When the truth hurts… or… the difficulties of moving back in with your mom at 35.

February 27, 2008

So I ask you all (whoever and wherever you are) this question. Is it wrong to point out to one’s mother that she is mischaracterizing herself?

Today, we were having a fun morning, that is, my mother and I, admiring our work. We have been reorganizing the kitchen. We started with the pantry, then moved to the fridge/freezer, and finished off with the cabinets. I was going to post pictures, but lo and behold, that spawned a whole other argument later in the evening.

Anyway, to give some background, I’ve been living in California for the last five years. Now my mother’s house is impeccable when you see it. But she is a packrat. And behind every closet door and in every cabinet, there is an unorganized mess. I thought it’d be fun to help organize it all. So i put together this project list and placed it in the kitchen. Hopefully we get through a project per week at a minimum. Faster, of course, is better.

So my mom, in admiring her work this morning, states, “I am not the type of person who likes clutter. I like to organize things from the inside out.” To which I, of course, replied, “Your behavior doesn’t necessarily indicate that, you know.” Ok, ok. Total disclosure. It was more like, “You’re kidding, right? The fact that we are doing these weekly projects in the first place shows that that isn’t true.” In further discussion on the matter, I did, in fact, use the previous line.

Now, I’m not saying that my mom is a mess. She’s clearly not. But we had it out. She was immediately offended and started in with the “oh well, you’re so perfect” bullshit, and “now we’re going to what you just love to do, arguing arguing.”

While her first statement was certainly untrue, her second statement might be somewhat true. I like to “discuss” stuff. But I also will call a spade a spade. I asked her to reflect on the statement she just made and admit that she doesn’t necessarily live by her words that started the whole issue.

So this is the difficulty I face. The obvious thing is not to criticize one’s mother. Let her have her thoughts and just go along with it. But the thing that bothers me is that I wasn’t particularly malevolent toward her by any means when I made my initial comment. So what’s the harm in having an opposing idea, even when it’s your mom? What’s your opinion?

Update:  I’ve been coached by one friend to stop being such an obstinate SOB!  Sound advice, imho.

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2 Responses to “When the truth hurts… or… the difficulties of moving back in with your mom at 35.”

  1. D.E.S.H. Says:

    I’m either the wrong one or just the type of prick to agree with you on this one for no other reason than because you’re right. As someone who has devoted his life to being right, I revel in any opportunity to ‘discuss’ any and all inaccuracies that spew forth from mom’s mouth. Especially when their statement and actions are in direc conflict with each other. And no, there is no malevolence involved. It’s like brushing her teeth with her non-dominant hand, it keeps her mind sharp.

  2. sessoms Says:

    I appreciate that! I guess the only difference is that while your mother might be annoyed, she can argue back intelligently. My mother just totally misses the point and blames me for being critical. I throw up my hands.


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