Darling invisible one, have you hit the Hallmark store yet? Did you get a card? Did you write your heartfelt sentiment neatly and mail your lovely yet tasteful message?
Well, then you better get on it! Mother's Day is coming!!! Yes, that lovely holiday in which everything one does for the woman who gave one life is "oh...that's too much, sweetie!" and yet, is never really enough.
Excuse me. I misspoke. Or typoed. The woman who carried you in her body for nine months, traversed the Valley of the Shadow of Death to birth you, then has worked like a dog, worked her fingers to bloody stumps for you, you ungrateful, manipulative little shit!
Oh! Gracious. I have no idea where that came from. Anyway.
As I am barren, I will never know the unmitigated joy of opening the crayoned card my offspring has created just for me, or the gift made painstakingly of pipe cleaners and yarn. On the other hand, I'll never have to look at three and a half years of college tuition as something that "just isn't working" for my offspring. Sure, the dog took five obedience courses to pass her CGC, but it's not like she dropped out of Harvard. Or the University of Washington. Slightly lower tuition, but still! That's a boatload of buckage blown out the window.
Perhaps if I lived that role, I would understand my mother a bit better. Perhaps I'd have more compassion for her position. Or maybe I would still have to cling to the two rules that make our relationship so much easier.
Not easy. Easier.
Rules For Getting Along[ish] With My Mother
1) The 200 Mile Rule
I should never, never live closer than 200 miles away from my mother. 200 miles is a "planned trip." Less than 200 miles is "just popping in." Please believe me when I tell you, dearest, we do not want my mother just popping in.
2) The 36-Hour Rule
This means never should Mom and I spend more than 36 hours in each others' presence. This rule is less fool-proof than the other; Mom and I have been at DEFCON 5 within thirty seconds. Without even trying hard. But after 36 hours, explosions are almost inevitable. Collateral damage isn't pretty, either.
Yeah. Well, I'd better get that card in the mail soon! 200 miles is a long way to go for heartfelt sentiment.