“The Generation Gap”

When I was a kid, like teenage in the 60’s (too young for the hippie generation really) there was a saying that was as pervasive as “That’s AMAZING!!” 

It was “The Generation Gap.” You know, the “hope I die ‘fore I get old” stuff. Well, that generation is now OLD. Hella old. (Excuse me, my daughter recently informed me that I’m no longer allowed to say Hella!”)

Yep, we’re old. No denying it.

So last Saturday I call my daughter and leave a voicemail (brief, mind you) asking to please call me so we can talk about her upcoming trip and my upcoming surgery, and other important stuff. Now, I already knew she doesn’t like to talk on the weekends. And I certainly knew that she never listens to voicemails, and for all I know she doesn’t read texts promptly, and I also know that if I want to reach her I can twitter which I don’t because I only use twitter for receiving news and I don’t tweet. Anyway, I knew she probably wouldn’t call until Monday, and that was OK with me, but I still didn’t text because frankly I’m not fond of it and I usually only do it on my computer where it’s easier.

For many moons now I usually let her call me because she’s always too busy running from one job to the next, supervising employees, teaching classes, or training or going out to dinner with her boyfriend or running a marathon or coaching tri or some such thing.

So lately when she calls, it’s like “you never call me anymore and daddy doesn’t either!” And I reply “Well, that’s because you never have time to talk and you usually don’t answer and you don’t listen to voicemails and you don’t answer texts very timely and you always end the conversation first so I figure it’s best to let you call when you can and when you feel like it.”

But it’s still always, “you never call me anymore!” We’ve had this conversation several times.

So when I finally do call her last Saturday, she doesn’t answer for 6 whole days. And by then, I’m in a mood (an understatement, to wit last night’s post) and it ain’t about menopause, or being fundamentally fucked up or anything like that. I’m human and I get in moods. So sue me!

So I didn’t pick up. She then calls my home line. I still don’t pick up. I knew if I did I would regret it and so would she!

I knew that she was going to think “there she goes, ‘throwing a tantrum’ again.” No. See, now I’M not in the mood to talk even though you ARE, and it’s only partly because you didn’t see fit to call me back for 6 whole days. I got shit going on that you may never experience thanks to your charmed upbringing and your blessed life with the great boyfriend and jobs — and not least your normal genetics — or stuff you won’t know about until you hit that “wonderful” age!

So since her brother’s been acting like a mini-him of his sperm donor lately (translation: terrible), I’m not exactly feeling like talking to the little darlings, catch my drift?! And I know I’m gonna hear about it when she calls, lecturing me about my ‘tantrums’.” She can call it what she likes. I’m simply giving her a taste of her own medicine and not completely with rancor. Only a little bit.

It’s just life.

Then I talk to my other girlfriends with daughters her age, “oh yeah, mine doesn’t call me back either.”  OK then!

Then I remind myself that I didn’t call my parents very much when I was a twenty-something. But that was because they were super uncool and unhip and other stuff too. I’m cool and I’m hip and I tried really damn hard to be a nurturing mom and I’m just of a different generation, we ARE hip and we ARE cool expecially compared to “The Greatest Generation” though there are some very hip people that age. (Not many though, I’m afraid.) And yeah, there are some pretty effed up people in my generation, I get that.

My mother reminded me a couple years ago that I once went 4 months without calling her. (Yeah, she refused to listen to the reasons for that, as I recall, but I still kind of winced when she said it.) 

Anyway, I feel better once I hear that other mothers aren’t getting calls returned from their daughters either. But I still feel that dammit I was a much better and cooler mother than I had — a vast understatement — and I don’t deserve this! {{smile}}

I raised my kids to be independent and they are. They’re stubborn as hell, but that has translated into self-confidence and a stick-to-it-iveness that has served them well so far. I can’t really complain because I know they love me, and I also know they think I’m crazy.

They’re crazy too. {{wink}}

UPDATE two days later: She called again and I picked up. We had a nice long conversation and all’s well.