The story of my life

May 4, 2008

My mother asked me yesterday on the phone a question that did not surprise me, even though I’ve been with my new company for nearly two years.

“What is it you *do* there?” she asked.

I told her.

“Oh,” she said. “I had someone ask me the other day, and I couldn’t tell them. I said that I thought you were in management or something.”

Uh, no. Not particularly.

“Oh,” she said.

I wanted to say, “Mom, there are a million things you don’t know about me, because you’ve never asked. You assume you know things about my life, but you don’t know. I’d be happy to tell you, but I just always assumed that if you were interested that you would ask.”

I didn’t, of course. But I wanted to.



  1. Reading the (unfinished) autobiography of my dear departed grandfather, I’m realising how little I actually knew about him. Now that he’s gone, I regret not learning more about him when I had the chance.

  2. Wow. So, you two are really close then?

  3. Maybe you should have said what you thought. What could it hurt?
    After my father had died, my aunt, his sister, told me: “Your father was very proud of you. Did you know he saved every column you ever wrote?”
    “Interesting,” I said. “Too bad he never told me that. Too bad he never once told me he was proud of me.”
    Nothing I can do now, so I let it go, but it would have been nice, y’know. Just like it would be nice if your mother had a complete handle on what her bright and talented daughter does.

  4. PS I like the Sunday Brunch photo.

  5. Lonie ~ I’m sure that I’m as guilty as the next person for not asking enough questions of the people I love — but I’d like to hope that I could tell you, in detail, how most of the people I love spend their days. Maybe that’s just me. And maybe I’m not asking the questions *they’d* like me to ask. An interesting thought.

    Say It~ Dammit, woman, I love you!!!

    Ian ~ Thank you, my friend. I know it’s probably an ego thing for me, but when people ask questions, it means they’re interested in you. I love that feeling. I’m glad that you were able to find out that your dad saved all your columns. It says a lot about how proud he was of you. And thank you for your kind comments, as always — I took them on a lark, thinking I might go back to the match.com scene. You see how much more I’ve done besides just taking the photos! (i.e. nothing) 🙂

  6. My mom is the exact same way. She calls a lot, but mostly just blathers on about herself. She has no idea what’s going on in my life because she never asks and there’s never a pause for me to jump in. And she doesn’t hear me, anyway.

    Your mom and mine remind me of this great exchange from the movie “Mother,” with Albert Brooks and Debbie Reynolds:

    Mom: I love you, son.
    Son: Well, I know you think you do, Mom.

  7. Hi, Jim ~ Yep. Sounds like we’ve got the same mom. Although, yesterday when my mom asked me what I was up to and what’s new, I completely clammed up, not wanting to tell her, so perhaps it’s more of a two-way thing than I realize. The quote is awesome, by the way.

  8. Ah, yeah. Once I was trying to tell my Mom something I really needed to talk about (the difficult childbirth I just went through) and she actually stuck her fingers in her ears and said, “I don’t want to hear this.”

  9. Citizen ~ All I can think of is, “Wow. That’s a bummer.” The whole parent-child dynamic is so heavily laden, isn’t it?

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