There’s nothing like a mother’s words to send you wallowing into a pit of low self-esteem; something that I’ve learned particularly well over the course of my existence. And my darling mother, The Beast as I lovingly refer to her, has done nothing short of mastering the art of saying the wrong thing at precisely the wrong time.
For instance, shortly after meeting Rey, she decided to impart a pearl of wisdom onto her daughter in the presence of her newly found boyfriend. That pearl, or big hunk shit, looked something like this, “Leila, let me tell what you do, and Rey you listen to this too. Have a kid. As soon as you have the kid, you put it in daycare and get a job. Then, when the kid gets old enough to go to school, you quit your job and stay home.” Luckily for me, Rey has a sense humor, and he laughed instead of ran.
Similarly, when I hit puberty, and to my dismay developed an attractive farm of acne on my back, my mom had these words of encouragement to offer, “Oh my God! How can you live with those zits on your back? Don’t you just want to take a razor and shave them off?” That one still stings, and the scar from the razor aint pretty. But I digress.
In an effort of good faith, I contact The Beast about every other week to say hello and listen to her bitch about her never-ending divorce, which is just about as exciting as having my toenails yanked out with a pair of acid dipped pliers, but I do my duty as a good child, and make the call anyway.
This week when I made my obligatory call, I was greeted with the following, “If you look at yourself now, compared to the way you looked during your last couple years of high school, you look like a frumpy old librarian.” I semi-jokingly told her I hoped she died and hung up the phone. I cried myself to sleep that night.
The librarian part I can live with. But, frumpy? Frump·y, [fruhm-pee]: A girl or woman regarded as dull, plain, or unfashionable? Now given, I don’t read Cosmo, nor do I prance around in four-inch heels, but to be so harsh? Why not just kick me in the teeth and spit on my face?
I know I should keep in mind that this is the same women who once implied that drugs were an easy way to maintain a girlish figure, because duh, “what do you think the models do?” But, it still hurts.
Part of me continues to romanticize the mother-daughter relationship. I can’t fully accept that my mother is an emotionally fucked basket case; and that she's doing her best to bring me down with her. The root of my anxiety is suddenly becoming so much clearer.
Woe is me.