A Month With Mom – Part 11 – Keeping Up With The Jones

As far back as I remember when I went to someone’s house the first question my mother asked me when I got home was never “Did you have fun?” Maybe that was too plebeian for her and her non-bourgeois ways. She didn’t want to be like every other mother on the planet and ask the obvious question. The question she did ask? Well that was “What did their house look like?” My mother was obsessed with other people’s housing decorations and using her eight year old son to do her scouting for her. I was a bad a scout thought, my answer until I was eighteen and moved out was almost always “It’s a house, with stuff in it”. She tried to grill me further and if she was lucky she sometimes got to pluck out some of the details she wanted.

Whenever my mother went to a house she seemed to case the joint like a burglar. What she wanted to steal though was not anything tangible they owned. What she wanted to do was find something that either she could use in her own decor, or talk about with her friends about how much she disliked it. If you didn’t fit in one side of the spectrum you immediately fit into the other side.

If something was featured on Oprah as must have, my mom would scheme to buy it. I can only assume she owns both a Wii and Kindle. I don’t know why she would buy a kindle though, she doesn’t read. I’m not saying she is incapable of reading, only that she prefers every bit of information spoon fed to her through network television compared to any other avenue. I swear my mother thinks the purpose of the newspaper is to hold her shopping advertisements.

She attempted to justify her moronic decision to make the first room you enter in the house being the dining room because one of her friends did it. This was one of those moments where you say, if all your friends are jumping off a bridge would you do it? (My answer to that question has always been “How high is the bridge? Is there water underneath it?” How many friends are we talking about and have they all survived?”) Either way a stupid design choice is a stupid design choice, copying it just makes you dumber.

The correct answer to why you do such a thing? Well I could say it fits until our routine better, it makes the house more functional, who cares about the norm or aesthetics, or it’s my house and I like it. However hiding behind that your friend does it so you decided to do it? That shows you have no thought in the problem other then some selfish little need of instant gratification that you are trying to get fulfilled.

I understand why my mom wants to decorate or own things that other people do. It’s called a psychological term called mirroring. If someone mimics your body movements your mirroring them. It allows for a repertoire to form, a link if you will. People like people that are like them. In some mis-guided learning my mother thinks she needs to dress, talk, and live like everyone else – otherwise she is non-existent. If she isn’t acknowledged because she isn’t like everyone else she get depressed. The whole problem is when you live your life by mirroring all those around you all the time, you are no longer an individual. You are a member of society, but your not going to help further it or challenge new and original thought.

Every single idea my mother has had for house design or money making has been because someone else has done it first and she thinks she can do it also. Mind you she doesn’t think she can do it better, she thinks she can do it just as well and get the same compliments for it. Because of this my mother doesn’t do anything well beyond “keeping up with the Jones'”.

Read Part 1 Here

Read Part 2 Here

Read Part 3 Here

Read Part 4 Here

Read Part 5 Here

Read Part 6 Here

Read Part 7 Here

Read Part 8 Here

Read Part 9 Here

Read Part 10 Here

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