I went to Greece in August for my cousin’s wedding, and my parents didn’t go. Instead, they came up to my house from D.C. (where they live) to watch my dogs for me. This is the conversation I had prior to the wedding with my rather old-school mother as I tried to explain that while the rest of the family, who my mother thought would be there to “take care of me”, jetted off to Santorini after the wedding in Athens, I was going to use that as an excuse to see Prague instead since the flight wasn’t terribly expensive.
This is how the loop of insanity goes when she gets nervous because I do something out of her extremely narrow comfort zone, and I first try to soothe her and then realize nothing short of living in a drawer in her bedroom will work, so I get annoyed and begin the process of trying to shock her into realizing she better get used to it. So far it seems after about 30 years, neither of our methods are working here. At least we are consistent.
Mom: Wait. You’re going to go BY YOURSELF!?!!!
Me: Mom, I’m 38.
Mom: Where is Prague, Germany?
Me: No, it’s in the Czech Republic.
Mom: (*Dead air*)
Me: For the love of God, everyone in this family is or was an educator of some sort, including Dad and me! Go get the Atlas.
Mom: Okay, I got it. What is it near?
Me: It’s in Eastern Europe.
Mom: Oh my God. ISIS has cells all over the place there! I am going to be worried sick the whole time. How can you do this to me?
Me: Do what to you exactly, live my life?Mom, ISIS has cells all over the place HERE. I live right outside Manhattan and terrorists blew up the World Trade Center, remember? If I’m going to die, it can happen here too.
Mom: But this is America.
Me: Okay, I’m not even sure what kind of logic that is. Do you know there is something called the Global Peace Index that is done every year? It is basically an assessment on every country in the world ranked by safest to least safest. The Czech Republic is ranked the 6th safest country in the world in 2016, whereas the U.S. is ranked 103rd. So, I’m actually exponentially more likely to have something awful happen to me staying home than going to Prague.
Mom: But you’re going ALONE.
Me: Mom, let’s assess here. I live alone. I have lived alone for five years. I haven’t lived in the same house with you and Dad for 17 years and I haven’t even lived in the same STATE for 13 years.
Mom: What are you trying to prove, that you can do all this without a man?
Me: 😫. Mom, you’re far too young to be this OLD! Gloria Steinem is OLDER THAN YOU!!! Your own mother lived alone half her life and traveled alone! If Dad got abducted by aliens tomorrow and they kept him for testing, which they totally would because Dad’s a bad ass and they’d want to know how he got that way and how he’s STILL that way at 70, you’d starve because you wouldn’t know how to access the bank accounts! It’s sad, Mom. Seriously. I shouldn’t NOT see the world because you’re too scared for me to.
Mom: Oh, you with your feminist crap! I’m going to worry you’re dead the whole time! Dateline AND 20/20 show stories all the time about young girls getting abducted overseas. Lisa, they are taking young women now. This is REAL.
Me: I really don’t have time to explain to you all things wrong with the fact that you think 20/20 and Dateline are real News stations. I love you, but I have to get off the phone before I beat myself senseless with the nearest blunt object, and then you won’t even have to worry about a terrorist getting me overseas, I will do the job myself.
Mom: That’s not funny.
Me: Oh, and by the way, I am also going to Kenya over Christmas. Bye!
I’m never going to hear the end of this. But, the bright side is, she has no idea where Kenya is either. According to the state department website, there are actually some terrorist issues there. But there are elephants! 🐘. So it’s all worth it.
1979, Long Island, NY. See? I hadn’t even left the chair, let alone the country, and already she was nervous. And clearly even at a year old and not having any language abilities yet, my sarcastic eye-rolling face says it all. That, and I think I was probably pooping. Ahh, some things never change. (The sarcasm, I mean. I’ve since learned not to shit in my pants. I mastered that skill about six months ago. Go, me!)