Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Am I Like Her? Let Me Count The Ways. . .

Another confession from Crazytown

I am a reformed mother-hater.

When I was sixteen (how many good things start with that phrase?) I was in full-fledged rebellion. Actually, rebellion sounds too tame for what I was in. I was in my own terrorist cell. Yep, a suburban domestic terrorist. My only target was my mom. Mainly because she was there.

Dad saw me every other weekend, mostly. My older brother had begun his illustrious career in really dumb illegal activities (he's the guy who shows his ID to a bank teller before robbing her), and was probably incarcerated, and I'm pretty certain I'd alienated most of my friends by this time. It's hard to remember because I lost a lot of brain cells back then, and any surviving cells are starting to petrify.

Ah, but I was in the process of making some really super new friends. Like the twenty-five year old guy from Texas who lived in his car. And smelled like he lived in his car. And there were the totally awesome folks who worked with me at the Renaissance Faire in Novato. Some of them were near my age, some were creepy old guys, and everyone was loaded on something. My mom still doesn't know the nasty junk that happened on those weekends. Heck, I don't know most of it. I believe I mentioned my lack of brain matter. . .

During this "phase", I was one hundred percent convinced that my mom was the stupidest, meanest, most out-of-touch woman on the face of the planet. I cussed her out, I never told the truth when a lie would do, I took off for several extended weekends without calling or letting her know where I was, or if I was even alive, and I skipped most of my sophomore and junior years at high school, finally "escaping" early under an early form of the GED. There's more, but I'm sure you get the drift.

I listened to nothing mom had to say. Not one thing.

Meanwhile, she was freshly divorced from an eighteen year marriage, working two jobs, dealing with my aforementioned brother. . .

Yeah, I was a real peach.

As I've shared in previous posts, I carried this major attitude toward her for years. In fact, I carried it until I was twenty-eight, had an epiphany and God started helping me face myself. Mom became a human, and I started understanding her and her pain - I was able to finally stop acting out of mine.

In any event. One of the perks of our redeemed relationship is all the fun ways I'm now acting like her.

For instance, I find myself admiring white objects: white cars, white drapes, white towels, white trim on walls . . . pretty much anything that is crisp and clean-looking. The first time I noticed this about myself, frankly, I was a bit appalled. I mean, white things are boring. Am I right?

But truly, when you see a fresh load of whites just out of the dryer, or a freshly washed white car, they are SO attractive. Maybe it's the cleanness of them. Maybe when you spend years cleaning up after yourself and other people, anything that looks that good makes your heart go pitty-pat.

Another way I'm becoming my mom is investigating things before I buy them. Back in the day, mom and dad subscribed to Consumer Reports. I thought they were total losers with no sense of adventure or style.

Having wasted untold thousands on purchases better left un-purchased, I am now a firm advocate of, Amazon's ratings, and any other site I can find that provides feedback from people who've bought and used the item I'm considering. Ditto on price comparisons. Often, I'll research something, then go to or Ebay or to get the best price on it.

But today was a special day in my transformation. I've resisted - for twenty two years as a parent - mending things for my kids. Lame, but true. Well, I did sew on Kris's badges during his short stint in the Cub Scouts.

As for anything else, not so much. Not even replacing buttons. After all, I never can find the needles and thread; forget about finding the missing button or that little spare pack they usually give you.

But the times, they are a-changin'. My daughter Klaryssia lost the button on some brand-new shorts a few weeks back, and I just refused to ditch them. Wearing them without the button wasn't an option, either, because it created a really nice poof and gap right under her belly button. Klaryssia has a hard enough time keeping her shirts over her belly and her pants up. Obviously, I needed to jump in and find a button to sew on. I'll spare you the details of the button search, remembering to buy yet another spool of thread and pack of needles ('cause of course I had no idea where the last set went), and then struggling to thread the darned thing AND sew it on in a helpful way (so that she could actually button the shorts).

I'm happy to report, mission accomplished.

This success led me to set aside one of the boy's button up shirts the other day when I saw it was missing one. Well, to be honest, I probably would have let it slide, but the button missing was the second one down from the chin. You can't just let that one go. It leaves a weird gap.

At this point, it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to have some sort of place to put these clothes that await mending. Further, to have a designated spot for the mending tools AND a place just for all those buttons I expect to collect.

But where?

With this thought in the back of my head today, I set out on some errands. Somewhere along the way, I remembered my mom's old button tin. She had two different tins, actually. One was for all the buttons, one was for her mending supplies: pins, thread, needles, etc.

This seemed like the perfect solution, but alas, I had no tins! Ah Ha! I bet our local Goodwill would have some, if anyone would!

Sure enough, the Goodwill store had not one, not two, but THREE shelves full of old cookie tins and cans from liquor gift packs, and heart-shaped chocolate tins. Jackpot!

I found two that I like, a tall cylinder that housed cookies - this will be my button tin; and a flatish rectangular one that says it's from Harrods and has all these English lords and ladies on it. This will be my sewing supply kit.

Now I'm not going to go all crazy and suggest that I will be launching into a whole new era of hemmed and mended garments, but I am definitely going to be able to find a button, needle and thread next time I need them.

And that's pretty sweet. Good job, mom. Good job. Once again, I realize that you were on top of things. And once again, I'm sorry it's taken me all this time to figure it out.


  1. Anonymous5:56 PM

    While I haven't yet started my own button collection, I can certainly say that I am starting to realize just how much my mother is right. And *sigh* how I seem to become more and more like her every day...something I was trying so hard to fight.

  2. Hehe! Don't fight it, it's pointless! I think the biggest thing we realize as we get older and especially as we have our own families, is that our moms are humans, too, and they had their own issues they tried to deal with...

    None of us is finished, yet.
    Thanks for reading, and for commenting!!