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.