Do all mothers believe their daughters must be banded, i.e., married, in order to achieve happiness in life? Or is that just mine?
Do all mothers lose consciousness as they get older of the potentially flushed-face embarrassment their actions can inspire in attempting to orchestrate such happiness for their daughters? Or is that just mine?
I cringe as I write this. Still. It happened this weekend and I still cringe.
I visited my Mom this past weekend. Mom is the perpetual newlywed these days. To say she's happily married seems somehow lacking. Brainwashed seems more appropriate. But, you know, in a good way. Suffice it to say my Mom is the happiest I've ever seen her.
The set up for this brief glimpse of my horror is a phone conversation I had with Mom sometime during the past couple weeks. She mentioned that she ran into an old high school friend of my older sister. This friend has a younger brother John who had been in my grade in school and who, the last I had heard, had entered into the military with the intention of becoming a pilot. I remember this classmate - from elementary school in fact - as the annoying little brother of my sister's friend who tripped me as I ran up the stairs at his house and with whom I got in trouble in Mrs. Troyer's 4th grade class because our impromptu contest of who could spell "Mississippi" the fastest got a little on the, um, loud side. So, just smack me for my stupidity, I made the ultimate error in this exchange: I asked Mom if the friend had said how her brother John was doing.
I know. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW!
The answer was ... oh she had forgotten about him. No, no, she didn't think to ask. Mistake #2: I forgot about the conversation after that.
I know. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW!
Back to this past weekend. I was inside the door for roughly five minutes before Mom got all excited and said, "Oh, before I forget." The woman then produced a scrap of paper with two phone numbers on it - the friend's home and cell phone number.
I looked at her blankly as she explained that she got those for me so I could call the friend.
My look turned a bit more pale and incredulous as, at my blank look, Mom further explained that I could ask the friend about John.
I tried to explain how odd it would be for me to call this woman up - this woman who had been my SISTER'S friend, not mine - and ask about her brother out of the blue.
My mother's response to this sensible concern? Oh, well, she could call for me.
Now my look turned the shade of mortified that keeps creeping up on me each and EVERY time I think of this conversation.
"NOOOOOOOO! Mom ... Mom ... no. Seriously, if you see her again, then sure, asking about him is fine but for God's sake do NOT go out of the way to ... just no. Please ... no."
Uh oh ... wait a second ...
"Um ... where did you get those numbers?"
"Oh, from a woman that works with her."
The woman hunted down contact information like a detective!! It feels as if she turned an offhand question about a childhood friend into a mother's quest for a man for her child. Now, I realize that Mom just wants me to be happy ... but encouragement for me to be happy with my life as it is now is what I need, not the Mom attempt at matchmaking.
In short, I made the rookie mistake of mentioning any male in my mother's presence. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
Oh ... and ...
What did my Mom say to secure the friend's home and cell phone numbers from a coworker? I didn't ask. I couldn't ask. I can only hope that the imagined conversation in my head is much worse than reality. But, really, I'm incapable right now of thinking of a version of that conversation that doesn't make me cringe.