Perpetually Peeved

You’ll get back everything you ever did to me… Why crazy is hereditary

If you really want to tick me off, there are two things you can say to me: 1) you’re crazy and 2) you’re just like your mother.  Which, come to think of it, go hand in hand.  If you say either of these things to me, my eyes cross, steam comes out my ears,  and one of the voices I hear in my head sometimes starts chanting, “You want crazy, I’ll show you crazy.”

My sister and I often ponder whether or not our mother has always been crazy or if the circumstances of life (okay, us) made her that way.  The older I get — and *cringe* the more I find myself turning into my mother — the more I think maybe it was us.  See evidence:

Exhibit A:  Talking to yourself

My mother once talked for 23 minutes straight without one word of encouragement or acknowledgment.  This is my worst fear.  But, I find myself doing it sometimes.  I’m convinced, convinced that it is because my children NEVER listen to me.  Most of what I say is in one ear and out the other.  Moms talk to themselves because they are the only ones who listen.

Exhibit B: Freaking out over small things

My mother used to completely lose her shit if you used the last of the toilet paper and didn’t replace the roll.  I mean, mommy dearest level freak-out.  My sister and I used to think this was so funny.  “God, mom, like, it’s only toilet paper.”  These days, my sister has the cabinet in each of her bathrooms stacked with enough toilet paper for a week long visit from the Duggar family.

Exhibit C: Making up stories and believing them

My mother used to tell us things that were – well, just wrong.  She didn’t want us to run through the sheets that were hanging up outside, so she told us that there were earwigs in them.  EARWIGS!  And, that if we ran through the sheets, the earwigs would crawl into our ears and eat our brains.  She told us this people!  She also told me that if I kept cleaning my room by stuffing things under my bed that a monster egg would grow there and hatch.  WTF? Worse than this, she would make up stories and start to actually believe they were true.

This is an earwig... Ech! I've got the heebs just looking at it.

Guess what?  The parental arsenal has three key weapons: threats, lies and bribery.  Sometimes, you have to combine these weapons to make a superweapon: threats & lies = stories designed to scare those brats straight.  It’s a powerhouse of a tool, but requires perseverance.  The kids don’t listen, so you have to repeat the story-lie often and consistently.  So often and so consistently, that you start to believe it.  Dammit.

Closing Argument: Talking to random strangers in the supermarket check out line

When the going got tough, my mother’s last resort was to turn to ruthless revenge fantasies.  She would just look at us and say, “Some day, you’ll get back every thing you did to me.”  And, dammit, if mom isn’t always right.  Much like some other children I know, my sister and I used to dance, sing and annoy the shit out of my mother in the supermarket.  Much to our chagrin, when we went to check out she would find the nearest person in line to be her new BFF and talk his/her ear off.  Looking back now, I see it was just a way to distract herself so she didn’t beat us in public.

Counter Argument: A picture is worth a thousand words

On the other hand, maybe it wasn’t us…

Halloween 1979

Halloween 1979, I was 2 1/2 and my sister was almost 4.  My mother dressed us up as…  ?? …  an inflatable, yellow, cross-eyed, witch cat…  and an inflatable, orange and green, buck-toothed pumpkin.  I think there is some facepaint involved here too and that the jack-o-lantern was placed in my lap to keep me from floating away.

When asked, “Mom, why the hell did you dress us up in these trashbags designed by an LCD addict?” my mother will reply, “Oh, you begged me for these costumes.”  I was 2 1/2 – I don’t even think I could say “cross-eyed.”  One way ticket on the crazy train, please.

Either way, you don’t want to hit this beehive with a bat.  Just refrain from referring to me as the “c” word or “just like your mother” and no one gets hurt.


28 Comments so far
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Things my father told me: Stop running, you’ll get there faster. You’d sleep better if you weren’t awake all night. You have to go to school today or you’ll miss the bus. If you brushed your teeth better you would not have had that one cavity. What do you mean you don’t know where you lost the key? How many times have I told you not to tell me how many times I told you? I can’t give you an allowance until you learn how to save money. If you studied more you would have had more than 5 A’s. Shut up and tell me what happened. You’ll never get over that cold if you don’t stop coughing and sneezing all day. You didn’t lose because you are on a bad team. It’s because they are such a good team. Christmas list? I can’t afford the grocery list. You just had a birthday party three years ago. Never tell a lie, even if it’s not true. Get there very early. This way if you are late, you’ll still be there early. Never get into a fight unless someone hits you. You have no room for the rest of your supper? Then go up to your room because your room has room for you. We had to grow our own meatballs. Are you going to cut yourself again next Sunday when the game is on and your mother’s not home? You’ll understand more better when you’re a father and don’t call me.

Comment by Carl D'Agostino

Classic! I’m so borrowing some of these. Although, I think I already use the “shut up and tell me what happened.”

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Hey, I’m totally with your mum on the toilet roll rant.

Nothing worse than going to the loo for a poo then finding there’s no paper to wipe your bum.

Fortunately, modern technology can help in a situation like this –

Comment by duncanr

Nice. Really, I hope he used antibacterial wipes on his phone. You know that would only happen with a man. Women would NEVER admit to the whole world that they just took a crap.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

LOL. My wife is like your mother. She totally loses it when the TP isn’t replaced. I got sick of the bitching, so I actually gave the kids a CLASS on how to change the TP roll.

