It's Mother's Day on Sunday, which means that after you get done hastily googling "FLOWER DELIVERY (name of where your mom lives)" we'd like you to take a few minutes to reflect on your relationship with the woman who raised you, and the unintentionally hilarious shit she's said to you as she tried to whittle you into the semi-well adjusted adult you are today.
My normally with-it mom had her most memorable slip into absurdity when we were on a long road trip from our home in Wisconsin to Chicago one January several years ago. I was a captive audience for this trip, the last trip we'd take before I flew to Greece for a semester abroad, and my mom used her time with me in the car to tell me exactly how I was squandering my prime man-finding years by friend zoning all of my male friends from college. I didn't have a boyfriend and didn't want one; I just wanted to drink crappy beer and yell at football games on TV with like-minded individuals, regardless of their gender. Her argument was that now, at age 20, was the time to nail a man down, because I'd never be around more single, intelligent men with good career trajectories and no baggage. She was sort of right, and her advice would have been prescient if marriage was anything on my radar, which it wasn't.
She began listing male friends she'd met — "What about Matt? What about Joe? What about (monosyllabic vanilla name of typical dude at my alma mater)?" And after each one, I'd laugh and say "He's my friend. He's my friend. He's my friend." This infuriated her. Finally, she blew up, intoning loudly, "ERIN, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO LEARN THAT THE WORLD IS NOT SEINFELD AND YOU ARE NOT ELAINE?!"
There was silence for a few seconds as I tried to suppress my laughter, but my efforts were ultimately futile. I laughed. I laughed, knowing that for every second that I laughed, my well-intentioned mother was getting angrier. But I couldn't help it. I've erased the rest of the car ride from my memory, probably because it was full of frowns.
When part of your job is to constantly dispense wisdom, even the most well-intentioned advice can go awry. And sometimes when it goes awry, it's hilarious. Other staff members here have experienced similar moments of hilarity. Like Dodai, who as a teen went to a show at CBGBs during Fleet Week, and her mother advised her to stay away from sailors, as they'd "been away at sea for a long time." Cassie's had her share of hilarity, too: "When I was first dating my now-husband, we were having dinner with my mom and she said to him, 'Well, I think you're great. So if Cassie is dumb enough to break up with you, I'll just adopt you!' He laughed, but I wanted to hide under the table..."
So, spill, readers: what's the funniest thing your mom's done unintentionally?
If you didn't grow up with a "mom" in the traditional sense, feel free to share stories of the most important female figure in your childhood saying ridiculous crap. We're inclusive here.
The best of your stories will be published on Sunday, just in time for you to realize that you can never really repay your mother.