I’m discovering the joys of turning into my mother
When I was a teenager, I used to die inside when my mum insisted on making complaints about shoddy service or goods when I was in eye or earshot.
Similarly, I used to wish I had access to a cloak of invisibility when she would say 'I think you've dropped something' to people who threw litter on the floor. Also on the list of excruciating things my mother did solely to cause me embarrassment and misery were:
• Singing in public.
• Saying hello to strangers.
• Showing any form of affection towards me in front of my friends.
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• Speaking in too loud a voice in front of my friends.
• Speaking full stop.
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God, it was so unfair. Of course now that I have my own children, I do all of these completely reasonable things, plus stalking them on Facebook and Twitter, shouting 'YOU NEED A COAT!' down the road at them as they set off for school with their friends and wearing low-cut tops at all times, even when it's cold. Even at parents' evenings at school. Especially at parents' evenings at school.
From the litany of shameful behaviour that I swore I would never partake in as a youth and now relish, complaining is my very favourite. When my daughter's birthday meal was ruined by food I wouldn't serve to a serial killer in prison, my family insisted on leaving the restaurant before I flexed my complaining muscle.
A survey by Hallmark has revealed that women start turning into their mothers at 32 – this is absolutely fantastic news, because my mother is completely brilliant and knows more swear words than I do AND knows the answer to practically everything.
My daughter, however, is horrified that she only has another 18 years until she becomes me. I might start playing Elton John's Circle of Life on repeat at high volume until she accepts her fate.