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Friday, October 26, 2007


I really hate the way my mother can ruin my night with one sentence. To be fair, "ruin" is a slight exaggeration, I'm willing to let her plead down to "taint." I think I'm being generous.

Last night, we went to a benefit. I love benefits; you give money that you would have given any way and you get to have a great time. Bonus! And this one was really fun. We've been several years in a row and won't miss it. They bring in several musicians that you've actually heard of and they give a show similar to MTV's unplugged, but with jokes. The whole shebang is emceed by Jim Sonefeld of (local, famous band) Hootie and the Blowfish. This year, Darius Rucker was one of the artists. For a hometown girl like me, it was awesome. Last year, Don Dixon came. My husband, a real music fan, was over the moon; Don has worked with a bunch of great bands, like the Smithereens, Hootie, REM, Moxy Fruvos, the Connells...I'll stop there, but the list goes on. I am not nearly as hip as my husband and, a few minutes into the show, I realized that Don was the star of one of my favorite movies of all time, Camp. For the first time in my life, I was the nut who just had to tell the artist how much his work meant to me. Don was very kind and didn't laugh at me. But I digress.

Anyhow, we were enjoying the music and banter, a lot. Apparently, I was talking to my sister in law too much, because my mom had to lean forward and point out that I was being rude. I felt like I was nine years old. I wanted to tell her, as I have in the past, that it's too late. If she doesn't like my behavior now, it's out of her hands. She can either hang out with me or not. I'm sure there are adults out there who choose not to spend time with me because of my ill behavior. There are a few people in the world who I avoid because I don't like the way they act. That's my prerogative as an adult*. And I wasn't talking that loud. And other people were talking, too. But I didn't say any of that, because if I had, she would have asked why I was being so defensive. Plus ça change...

Although I know that I shouldn't be so perturbed by a single comment, I can't help it, because it's my mother. My sister in law heard her and might have thought her behavior was included in the negative assessment, which I'm sure it wasn't. Plain and simple, I was embarrassed, which is silly because I always say that you can only be embarrassed by your own behavior. And if you usually try to do the right thing, which I optimistically believe most people do, you should be fine. I didn't think my behavior was bad, so I'm not sure why I felt so sad. I keep thinking back and questioning my actions, which were not so horrible, I swear! Now, I really am getting defensive. Oops! I really need to let it go, because it taints an otherwise great night.

I hope I remember this feeling when my kids are grownups. At a certain point, you've done all you can do to mold their personalities and you can either like them or not. If you feel that you've failed to turn them into decent adults, so be it. Get a therapist and complain to them about it. Or complain to your co-parent. Or your friends. Just don't tell your kids, because even if they disagree, your opinion will still hurt their feelings. That's just the way it works.

Namasté, y'all!

P.S. Mom, if you're reading, you know I love you, and never fear...I'm quite sure you're not the only parent who's done this. And don't worry about the way I behaved. I really don't think it was that big of a deal that I took off my shirt, lit my hair on fire and danced on the table. Most people thought it was cool.

*By the way, if you are anything like me, you are now humming that Bobby Brown/Britney Spears song in your head. Or even out loud. "Duh duh duh duh DUNH! It's the way that I wanna' liiiiiiiive..."

1 comment:

Brenda said...

I'm sorry your evening was tainted. It looks like a great event, and I can see why you would go every year.

BTW, you are braver than I am to blog about your mom! I am too scared of the thought of her reading my blog to ever post anything negative. I'd never hear the end of it!