You might find this in some teenage girl’s search history right after her mom tells her she can’t go to this really cool party that everyone‘s going to because she’s worried something “bad” might happen to her.
You may even come across a tech-savvy toddler who Googled this after his mom said that he can’t have any ice cream for dinner or another kid who Googled this from his evil foster parent’s laptop after his mom abandoned him at an early age, etc. The clichés are many but one thing’s for sure: It would be very unusual for you to find this in the search history of an adult woman in her twenties. In all caps, no less.
One of my many, many fantasies was to have the kind of relationship with my mother that would get people to mistake us for sisters, kind of like the one Lorelai and Rory (of Gilmore Girls) have, only with a little less talking about absolutely everything because some things should be private. Alas, the relationship I have with my mother is more like the one Kathy Bates and James Caan had in Misery.
This post was inspired by a Google search, which in turn was inspired by a voicemail message my mom left me this morning. My older brother got married last night (woohoo!) and it was a very happy day for all of us. This morning I woke up in my hotel room and realized that I was very late for breakfast, so I rushed down to the restaurant in my pajamas and decided to check my messages while I ate. “You have 1 New Message,” said the Voicemail Woman. “Hi Mae, this is your mother speaking. You did quite an okay job last night (I planned the entire ceremony) but I just watched the wedding video and I can’t tell you how disappointed I am at the number of times you had to lift your (strapless) dress up so it wouldn’t fall off. I don’t know why your chest is coming in so slowly. How old are you, again? Twenty-something? Ridiculous. Anyway, call me back!”
By the time the 20-second long message ended, I had already lost my appetite, stormed out of the restaurant and run up to my room. I sat on my bed feeling angry and unappreciated, grabbed my laptop and typed “I HATE MY MOM” in Chrome’s search field. You know these out-of-body experiences that people talk about? I’m pretty sure this was my first one. I have no idea how or why I did it. The search results were stupid – mostly Yahoo! Answers (the type that make you question if genocides were just directed at the wrong people), Facebook pages and a couple of teenage video rants on Youtube.
The one thing these results had in common, though, was how mean spirited and downright crass they were. I don’t know what I expected, to be honest, but definitely not extreme comments like the ones I found. There are all kinds of kids out there calling their mothers names on the internet for the stupidest reasons and it wasn’t long before I started feeling like an idiot myself for typing that. I don’t hate my mom like that. In fact, I absolutely love my mom. Yes, she crushes my spirit and yes, she completely annihilates my self esteem and occasionally opens up this portal in my brain where people who go years without speaking to their parents make a lot of sense. But in spite of all of that, I know for a fact that she loves me.
So what if she tells me I need to lose weight on a daily basis? So what if she taped a Golden Girls episode and a Lebanese cooking show over my eighth birthday video? So what if she thinks my hair is too lifeless and that my haircut is not “classy” enough, that my teeth are sticking out too much, that I have no direction in life and that if I don’t mold myself to suit her idea of perfection, I will most definitely die alone? So what if we never agree on anything, no matter how serious or dumb it might be? She is my mother. She gave me life. She has always taken care of me and whenever I need her, she’s there for me. In a way, she’s all I got. Where would we be as a generation if not for the couple of dozen missed calls and voicemail messages left on our phones every day?
If you are asking yourself whether the mere fact that your mother carried you in her womb for nine months gives her the right to infuriate you enough to make you want to rip your hair out, the answer is yes. If you’re asking yourself “Is all this agony worth it?” Yes. It’s totally worth it.
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