There are certain things you just don’t tell your mother. Private things, romantic things, illegal things. These are the topics you spare your mom, opting mercifully instead to inquire politely about her work day or grandma’s secret pot roast recipe. You gloss over the nitty gritty, explicit details of reality and give mom a pleasant, counterfeit version of you.
This is not how my mom and I operate.
Our atypical relationship is due in part to my big mouth and irrepressible honesty—I’ve had a hard time concealing anything from my mother since the late ’90s. That’s my own fault. But I also blame her abnormally open, accepting, unshockable temperament.
She makes it way too easy to confide thoughts and feelings better reserved for cocktail-swilling girlfriends. I mean, aside from a few key characters, did anyone on Sex and the City even have a mother (and by the way, Miranda’s died without ever being seen, Steve’s had some serious issues and don’t even get me started on Bunny)?
And it’s not that my mom is the Amy Poehler character in Mean Girls (“You girls keep me young, ugh, I love you so much”). I’ve never suffered the embarrassment of Regina George, having to awkwardly exile my mother from social situations or tell her to please stop talking because she repeatedly informs others with a wink, “I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom!”
My mom just is the cool mom, but doesn’t have to say it or wear pink Juicy sweatsuits to prove it. And I realize this makes me insanely lucky. But her coolness compels me to want to hang out with her, and it’s sometimes hard to explain to other twenty-somethings that you’d rather watch Real Housewives at mom’s house than look for future ex-boyfriends at a seedy bar.
My sister and I are besties too, but that one’s easier to explain. No one really thinks to question close, sisterly bonds between actual sisters, because that’s what everyone strives to emulate in their friendships (those girls and their Traveling Pants certainly did, anyway). But when your go-to movie date and gossip buddy happens to have been in the room when you were born, eyebrows raise (my dad was quietly fainting in the waiting room while I was born, but he’s cool, too).
I guess you could say my mom and I are real-life Gilmore Girls, but we look way more Eastern European, drink half the coffee and banter at a markedly less breakneck pace. It’s nice to know that former WB gem captured the closeness that can exist between mother and daughter, though. It may be the only media representation of a parent-child relationship that isn’t entirely rooted in eye-rolling and door slamming.
But again, I realize I’m extraordinarily fortunate to have the mom I have and not everyone has the privilege of a ready-made BFF. Still, it would be nice to see more Lorelai and Rory Gilmores and less Marissa and Julie Coopers (because really, sleeping with your daughter’s ex-boyfriend does nothing to foster friendship).
But the lack of onscreen relationship role models doesn’t make me question my connection with my mom. And neither do the baffled reactions of casual eavesdroppers overhearing our wildly inappropriate coffee shop conversations. We can’t help ourselves—that’s just how BFFs roll.