Cool Mom, Stupid Mom
STOP MAKING ME ACT LIKE MY MOTHER! I yelled those words at Bella when she was 10 and driving me to madness (which she has continued to do ever since). When I was 14, I knew for sure, that, when I grew up, I would not be my mother. Never,ever. “I will NEVER yell at my kids” I would scream at my mother. Oh no, I WOULD be a cool mom.
And sometimes I am. I talk about boys, sex, drugs, clothes, BIU’s (bitches in Uggs) and, lots of other things with Bella. However, that Jewish chicken soup thing is far deeper than reason. It goes back thousands of years. It is actually, I now know, a gene. And despite my best efforts, despite all the years of therapy, despite moving 3000 miles away for 8 years, I am my mother… almost. No, I don’t wipe everything down with Windex, I leave the kitchen table covered with crumbs for…days. (Yes, I admit). And I don’t fold all my clothes the minute I take them off and put them neatly away in.
I was a nerdy cool kid. I smoked pot in high school. But I was a responsible pot smoker. Only once a month. I counted. And ONLY on the weekends. I got good grades, was the high school starlet, and trusted by my parents (which is EXACTLY WHY I KNOW BETTER). I never let a boy touch me ANYWHERE lest it lead to pregnancy.
Yes, I would never be my mother, because she married the kindest, most wonderful dad in the world and perhaps because of their frequent
arguments (you don’t know when you’re 14 that, in Jewish homes, mom is the ruler of the roost, it says so in the Talmud) I decided to not be aggressive or assertive or argumentative and instead, chose men that would bully me around because there was no way I was going to be like my mother and control the man in my life, and cause unknown grief and stress to my child, who would then hate me and blame all her problems on me .
(Sidebar: Unfortunately, I didn’t marry the first controlling SOB I loved, because he went on to be a high, power, multimillionaire New York lawyer and is now in the throws of divorce with his wife who is getting at least $10 million. Yes I would have been miserable for 20 years, but I would have been rich and miserable, instead of poor and miserable—and his kid is in therapy anyway so what difference would have it made?
But I didn’t take that ad sales job at GOOGLE either in 2001 because I thought selling key words with be the most boring job EVER and instead stuck it out at another dot com winner who’s options I got at $6 that turned into .50. Although, I did make the $1500 that I used to help me build this website, which I hope will make me millions so perhaps there is a light at the end of the tunnel.)
Back to my coolness. My daughter felt comfortable enough to tell me that she wanted to try pot (I MUST be cool, I would have never told my mother that—except I did call her when I was little drunk this week and she asked me how much I had to drink, but I’m not a teenager anymore, so I lied). When Bella told me that, I had an immediate knee jerk reaction which was to tell her she was out of her mind and if she did she would be GROUNDED FOR LIFE. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when, on Sunday she told me that she wished she could be Catholic so she could go to confession and I was like, “what do you need to confess?” And she told me that she had tried pot, when she went to her girlfriend’s sleepover. I had a slow motion response, not thinking that it was too bad, until the whole tale came out on how she and her friend (let’s call her Jezebel), at 8PM on Saturday night (while I was flirting it up with a 25 year old guy in Prime Steakhouse and feeling quite young), took a tram from Roosevelt Island (see the map to notice that it is 6 miles away, on public transportation using a crappy tram where homeless
people hang out) to meet a 14 year-old drug addict boy in Washington Square park to score a doobie from a drug dealer and then proceeded to walk around the cop infested square (I wish she had been arrested). Even though she insisted she only took 3 hits and didn’t get high, her two friends did, and Jezabel’s mother (who doesn’t speak good English) was worried out of her mind because they were supposed to be home at 11 and didn’t turn up until after mid-night.
To which my very cool response was to call Jezabel’s mom and tell her the whole tale which got her grounded for life. That very cool act not only resulted in Jezebel never speaking to Bella again (thank God) but caused an entire revolution on Bella’s 547 friend network on Facebook with everyone taking sides, most of whom were against Bella because after all, how could she be so STUPID to tell her MOTHER????? And THAT act caused a major revolution in my house which resulted in me getting the following text message at work the next day: “wen u com home u will c me dead”, which the 25 year- -old- guy sitting next to me saw. “Tell her to make sure she cleans up before she goes” was his advice. When I told him what happened, he was like, “WHY did she tell YOU? But not to worry. No one gets high the first time they smoke.”
Two days later came this very cool response from my daughter which was “mom, you were right to tell Jezzy’s mother cause she was smoking an awful lot, and her cousin did OD last year, and I think maybe you did save her life.”
Oh my God, I feel like crying.