It’s been a bad week. Bad as in bad, not bad as in good. And bad here means things like skull-ripping headaches, unwelcome and unrelenting rainstorms, and stubbed little toes. It means running out of chocolate pudding just when I really fucking needed some chocolate pudding. Bad means my mother is in town when she’s usually working out-of-town, and having to make sure that the tiny crumbs I might leave on the counter from eating a single Wheat Thin are promptly wiped away and sterilized by an industrial-strength disinfectant because otherwise she will TOTALLY FREAK OUT.
If everything goes well and as planned and without any hiccups, fingers crossed and prayers to our pagan god, my husband and I will be ending our four-month sentence in my mother’s suburban basement in three to four weeks. I haven’t talked much or specifically about living with my mother because family can be such a delicate issue sometimes, and my brother and father may be reading this website. My mother is most likely not reading this website, primarily because she is the type of person who would say, “I am aware of what my daughter is doing, I just don’t need to punish myself by reading about it.” My brother and father, on the other hand, are the type of people who would say, “I know what she’s doing, and although it’s going to be difficult to read about it, I am COMPELLED to do so, if only for the sheer, morbidly delicious sustenance it will provide my righteous indignation.”
Whatever, this isn’t about my brother or my father, this is about my bad week and what my mother has to do with it. And I’m not here to bash my mother, not at all. My mother is one of the most ambitious and dynamic women on the planet, a machine who needs only four hours of sleep a night and can magically wash and dry over 20 loads of laundry before I stumble out of bed in the morning, I don’t know how she does it. My mother takes her job and her role in our family very seriously, so seriously that she can hold a conference call with 25 of the most important people in Avon while her twin grandsons are dangling from both her ears and screaming for more Fruit Roll-ups.
Whenever I meet my mother’s colleagues and employees and they find out that I am her daughter, it’s as if suddenly it’s 1985 and I’m Michael Jackson and they are an idiot 14-yr old Japanese school girl. High-pitched, unintelligible screaming ensues, replete with slobbery hugs and screaching ohmigods! I’m almost mauled by adoration by mere association with this brilliant woman who has changed lives and inspired success in people who have never known success before. The people who work for my mom have produced the highest sales increases for Avon in the entire world three years in a row. And sadly, this visionary woman’s 27-yr old daughter is living in her basement.
Remarkably, living with my mother hasn’t been that bad, and it’s allowed us to save some precious cash as we’ve made the transition from LA to Utah. But one of the main reasons it hasn’t been so bad is because she works five days a week in California. Because of the war my mother has had to “stay grounded,” and won’t be able to fly out again until next week. So for the past five days I’ve answered hundreds of phone calls a day from people who are trying to get in touch with my mother, all while she is talking to hundreds of other people on her cell-phone upstairs. And while answering these endless phone calls, I’ve had to bully my way into the laundry room because she is doing laundry every second of the day. I think she’s even pulled up the planks from the hardwood floors and stuck them in the washer, they’ve got to get clean somehow. When she’s not standing next to the washer with her ear to her cell-phone, she’s scrubbing the clean kitchen sink or shaking the rugs that were shaken only an hour ago. Yesterday I saw her down on her knees inspecting the floor under the refrigerator for crumbs, and she was outwardly happy when she found some to wipe up.
I know it totally sounds like I’m whining, and I totally am. I have a wonderful mother who is so generous that she’s opened her home to her ungrateful cunt of a daughter. And this whole thing is just a sad attempt to make me feel better about myself because I didn’t inherit her energy or stamina, and I feel guilty for napping while she’s taking apart the oven and cleaning every crevice with a cotton swab. It’s just, if I have to answer that phone one more goddamn time, I swear I’m going to sign up as a Mary Kay Representative, take that!