I was mean to my mom yesterday .....and you would think the vibes of Mother's Day would have restrained me. Or that she is 87 years old should have prevented me from wanting to strangle her, but it didn't.
You have to understand, my Mom was a Marine. ( OK, so she really didn't wear ARMY boots-but you get the idea.) My mother was never a General or a Colonel or even a Sargent ...however, she has the ability to make people ask ..."How High?" when she tells them to jump and she tells everyone to jump as often as possible. She does this in a raspy voice laced with venom and syrup as she jabs them with her finger or cane if possible to make her point.
It isn't just my brother, or his new wife, or her grandkids or me that she makes run over, under and through the hoops...she does this to complete strangers and my Dad's relatives as well....She THINKS it makes people feel good to help little old ladies....and my Mom is little and she is old.
She asks the cashier from India at the gas station to put gas in her car. She tells my cousin's wife, to make her a quiche, another sainted cousin is allowed to take her grocery shopping, and the neighbor that mows her lawn, well she lets him plant zucchini for her in her garden which consists of some flowers and a few tomato plants that she makes the cleaning lady plant for her.
Another wonderful attribute is her cheapness. When I was little my Mom hated auctions and thrift stores and would never let my brother or I go to a yard sale...Today she gets everyones' gifts at the local resale shop and then brags that she only spent a quarter on the fiftieth wedding anniversary plate. She recycles the gifts that she is given. I got a great set of steak knives for Christmas my brother had given her the year before.
She would deny that she is selfish , she tithes weekly at church . However , most of the time it is all about her. She doesn't call her grandson and find out about his trip to Thailand or the Netherlands..it is about how she was worried to death while he was gone. A few years ago she told my husband he could not have a sopapilla for desert as she was paying the bill. I was not allowed to go to college unless I went to her alma mater, but I rebelled, received a scholarship and went to where I wanted to go. Now forty years later why haven't I learned to tolerate this behavior ?...Why am I surprised by her words or actions?
I thought about turning her ill mannered behavior into a book, but I was afraid Tom Brokaw would find me and beat me up...I wanted to call it "The Rudest Generation". My cousins have assured me my aunts and uncles at times share some of these similar characteristics, and it is not just MY mother that is flawed.
John, my husband says I revert to a five year old around her, so maybe that is why her shrinking brittle five foot frame seems so big and tough and threatening to me.
And how was I so mean? I told her she should be nicer...I told her she should say Thank you to her daughter in law for the thoughtfuless of a facial, not demanding a pedicure instead. I told her she shouldn't yell for others to turn on "Wheel of Fortune" , but should say please. She responded by telling me to "shut up"( a word so evil when I was young that if I ever said it, immediately a bar of bitter soap would appear and be shoved in my mouth). Consequently I hung up the phone on my mom -the octogenaarian plus, the veteran, the wizened school teacher, the widow ,on the day after Mother's Day.
It will be awhile before I am forgiven. I will succumb to guilt. I will send yet another Mother's Day gift and an apology, and maybe I will recieve a "Thank you". Or if she feels guilty, I might get the Red Lobster gift card my brother gave her for Mother's Day.