My mother forgot:
– That I have a weird freakout about watery foods touching butter in sandwiches. Like, tomatoes can’t touch butter, or gross. Or cucumber and butter. Solution, yeah I know, make my own fucking sandwich. I’m aware that I’m bitching about having my mum do something nice for me.
– That I don’t go for walks. I’m sorry, fuck walking. I always found walking uber boring and would never accompany my mother, but now that I know how to cycle, it has an added dimension of shitness that is, this fresh air and countryside would actually be really enjoyable if only I had my bike. It’s like she thinks all the creases in my personality she never ironed out for me while actively parenting, have just magically sorted themselves out now I’m a grown up.
– That we don’t have a cool mother-daughter gal-pals kind of relationship. We get along, I love my mum, she’s awesome, in a lot of ways I’d love to be more like her, just not enough to actually do something about it. But we don’t have that relationship. We go shopping together and I have to bite chunks out of my knuckles as she purchases items like A FUCKING SCRUNCHIE. Sorry, but, a scrunchie. Yeah. And then I’m trying on something NON slutty, like quite elegant… and my mother goes “it’s NICE…. It’s just a bit… it’s not very you.” Thanks. I was just trying to look like a classy fucker for a second there. But actually, she’s right. I would never have worn a midi skirt.
My mother will never forget:
– That I played with pokemon.
– That I had those gross, ugly, asshole, dickhead, weirdo, unhygienic boyfriends. And how much I LOVED them. And their names. And where the photos are of us. Things I would rather pretend never happened, and always “ooh you know who I saw drive past the other day? Derek… you remember Derek? He’s still looking the same… weird..”
And I pretend for a second I’m furrowing my brow… uh… but if I pause too long before remembering Derek the goth, she’ll start adding cringey details to spark my memory. Please no more. I was young. I don’t deserve this shit.
– ALL the children I ever shared a single year of school with. Kids I haven’t seen since we were 6. And these are mentioned casually.
“You know Jessie, well she’s got a new car, a little Punto. You know the new punto?” And I’m like, who the fuck is Jessie? And then she’ll furnish full name, relationship status, health details, and a rundown of all Jessie’s recent drama. And seriously I have just the vaguest recollection of a little mousey girl I might have spent one year not really speaking to before we disappeared into our separate lives and never saw each other again. Everyone who went to my school, even if it was long before my education or long since.
Everyone has an instant c.v. in my mother’s head, ready to be rattled off. And it used to be, they were all scanning groceries with dead eyes, significantly fatter than when last we were desk neighbours, but nowadays, the old college education is beginning to bump some of their wages above mine. People doing stem cell research or zoology, lawyers and interior designers… people doing proper adult jobs with proper adult wages, or off in Cambodia building orphenages, rubbing shoulders with hot tanned philanthropists and parachuting all over the place (this is a partly imagined scenario.)
– That I used to put on little shows with my friend where we pretended to be on the news, or members of the spice girls, or play doctor, or have an obsession with drawings of boobs in this book about pregnancy that was lying around the house.
– That I went through a brief phase of putting on this old woman voice (purely to entertain my mother, btw) and cackling about how my name was Mrs. Petunia Redmond and I was always stealing my own watch. I don’t remember how this came about but my mother regularly puts on the voice these days and asks me to “do Mrs. Petunia”, and this oftens occurs in front of people. And it’s weird. I’m not really that easily embarrassed but the fact that I don’t know what the fuck was going on in my head that I would pretend to be stealing my own watch, as well as the terrible quality of the joke and voice I put on… it does get embarassing. Let Mrs. Petunia die, please. All the clever shit I come out with, and Mrs. Petunia is what she remembers.
And that’s it for now. I’m in London now, just processing the last 2 weeks with my family, feeling pretty bloated after so many days eating dinner and…also drinking a lot.
Tomorrow is another day, and I’m in London now…