Mom: Jacqui, Rosa [mother's overly dramatic and super manipulative maid], doesn't want to stay over tonight, so I would like you and Beau to come over here and spend the night with me.
Me: But Mom I have plans, and you're only giving me three hours notice.
Mom: Yes, so? What plans do you have that you can't cancel? It's not like you're entertaining the ambassador to Iraq.
I can't just tell her I'm sick because that just won't do. If I'm sick I can just wear a mask and keep my distance, just so long as Rosa's happy, and Mom has some kind of company. If I told her the truth it would probably go something like this.
Me: Mom, I can't come over tonight because I'm too sick.
Mom: You're always sick, you can just wear one of those nice little masks that the Japanese wear, and keep your distance.
Me: No, Mom I really don't feel well, you know I'd come and help but not when I've got the flu, and you're really not giving me much notice. I'll try to find someone to come and stay with you.
Mom: Just how sick are you? It's not like you're having your appendix removed.
Me: Well, now that you've mentioned it, I am...having my appendix removed, so I just can't come.
Mom: Nonsense! Who's the doctor, I'll just give him a call, tell him to reschedule, and send over a nice bottle of Scotch.
The worst thing is when I can't do the exact thing my Mom asks me to do at the very second when she asks me to do it. When I don't reply with a resounding, "How high?" when she commands me to jump, in front of her friends, I always feel like the biggest loser in the good daughter department. I can just hear the hiss of disapproval, the gossip between mouthfuls of salty bridge mix.
Oh what an awful girl!
Needing to have her appendix removed, when her poor mother is all alone, how could she?
In my day and age we didn't question our parents, we just did what they asked, even if you were swimming in life threatening gastric juices!
Me: Look Mom I've asked everyone I know, and I really can't make it. It isn't fair that Rosa is just telling you now that she doesn't want to stay. She's just mad at Carla (mom's weekend housekeeper who Rosa reluctantly agreed to cover for, but who she absolutely hates and is always trying to get fired), and wants to cause trouble. Just tell her she'll have to stay. This isn't fair.
Mom: All right Jacqui, you can stay home with your little sickness, I'll tell her to stay.
Me: Mom I really do care about you, you know I'd come if I could. I don't want your friends to think I don't love you.
Mom: (To her friends.) She doesn't want you to think she doesn't love me.
Roberta: Tell her if she really loved you she'd come over when you ask her to.
Ahhh the twist of the knife in the belly of my guilt. Roberta is there. Roberta, Rowena's famous twin sister. There's nothing like a bunch of eighty-something year olds, sitting around with your Mom, commenting on what a crappy daughter you are, to get your Mom all stirred up and angry. Mother's friends are always going to be imminently superior in the child raising department, well, at least in the mind of my mother. Their children are captains of industry and well, I'm just a wanna be actor/writer/director/producer/artist shmo.
Oh did you hear, Roberta's boys just bought her a lovely summer house in the Hamptons?
Jacqui has fifty cats and a dozen pet rats.
Roberta really is throwing a party for the Ambassador to Iraq, and about five hundred of her closest friends.
Jacqui lost fifty pounds and gained back one hundred.
Roberta and Roweena spent the summer on a yacht in the Mediterranean.
Jacqui went to a nude beach in Hawaii.
Roberta bought a beautiful antique sterling tea service (my mother's) for her beautiful brownstone mansion in Washington, DC
Jacqui associates with all of those naked pot smoking hippies at Burning Man
Roberta's father was the head of the entire Pacific Fleet during World War II
Jacqui sits around all day playing with her computer.
The French are so grateful they gave Roberta and Rowena a fabulously decorated apartment in the best arrondissement, and a chauffeur drives her around Paris in a beautiful Rolls Royce that they keep in a garage just for her.
Jacqui's son is twelve and goes to a weird liberal arts school in Santa Monica.
Roberta's son is Senator John McCain....I kid you not.
Damnit. Having a brave, war-hero, who was almost president, for a son, is the ultimate trump card. I could win an Academy Award, thank only my mother at the podium, jump up and down and say, "God Give the Right Might!" and I still wouldn't be able to beat that. Besides even I, "bleeding heart" liberal that I am, have to grudgingly admit that I kind of like the guy.
A great short article about Roberta