Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why My Phone Bill Is So High (Or, How I Came To Find Myself Locked In A Fitting Room For 45 Minutes)

One Friday evening, I found myself locked in the Covent Garden H&M fitting room for over 45 minutes.  Don't worry - this lock-down was entirely voluntary and, to make matters even stranger, I seemed to be mumbling at my phone and letting out frustrated "tsks", willing it to send an urgent email.  Four urgent emails, that is - all to my mother.  Each had a photo of me, not unlike the one below, attached with, "Yes, no, maybe?  Is it too short?  Is it too boring?  Does it wash me out?"

"Send," I pleaded quietly with my Blackberry, seething with jealousy as I overheard the voices in the cubicle next to me where a mother was giving her sound opinion to her equally opinionated daughter.  "Darling, it's TOO tight," the mom countered as her daughter tried on what I imagined to be a dress. "No, it's NOT, MUM," her high-pitched daughter yelled.  "I CAN BREATHE STILL."  I considered flinging open the door for a minute and asking brightly, "Excuse me, my own mom isn't here, but would you mind telling me what you think of this ..." but quickly realized I might be escorted from the store for strange behavior instead.

Too impatient to wait any longer (I had been in there for 45 minutes, after all), I pressed call and took a deep breath.  When my mom answered, she sounded deep in sleep.  It was 5:30 a.m. in Seattle.  "What?" she asked, not unkindly, but slightly annoyed.  "Mom," I whispered, urgently. "I need you to go to the computer, NOW.  I've been walking around with the same skirt in my hand for an HOUR now, mom, and I DON'T KNOW WHETHER TO BUY IT OR NOT!!!" I realized that I was now shouting, in the middle of the shop floor at H&M.  I was becoming hysterical.  "Okay, okay, let me see," my mom said, opening her emails.  "Oooh, that's quite special," she said, referring to the skirt. "YUCK!  Definitely NOT," she said, referring to a maxi-dress.  We quickly hashed over the final decisions again, before I made my way to the till.  Sorted. 

Yes, I'm one of "those" - women in their late 20s approaching 30 (and yes, I know I look about 15 and still get asked for ID when buying alcohol IN THE UK) who still, incredibly, remain staggeringly close to their mothers and seek their approval over nearly decision (especially those involving sartorial choices).  I think, every morning, when I complete my work outfit in front of the mirror, "Would mom like this?"  I reach out hesitantly when selecting a skirt from the rail at Banana Republic to try on, desperately wondering what my mom would say if she was there.

You see, we have traditions when I go home to the States.  And they all involve shopping.  From Ross to Nordstrom, we hit every store within a 1-hour drive radius from our house - we don't stop unless hunger or foot cramps force us to.  It's may be sickening, but I'm pretty sure that there's nothing in the world I enjoy more than shopping with my mom.

But it's not just clothes I have a hard time deciding over when I'm without my mom.  It's those important life decisions as well.  Should I change jobs?  Should I move to a new area?  Should I go to Cyprus or Croatia for my beach holiday?  It's not that I can't decide for myself - it's that I want my mother's approval, whether tacit or explicit.  I want her to say she loves my newish long hair as much as I do.  My heart soars when she tells me my holiday looked "relaxing and luxurious".  I breathe a sigh of relief when she emails me back to say, "Great that you've joined a book club now."  It doesn't mean I won't do things I still want to do without my mother's approval, it simply means I'll think twice before doing it.  And in the case of clothes, I just won't buy them.

I'm sure there's a Dr. Phil out there or other self-help psychiatrist who will say, "You need to let go, honey," but I don't think there's anything wrong with continuing to seek my mother's approval - as long as that desire doesn't rule my life.  Perhaps it's my way of coping with how much I miss her.


  1. love this! This is my mom and I to a "T" - I still call/email/text for her opinion or advice about everything! And I'm six months shy of 30!

  2. Love it Charlee! You and I have so much in common. :) Hopefully you don't have an 8-hour time difference between you and your mom! Mine got quite grumpy last weekend before I went to a sample sale and was like, "DO NOT CALL ME TO ASK IF YOU SHOULD BUY THIS OR BUY THAT." I was like "Okkayyy ... fine." I seriously need to change my phone plan.

  3. Only six hours difference, but I HAVE accidentally called her at 4:30 in the morning before, and just today I was at work patiently waiting until it was a reasonable hour there so I could call and ask her something that would probably seem silly to call my mom about everyone else! I guess we are both pretty lucky to have such good, close relationships with our moms (and that they are totally understanding!)

  4. I approve of this message! And, of course you came home empty handed from the OB sale, because you didn't call me for advice.


© angloyankophile

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig