(One of my mother's favorite songs, decided whilst sitting at the kitchen table and listening to the entire Great Rock and Roll Swindle album with my best friend and I in 6th grade.)
You always hear stories about women freaking out over "becoming their mothers"- or at least, this is an old schtick in the same vein as women eating pints of Ben and Jerry's while crying, buying lots of shoes, and freaking out over never getting married. So, being that I'm not Cathy and this particular schema doesn't apply to me, you shouldn't be too surprised to hear that, hell, if I were to turn into my mother, that would be freaking awesome. My mom is pretty bad ass.
Here's a story: Back in elementary school, they had these "Santa's Workshops" during Christmas time and kids were taken down there one group at a time to go buy some crappy sweatshop made gifts for their parents and siblings. Whatever. Anyway, one year my mother got roped into volunteering. It was not long before I had all these kids coming up to me saying "Your mom is so awesome! She taught me how to shoplift!"
Now, let me explain. See, I went to a *really* classy school. Except not. See, at Santa's Sweatshop, the kids who didn't have any money with which to purchase tacky paperweights and compasses had to stand up against the wall while the other kids shopped. Nice, huh? Because that's not anything that could embarass the crap out of a 10 year old or anything. Anyway, my mother, horrified by the situation, goes up to the kids up against the wall and tells them that they're going to be in her group. She then takes them on a tour of Santa's Sweatshop, flamboyantly showing them how to shove the various knicknacks up their sleeves. After that, even the kids that had money pretended they didn't so they could be in her group and learn how to shoplift.
This has always been one of my favorite examples, among many, of "how my mother is." Because it's not just that she's funny and silly and a bit rebellious- it's that she has this innate sense of justice and a talent for making people feel special.
My friends were always way excited to see my mother when they came over to visit, which is something I was always so proud of. She wasn't the cookie baking mom, and she wasn't the "Cool Mom" who wanted to smoke pot with teenagers or anything (thank god). We all just sat at the kitchen table and talked about school, and friends, and boys and politics and other things with her. And she was hilarious, and she made people feel important, and worthwhile, and smart, and funny. Even now, when people are going through a rough patch, I always wish they could talk to her.
Another thing people are supposed to say a lot is that their parents don't understand them. I think I'm pretty easy to understand in general, but if there is one person that always "gets it," it's my mother.
One of her sayings, of which she has many, is that people love you for the way you make them feel about themselves- and she's living proof of that. In my life I've never known anyone else that people loved as exuberantly and automatically as they love her. People just want to be around her- my friends, people on planes, people at CVS, Mormon missionaries... It's an amazing quality, and one that I've always, admittedly, been a bit jealous of.
So, you know, even if it means developing a habit of walking around TJ Maxx for two hours, filling up a shopping carriage and then not buying anything, I couldn't ask for anything more awesome than to turn into my mother someday.