My mom will turn 80 this year. She’s in good shape and can still get around, although she no longer drives. She lives with us, and you can say that we take care of her. She took care of me and our kids all our lives, so it’s not an obligation but something I gladly do. My wife is also “all in” for this and I’m grateful that, for the most part, we all live happily under the same roof.
But having your mom live with you has its drawbacks. She always will be your mother, and therefore has the right to tell you what to do. Mothers mean well, and they are only thinking of the well-being of their children. But as a full-grown man, I sometimes find her advice hard to swallow. And it doesn’t help that my wife thinks it’s pretty funny.
Maybe my biggest pet peeve is that my mom constantly gives me advice on how to dress. I have my own style and have been told that I’m pretty fashionable. In a lot of ways I owe that to my mom and dad, as my mom used to be a seamstress and my dad wore the Mad Men look long before it became fashionable again. So proper attire was a natural habit in our house.
Of course, my mom’s suggestions are more of a practical thing rather than style advice. It never fails that before I leave the house, she will review what I’m wearing almost like Joan Rivers did on some red carpet gala. On the weekends, if I’m going outside, she’ll say, “Ron, go put on a hat.” Seriously, she will tell me that every time.
If we’re going to go out to the movies, she will look at me and say, “Ron, you need to take a jacket in case it gets cold.” And this is when the temperature outside is 87 degrees.
Or if my wife and I are going out to a function, she’ll look at me and say, “Ron, go change your pants, they look wrinkled.”
In an effort to thwart a reputation of being a mama’s boy, I will snap back, “Ma, I’m a 56-year-old man and the publisher of a newspaper. Don’t tell me what to wear.”
Then I’ll go in the bedroom and change my pants.
I suppose I’ll miss it when she stops doing it, although I’ll be free of constantly being told what to wear by my mother.
Then I’ll only have to worry about our 17-year-old daughter looking at me and saying, “You’re not actually going to wear that, are you?”