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I Learned from My Mother That Shared Interests Don’t Translate to Friendships

Joined: 6/20/2011
Posts: 1
My mother and I normally don’t speak without having a full-fledged screaming match. She loves regaling me with stories of her past, how she was beautiful, popular, athletic, intelligent, oh my! – and of course, pointing out the stark differences between us. It’s true though, at first glance; we seem to be polar opposites: I’m an out-spoken, progressive American teen that embraces anything that beeps or proclaims feminine power, whereas she’s a conservative homemaker with one foot still in her birthplace, Syria. I found that a book’s binding was a marvelous place to stick an acne-riddled nose during her rants, choosing to ignore her rather than fall prey to her jeers, despite knowing she had the intention of making me a better person. Dad and I get along well, but over time, my mother became less a nurturing force and more of a thorn in my side.
Gathering my courage while stuck alone in traffic with Mother, I asked the terribly cliché question, “What have you never told me?”
She glanced at me, a hint of bemusement on her features. (Who wouldn’t be shocked that her teenager asked anything that didn’t pertain to money?) Taking a moment to think, my mother answered, “When I was a child, I wanted to be a therapist.”
My mouth fell slack. Was I still speaking to the same woman who claimed that a psychiatrist was a quack with a pharmaceutical pad?
I merely gaped at her, but she went on to explain her love of deconstructing personality types and giving advice. The human mind has an innate beauty so complex and yet so simplistic in nature, and I’ve always been fascinated with its elusive workings. It was surprising Mother and I had a shared passion, to say the least.
After a bit of intriguing conversation about human nature, as compared to the mundane and superficial arguments we usually had, she declared that she didn’t pursue her dream of being a therapist because she figured that she was better groomed for being a doctor’s wife, and didn’t want me to fall into the same trap.
Long after the car began to slowly chug along again, I pondered her sentiments, and came to conclude that my mother and I were just too alike to establish any sort of friendship. Looking past the façade that all humans set up for themselves, hair, clothes, even religious beliefs, we were truly the same in essence. We both wanted to help others and were stubborn enough to persist bothering a person “for his own good.” I already spend enough time with myself, why on Earth would I be willing to spend another second? It wasn’t as if my mother and I stopped arguing completely after this, but we did form an un-spoken truce to be understanding acquaintances.
Perhaps my mother could have shared this with her fantasy-patients: A mother and a daughter’s bond can’t be broken, not even by themselves.
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Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
Hi, I'm the PR Coordinator for Stage of Life. I'm leaving you this comment to let you know that your essay for our Teens and Parents writing contest was one of the finalists. Congratulations!

Here's the link to the contest summary page. We'll be formally announcing the winner soon.

Feel free to share this news with your friends and family. To be named an essay finalists in our national writing competition is a big deal. Our previous winners have been talked about on and other media outlets.

Congrats again. We look forward to seeing more of your essays/writing on Thanks for helping us in our mission of creating the world's largest pool of cross-generational stories.
Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 4:25:14 PM
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