I’m not a fan of Mother Teresa, either

I just had a realization this evening; every single woman I’ve had a relationship with (that lasted more than a weekend :-), every single one of them, without exception, has an epically fucked up relationship with their mothers.

All of them. From High School Girl (hi P!), to That Other One, to the Flautist, to the Polymath Pedant, the Artist, a few summer flings, the Amazon, each one has their own torturous and frustrating set of issues with their mothers. Hell, I’ll even throw in a couple of girls that I’ve only had as really good friends/crushes that have been entirely platonic; also deeply fucked up relationships with their mothers.

I’m certainly not trying to select for this characteristic. I mean, it’s not like I’m trolling at the strip clubs for damaged little girls with mommy issues. Every single one of those women are/were fiercely smart, capable, talented (and sexy!). Exactly the sort of people you’d like to hang out with, work with, or have guard your back. Fabulous people, each in their own way.

And yet, there’s that pattern. Weird. I’m sure there are some women out there with loving and supportive mom relationships; heh, maybe their mommas warned them away from boys like me.

Merely the latest example – I know a girl who drove four-ish hours, each way, on Mothers’ Day weekend, to have dinner with her mom, and then breakfast on Mothers’ Day itself. The mom picked the restaurant, the daughter picked up the (not-inconsiderable) bill, and a nice hour and a half dinner and chit-chat was had. MD breakfast was at her mom’s house, made by mom (her own mom’s idea!), was nice and slow and friendly. Afterwards, there was a walk through the yard looking at recent gardening efforts and ooohing and ahhing over her lovely yard and the fruits of her labor. Then there was an hour and a half walk through a nearby park, alongside a lake, with lots more friendly chatter. And then the four-hour drive back home. The girl even brought flowers! I said to her, “Damn, you scored major Good Daughter™ points this weekend!”

Instead, she got a long, painful phone call from her parents tonight complaining about how the food at the dinner restaurant wasn’t very good, and she should have spent more time with them, and how rude she was to rush away after breakfast, and her mother didn’t even get a card! Not just in a passive-aggressive whining fashion, but a full-on, chastising, scolding, “you’re a bad daughter” lecture. Unbelievable! I hardly know what to say, except to sympathize, and to try to reassure her, “It’s not you, it’s her.”

It just boggles my mind. As an outside observer, I can’t help but wonder, doesn’t this mother know that’s the kind of behavior guaranteed to drive a child even further away? If you were specifically trying to discourage a daughter from making an effort, I can’t imagine how you would pick a more successful strategy.

I’m just gobsmacked. I guess I will continue to be for a few more hours. Or days.

6 thoughts on “I’m not a fan of Mother Teresa, either

  1. superflashgo

    Well here’s a thought that just might help you feel better.

    You’ll be hard pressed to find a girl who does NOT have an epically fucked up relationship with their mother.

    Of all of my friends I know 1, maybe 2 people who are exceptions to this.

    Reply
  2. lonnerz

    Counselors would want to point out traits in your childhood that create this situation. For instance the 2 counselors that I have seen on and off since middle school both agree that a lot of the ones I have dated have an undercurrent dealing with my dad and I growing up.

    Not sure if this fits the bill, just something random to throw out there in case you wanted a possibility.

    Other than that, it’s hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have an issue with “a” parent if theirs are living, and even if one or both have passed. I am lucky in the sense that my Mother and I have an amazing deep connected friendship but I consciously do not speak to my father. Daddy issues I tell you.

    Reply
  3. aanor

    I was going to comment, but superflashgo pretty much said it for me. You only notice it in girls you know well, which would disproportionately be girls you date.

    Reply
    1. browse Post author

      And are you agreeing with superflashgo that it’s just true of a larger percentage of mother-daughter relationships than I realize?

      How very profoundly sad. 🙁

      Reply
      1. aanor

        Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying. Yes, it is sad. This speculation is based on observations of women I know. For myself, I actually have a great relationship with my mom, and I know exactly how rare that is.

        Reply
  4. ororo

    We’re everywhere. Muahahahaha.

    Seriously, though. You’re a trustworthy human being, and when the primary relationship in your life doesn’t have a good foundation, we look for people with certain characteristics our primary relationships lack.

    Thanks for being you.

    Reply

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