An entry for my mother. . .
The other night (after our finals were over), Toommate and I enjoyed some good old-fashioned television watching. Flipping through the channels, we came to an episode of the Cosby Show. Not just any episode, though. THE episode. The one where Vanessa goes to Baltimore with her friends to see The Wretched in concert. Of course, the car is stolen, their money is stolen, their tickets are stolen, and her parents find out. Which is AWESOME because Clare? Is a BAD. ASS.
She pushes Vanessa through the door and starts shouting about going to BALT.I.MORE to have BIIIIIIG FUN. Didn’t you go to BAL-TI-MORE to have BIIIIIIG FUN, seeing your WRETCHED? Vanessa stammers a response and Clare (awesome Clare) interrupts her, saying, “DON’T ANSWER ME WHEN I ASK YOU A QUESTION!!!!”
I honestly get shivers just thinking about it. Toommate and I were in awe of The Amazing Angry Clare, and I told Toommate that my mother had always been good at that, the scolding and yelling when we did something phenomenally stupid.
Toommate: Really? She yelled?
Me: (shudders, remembering) Yeah. Most of the time I totally deserved it, but when she got going? Oooh, it was awful.
Toommate: What was the biggest thing you ever got yelled at about?
Me: (without hesitation) The cookies in the closet.
Me: In the closet.
Toommate: In the closet?
Me: Cookies in the closet.
Yes, it’s very sad and pathetic. When I was in the 7th or 8th grade, Mom came home for a shopping trip to Sam’s. I was helping her unload the car and I saw a big bag of Famous Amos chocolate chip pecan cookies. I hid them under my shirt and took them back to my room. I hid them in my closet. I have. No idea. Why.
Later, Mom was all, “Where are the cookies? I could have sworn I bought cookies?” She started going crazy, trying to figure out what had happened to them. She checked her Sam’s receipt. Yup, the cookies had indeed been paid for. Where could they have gone?
That night, we had some friends over. The kids all congregated in my room. I showed Shanna the cookies, and shared some with her. I told her it was a big secret.
Shanna was not good at keeping secrets, apparently. She was not to be trusted.
Mom kept going on and on about the cookies. She cornered me:
Mom who was going crazy and couldn’t just let the cookies go: Have you seen the cookies?
Me: (shaking) No. I haven’t seen them. Maybe you left them in the cart? Are they still in the car?
Mom who was going crazy and really really couldn’t just let the cookies go: (distractedly) No, I checked. Where could they have gone!?
So I thought it was over, right? WRONG. Mom actually gets on the PHONE and CALLS some of our friends, asking if they had seen them. Of course, little miss Shanna the Snitch tells her the cookies are in fact in MY closet.
Oh. My. Gak. The walls shook when Mom came charging into my bedroom and pulled the (now half-full bag of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Pecan cookies) out of my closet.
Beyond livid Mom whose eyes had turned red and whose words were like little bolts of fire piercing my skull and stomach: You lied to me!? How could you lie to me!? I asked you POINT. BLANK. if you had seen the cookies and you said NO, YOU HADN’T SEEN THEM, AND HERE I AM GOING CRAZY THINKING I’M INSANE AND THEY’VE BEEN IN YOUR CLOSET THIS WHOLE TIME? DO YOU REALIZEWHATTHISMEANS? I CAN’TTRUSTYOUANYMOREYOUHAVELOSTMYTRUST!!! YOU. LIIIIIED TO ME!!!!
Me, crying my eyes out: I’m sorry! I’m sorry. It won’t happen again!
Mom, looking shocked that I’d even dare to speak ever again: You’re right it won’t happen again. How could you lie about this? (And she prepares to shoot the dagger, the trump card every kid dreads:) You realize it will be a Long. Time. Before I can even THINK of trusting YOU again. I hope it was worth it. You lost my trust for some COOKIES. I hope it was worth it.
Me: Silenced. There is nothing worse than this. All for cookies. I’m such a moron.
So yeah. I was grounded for a month. My longest grounding ever, and that’s including the time I flunked Economics senior year, including the time I got a 1.5 my first semester of college, even including the time I dropped out of school.
She was totally right though. I’d lied. And she called me on it. And (as I still remember this entire experience and how I spent a month playing Nintendo 64 with my little brother) it made an impact.
So I related this story to Toommate, who (besides laughing so hard she was practically crying because honestly? Cookies?!!?!?) said something very wise and sobering:
Wise Toommate: Isn’t it weird to think that your parents will never yell at you like that again?
Wow. She was right. They really won’t. I mean, sometimes I get phone messages from Mom that say, “Alida Diane!!! You call me back. Right. Away.” to which I think, “Yeah. Right. Like I’m going to call that tone of voice back. Hell no.” But aside from that, I’m actually a grown-up. Mom will always be my mom, she’ll always have that power over me (the power to make me scramble around and think, “Oh my goodness, what have I done now? Did I bounce another check? (Not that I bounce checks. I just have experience with that. In my youth. Yeah.) What did I do?). But she’ll never really yell at me again.
I don’t think I’m sad. Hell, I know I’m not sad. It’s not fun seeing the dog hide because you’ve done something so abysmally stupid that your mother is yelling so loudly they can hear her in Yemen. But it just made me think about the end of being a kid, I guess. That part of my life is over. And that’s kind of cool.
Wait, do you guys hear that? Seriously? That laughter? And those voices? Listen closely. . .
Voice that sounds like Mom: You think it’s over? HA! Wait until YOU have kids, missy moo!
Voice that sounds like Grandmama: I told you so, Julie. I told you so.
Now I’ve officially scared myself.
I LOVE YOU, MAMA!!!!