I would see it happening, little by little, right? I’d recognize it in the tilt of my head, the waggle of a finger, the stern reprimands and silly accusations, or the blatant denial for the patently obvious. I’m not becoming my mother. I refuse to admit it. Nope, I just don’t see it.
First of all, I don’t speak German. I can’t understand it. I don’t particularly want to. The only times she spoke German in the house was when she was really angry and couldn’t remember the English words for things. It’s just as well. To me it sounded an awful lot like, “Blockity block block glockenspiel, DENISE. Was ist das blockity block glocken block, DENISE? Ich verstehe Sie nicht blocken.”
In addition to that, I don’t come home and grill my children. “Did you have people over? I know you did. The house smells like dust!” My mom was famous for that line when I was in high school. My friends still laugh about it. “Denise, what were you doing? The house smells like dust!” I always wanted to respond with, “Oh, that’s good. For a minute I thought you could smell the tequila. Thank God the dust odor covers it…” but I didn’t want to be slapped. “I went up and down the stairs a few times,” I’d say. “Sorry for the over-the-top stair usage.” We also weren’t allowed to sit on the sofa downstairs. It was just for show. To this day, she refuses to acknowledge her behavior as being strange.
Also? I don’t vacuum myself out of rooms. When I was in high school, the only big television we owned was upstairs in my mother’s bedroom. My friends and I would occasionally flip it on. I admit it. I also freely admit that it took me far too long to realize how she knew when I had people over: There were two or three sets of butt imprints on the carpet in front of the TV. Butts of various sizes. Butts that couldn’t all be mine. I’m not joking. Not in the slightest.
I’m a grown woman. I don’t care whose butt imprints are on my carpet. I don’t even notice if my house smells of dust. I only take heed when The Husband starts mewling like a kitten because of his allergies. As for my mother, I like to occasionally bring my children over to her immaculate home. I let them wander close to her crystal sculptures, touch her dust-free decorative objects, pick through the bowls of potpourri. I also like to watch them shuffle back and forth over her perfectly coiffed carpet. She cringes. I can see the wheels whirring in her brain. The Hoover will make an appearance before we’ve even buckled our seat belts.
No, I’m not becoming my mother. I don’t blatantly deny things that are patently obvious to everyone else. In fact, I’ll even let you in on a little secret. Last week my eldest child walked into my closet and said, “Ha. There’s your Mrs. Beasley dress! What is it with you dressing up as cartoon characters?” My jaw dropped. “That dress doesn’t look anything like Mrs. Beasley’s dress. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” My child walked away, pointing at my Mrs. Beasley doll, up on her shelf in the closet. I looked up. “See? You’re so wrong,” I said to no one. “Mrs. Beasley’s dress is polka-dotted. This isn’t like the Minnie Mouse incident from ten years ago.” I could hear laughter coming from his room. “Yes it is!”
I bring forth the following photos to show you that I do not dress up as cartoon characters. I’m a grown woman. I would recognize my own ridiculous behavior. The males in my house are clearly all imagining things.