family.
I call my mother every day.
Please don’t be impressed. My actions are completely motivated by guilt. The three times in my adult life that I didn’t call my mother she fell and had to be hospitalized.
Some people might say its karma while others will say it’s purely a coincidence. In my family, we say it is mother throwing herself to the ground in a “that’s what she gets for not calling” move.
Whether it is cosmic, coincidence or a calculated move I can’t be sure but I know I’ve learned my lesson. I make the call so she won’t fall.
Yesterday when I made my fall prevention phone call mother answered and sounded almost giddy. She said it had been a very exciting day.
I assumed it was because there had been some scandalous adultery on The Young and the Restless or perhaps Duck Dynasty has been renewed for another season.
It was neither. There was a real life drama occurring on Hike Avenue and she couldn’t wait to fill me in.
Unfortunately one of mother’s neighbors had passed away and I had called just as the coroner arrived. Mother described in great detail the arrival of every emergency vehicle and whether or not the officers were good looking.
It seemed my mother and her next door neighbor Margaret were huddled on the porch sipping iced tea and conducting their very own small town CSI.
As she described the scene in great detail she said “I’m going to need you to find out what happened to her.”
Please let me explain. My mother thinks because I have a cell phone and a computer that I have the same security clearance as Barack Obama.
“Mother, there isn’t a number I can call to get information about your dead neighbor. Do you even know her name? What is her address?”
“We can’t remember her last name and I’m not walking all the way down there to get her address. People will think I’m being nosy.”
“Mother, you are being nosy.”
She was appalled at my suggestion and proclaimed that she just wanted to know because poor Margaret wouldn’t be able to sleep a wink until the mystery was solved.”
That’s my mother, always thinking of others in a crisis.
“Can’t you just get on the computer and find out? Get on the Google” she demanded.
“Mother it’s just Google not “the Google” and it’s not that simple. What am I supposed to Google “what happened to mother’s dead neighbor?” I think even “the Google” is going to need a little more information than that.”
“Well find the obituary. Surely you can do that.” This statement was smothered in sarcasm. In her mind that sentence ended with I guess Miss Fancy Pants with a computer doesn’t know everything. I could practically hear her shaking her head in disgust.
“Mother, I can search tomorrows newspaper but all it’s going to say is that she died at her residence. I have a feeling you are wanting more detail than that.”
What she wants are details like was her house clean? Were there dishes in the sink? What was she wearing? Did she have her teeth in? Was there foul play involved? This is information she can use to wow the ladies at the beauty shop and impress her neighbor Margaret. She needs the lean in and whisper kind of information that begins with “You know I’d rather bite my tongue than speak ill of the dead but “ “Died at her residence” is not lean in so you can hear me over the hair dryer information.
” Mother, I will do my best. I will start my own private Internet investigation tomorrow. Did she have any family?”
“Yes she has a daughter that never called. That’s probably why she ended up dead and alone.”
Well-played Mother. Well played.