Anybody up for a good drama?

It’s really not fair. For years my mom and I have had a certain type of relationship, I being the sole provider of emotional support and stability. This past year I have done so much evaluating of my life, healing and growth that I have unfairly begun to change the rules on my poor mom. She’s in her eighties and I can honestly say I really DO think it’s rather unfair of me to change the nature of our relationship at this stage of the game. None the less that is exactly what I am learning to do.

I’ll give you an entirely mild example of what I am talking about. My mom called me yesterday in a COMPLETE and utter panic because her smoke alarm beeped. Tears, agony, WAILING fear….total drama. She said she had my dad (who can barely WALK) climb on a CHAIR to check the back of the stove for the (totally odorless) possibility of carbon monoxide? Honestly don’t ask, I don’t have a clue. Propane smells like rotten eggs she knows that. She then told him to light a match. IF she thought there was a gas leak WHY would she have him light a match? But I didn’t even go there. My dad has learned that arguing is futile and even if he wanted to argue he can’t. We have pretty much tied his hands behind his back by giving him aggression meds. Now my mom is free to poke him in the forehead all she likes without fear of violent repercussion. How sad is that?

Anyway, back to the drama…..

I said “mom, did the alarm go off or did it just beep at you once?”

“Just once.”

“Oh, no worries mom, you just need to change the battery. If there were an actual problem the alarm would continue to go off. Beeping once means you need a new battery. I will come by and change it for you.”

Of course she doesn’t HEAR this. My job is to be a sounding board for the drama, part of the play. Actually FIXING the “problem” is never required of me. I think it comes instinctively to want to be a fixer when you are raised by a narcissist. It’s taken me years to understand that fixing the problems isn’t at ALL what she needs. She only requires a willing and sympathetic audience in me. That’s it.


“I tried calling 411 but I can’t get the fire department!!!”


Mom, 411 is information, 911 is emergency but don’t call 911 because this is not an emergency.


I CALMLY reply: I’m not yelling mom I am simply saying you do not have an emergency. Why don’t you….


At some point I realize I am not fixing this, nor do I even care to. She WANTS the fire department to come and would jump for joy if they came in a blaze of glory complete with sirens and horns. So I just tell her to look in the front of the phone book and call the non emergency number for her local fire dept. Good luck mom call me and let me know how it goes.


She called me back about an hour later.

“I called every town until someone picked up. Our local number was BUSY! (Imagine) They came right out! It was just a man in a panel truck.” Sounding entirely disappointed of course. Apparently they didn’t think it was much of an emergency either.

“He climbed up there and checked it and said we needed a new battery. Oh, I was SOOOO relieved that he was able to figure it out and FIX the problem!”

Big resounding sigh…………….. aannnndddd………CUT!

That’s a wrap.



Filed under Life in general

14 responses to “Anybody up for a good drama?

  1. Hehehe! Sounds just like a conversation I’d have with my mother. Thanks for the chuckle.

  2. It actually IS pretty funny. ;o)

  3. Mia, I had to slap my forehead on this one. It’s not easy to change a relationship that is so firmly rooted with it’s patterns and expectations. I’m trying to change things a bit with my mom too. Best of luck and big hugs, Rebecca

  4. My friends and always say “You better save the drama for your momma!” whenever we feel someone is getting a bit out of control (including ourselves).

    Sounds like in this case though – and I can only IMAGINE the other stories if this is deemed a “mild” example – your momma is causing all the drama!! And dare I say, some extra added imagined trauma! 🙂

    Seriously though, you are a very patient and giving woman, Mia. I know it’s not easy. Hugs to you.

  5. To everybody who posted above me: You have no idea how happy I am to come to the comments page and see people thought this was funny. I have such a warped and inappropriate sense of humor I was afraid to post anything.

    All you can do is laugh though. I have insane frustrating conversations with my adopted mom. Like the one I had with her over the “i’ve-fallen-and-i-can’t-get-up” service I bought her. Why didn’t she call them when she fell and couldn’t get up? She didn’t want to BOTHER them.

    But thank goodness that nice fireman figured out what her problem was.

  6. Okay, my mom is 62 years old. She’s already a mistress of drama, but is this what I have to look forward to when she gets to be 80?! Yikes!

    You have the patience of a saint!

  7. Mia, I laughed so hard I’m teary (I hope that’s okay). It isn’t just the drama, but the wonderful way you’ve written the scene. I read it to my husband, who also said you’re a great writer. So sorry, though, that it’s nonfiction.

  8. Bwahahahahahhaha you guys have me absolutely peeing myself. “your mama’s causin’ the drama” and the I’ve fallen and I can’t get up service” OMG Thank you sooooo much!!!!!!!!! I think we are all slapping our foreheads over this one.
    Overwhelmed take NOTES!!! If you have a mistress of drama mama you will need them!
    Ohhhh…..wiping happy tears.

  9. Abebech it makes life interesting. I’m GLAD it made you laugh and THANKS for the compliment!

  10. Try getting a call from a Mom that has a bat in her closet. It took a full hour to calm her down. Between the bats and opossums, I get an earful on a regular basis to keep me entertained for a life time. This is a woman who FREAKS over cockroaches.

  11. I’m really sorry, but it made me laugh too. Sheesh!!

    Hey, at least Panel Truck Boy saved you a trip, huh?

  12. Okay…that’s funny AND maddening as hell at the same time. So is she narcissistic AND histrionic, too??? You know, it’s really interesting to get the details of somebody else’s self-absorbed (and woefully incompetent) parent. I’m sorry, Mia! And it’s NEVER too late to change the rules!

  13. Mia, I hope you don’t mind…I’ve just linked your blog in my most recent post, Blogging makes friends of strangers.

  14. Oh geez. I’m so grateful that my brothers live in Mom’s neighborhood. LOL

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