Sunday, May 11, 2008

Confessions Of A Bad Son

I’m not a very good son. I tease and torment my mother every chance I get. Many of my run-ins with her date back to my college days. Part of the problem was that in my sophomore year, my family got transferred to Italy and that made communicating more trouble than just picking up the phone.

She wanted frequent letters and I would get behind. She once sent me an entire book of stamps with no note or explanation. I wrote back explaining that I could buy my own stamps. She wrote back smugly that at least it got me to write.

Another time she had sent me a copy of Space by James Michener because one of the main characters was a Georgia Tech grad. The book was truly dreadful and I wrote a ten page letter explaining in excruciating detail just how bad it was. Rather than be impressed with the effort I had put into the analysis, she took it as a personal attack on her and broke down into tears.

Yet another letter from me was a long rambling April's Fools joke hinting that I wasn’t who I thought I was and that my whole life had been a lie. I was going to break up with my fiance because I needed to find myself and women just didn't interest me anymore. She completely missed the April 1st date on the letter and called international long distance to make sure I was okay. I could hear my dad in the background saying, “I knew he was just joking.”

That led into another running gag. My college roommate was gay (see this post for that story) and when my mother would visit us, she would pick up a slight tingle in her fairly unreliable gaydar. Anytime she hinted that my roommate might be a little light in the loafers I reacted in feigned ignorance. I would deny it and kept insisting that it was all part of her over active imagination. I kept that game going for several years.

I just loved playing on her trust and gullibility. I don’t know why, it was just fun to do.

And it’s not that she has ever been a bad mother. Twice she has had to emulate a single parent for a year while my dad was on assignment overseas. The first time was with toddlers. The second with teenagers. I’m not sure which was worse.

I still like to tease her when I can. I make fun of her bland New England cooking. I blame my bad driving habits on her easily frightened reactions while she was teaching me. I tell her that her 85-year-old neighbor with artificial knees is faster than she is (because it’s true).

I tease because I love.

BlatantCommentWhoring™: What have you done mean to your mother?


Unknown said...

I moved to another country, told her she couldn't call because one of my roommates was always asleep, moved even further, to the end of the world (Baltimore), and refused to get a webcam.

Well, I got one now, finally. It might take me a while, but in the end I learn to do the right thing.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

I'm guessing your humor is a bit drier than hers.

But you're taunting is nothing compared to what Tom Green used to put his mom through. I only saw a few episodes but they made me cringe every time. So tell your mom at least she's lucky you're not him.

I once put an exploding cap in the end of her cigarette and when she smoked it a cinder went into her eye. Ya, that didn't work out so well.

Mom Thumb said...

Moved out at the first possible moment. There will never be a Mother's Day tribute on my blog. Your mom sounds like a good sport!

Elizabeth said...

Every April 1st that I can remember my mom would wake me up at about 5:00am and say "come quick, there's a baby deer in our yard!" I'd stumble out of bed and when I got to the living room whe's laugh and say "april Fools!" And I fell for it Every. Single. Year.
So, when I was off to college I called her up on April 1st and told her I thought I was pregnant. I kept it going for about half an hour until I laughed and said "April Fools!" She wasn't amused, but I found it hilarious!

yellojkt said...

Excellent, Elizabeth! I wish I could pull that one off convincingly.

mom thumb,
You remind me that many people have terrible relationships with their mother. Sorry to hear that.

Impetua said...

We tease my mother mercilessly about her cooking -- she is an excellent cook, but you'd never know it the way we treat her. On the subject of gravy: "One lump or two?" "Who wants to carve the gravy?" etc.

I also tease because I love. If she was really a bad cook I could never say something like that to her.

yellojkt said...

That is where you and I are different. My mother's cooking is fair game.

MYM said...

Good grief .. you are a bad son ... a 10 page letter, sheesh! I sense she loves you anyway ... as only a mother could ;)

Michelle said...

All I have to say is that I hope my son doesn't read your list someday and pull those on me.... Then again, I can't picture him being old enough to be able to do that ever!

And the worst thing I ever did to my mom apparently isn't that unique. I got her to believe I was pregnant with #3 (she does childcare one day a week and has VERY vehemently explained that Little Miss must be the last one and yes, mostly because she never stops moving). I suppose framing an old ultrasound picture and giving it to her was sort of mean....

Anonymous said...

I have never, ever, EVER in my adult life given my mother her Mother's Day card/flowers on Mother's Day. I'm terrible with that sort of thing so they invariably arrive a day or two late.

My mother's mental clock is skewed about 45 degrees, so she goes to bed around 3AM and wakes up between 11 and noon. As a result I never know when to call her, since by noon my stepfather has been up for hours and waiting to go get things done with her. Who wants to leave a Mother's Day message on the answering machine? So I make things worse by calling around 8:00PM, making the whole day seem like I forgot.

cathouse teri said...

I never do mean things to my mother. You are evil!

Okay, well... maybe I forget to call her when I land after a flight somewhere. She has a thing about knowing you are safe.

Anyway, she figured that out and just figures I'm safe now. I'm like a cat that lands on all fours. Only, when I land, it usually really in a cool car.

(I'm not kidding. People do say that about me.)