>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen

September 17, 2007

A couple of months ago, Allison Parks wrote this article about how her mother was slowly, but very surely driving her insane. I would like to present a rebuttal to the presentation of her mother. My platform? My situation is by far much, much worse.

Since I moved back from Los Angeles I’ve had the same work schedule. Every other morning I have to wake up at 5 to get to work by 6. I’ve timed it perfectly so that I can roll out of bed at 5:15, continue to roll into my work clothes, brush my teeth, throw on some mascara, and sleep-walk out of the house by 5:40. And ideally, this is what should happen.

But sure as dogs pissing on a brick wall every morning at 4:45, my mother insists on whipping the door open to alert me that it is indeed 4:45 in the morning, and that I need to go to work. Though I yearn to beat her back into her own bedroom, I’m always too sleepy to do anything but groan an angry “I KNOW!” Unsatisfied with my response, she slams my door so hard when she leaves that it wakes the dog, who doesn’t stop barking until I am forced to get out bed to console him.

“My mom loves the granny panties—can’t get enough of them at six for ten bucks. What a steal.”

Not once have I ever been late to work, and my mother loves to attribute that to her own doing, not to the fact that I have three alarms in my room set to wake me up a reasonable 30 minutes later.

If we’re all the product of our environment, then why should I have to wear shoes? I grew up in Southern Florida where you only wore shoes to school and to church. The rest of the time, every child in the neighborhood ran wild without shoes. On the blacktop, over the grass, through the gravel, off the cement and into the pool—no shoes. Consequently, years later, I only wear shoes to work and any other store that requires them to receive service. Regardless of the fact that I have been running around barefoot since I could walk, my mother continues to pressure me into wearing slippers. Probably because the bottoms of my feet are black and hard as wood.

At least five to seven times a day my mother asks me why I don’t wear slippers. I move from the dining table to the kitchen and it’s, “Where are your slippers?” I go down to the basement to get the laundry: “Your feet will get cold. Why don’t you put on your slippers?” I take the dog out to poop in the backyard: “Get some slippers on, it’s raining.” She never once had to tell me to finish my vegetables, so I believe she’s compensating with the slippers. Now, I am well aware that the slippers exist. I have three pairs of them, given to me as gifts the past three Christmases. They’re cheaper than flip-flops at Wal-Mart. And obviously, I’d wear them if I wanted to, but I prefer to go without them.

My mother and I both hate driving with each other. If I don’t eat a substantial meal before I get into her car, my stomach goes haywire and attempts to buck itself out of my lower torso. Even more annoying, she just bought a new Prius. If you haven’t been in one of these cars, let me warn you about the GPS system: It will speak to you at every single turn…literally.

We could be going over to my aunt’s house, a place we’ve been every holiday for the past thirty years, and my mother still insists on using the GPS. It’s a grueling 45 minutes of, “In a moment, be prepared to turn right. After this light, be prepared to turn left. Stay on this road, followed by stay on this road.” The only way this system could be somewhat tolerable is if it pointed out attractive men in upcoming cars. “Hot Asian with big penis in red Honda on your right. Charming med school student with slight drinking problem in blue Toyota to your left. Emotionally unattainable yet devastatingly handsome Marine in black truck behind you.”
Only then will I feel like I’m getting my miles worth and also saving the environment.

Whenever the Momster rides with me she insists on sitting in the backseat. Apparently when I drive her anxiety skyrockets. And she’s already rocking high blood pressure, so when we go anywhere it’s like I’m driving Miss Daisy, only my voice isn’t as soothing as Morgan Freeman’s and she’s more like a coked up Rosie O’Donnell than a dainty, fragile Daisy.

While my mother has very good intentions just like every other mom, she is obsessed with Costco. She goes at least twice a week and comes back with at least enough meat for a family of six and “something little for me she thought I’d like.” And every single time it’s either athletic socks or high-top granny panties.

She loves the granny panties—can’t get enough of them at six for ten bucks. What a steal. Every time I see them, I tell her they’re too high, and she insists that past the belly button is where panties should fall. Even when I kindly tell her to return them she leaves the offending entities on my bed in hopes that she’ll eventually wear me down and I’ll put them on. And once I did. I put them on my dog. She didn’t appreciate the humor of it one bit—neither did the dog.

I think she gets me the granny panties to derail my weekend plans. While I live in under her roof I have to live under her rules right? Wrong. I inherited my grandmother’s share of the two-flat so for all legal purposes it’s my roof too. You would assume that by 24 years of age I could come home whenever my drunken little heart desired, but I can’t, because she waits up for me. She claims she can’t sleep until she knows I am safe and sound. For four years I ran around the state of Wisconsin inebriated, held my friends’ hair back as they puked into the snow, ordered pizza at 4am for all medicinal purposes, even lived in sin with my boyfriend junior year, and yet she was able to sleep soundly, calling me every two weeks just to make sure I was alive. Now I’m not home before 2am and she’s calling me more than Hilton, Lohan and Spears call their lawyer combined.

A long while ago, when Chris Rock was funny, he mentioned that men have to go to the bar right after work before they come home because their wives bombard them with questions. And I never really agreed with him until recently.

I get home from work or an audition and all I want to do is eat some food and watch TV for 30 minutes, but I can’t because it’s, “What time are you going to work tomorrow? What time do you get off work? Is your alarm set? Do you want me to wake you up? Have you walked the dog? When was the last time he was out? Did you talk to you father about the air conditioner? When was the last time you had your tires rotated? Did you pay your insurance? A credit card company left a message, you did pay your bill on time, right? What are you eating? You shouldn’t put so much salt on your food you’ll get diabetes. What’s that actor’s name from that show you were watching last night? What else has he been in?” And on and on and on until I crack and tell her I’m going to Starbucks, a six-block walk and code for “The Bar Across from Starbucks.”

Mom’s going senile in her old age too. Earlier this week I told her that Rachael McAdams was the actress from The Notebook and Mean Girls. She kept looking at me like I was a balding used car salesman trying to sell her a lemon. I even went so far as to prove I was right on IMDB, but to no avail; she just wanted to look up whether or not the guy from Columbo was dead. Two hours and a long car ride to Blockbuster later, I showed her the credits of two movies and proved that I was right, to which she replied, “Oh her hair was just dyed differently, that’s why I didn’t believe you…(looks down at the floor)….Why don’t you go put on those green house slippers I gave you. They’ll match your eyes.”

Yes, I have poop brown slippers with the tags still on hanging in my closet.