She gave me life ... now she gives me headaches.
That said, I generally can't f*cking stand her as a person. She embodies almost every pet peeve I have, making it hard to be around her. Here's why:
1. She's controlling.
I guess because mama supposedly knows best, mama also supposedly can still try to run your life when you're old enough to rent a car and haven't lived in her house for years. I hear everything from "You shouldn't wear that" (I did) to "You need to learn to make sauce" (I did) to "Call your grandpa" (I do every week) to "Make Mike pick up his own socks" (he does).
None of it is inherently wrong in its own, but the fact that she nags about it reflexively makes me want to say no to everything that comes out of her mouth. I'm not the only victim of this, either; my brother moved across the country to escape it.
2. She's needy and passive-aggressive at the same time.
I will never say no to my mom if and when she ever genuinely needs anything. That said, when she wants something, instead of asking, "Can you drive me to the mall?" she words it in a way that actually makes it easier for me to say no: "Do you want me to go shopping with you?" No, because I can go through an entire mall in the time it takes her to go through one rack.
When my brother wanted to take our family out for my birthday, he let me choose the restaurant. Every choice resulted in my mom suddenly having a migraine, except, somehow, her favorite diner. Funny how that works out.
3. She lives in another century.
She thinks Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a rough neighborhood and until recently was weirded out by the idea of female doctors. She thinks any woman who doesn't cook is a waste of human life. She genuinely believes The Bachelor is real. I can't.
4. She gets angry about really strange things.
For example, when Donald Driver won Dancing With The Stars, she fumed, screamed, and ranted for about 40 minutes straight, and swore she'd "write a letter" about it. When confronted with things like the civilian deaths in Yemen or the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia, she'll stare blankly, shake her head, and go back to making meatballs.
5. She needs constant approval and attention.
Some background: My mom is the youngest of 13. (I guess my grandparents never had cable, so what else were they going to do?) As a result, she probably was starved for attention as a kid, and that never went away.
She needs a cookie for everything and can't just do a good deed; she has to do good deeds and make sure you know about it. (Conversely, my dad is basically a hero to many, especially me, and never feels the need to broadcast it.)
She even injects this into everyday conversations: "Oh, I went to lunch with the girls from work, and they all say what a good person I am. They keep saying, 'Marie, you're such a good person.'"
No they're not, and no they don't. That's not how people speak. Stop it. You'd be an even better person if you could just shut up about how great you are for 10 minutes.
6. She invents drama that doesn't otherwise exist.
My mom will read into things way too much, invent scenarios and context in her own head, and then eventually begin to believe her own bull. For example, if someone she's never met who lives in Tokyo posts a Facebook status about liking Gerber daisies, she'll find a way to be offended by that and make it about her.
Because everything is about her. Everything. Everything, all the time. Do you know how exhausting that kind of existence is?
7. She's a massive hypochondriac.
Once, her arm was swollen. She called every one of her living relatives and told them, "Don't tell anybody, but I got a lump on my arm. I just, you know, don't want you to worry." The "lump" on her arm was tennis elbow.
Another time, for a three-month period, she had me to take her to the doctor everyday to check her blood pressure. Her blood pressure was fine. Her doctor assured her, "Marie: I checked your liver. I checked your heart. I checked your kidneys, your stomach, your glands — everything is fine. You're fine." I told him to check her head, because that's probably where the problem is.
8. She takes my personal life personally.
My mom is determined to have a granddaughter. This has become my problem, because, as she's puts it, "Your brother and his wife keep sh*tting out boys." There's a lot wrong here beyond her clear misunderstanding of the human reproductive and digestive systems: I don't want kids for a lot of reasons (and no, that doesn't make me the worst), and because of some health issues I may not even be able to have any of my own anyway.
I've mentioned this numerous times and reminded her of it when, in front of all my relatives at a wedding, she told me I "better get a ring and give [her] a granddaughter." She took it as a personal offense and gave me the silent treatment for a week. I need to tell her that more often.
9. We're the same person.
Most horrifyingly, I realize more and more everyday that I am, in fact, turning into my mother — from my winding stories to my increasingly quick temper to my compulsive need for sauce on Sundays. It's only a matter of time before I start thinking it's inappropriate for myself to vote, live in sin, or appreciate quality television.