My mom does this thing. And I feel ok talking about it here because a) my mom does not have the internets b) my mom does not know what a blog is and c) my mom will tell you that she does this thing and then laugh about it. Even though it drives me MAD! And she keeps doing it. It may well be the ONLY reason that I am glad not to live near my parents anymore. I love them. I really, really love my parents, and besides that, I LIKE them too. They are smart, funny, people. But this thing, I don’t miss AT ALL! And I don’t think she ever does it to my brothers. Although I am pretty sure she does it to my dad, and I know she has done it to my friends on more than one occasion.
This sounds really bad, doesn’t it? It sounds like my mom does something totally deviant or sick to me when I visit her. It sounds like she must be crazy or unstable the way I talk about it. She’s not. It’s just this thing and I don’t even know how I got to thinking about it today. It just came to mind and all the sudden I found myself gritting my teeth and swearing that I would not let her do it to me ever again. And that makes it sound even worse.
My mom, the wonderful woman that she is, the kind, loving, brilliant, generous woman that she is, can make me flinch, quiver and run in hide with one little sentence. All she has to say is…”Come squint with me.”
This means I must go into the living room, or the dining room, or the “east wing” or whatever room she is contemplating doing something to and stare (with my eyes squinted, of course) at a swatch of fabric on the couch, or six carpet squares of identical color on the floor or a paint chip taped to the wall. We squint for a while and then she will say, “What do you think?” It’s really not meant to be a trick question, but it always feels like one. “What…do…I…think? Of green carpet? You already have a green carpet, Mom.” I always tell her that no matter what I say, she will do the opposite, because, inevitably, she will. But she demands my opinion.
I will make a choice between Navajo white, eggshell, pale taupe, Yankee flesh, fresh cream with just a touch of vanilla, soft albino bunny white and delicate snowdrop petal and no matter what I tell her…she will pick…something else.
I talked to my mom the other day. She told me that she had replaced the chair in the living room, you know, the one that your cat chewed on when she was little? And all I could think of was “Someone else finally had to squint with her! Thank god!”