Monday, 18 April 2011

Skiing in Manhattan


Mother arrived in New York at the start of this month, under the guise of being here for The Teenager's 17th birthday.

It's as if she has a press officer who spun this official reason.

As it turns out, the real agenda was to tell me (repeatedly) where I am going wrong in my life and to do vast amounts of skiing.

Not skiing on slopes. No, 'skiing' is a hilarious new acronym that Mother has picked up somewhere in the plethora of immigrant hating newspapers she reads. It means 'Spending the Kids Inheritance'. Isn't that fucking funny? Seriously. And I'll tell you when it's really, really amusing: when you're an only child and you watch helplessly as more of your money goes into the tills of New York's retailers and out of your future. That is sooooo hilarious!

Although being a Veteran Captainess of retail has it's advantages. It means Mother arrives with a ton of magazines and British chocolate, some perfectly picked Primark presents for The Teen and a few things for me. Nice to see she's remembered this is my big day too. Celebrating 17 whole years of single parenting in which I have not only managed to keep my offspring alive, but only moderately screwed her up.

I was imagining some kind of bravery medal fashioned from Dairy Milk for my pressie, but instead she brings me a top from Mango and some M&S knickers. A size bigger than I need. Always.

After the brief honeymoon ends (some point while we are still in the taxi from Newark) Mother releases her verbal stealth missiles. I need to slam a door in regressive reaction. The only one available is the taxi door though, which might not be advisable at 70 MPH through the Lincoln tunnel.

"Darling. I have to play bad cop with you darling, because no one else will."
"It's true Sweetheart. It's just 'cos I love you."

Mother and I are very different. She pours realism over Emmaworld and I don't like it one bit.

The Teenager's 17th birthday comes and it's such success she is spawning superlatives by lunchtime. It is a pretty cool day. We go up in a helicopter for a Manhattan tour and she gets mistaken for Kim Kardashian. It's hard to tell which she is more excited by.

Like the good and bad fairy from Wizard of Oz rolled into one, it seems as soon as Mum appears, she's gone- in a puff of something pricey she picked up at Sephora. It was a week, but it felt quick. Even though painful things are supposed to go slowly?

After crying that she was here, I am now crying that she is leaving. Her and The Teenager had even tired of picking on me. We have a lovely sushi meal on her last night and she doesn't even complain about the 20% tip.

When we are in the cab coming home she asks me if I ever had an imaginary friend when I was a child.

"Of course Mother, I was an only child. I had to hang out with someone."
"What was she called?"
"It was a he...and he was a cameraman...and he would film me being a TV reporter wherever I went."
"Oh you freak. Most people have a child imaginary friend. Now mine was called Rose."
"Yes and my Aunt insisted I lay her place one day at the table and I said no. I said: She's under the table, she's called Rose Munder and she doesn't like thunder. I thought that was rather clever!"

I always thought I was my Dad's daughter. Loud, opinionated, a people person and a bit leftfield.

Now I'm not so sure that Mum didn't have an awful lot to do with it.


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