I have a somewhat complicated relationship with my mother. I love her. I really do. And it would not surprise me one bit if I grew up to be just like her (with the exception of the religious fanaticism and super-conservative beliefs). But sometimes, she makes me want to pull my hair out (and you all know how much I like my hair).
Last night I was about ready to pull a Britney Spears. She called me as I was getting home. I got home unusually late last night as I had an unusually long work out session. I was physically exhausted and definitely not in the mood to exercise the patience I would need to deal with my mother. However, I am going home TOMORROW (sorry, couldn’t contain my excitement, hence the ALL CAPS) so she might have had a sense of urgency in contacting me regarding the trip.
I picked up, rather breathlessly as I was trying to get off of the bus at the same time (her timing is impeccable). She starts with the guilt trip: “Oh wow. You finally answer your phone. It’s a privilege to finally reach you.” I roll my eyes at no one in particular. I respond, “Hi, Mom. I’ve had a long day” (meaning, I’m not in the mood). Mom says, “Well, I was just calling to ask you what your plans are for when you come home.” Here are my plans, which I’ve explained to her before:
Wednesday: Fly in to OC, go home for a quick lunch, leave to go to my annual ophthalmologist visit, go straight to hair appointment with the best colorist ever (Misha at Ricardo’s in Anaheim Hills for those of you OC peeps looking for an awesome colorist), have a home cooked meal with mom and sis.
Thursday: Drive down to San Diego. Spend time in Old Town, Gaslamp
Friday: Go to Balboa Park and check out some museums and stuff. Go to the Padres game at night.
Saturday: Drive back to the OC. Spend all day with family, including my niece, Serena Rose.
Sunday: Go to Catalina Island. Possible family get together for dinner.
Monday: Hang out in L.A. for a little bit. Check out Griffith Park, Olvera Street. Drive back down to the OC (pre-traffic, hopefully) and go to the Angels game.
Tuesday: Have b-fast with the family. Fly back to DC.
The minute I walked in the door to my place, my mom went off. “WHAT? You’re not going to spend any time with your family? What about me? You come down here for a few days and you don’t want to make time for me?” I reply, “Mom, what do you want from me? This is Jesse’s only vacation this year. We want to go out and do things. There are only two days that you’re not going to see me. Just two days. You’re going to see me all of the other days. It’s hard for me to make time for everyone. I want to see my friends too, you know.” She responds, “See? You don’t even want to see me. It’s all about Jesse, Jesse, Jesse, AND your friends. What about your mom? When you have kids, you’ll understand how I feel.” I answered, “I never said I didn’t want to see you. We’re going to spend Saturday together.” My mom said, “Yeah, we’re all going to spend time together. But what about you and me? Remember when we used to go out for coffee just the two of us and we just talked?”
A light bulb went off in my head. And then I thought, damn, I’m such a bitch. That’s all that my mom wanted. She wanted to spend some one-on-one time with me. The last couple of times I’ve gone home, Jesse has been with me. So this means that my mom and I haven’t had mother-daughter bonding time in over a year. Now I understood why she was upset. And I felt horrible.
I didn’t apologize because I am stubborn (so is my mom, so there). Instead I said, “I really don’t want to fight any more. I want my visit to be happy. I don’t get to spend that much time at home any more and I really don’t want any drama while I’m there.” My mom replied, with a softer tone, “Yes, I agree.”
Somehow I prevented World War III. I’d rather have peace at home, not war. And maybe, in the process of peace, I will understand my mother better.