Oh Moms

Oh Moms

Jason Ferris, Head Editor

There is a reason why dads have this nifty little mantra: a happy wife, a happy life. Us spawn of these couples understand our fathers completely. That is not to say that fathers are tame by any stretch of the word; it is just that moms have this distinguishing brand of crazy that seems to be universal. Exhibit A: CVS, otherwise known as the proverbial Bermuda Triangle of mom activity. This means demanding service, impatient toe tapping, cutting eyes at the cashiers, complaints about the lateness of prescriptions. Of course, high school reader, you know many of these hallmarks in your own mother. You may have thought this particular brand of embarrassment was indigent to your own mother. Have no fear, you are among millions pretending to not know your mother at the peak of a psychotic mom episode.

A month ago, I might have told you that my mother alone is unable to handle the stresses of paying for a prescription. That is, until I talked to others in my journalism class. Many of their mothers had had similar bouts with pharmacists. Julia Webster shared that her mother fell into a rage when she saw the price of her prescription. She demanded attention from all available pharmacists to correct the problem. When her daughter Julia did not remember the price of the prescription, Mrs. Webster rolled her eyes, made sure all the pharmacists saw her displeasure and huffed her way back to the checkout counter to pay for the overpriced drugs. That is not to say that Mrs. Webster did not have a point. Of course, no one wants to pay more than necessary and a discrepancy in price could be indicative of problems with insurance or the pharmacy records but moms have this way of making mountains of molehills, the kind of hyperbole that made Julia hide behind her jacket to pretend to be an orphan. Moms don’t seem to appreciate the medical field. Growing up, it was not enough to struggle with my own stomach ache or headache in the doctor’s office waiting room. I had to struggle with the angst of an impatient parent. “Calm down, Mom,” I would say. “The doctor will definitely be here any minute.” Of course, that did not stop her from sniping at the nurse at the front desk or staring at the door to the next room in the hopes of mentally ensnaring the next nurse to pass through. It also did not stop her from criticizing office policy. In what seemed like standard procedure to me, my mother had to fill out a set of papers about my medical circumstances. Rolling her eyes through the entire process, she confronted the nurse when she returned the papers. She could not understand why the office did not offer her my past records and ask if anything changed. The nurse tried to explain that it was office policy but my mother demanded a change until the nurse fetched the doctor to settle her down. It is understandable that a sick child activates a mother’s protective instincts to an extreme, but Mom. How is it the nurse’s fault for following store policy.

On further analysis, my friends and I realized that mom craze is not a product of medical situations but the service industry. Senior Katharine Cognard-Black shares an incident from her recent trip to Iowa. Katharine had the unfortunate luck of sitting with her mother for an upscale dinner beside a loud group of diners. When Katharine saw her mom gritting her teeth and widening her eyes, she tried to calm her down but she was no match for a crazed mother. Her mother asked the waitress to move them to a nearby table. Katharine was forced to collect her things and waddle to the table across the room, all the while her mother casting the stink eye on the oblivious offenders. Suffice it to say, Katharine was mortified.

My mother had a similar tantrum in what has come to be known as the JCPenny’s Incident. My mother, brother and I had stopped by JCPenny’s for a few things before heading up the road the next day to see my great grandmother in New Jersey. All seemed well until she presented her coupon. The cashier had the audacity to say that the coupon was not eligible until the next day. My mother informed the woman that she was heading up the road the next day and that she was only using it a day early. The cashier tried to explain store policy but my mother went on to say that JCPenny’s had honored other coupons in years past and demanded to see the manager. What followed was an epic showdown that has forever made the inner craze of a mother evident. When she nags me about doing my chores or sending in college documents or a litany of other demands, I remember the scene she made at that JCPenny’s and think of how the manager must have gone home to her family and said how truly crazy customers are.

Yet, all the evidence upholds that my mother’s is not an isolated case. Moms, in their efforts to do well by their children, are not afraid to voice their opinions, however disruptive they are and however much they embarrass their children. As my mom once joked to me, “I wasn’t always like this. Giving birth changes a person.” This is not to say that moms are the only unstable parents but that they have a way of making public scenes that fathers do not. The particular brand of crazy in fathers is a matter for another article. For now, Raiders, we can but say “Oh moms” and leave it at that.