I can't count the number of times I've said that. Out loud and to myself and to a closet wall and to the pillow I'm screaming in. Any number of inanimate victims has suffered behind the force and tire of my "Mom. You're bugging me!"
Sadly, I've been brash enough to say it directly to my mom, sometimes in a tone less-than commensurate with that owed such a fine and worthy person. (I mean, if you're going to be mean, you should at least be polite. Can't say I have always held to my own standard.)
But there are reasons!
My mom picks lint off of me, still. That bugs me.
My mom talks too long on the phone. Then she calls back two minutes later and talks more, because she finally remembered what she meant to say when she called the first time. That bugs me.
My mom never says what she means directly (unless she's pretty fired up).
Instead, she asks, sweetly, "Are you going to leave that there?"
'Yes, mom. I'm leaving it right there. Don't touch it.'
"Oh. Do you think it's a good idea to leave it there?"
'Yah. Mom. Leave it. It's fine.'
"Hmm. I bet if we put it over here that would be even better."
'MOM. LEAVE THE DANG CUP RIGHT THERE!'
"You know you've gotten so angry as you've gotten older. Fine. I'll leave it there"
That bugs me. And as soon as I turn my back, she moves the cup. That bugs me!
My mom mutters a running commentary on everything that pops into her head, all the time. "Now let me see... yes... OH, I know... Sam... are you going to leave that there?... Sara where are my glasses? Can you go in my bag... Don't put your shoes there - ooh - I gotta remember to call Josie... I don't suppose you have any bananas? Carmi are we leaving now? I can't forget I have to go to the bathroom--Did you read that article about those girls? Oh I just love these flowers you have all over the house. How is Eileen doing? Remind me when it'stimetotakemymedicationisanyoneupstairs..."
This stream of consciousness and the oral history it has perpetrated on all the memories of my life? Bugs me.
My mom says, "the Jewel" and "K-marts" without affectation, even though I distinctly remember she and I making fun of her mother doing that. She was thrilled to learn that there was, in fact, something called "the Face Book" but deflated to realize that "the Face Page" was her own invention.
My mom keeps kleenex tucked in her sleeve, over-garlics and under-salts everything she cooks, and wraps everything in about twenty-seven plastic grocery bags. Everything. That bugs me like crazy.
She has a little lisp (actually, that's kind of cute) and articulates every word like she's speaking a love letter to annunciation. She still corrects my grammar and tells me when to 'ssshhh--beeee quiiieetttt--'.
My mother has the softest hands in the world and taught me how to be a mom and loves me so deeply and genuinely and so effortlessly that I've known exactly how to go about getting good love for my own self, and how to give that love to my children and share it with my husband, in-laws and friends. If you've known me for any length of time you've heard me say a million times "My mom always said..." because even now with all I have lived and learned as a grown person no one has or ever will be a more valued teacher, companion, co-hort or confidant than my mother. She's amazing.
That said, she's annoying. I think I've made my case. So, it's true, mom. You bug me.
And I love you for it.