Let’s start with what’s important: I’m a grown-ass-woman. I have a grown up job and live in a grown up house and drive a grown up car. It’s a Toyota Corolla. A White one. Stop judging me!
I make all my own decisions and fund my life. I write media articles about violent extremism and battling one’s demons. For all intents and purposes, I’m a proper adult who has lost the training wheels.
Yet after all the growing up I’ve done, there’s just one thing I can’t shake – my mother’s concern that I am going to die in my sleep/get hit by a bus/be kidnapped/slip in the shower and crack my skull open. Or, y’know. Whatever other wild places my mother’s imaginative journeys take her on when she doesn’t hear from me in the morning.
No, seriously. Mum’s convinced that I’m dead if I don’t text her by about 10am every morning. This is a pretty standard ethnic-kid thing, apparently.
You see, I don’t live with my parents. I’ve lived on my own in a totally different state to my family for a few years. On my first day at work after moving out to be an adult, she wanted me to message her when I got to work; so I did. And then I did it the next day. And then the next.And then every day since.
Oh God. What a horrible, horrible mistake that was.
The first time I didn’t send her the ‘I’m alive’ text, my mum sent me a few messages. I hadn’t sent her a message because I was swept away to deal with something important as soon as I got to work. So of course, I didn’t respond. She called me a few times. I didn’t answer. My mother, bless her heart, ended up calling my office number. One. Twice. Five times. Someone finally figured out it was my phone and had to deal with my hysterical mother who told them she thought I was dead in my apartment.
It was pretty funny that I felt just terrified about seeing the infamous 304930493 missed calls on my phone as I did when I was a teenager. Of course, I was mildly embarrassed but everyone just thought mum was cute.
I’d like to say that I have only forgotten to message my mum once. But… no. It has happened on multiple occasions. Sometimes I don’t even need to forget to text her. She generally waits until 10am to panic but this week, she decided I was dead at 8.30am. My staff member picked up and reassured mum that I was probably about to walk through the door.
She has a pretty standard process now. First she’ll text and ask me where I’m at. Then she’ll text again. Then she’ll spam my WhatsApp with increasingly angry emojis. Then she’ll call my mobile a few times and eventually leave a voice message. Then she calls my home number (yes, I know. 1990. Whatever!). So I have multiple chances to intercept her.
Shit hits the fan when she takes it upon herself to call my office. I have actually been pulled out of meetings by concerned colleagues who tell me my frantic mother is calling. I always make the mistake of thinking that something is wrong and will slip away to call her back. Somehow, I’m still surprised when she starts yelling at me for being an idiot who shouldn’t be allowed to have a phone since I don’t know how to use mine.
Of course, I could always just set up an automatic text message that sends the ‘I’m here, mumty’ text (yes, that’s exactly what I text every morning).
But I secretly am kinda glad that if I DO slip and crack my skull open in the shower, and my mum doesn’t get a text message, she’ll have a SWAT team breaking down my door by 10.05am – at the latest.
Let me know how crazy your parents are. Tell me I’m not alone in this!
Love to you and yours xx