My mom has been telling me what to do my entire life. I mostly take her advice.
In college, I majored in what she told me to major in.
“You’re a good writer,” she said. “You should major in Journalism.”
I married who she told me to marry.
“You should marry him,” she said. “He’s the best!”
I had a bunch of kids because she told me I should.
“You should have a bunch of kids,” she said. “You’d be a good mother.”
Done. Done. Done. Done and Done.
The woman is a visionary. And, what’s more, there is absolutely nothing too minor to advise on. Every year when allergy season starts, I get a full tutorial on how to use Flonase:
It goes without saying, there have been a few things she has recommended that I have stubbornly refused to do through the years:
-Cut my hair (the length keeps it weighted down and arguably less frizzy)
-Eat seafood (gag me)
-Invest in a really good bra (why?)
-Wear sensible shoes (I need the extra inches to balance out my hair)
I’m probably never going to take ALL of her suggestions, but Mom remains undaunted. She continues to advise with enthusiasm. And why wouldn’t she? Her success rate is about 97%. After all, I’m out there stopping at stop signs (mostly) and taking a multi-vitamin daily.
It doesn’t matter how many times I tell her that I’m 54 years old, I’ve been married 33 years, I’ve raised 5 kids of my own and I know what I’m doing. I know how to be a person. My mom is unconvinced. I’ll always be a rookie in her eyes. Just one screw-up short of disaster.
The only thing that vindicates me is that my mom feels this way about everyone.
Yesterday, she was getting a medical procedure at the hospital by a locally renowned doctor that presumably had medical degrees out the wazoo. That didn’t matter to mom. The last thing she told this guy, before they conked her out, was “take someone in there with you to keep an eye on my breathing and blood pressure while I’m under!”
(Like maybe he was going to move a dresser and might want to ask a buddy to give him a hand.)
This doctor’s mature response mystified me. He didn’t jump up and down and start touting how many times he has performed a biopsy. He didn’t develop an eye twitch. He just agreed with her. Like it was a capital idea. And then he introduced his medical team.
Thank goodness for the circle of life. Because now I have daughters who clearly need my help and guidance as they attempt to meander through life. Why just yesterday I received this text from my youngest girl. She was out-of-town and needed help knowing what to order for breakfast…
I looked over the menu she screen shotted and texted her a TO-GO order for myself…
A few hours later, I had to dash over to another daughter’s house to render a decorating opinion…
I guess that old adage is true.
“A son’s a son ’til he takes a wife, but a daughter’s a daughter all her life!”
It occurred to me that my boys never called or texted me this weekend to ask my opinion. NOT ONCE. About anything. And the dudes aren’t even married. It rankles me to think of them bumbling around out there in the world with an utter lack of guidance.
Or maybe…they’re bypassing me and straight-up texting Grandma. After all she does totally outrank me in the chain of command.
My mother on the importance of wearing clean underwear.