A few observations about my mother: First, she is a drama queen who is happiest in times of crisis. Second, she oversteps boundaries, especially those of her children. Finally, she is a score-keeper. I offer a few illustrations of each of these.
The Drama Queen
Example One: In the months preceding my wedding, my parents separated. Every day, my mother would call me with the latest round of complaints about my father. She found a way to make sure that everyone from the caterers to the wedding guests knew about the separation and how she was doing her best "to put on a happy face in this difficult time." For instance, when I sent my photo to the paper and asked that my photograph be labeled "Ms. B" instead of "Mrs. JM" (I did not change names), she called the editor and told her that I was absolutely changing my name and was just reacting to my parents' very sad separation. *
Example Two: When anything happens to one of her children---from fender benders to surgery--she immediately calls her prayer groups and prayer lists and whips everyone into a frenzy. When I was about to have nerve damage caused by E's vacuum birth surgically corrected**, she put that on the prayer list. Some things--and I include my hoo-hoo as one of them--just don't need to be the subject of strangers' prayers.
Example One: When J and I were fairly newly married, my mother brought her handyman to our house. He was supposed to fix the bathroom floor which was sagging. She decided she may as well have him paint the bathroom while he was there without so much as a "Hey, how would you feel about having your bathroom painted Smurf blue?" We were not amused.
Example Two: When I was in the hospital after having E, my mother resdistributed the furniture in my house, rearranged my kitchen and reorganized J and my drawers. I had a hormone induced meltdown upon discovering this.
Example One: At Christmas, she spends precisely the same amount of money on each child and grandchild. Sometimes, we'll get an odd check for the $7.63 , but more often she makes a stocking and fills it with hideous items from the dollar store to make up the difference in what she has spent.
Example Two: She keeps a list of what each child has done for her lately: My brother M mowed her lawn when we were in town. However, Brother S cleaned her pool for her the week before. Therefore, it was my responsibility to do all the dishes during our visit on Sunday.
So there you have it, my mother is an attention-seeking-knows-no-boundaries-scorekeeping-drama queen.*** Who has just been diagnosed with colon cancer. It is the perfect storm. Stay tuned.
*They reunited shortly after my wedding. I did not change my name.
**I had a vestibulectomy-very painful, but effective.
***I know this sounds harsh. I do love her, but she makes me a little nuts.
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