Friday, December 12, 2008

visiting schools with Mom

I generally get along well with my mother. She’s a scientist, as I mentioned before, and a proud feminist. So she says. But her feminism kinda gets caught up short when it runs into her maternal “but you’re my little girl” feelings. This drives me nuts.

So here’s what happened when I announced that I was going on a big grad school-visiting tour:

Mom: “You’re going all by yourself?”
Me: “Ma… [for some reason I call her “Ma” if I’m exasperated/whiny] I’ve been living on my own for years. I drive by myself for work all the time. I travel for hours in lousy conditions to get to remote little field sites. I am perfectly capable of navigating to various schools.”
Mom: “But I have a bunch of vacation time I need to use up. And you know how I love to travel…”
Me: “Look, I’ll be fine.”
Mom: “I’ll pay for my half of the travel expenses. We can take my car.”
Me: “Your car, eh?”

So off we went. I was pretty paranoid about appearing to be a snowflake/helicopter child, so like an embarrassed teenager, I tried to park her in inconspicuous places while I met people. She explored the greenhouse/museum/gothic architecture while I was otherwise occupied, and she had knitting for when she got bored.

My mother says she had fun seeing all the different schools on that trip. It was also nice to get a second opinion from someone with no financial stake in the final decision this time. We did, however, decide that our driving styles were somewhat incompatible (she drives like an old lady, I don’t) for any further extensive road trips.

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