Monday, February 8, 2010

Pleasing Mom

I am 46 and still worry about pleasing my mother. I know deep inside that she loves me unconditionally, and wants to be a help, but yet, her motherly advice and remarks often come off as criticism, and sometimes I just don't feel like dealing.

Today my mother and I were at the mall. We made a date so that she could hand deliver my official license plate. Four weeks ago, my parents bought me a Santa Fe Hyundai. They insited that I stop driving my 12 year old Jeep Cherokee and get a safe, reliable car. My mother and I had lunch followed by a little shopping.

After walking around for a while, I thought she might be tired. It has been 2 1/2 months since hip replacement surgery and this was her first time gallavanting around town without my dad. I offered to pick her up at the mall entrance and drive her to her car. She accepted the ride.

As I approached the black SUV, I noticed a small white spot on the passenger side door. I rubbed it with a little bit of saliva. It did not go away. I rubbed it again. Hmmmm. I noticed another spot. I wasn't happy. I hadn't noticed these dings before.

The car was almost a month old. My parents bought it for me. This Santa Fe was my first brand new car. I practically ran my blazing red '98 Jeep Cherokee into the ground. I owned it for seven years.

As a first time new car owner, I was doing my best to take care of it without being obsessive. But now, noticing these dings, I felt a nervous rush of "Oh Shit" wash over me. My mom would be upset. I did not want to hear the disappointment in her voice as she might say: "Oh honey, you've got to park it far away from all the other cars" or "Lord, you're gonna ruin this car before its paid for" or "YOU really have to be more careful. If you keep going at this rate..."

I walked around to the driver's side. I kept pressing on the key switch. The locks did not make a sound. I looked in the window and saw a McDonald's cup and stack of library books on the seat...PHEWWWWWW, this was not my car. I had mistaken a Lexus for my car.

I laughed out loud. I got this image of me practically licking the car to avoid a confrontation, and it was quite ridiculous. When I got to my car just a bit further down the lane, I was happy to see that besides a little bit of dirt, there were no dings.

I picked my mother up, and she told me how delighted she was to see how nice I was keeping the car. She turned to me, "Do you like your seat that far back? You might want to put your seat more upright. I find it's less stressful on the back."