Friday, July 6, 2007


Women have complicated relationships with their mothers, and I am no exception. My mother and I have had knock-down, drag-out battles that have lasted weeks and resulted in both of us wailing and shrieking madly at our respective significant others about how she just doesn't get it, she's not listening and she always thinks she's right and she's just driving me crazy, just crazy and I can't take another second of it. Some of our greatest hits have been when I confided in my mother that I was seeking treatment for depression in college, and she immediately called my professors, the head of the journalism department, and the counseling department, and wanted to discuss my condition with them (much to their credit, they all told her that it was far, far outside the realm of their professional ethics to do so) and also, when she let my 1-year-old son play with a gigantic bottle of caustic pool chemicals while sitting on the floor at the top of a flight of stairs while she was talking on the phone in the next room. Yes, she knew she was supposed to be watching him. But the phone rang. So.


In short, my major faults with my mother are that she has a tendency to be somewhat flighty and easily distracted, and also, that she doesn't always have a lot of respect for my privacy or boundaries.

Which makes this blog dangerous territory.

She doesn't know I'm writing it. She doesn't know I write at all, except for the press releases and marketing materials and ad copy that my place of business pays me to write. And it is my strongest desire to keep it that way. Which is to say, if you happen to bump into my mother, please don't mention any of this to her. Also, see if you can't find some way to tell her that a 67-year-old woman shouldn't wear a bikini. Gahh.

I would hate to hurt her feelings (although she thinks that I love to do it) and I think that knowing that she makes me so anxious I long for sedatives when she's around would most likely hurt her feelings. Besides, we don't really discuss all of the various ways she makes me crazy, or vice-versa (I am not so arrogant as to think that I don't make her crazy.) This would surely prompt a discussion along these lines, and this is not the kind of mother-daughter talk I am longing for. No, no, no.

I hate to lie, but I lied to her when she asked if I have a blog. I just don't want her this close to me. As insane as this sounds, this is so very much easier with strangers and friends than it would be with her. I would hold back more. I think this would mean a lot less.

Is this crazy? Or just evidence of the damage that we've inflicted on each other? Does she invade my personal space, figuratively speaking, because I push so hard to keep her out of it?

I could have made the decision to write this blog anonymously, and it probably would have made this all a lot simpler. But I didn't, and I hope that my relationship with my mother will not pay the price for that. It probably won't--I don't see her going looking for a blog--mine or any other.

That being said, I've probably ensured that she'll do a Google Blog search for me within the next ten minutes, and this will be followed by several weeks of phone and email silence from her, followed by a lengthy email (or worse, an actual post office letter) about how hurt and upset she is. I will ignore this letter, feeling bad that I've hurt her but not being willing to apologize, and after several more weeks of silence, she will pretend that it never happened. This is our usual pattern.

So, in advance, sorry about the bikini thing, Mom. I shouldn't have gone there.

Oh, boy. Big can of worms over here, and my mother's got a can opener. With luck, she won't ever figure out how to operate it.


Heather said...

You know, a friend of mine wrote a post about her mom without saying it was about her mom. Then her mom called her to talk about the post. She had no idea her mom read her blog.

I started my blog sort of anonymously, but then let my relatives know about it, except for my in-laws. Now if they start reading it, I'll be in real trouble.

Hope you get to remain anonymous to your mom!

Trina said...

I don't think it's at all unreasonable. One of the girls I work with told my nephew about my blog. He showed his mom, my sister, this weekend and I was frustrated because I didn't really want my family to know about it.

Well, my sister jokingly mentioned it to my mom to get me riled up, and I was pretty pissed about it. My mom was hurt that I didn't want her to know about it, but it is my spot to bitch about whatever-as is this blog for you.

My sister felt bad and told me that she thought it was funny, and really good, and that I shouldn't be self conscious about it-but she didn't understand why it bothered me. I just really wanted my family to not be a part of it. We're all close, so we tell everybody everybody's elses business, and the next thing I know they will all be standing around reading it and getting hurt or offended about what I did or didn't say.

You shouldn't have to worry about whether or not somebody is reading it, and whether you shouldn't write something that is on your mind. I think you're completely just in not telling her about it. But if your mom is anything like mine, she probably is trying to find a way to view it right NOW.