Earwigs are gross. I told my kids the same thing though, just to freak them out, but then I let them know I was joking. Ha fricking ha. The shit you do for a cheap laugh.

Is it just me, or does it seem like mothers are harder on their daughters than they are on their sons? It seems like my wife puts up with shit from my son that she would go off on if it came from my daughter. Maybe we’re just dysfunctional, but then what family isn’t?

Call me crazy. I like it. Everyone’s crazy, it’s just a matter of HOW crazy.


Comment by writerdood

I think mothers are harder on their daughters, but I don’t know for sure. I only have offspring of the female variety and grew up with a sister. I would imagine they figure it’s like trying to teach your husband to put down the toilet seat – futile at best.

I know I’m crazy, I just don’t like when other people call me on it.

Do you have a class coming up? I know of a couple of people I might like to enroll… 🙂

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

the worst thing my mom ever said to me was ‘you’re just like your father’

it’s inevitable

Comment by cooper

Ouch. And, double ouch.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Everyone is crazy… except you, of course. I used the phone as an instrument on torture while raising my daughters. When they were bad, very,very bad – I’d pick up the phone and say, “I’m calling your grandmother, your teacher, the police” (progression with age). Now, they just pray the nut genes ended with me. Tra-la-la!

Comment by izziedarling

Ha ha. I usually go with Santa Claus.

I used to use it in reverse back when I was an STA myself. I would tell my mother – “Go ahead, ground me, I’m calling Child Protective Services. Doesn’t matter that you didn’t hit me. Who do you think they’re going to believe?” Oh yeah, I have a lot worse coming to me than haggard trips to the supermarket and messing up my freshly cleaned house. 🙂

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

I meant, of torture. Later.

Comment by izziedarling

Ah the good old days, when the wooden spoon wasn’t used for cooking and the leg slapping was a mother’s pastime.

PP I think you have grounds for suing, those costumes could have scarred you for life.

Comment by frigginloon

i feel your pain. with each passing day, i’m slowly turning into my mother. it scares the bejesus out of me. i just pray that i never wear pleated, high wasted, tapered jeans. if i can avoid those, then i figure the crazy train passed the station.

Comment by katie o.

I like this blog. who doesn’t remember those days when you thought your mom was absolutely certifiable. And yes, when she said we would have children who would return the favor. She was right… two fold!

Comment by nobusysignal

Certifiable, yes, that’s the word I was looking for. 🙂 There is this great song by Alicia Keys called “Karma” – it comes to mind often.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

I’ll cop to A and B, but not C…yet. Great post!

Comment by Helle

Maybe that’s because you believe them! 🙂 Thanks for checking out my blog – saw you yesterday on freshly pressed – congrats!

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Your post reminded me of the time my parents told me I couldn’t have a trampoline because we couldn’t afford trampoline insurance.

Comment by thoughtsappear

Wow. I’m getting some REALLY good ideas from this post. 🙂 That is hysterical.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Holy crap, I remember those inflatable costumes! They were all the rage in the 70’s! I think I wanted one, but my mom wouldn’t spend the money. All our costumes were home-made, which now I realize was awesome.
My mom posted the Child Abuse Hotline number by the phone. Whenever we would complain that she was being mean, she would point at the phone and say, “There’s the number, call it! Go ahead, I need a vacation!”
I think there is a reason why neither my sister nor I have children.

Comment by Amy

What???? You mean my mom didn’t scrounge these up at the Dollar Tree? Shit, you’re breaking down my counter argument Amy!

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Sorry! Your mom could have bought them at the Dollar Tree. My mom was too cheap to shop there.
And I think they were made with lead paint. And arsenic. Yeah. And they were highly flammable and a choking hazard! I was lucky not to have to wear one.

Comment by Amy

Much. Thank you. 🙂

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

I Love LOVE the blog Emily! You are incredibly funny and refreshingly honest! I guess I already knew that though. 😉 Definitely adding this to my daily read list. Top 10 worthy for sure! 😉 Anyway, awesome work!

Comment by Sherina

Thank you Sherina! You should start a blog with your photographs, I would love to see more of them. 🙂 Check this guy’s blog out. He does some beautiful pictures.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

As the aforementioned sister I thought I should point out that it appears we may have been doing Mom a favor. You see, after training my own children to replace the toilet paper rolls I’ve encountered a flaw in the plan. The laws of nature state that you, the “trainer” will ALWAYS be the one to realize that the children have dutifuly depleted the stockpile under the cabinet. If you’re lucky enough to make the discovery when someone else is home, (which you almost never are), you should be okay, right? Wrong! The children are so well trained that they’ve already depleted the other bathrooms’ supplies as well! This in turn leads to other compulsions like stockpiling boxes upon boxes of Kleenex! (It’s much softer than paper towels). It seems to me I would’ve been better off as the sole director in charge of TP! Oh, and for the record the paper should be loaded over, not under!

Comment by JAY-O

Rest my case, people.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

[…] all know a little bit about my crazy mother. Well, let me add just admit one more piece of evidence, in the case of why I am like I am. My […]

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