There's really nothing quite so illuminating as trying to share a small, tight, confined space with your millennial. Honestly, I should know; I just spent Spring Break traveling with my 20-year-old daughter. I know you're thinking our hotel room was probably too small, and you are correct. It certainly was. But, by "small, tight, confined space," I really meant that all of Manhattan wasn't big enough for both of us.
Spending four days together on that crowded little island off the coast of New York, prompted my kid to shed some light on a few personality flaws I could really stand to work on, if I want to be a better person -- and who among us doesn't strive every day to be a better person?
Mom has a Selfish Streak:
Apparently, I should try to be more willing to share my blessings with others, particularly my children. This was revealed to me on the very first morning of our trip. I finished my coffee, applied a smattering of make-up and decided to brush my teeth. I noticed a toothbrush that resembled mine was on the counter sopping wet. I asked my daughter, "Did you use my toothbrush?" She promptly answered, "No!" Since all toothbrushes look alike to me, I believed her and launched a search for MY toothbrush. Taking pity on me, or more likely -- in the interest of time -- she confessed, "Okayyyyyy I used your toothbrush!" That wasn't the only thing I shared with her on the trip. In addition to forgetting her toothbrush and her phone charger, she obviously forgot all her money, too. If she brought money with her, she kept it well out of sight...
Mom has Boundary Issues:
The only thing worse than a selfish mother is one who doesn't want to share her things -- and also wantonly helps herself to your things, without your express permission, as though she paid for them herself. A Mother like me.
We had gone to a fabulous restaurant for dinner, but had been told by several native New Yorkers that we simply must swing by Magnolia Bakery for some Banana Pudding. The place is famous for it. We purchased a pint container to take back to our hotel room, but failed to get a fork or spoon. Nonplussed and satiated from dinner, my girl promptly fell asleep. I stared despondently at that pudding for way too long. A combination of creativity and desperation inspired me to create an eating utensil out of her criminally expensive makeup brush I bought her at MAC (Picture chopsticks). It worked like a charm! All up until the following morning, when my daughter started applying makeup. I deftly explained my dilemma from the night before, fully expecting her to be as impressed with me and the resultant solution as I was. I maintain it was a stroke of genius, a veritable brush-stroke of genius.
Mom Sucks at Photography:
Millennials take a jarring amount of pictures. Not of landmark historical buildings, fountains or statues, mind you. They take pictures of themselves. Lots and lots of them. When my daughter's arm wasn't long enough to include both herself and a particular background she liked, she reluctantly enlisted my services to take the photo with her cell phone.
That's when I was confronted by this ugly truth: I am a TOTAL FAIL at picture taking. My hands shake, I don't hold the camera at a flattering angle and I don't know when to use the flash. Try as she may, my daughter could not help but express disappointment in my ineptitude. At one point, entirely exasperated by a candid shot I took of her, she remonstrated, "When you look through the lens, the trick is just to ask yourself: "Is this how I would want to look in a photo?" Too bad her "tip" wasn't particularly helpful. It's not going to help me to be a better photographer, because the way she looked was, in fact, exactly how I wish I looked in a photo. Not to mention, at my age, we love a little blur to our pictures. We pay extra for that...
And, that is by no means an exhaustive list. There's an entire category of general garden-variety annoyances:
-- When my daughter told me I looked cute in hats, I bought seven more. Clogged up our suitcase. Moms who over-do things are tremendously annoying.
-- When I tried to adopt the vernacular of the millennials, it was as irritating as listening to a person who learned English-as-a-second-language attempt to cuss. Apparently, I used the word, "LIT" totally out of context. I just couldn't pull it off.
-- When I talked indiscriminately to strangers on the subway, I was informed that I, "had plenty of friends back home and didn't really need any more friends, especially in NYC." (I happen to know for a fact that my new friend from the Subway does not agree, because I talked to her this morning on Facebook.)
On a positive note, it's downright invigorating to know there's so much growth potential and room for improvement in my personality! I'm not the least bit daunted; I've got nothing but time on my hands to enroll in Charm School and maybe even take a Cell Phone Photography Course.
I guess the only thing I'm still a little baffled by, in light of all this recent self-insight, is how in the world do I actually have "enough friends?" You'd think my list of friends would be limited and sparse.
Because...it just doesn't seem like I'm all that "LIT."
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