Sunday, 10 March 2013

"Are you really going out looking like THAT Debbie?"

"You are going to iron that aren't you Debbie?"

"You're not going out with your hair like that are you Debbie?"

"Pull your skirt down at the back Debbie."

"You do look like a ragbag Debbie."

"When are you going to stop dressing like a student Debbie?"

"Mind you don't trip on the stairs."

"Don't fall down the cellar stairs."

"Have you thought about how easy it would be for someone to break in?"

"You're not going to walk home alone after dark are you Debbie?"

"Well, it'll be very difficult to clean."

"Do you really go to work looking like that?"

"How can you go around without any shoes on?"

"When are you going to dress your age?"

"Don't swear Debbie. It's so ugly."

Yeah. Ma's in town. 

I'm 36 years old and nothing changes. Nothing. She's like one of those dolls with a string that you pull and a choice of a few set phrases come out. For the last 26 years.

Some things I know for sure include the fact that it's now likely she's never going to get over my refusal to buy clothes at Next, M&S and Whistles; that she is never going to get over my foul mouth; that neither of us can infuriate each other quite like any one else in the world can. But mostly that she loves me very much.

She may take issue with my hair, clothes and language but she has never, ever judged me on the fact that I'm always single, don't want kids, don't have a proper, defined career path, am frequently in trouble with authority figures and don't live life to the more normal path of a 36 year old. She has never once bleated at me about grandchildren, about how I should get a husband or anything of that ilk. Quite the opposite, in fact. She has always been very clear that she wants me to be happy and she is also very clear about the fact that catching a man and having children isn't my only choice in life.

She's phenomenally judgmental about small things I do (yeah, I don't brush my hair very often. what of it ma?) and yet extremely understanding about the big things. She's endlessly supportive when I go through crisis after crisis - she has helped me move house three times in less than a year. She is there every time I have to go to hospital to get some random organ removed, no matter how far away we live from each other. She find it difficult to talk about dad, but she listens when I do. She has endured tantrums, screaming and endless, endless relationship problem talk from me. "But whyyyyy doesn't he love me?" and has never said "Oh belt up and get over it."

When my daddy died, she immediately became a rock that I still marvel at today. If she had fallen apart I would have fallen apart. But she didn't. She kept going. And when her new partner died about six years later, she still kept going. She is a tiny lady with a steel core. She's 67 and works her arse off looking after my brother's kids, volunteering at some random shop place and being nice to old people.

And today may be an arbitrary nonsense day designed to sell cards, flowers and general tat but it's as good a day as any to dedicate a blog post to my living hero, my rock, my irritatingly-obsessed-with-cleaning, my kind-hearted and devoted ma. Happy mother's day. I hope y'all got as lucky as me when it came to the parental lottery.




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