Thursday, January 30, 2014

Not Cereal Mom, SERIAL Mom

In the early 1990s the movie Serial Mom was released in theaters.  The movie depicted Kathleen Turner as a suburban housewife and mother who protected her family without fail, going so far as to murder anyone who wronged her children.  I don’t believe my mother has ever broken the law for her kids- though I wouldn’t totally put it past her- but she is about as close to Kathleen Turner’s character as one can get.  Of course, I also think that is an innate maternal trait.

Another thing I find particularly funny about moms is their competitive streak.  And I don’t mean about themselves, I mean that in regard to their kids.  I remember when I told my mom I was moving to Africa.  She was happy about it because I was happy, but in reality her response was kind of a mopey, “I know, I’ll just really miss you.”  My brother and I sort of laughed about it and said, “Are you kidding me? This gives you bragging rights amongst all the other moms for the next year.  When all you moms get together and compare who has the cooler kids you will always win, hands down.  And you know you moms do it, don’t even try and deny it.”
This is how I imagine water cooler talk at my mother’s office:

Mom #1: My daughter just bought her first house, at the age of only 23.
Mom #2: I will see your new home-owning daughter and raise you my son, a Navy Seal who swam across the Mediterranean without equipment and then single-handedly rescued five civilians from almost certain death.
KVP’s Mom: I recommend you all fold now.  My daughter is currently in Africa where she is overseeing the Botswana Defense Force and the police.  On the weekends she is training monkeys how to build power plants in order to supply electricity and water to locals.  In her free time she is either in Zimbabwe teaching President Mugabe how to balance the budget and mint a new stabilized currency or instructing Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airlines how to provide customer service and deliver passengers’ luggage within a reasonable (i.e. less than 24 hour) timeframe. BOOM! That’s right! My* daughter is awesome!

*MY daughter is used to convey pride and claim credit.  This is in juxtaposition with YOUR (i.e. my father’s) daughter when I demonstrate some sort of shortcoming.
Today when I was on the UB campus I realized mothers are the same everywhere.  They may speak different languages, or interact with their children differently, but they protect and promote their kids to the end.  As I entered the corridor where my office is located I saw three female staff members speaking in a very animated manner about their offspring.  By the way, animated is a relative term.  Think of me being animated.  Now imagine me sick, with a couple of broken ribs and strep throat.  THAT is animated in Botswana.  Nevertheless, you could still recognize that there was a distinct sense of pride and one-upsmanship in their conversation.  Made me a little bit homesick for a minute.  All I could think was that my mom would fit right in.  She would also take gold and make sure those other moms KNEW whose kid was #1.

1 comment:

  1. Well said! Thanks for sharing the truth. Actually my daughter just won... never mind.