We all know how much I adore my mother. I rave about her all of the time. Call her my very best friend.

She’s driving me up the fucking wall and I’m not sure if it’s me or her.

She’s always been critical and judgmental – of everyone, but mostly of me. Somehow I’ve learned to let it all roll off my back. I haven’t always been good at it but with the grace of age, I have not let it bother me at all.

I also think that with the grace of age, she has been less bothersome.

When it’s just her and just me, we have so much fun. We see eye to eye on so many things, laugh at the same moments. We’ve even been able to talk politics just a tiny bit.

Until we get to say, borders, BLM, and whether or not Jesus had blond hair and blue eyes.

But lately, I’ve been feeling like she has an opinion on everything that isn’t consistent with mine and there is no hesitation in telling me mine is wrong.

Let’s talk about my hair; the hair that my thrifty father, on his deathbed, paid to have cut off. “Women of a certain age don’t wear their hair long.”

The reality is, I like my hair long. I can pull it back, or up, or wherever it goes after 3 days of not showering. TAM likes my hair. I’ve got great hair; hair that “women of a certain age” don’t often have. I’m going to grow it out.

But that’s created great consternation on her part and her consternation is causing great annoyance on my part.

Yesterday I mentioned TAM and me visiting a (best) friend on our way to visit her. Her response, “You don’t want to do that.”

Or, “You don’t really want to live with the snakes and conservatives (two different things – in this conversation), when are you going to move back to M-town?”

She still hasn’t asked anyone to read my 7-page essay to her.

She disagrees with my decision to give up her china because it’s going to cost me close to $1000 to get it from Florida to Colorado.

A THOUSAND DOLLARS for some plates?

No. Just no.

My job? Helping (mostly men of color) find justice? “They must be guilty of something or they wouldn’t have been convicted.”

Lots and lots of snorts and not-comments about my children and their life adventures because…

Those adventures do not currently include college.

Both are in amazing, successful, supportive relationships. One just bought his own business and the other one is moving and receiving job offers left and right because he is so good at what he does.

The third child is living independently but still needs guidance and direction. “He’s got to grow up sometime and quit depending on you.” Which he doesn’t. He just calls to say happy Mother’s Day.

I don’t understand why her words seems so offensive lately. It feels as if the pandemic has somehow exacerbated the issues.

Has she had too much time alone? Is she getting old and bitter? Is this grief?

Or is it that her filter is broken?

I don’t know but it is impacting my fondness for talking to her. We normally talk every day-ish, but lately, when I think of picking up the phone to call her, I hesitate.


Because I know that as soon as she picks up the phone she’s going to tell me that my landline sucks and “Don’t (I) want to move back to town so I have better service?”

2 thoughts on “Mom

  1. Susan Miller Stamets

    I don’t know if reply works on this. My Mom never had exactly the same issues your mom is showing but she sure got cranky and somewhat hateful. I used to like her a lot although her opinions on sex outside of marriage were rigid — although she really liked sex inside of marriage — until later when sex was gone. She was quite a bit of a civil rights activist and resulted in me being the same. After my father died, she didn’t seem to be able to acknowledge good times and just whined — and even before that — whined a lot. I came to believe that our parents become sort of ass holes so that we can let go of them when they die.

    1. song dog sally

      HA! Maybe you’re right. Is in uncomfortable knowing how much she did like sex? I like to think of my parents as 2-timers – once for me and once for my brother. I know my mom’s lonely and I’m trying to be patient…they live for a LONG time in her family – we are likely to have 10 more years of this. I’m hoping that once she starts getting out and about more she will lighten up. xxo

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