Award-winning writer: Jackie Papandrew

Airing My Dirty Laundry!

Talk to the Hand

One of the most gratifying things about being a grandparent has got to be those moments when life comes full circle -- when your grown children, those who gave you so much grief as teenagers – find themselves raising teens of their own.

My parents have had several of these satisfying occasions, especially since my daughter crossed that turbulent threshold into adolescence. Being old and obviously with failing memories, they are under the inaccurate impression that I was sometimes rather difficult to deal with when I was 13, and they seem to feel that I’m getting my just desserts. I have no memory of being anything other than delightful as a teenybopper. But I do remember vowing that I would never, ever repeat the fatigued phrases my mother seemed so fond of using when I was growing up.

A few years ago, a friend gave me a humorous plaque that read:

Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
I am my mother after all.

I hung this highly amusing piece of absurdity in my bathroom and looked at it whenever I needed a good laugh. Definitely not going to happen to me, I can recall thinking.

But then my sweet little girl -- the one who always thought I hung the moon, who used to imitate everything I did -- turned into a hormone hurricane and made a direct hit on my heart, not to mention my sanity. One day, in response to a perfectly reasonable request from me, this angst-ridden alien flicked her hand in my direction.

“Talk to the hand, Mom,” said the creature, “cause the ears ain’t listening.”

To say that I was dumbfounded is putting it mildly. And that’s when it happened. My mother invaded my body, and out of my mouth came one of her favorite sayings.

“I am sick and tired of your attitude, young lady,” I said to my daughter, even shaking my finger at her.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, I am my mother after all. Ouch.

Teenage girls live on an emotional roller coaster of extremes. It can be the best of times and the worst of times, all in one day, sometimes all in one hour. Eyes are often rolling; heads are often tossing. And those hands that just yesterday clutched a beloved doll or clasped a parent’s finger suddenly seem stuck on hips in protest at the injustice of existence.

“OMG!” proclaimed my daughter the other day for what seemed like the thousandth time, “it’s so not fair!”

That’s when the mom gene manifested itself in me once again, and I found myself spouting an oldie but a goodie.

“Life’s not always fair,” I said to her. “Get over it.”

My mother happened to be there, and she laughed heartily, reminding me that I’d often blown my top when she said the same thing to me.

Automatically, my hand came up and flicked toward her.

“Talk to the hand, Mom,” I said in a highly mature, if slightly hysterical, tone, “cause the ears ain’t listening.”

~  © Jackie Papandrew 2007 ~

Jackie Papandrew is an award-winning writer, syndicated humor columnist, coffee addict and mom to a motley crew of children and pets who provide a steady stream of column ideas and dirt. She's also wife to a very patient man who had no idea, years ago when he still had time to escape, what he was getting himself into. Visit her website at:  JackiePapandrew.com

[ by Jackie Papandrew Copyright © 2007, (me@jackiepapandrew.com) -- submitted by: Jackie Papandrew ]


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