Mom’s are a funny thing. They’re all a little different in their own way, but there are just some things that tend to be universal. Let’s begin with them mispronouncing everyone’s name. If the name is Charlie, she’ll call him Charles. If it’s Christina, she’ll call her Christy. She’ll shorten it, lengthen it, nickname it, or just change it completely. And she does it all with complete confidence. Rolls off her tongue as if they’ve been friends for years and this is just their usual greeting. One of my best friends Lexi’s mom recently said to her, “Oh, I just can’t wait to see this movie that Theo is in.” Lexi said, “Uhh, who is Theo?” Lexi’s mom rolled her eyes, “Oh Lexi. Theo! Theonardo DeCaprio. Come ON.” That really happened.

Mom’s can’t sit still. They are always picking things up and moving them around. It appears they are cleaning or organizing, but really most of the time when they are bored, they’re just moving things around. They can’t vegg out like we can. It’s sad that they don’t remember how enjoyable it is.

When I call my mom and ask her what she’s up to, she takes a long gasping breath to get every morsel of oxygen she can and then starts to tell me every single thing she has done since her pretty little eyes popped open that morning. She’ll begin, “Oh I have been feeling so refreshed and energized lately, and you know how I love my morning walks. I woke up at 6:20am and just jumped right out of bed…” No detail left unturned. Nothing gets by her. And if she somehow forgets something, don’t you worry, she will circle back and correct herself and we’re looking at another ten minutes while she finds her place again. And you always have to leave a buffer of time for when you need to get off the phone. As soon as you say it, she will quickly start cramming everything in there that she feels like she needs to tell you before time runs out. I say quickly, but there is nothing quick about it. She may be talking faster now, but she has no interest in whatever it is that is pulling you off the phone from her. She’ll just start grabbing at random shit, “ Oh, and I had a whole conversation with Debra yesterday about her house situation, I mean I can’t even tell you how hectic it is over there (she can, and she will)… But you have to go, right.. okay I’ll talk to you later. Oh, can you tell me how to get this update alert off my cell phone? (very aware this is a long answer question) It is driving me crazy and I went to the Verizon store, but that line was so long and I didn’t know if I was supposed to be in the technical problem area or the phone issue area, I mean isn’t that the same thing? Oh, and have you seen…” At some point you just have to make a weird noise and hang up. She knows what you’ve done, but she tells herself you got disconnected.

Mom’s put up with a lot. It’s hard on them when they’re children are dating and they have people coming in and out of their lives all the time. My mom tells me, “You have a boyfriend and I get really attached to him, and then you guys break up and he’s just out of my life. I hate it.” My mom loves when a guy I’m with makes an effort with her. It goes a long way. A little too long actually. She still asks about a boyfriend of mine from years ago who emotionally tortured me and cheated constantly, but he was always eager to help her in the kitchen, so as far as she’s concerned he was a catch. Fairly often we have the same conversation about it. “Oh, making this Thanksgiving dinner makes me miss *****. He was so helpful and we always enjoyed each other so much. Do you ever speak to him?” “Mom. Do you remember when I ran into him with his other girlfriend while he was still my boyfriend? You might remember, I only became a shell of a person for a good year after that.” “Oh yeah. I always forget about that whole thing.” Selfish.

Mom’s believe in their kids to no end, and my mom is the same. She thinks I can do anything and would be great at everything. Recently we were having dinner together, sitting at this community table at M Café when BJ Novak walked in. He’s a writer and actor in The Office. He sat next to us. My mom tried to discreetly point him out to me, and I kept nodding my head to her to let her know that I knew. She was so excited, she didn’t think I was getting the message. She texted me from across the table to tell me who he was. Lots of exclamations in the text. I looked at it and nodded to her again, giving her a look like, okay let’s move on please. And then she just started laughing. Laughing at nothing. A loud, forced laugh at nothing. And it got louder. And in the midst of her laughter she started saying, “Oh Erin.. you are just too funny… so funny… the stuff you come up with!” She glanced at BJ to see if he was listening. Now I understood what she was doing. She thought this would get his attention and he would turn to us and say, “Oh your mom says you’re funny. You should write for The Office!”. It didn’t work, he ignored us. He obviously didn’t think I was funny. But the effort on her part was sweet. Embarrassing, but sweet.

I hang out with my mom a lot. Kind of like Jessica Simpson. My mom puts up with my mood swings, finds my stories fascinating, always thinks I look pretty, laughs at all my jokes, and doesn’t compete with me for attention. She’s the perfect bestie.

I had a boyfriend who said I was too into my family and that it was weird. I dumped him.

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