Thursday, August 4, 2011

I'm Talking to the Mom in the Mirror

One of the most difficult hurdles I've faced now that the boys have flown the nest, besides that -- try as I might -- I cannot scale my meal preparation down to cooking for two (when we were four, I cooked for twelve, now that we're two, I cook for eight), is simply accepting the fact that my sons have become  independent young men.

I ask myself repeatedly where I went wrong.

What could I have done differently to bind them to me in both practical as well as seriously emotionally damaged ways that I overlooked when I had the chance?

If only I'd watched more Jerry Springer. I might have learned something.

Those heartless ingrates now do everything for themselves, including things like picking their own  noses clothes, brushing their own teeth and -- worst of all -- dating girls.


Thankfully, my powers of self-delusion remain sharp.

Case in point: a recent phone conversation between me and my youngest son upon the occasion of his needing a new ironing board pad and cover.

How it happened in my mind...

Charlie, after dialing the phone while holding a framed 8 by 10 glossy of me to his tear-dampened cheek: "Mother of mine, I remain a helpless, befuddled cherub who cannot possibly find my way to a Walmart, not to mention purchase something as complicated as a new cover for my very own ironing board. Wouldst thou go to Walmart and, with your work-worn, withered hands, pick something out for moi, your devoted son?"

Unfortunately, here's how it really went down...

Charlie, in a most off-handed manner at the tail end of a telephone chat during which I held a framed 8 by 10 glossy of him to my tear-dampened cheek: "Oh, I have to pick up a new ironing board cover. Mine finally ripped."


Charlie: "Nah, don't worry about it. I have to stop at Walmart anyway for some other stuff, I'll pick it up."

Me, sobbing and on the floor: "For the love of all that's holy, Charlie, have a goddam heart. Let me do it. I have no life, please, Charlie, please, please, PLEEEEASE......."

Charlie: "Jeez, Ma, okay."

The conversation continued....

Charlie: "And while you're there, I could use a package of white tees, could you grab some? I'll get 'em when I see you."
Who doesn't need a parakeet?

Me, hyperventilating and about to lose control of my bowels: "Can I get you anything else while I'm there, Charlie? Deodorant? Razor blades? Dry cereal? Peanut butter? Vitamins? Plant food? A parakeet? Shoe laces? Nail clippers? Shampoo? Frozen veggies? A seasonally decorated cake? A bath mat? Bird feeders? Dental floss? Roller skates? A dry erase board? Post-its? An egg beater? Slippers? Cat food? Camping supplies? Throw pillows? Tropical fish? Light bulbs? A grill....?

Charlie: "Mom, get help."

I may need to.
An actual, unretouched photo of me and Charlie, or is it Tom, when he was little.


  1. best. line. ever.

    "about to lose control of my bowels"

    hahahahhahaha! i gotta stop reading this at work!

  2. Bee, your comments make me so happy--gracias, amiga!

  3. Your son irons?? I am totally impressed. I think Brett just goes out and buys a new shirt instead. I don't think he even owns an iron. Good for you Miss Susan.

  4. I know, it's a miracle. Only he does, though. The other one picks the least wrinkled from the pile on the bottom of the closet.

  5. *I* don't even iron! I either buy clothes that don't wrinkle or ones that you can kind of iron with your hands once they're fresh out of the dryer. I'll admit I'm totally lazy on that. It's just going to wrinkle once I'm wearing it anyway!

    I fear I will buy out stores for my kid if she ever flies the coop. I'll send her off with a lifetime supply of toothpaste and honey nut cheerios.

  6. BTW, I'm going to give a shout out on my FB page directing my friends to your blog. I know they'll love it as much as I do.

  7. OMG!! I think I lost control of MY bowels reading freaking funny!!!!!!!!!
    (the sad truth is.....that is also MY life........)

  8. Hi, ALicia...I, too, do a lot of "ironing with my hands." Charlie is a throw back genetically to my grandmother who ironed everything...and thanks for the shout-out on your blog! That is really so nice...and when I take over the planet (as is my goal)I will reward you handsomely with your own continent. Start thinking about which you'd prefer....XOXO

  9. Thanks, Donna--"loose bowels for all" is my motto!

  10. You girls are the wind beneath my wings...