When I was 20 I thought, “OMG, I am not like my mother at all.” When I was 30 I was like, “Maybe we have one or two things in common.” By 40, it was five or six. At 50, let me tell you how she and I are the same person.
1. A lot of people say they are their dog’s mom or dad. My mother and I narrate every single action we perform for our dogs: “Oh, are you hungry? Your mom hates it when you’re hungry. Your mom will feed you.” Or “Do you need your mom to open the door? Your mom will open the door.” Or just “Do you know who loves you? Your mom. That’s right. I am your mom.” As if the poor dog didn’t understand this.
OTHER MOM ESSAYS IN THIS SERIES:
- My Mom Had Me at 18 and When My Daughter Was 18, I Got It
- Why My Old Journals Make Me a Better Mom
- A Big Shout-Out to the Working Moms, Mine Especially
- Notes from a Proud Mom and Her Teen Drag Queen
- Confessions of a Hypocrite Mom
- Mom to College Kid: Text Me, Maybe
- My Mom Was a Sex Therapist But Don’t Ask Me to Have the Talk
- What Mom Got Right—Even When She Messed Up
- Anger Management, Mom Edition
- And Now My Kids Are Moms
2. We have no idea what is going on in movies. If you would like to be driven crazy, sit next to one of us during, say, a movie about spies: “Is he bad?” “What about him?” “Oh, wait, is he bad? He seemed—nice?” Outer space movies are even worse: “Wait—is that Earth or—somewhere else?”
3. We both drive filthy old Toyotas covered in pet hair.
4. We agree that the best song of all time is Barbra Streisand/Barry Gibb’s duet “What Kind of Fool” and we like to sing it to our dogs in our dirty Toyotas.
5. Both of us think that #BestLife is sitting on the beach reading a British novel, written by a woman, published between 1920 and 1960.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Miller
6. Coffee should be black and drunk from a heavy mug; otherwise, the practice is joyless. Vodka should be straight and on the rocks. Cereal is for children; bottled salad dressing is for barbarians.
7. Toilet brushes are not allowed in our homes. You clean a toilet with a rag and your hand. You can wash your hand. Also, it does not have to reside, permanently filthy, next to your toilet. (See “barbarians,” above.)
8. When I was a kid I used to make vicious fun of my mother for emitting the noise hrmmm (or maybe it’s huhn) during films, prestige television or lectures. I now do the same, except it’s worse—which is to say nearly incessant—because of podcasts.
9. Social tip: The whole purpose of going to parties is to yell your opinions loudly at someone other than the dog.
10. Feminism tips: Be a staunch feminist but do not learn to change a tire, unclog a sink or, for that matter, tighten a screw. Otherwise, what would men even do?