Some daughters are very close with their mothers. They talk on the phone at least once a day, share secrets, and when it’s time to get married, these daughters want their mothers to be involved, very involved, right down to attending their raunchy bachelorette weekend. Wait, what? Whaaaaat?
The Times reports that the today’s mothers-of-the-bride are hipper and cooler and closer with their daughters, so they want to hang, especially if the hanging means drinking with the girls and giggling over penis necklaces. But the trend isn’t that some mom is attending chill bachelorette festivities held at a local dive or a spa or in someone’s basement; that’s not super weird. We’re talking about about the moms who are flying to Miami and Vegas to throw down at hard-partying bachelorette parties — and daughters are increasingly cool with this. One mother went so far as to secure a V.I.P. table at a male strip club for her daughter’s bachelorette and even supplied the dollar bills, because mom always remembers the important details. <3
Why is this happening? Experts note that social media—everyone’s favorite scapegoat—frequently dissolves the line between Parent and Friend; if your mom follows both you and all of your friends on Instagram and is liking every ka-razy photo you guys post, she’s inserted herself into your virtual social circle enough that it supposedly won’t seem weird or beyond the lines of social acceptability if she tags along for one last sowing of your wild oats (disagree, but okay). Moreover, weddings—and the long, convoluted string of events leading up to the big day—have become so goddamned important that it’s not unexpected that moms would want a chance to co-star in any part of the celebration.
Novelist Saralee Rosenberg, age 60, is one such mother. And what she tells the Times is kinda sad.
For Ms. Rosenberg, the idea of being part of the celebration was a second chance to experience something she had missed. She met her husband on a blind date when she was 22; a year later, they were married.
“My parents didn’t think it would last, so I didn’t have a big wedding or an engagement party, let alone a bachelorette party,” she said. “When I had two daughters, I thought, ‘I’ll live vicariously through them.’ ”
I am sorry, truly, that Rosenberg didn’t get to experience the dick-drenched majesty and vomit-flecked travesty of a bachelorette party; no woman should be left to suffer through nearly four decades of FOMO. Alas, Rosenberg’s daughter, Alex Gilbert, wasn’t having it—Rosenberg wasn’t invited to the bachelorette party (oh god, I hate to imagine the conversation where she broke the news to mom). Gilbert knows what’s up with all of these tagalong mothers. “They want to prove they’re still young,” she tells the Times.
Ah, yes. These women have something to prove; they’re fueled by their self-insistence of their own eternal youthfulness. This desire to tag along on a raunchy night with one’s own child, to experience her life just as she does, is exactly what happens when a woman internalizes society’s message that she is only worth a damn if she’s young and dewy and carefree, things that we all supposedly cease to be the minute we spit out offspring or, worse, show signs of aging.
No matter what you believe about the role of mothers in their adult daughters’ lives, a mom’s conscious decision to “live vicariously through them” (and for hours I have been unable to shake the fact that Rosenberg said those words aloud, willingly and perfectly articulating children’s worst suspicions about over-involved parents) is the exact point at which a mom goes all Single White Female on her own child. It propels the parent-child relationship down a confusing, twisty rabbit hole—the same rabbit hole where, coincidentally, Dina Lohan, Kris Jenner, and the Real Housewives live. And as soon as there’s enough Tito’s to flood the hole, everyone drowns.
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