Saturday, August 12, 2006

It's true what they say...

I think I might be turning into my mother.

This isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world. My mum is pretty cool and I would count her as one of my best friends (I realise how lucky I am with this and how unusual it is). We always have something to talk about and we are completely easy in each other's company.

But still, it has come as something of a surprise. After all, she's 50something and I'm 24.

It was the other day, at about 12.30am that it struck me. I was sitting in the lounge, blogging furiously about nothing in particular. HF had gone to bed about an hour previously. I always found it sad that my parents didn't tend to go up to bed at the same time. There was one fairly good reason for this - my dad would reliably fall asleep in front of the television at about 9pm, wake briefly, have a cup of tea, then retire to bed properly at 11ish ready to get up at 7am sharp and do hard manual labour all day. My mum, however, rarely goes to bed before 1am and has been known to continue wandering round doing various bits and pieces until 3ish. As she didn't work for most of my childhood, or worked in jobs which started in the late morning or afternoon, there was never any real rush to get up bright and early. Certainly not once we were all old enough to get our lunches and get on the school bus without assistance.

So basically, my parents operate in slightly different time zones. And it seems it might be the same with me and HF. I mean, I have to be at work at 8.30am to 9am weekdays and due to various gym-related commitments am usually up reasonably early at weekends too. But HF, who is an archaeologist, pretty much always gets up before me, gives me a sleepy kiss goodbye and then I get up a bit later.

I also tend, if I get into a good book, just to keep reading it until either I finish it or I can't see properly anymore. Much like my mum. We've both taken to blogging in a pretty big way, and also, more recently, Flickr. Stupid spelling. When I read my mum's blog, I hear my voice echoed in hers, and I suspect it works both ways. And without disrespecting either HF or my Dad, we both run our respective households. Don't get me wrong, I'm not particularly houseproud - but it's me who knows how much money we've got in our joint account, me who pays the bills, me who takes the food out of the freezer for dinner and makes sure (well, most of the time) that we don't run out of milk or bread. If I let HF put all the food away, half of it goes in the wrong place. I know my Dad does this too. Out of curiosity, I asked HF if he knew where our joint cheque book was. He thought he did. He was wrong. In fact, having just conferred with him, I don't think he's ever written a cheque from it.

Tnis makes perfect sense in my mum's case, as she is at home far more than he is. But considering both me and Andy work full-time, plus I'm out at the gym up to five times a week, does it make so much sense for us? Have I just gravitated towards that role?

I keep the peace when HF goes mad (these days, mostly when he sees anything connected with Nikki off Big Brother) - my mum was the house peacekeeper too. We're both fairly amiable types who don't lose out tempers easily - but can get waspish if we're tired or grumpy, and if we do lose our tempers, you don't really want to be around.

I suppose the one main aspect of our characters that differs is ambition. Quite simply, my mum is, as far as I can tell, satisfied with her place in the world. She doesn't have any huge drive to succeed at anything (apart from maybe with music but that's slightly different) whereas I am very ambitious - not in a cut-throat couldn't care less about anyone else way, but I am determined to be the very best that I can, and I'm just about arrogant enough to believe that could be pretty damn good. In CV speak, I am always looking for the next challenge, but it's true, I hate being stuck in a rut.

If I'm going to turn into anyone, my mum's not such a bad person to become. But I'm certainly not going to give up on all that naked ambition, oh no. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy. But maybe not quite satisfied. Yet.

More on that story later.


Blogger wetnailvarnish said...

I've rather recently been accused of turning into my mother. Not necessarily in a negative way, but settling into a more mature frame of mind (by 'more mature', I mean a good 23 years more mature - perhaps more than it should be), and certainly the turn of phrase I tend to use is very much like my mother's. I apparently even drive the same way as her - "y'know, style of changing gear or whatever" according to my (very articulate) manfriend.

Funny that, isn't it? I think its a quarter-life crisis thing, a sort of empathetic reaction to middle age (I know 'middle age' is an awful age label and I'm sorry for using it), whilst we're roughly half their (respective) age.
I've noticed it recently in one or two of my close friends whose mothers I know too. Quite bizarre.

Sadly my mumsy doesn't have a blog. Your mum's is rather fab though :)

13/8/06 1:14 am  
Blogger Nina said...

it's funny that you wrote about it just now. I've been thinking recently that I'm turning into my mum. on some level at least. As much as we're really good friends I always considered her too nervous and concerned with other people's issues and problems. And all of sudden I was accused(several times in a row) of being too focused on happiness of others instead of my own. And we all know that it only sounds good but in reality and under social circumstances can be kind of annoying. I need to work on that one. Why can't I be more of an optimist like her?;)

13/8/06 3:19 am  
Blogger Tabby Rabbit said...

Ahm genetics - you can't fight it. Though agree with Aimee about your mum - it took me a while to realise you were mother and duaghter - which I think is really cool, I love it when you both write up something you did together from different viewpoints and the way you use your blogs to ask each other questions! My mum is big into Skype and IM - her way of keeping tabs on me...

13/8/06 4:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm certainly morphing into my mother - cashmere cardies, scarves, beads and withering looks at badly-behaved children. I've also started sitting in bed and moisturising my ankles and elbows - a definite sign.

13/8/06 4:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am most impressed at all these net-savvy mothers - mine has only known what email is since she married again about two years ago, and even now she has to have them printed out for her...

14/8/06 9:39 pm  
Blogger Urban Chick said...

aw, that was a lovely post

i wouldn't be too bothered if i became exactly like my mother either (assuming that's not already the case!)

14/8/06 10:30 pm  
Blogger mig bardsley said...

Meanwhile, I am definitely turning into my children. It began when they were born and I developed a tendency to go blue in the face and wail a lot and carried on with frequent urgent desires to buy things that were totally unsuitable and who knows, may end up with me becoming amazingly competant and clever and losing lots of weight!

16/8/06 1:56 am  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

This was a great post. I have a lot of my mother in me and am very proud and happy about that. She is one of the most special women I know.

I love to see you and your Mom interacting and to hear different angles on where your lives intersect. Its great to know you both!

24/8/06 4:32 pm  

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