"Lets talk about sex, baby" – Salt- N- Pepa
"Oh, so get this, last night, over dinner, she decides to tell me all about her sex life. How she likes rough sex, kinky stuff, etc." my friend says.
"Whaaaa?" I exclaim as I place the most incredible piece of biscotti I have ever made onto a plate.
"She told you that? Why the heck would she tell you that? Shoot, I don’t tell my girlfriends about my sex life. Well, not really. Not to that level of detail. I once told my friend Karine about my ex-husbands, um, size, and my friend has been scarred for life. She said that was a visual she could have done without. I could never imagine discussing those things with my daughter. There is some kind of massive ICK factor there, no? Is nothing sacred in reunion?" I continue.
My friend shrugs her shoulders and smiles.
"Don’t ask me. She just went on and on. I wondered if I was supposed to respond in kind? Maybe she wants to get her freak on with me? A three some?" friend says with sarcasm.
"Wow. That is a new one for me. I don’t think Lifton or Fessler or Verrier talk about that in their books. I mean I have heard of Genetic Sexual Attraction – also slightly icky I should add – but Genetic Sex Life Sharing?" I question.
My friend continues laughing as she reaches for a second piece of my amazing biscotti. I smile. I may not cook often, or even very well, but I do have a few signature dishes.
Why would a mother feel compelled to go to that level of personal intimate detail with their child they only recently reunited with?
I pondered this for some time and realized that I am assuming, based on my own personal beliefs, that it is inappropriate for a mother to discuss that with her child. But friends mother does not view herself as a mother — or cannot – and that may be due to society stripping her of that title and role. She doesn’t know how to act. She seems to be treating daughter like a girlfriend yet daughter wants her to behave like her mother. Yet, friend doesn’t consider her first mother, her mother, since she is not the mother that raised her.
Dare I go there with my friend and explain how conflicting it can be for a mother – like me – to be told you are are not my mother but you are not my friend either? Dare I suggest how hard it is to be told "YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER AND SHOULD NEVER ACT LIKE IT UNLESS I TELL YOU TO!"? Should I tell her how an adoptee friend ripped me a few new ones when I suggested I wanted to be my daughters friend? "You are not her friend. You are her mother. Own it. Act like it."
What the hell are we?
Normal social rules no longer apply. How are we supposed to be a mother-not-a-mother-friend-but-not-a-friend?
Yesterday, during a meeting with my therapist, we discussed the situation with my daughter. Like many people, he attempted to make me feel better by saying that is normal for children to pull away from their parents at my daughters age.
I immediately stopped him in his tracks.
"I am not her parent. I am not even considered to be her mother even though there is no doubt I am. Your citing of normal social rules and relationship development is off base. This is NOT a normal situation. You are treating me like some weepy mother suffering from empty nest syndrome. You are overlooking the fact that my daughter was never in the nest – at least not for longer than three days. While you sit there and go all Erik Erikson on me, you are completely missing my position. You are defending hers and your own and completely oblivious to my perspective.".
To that he responded with a quiet pause. This usually means he is thinking or scanning his years of experience and education.
"You are right. I am sorry." he said.
I smiled and made a joke of it. He refused to allow me to brush it off.
"No, really, I am sorry. You are absolutely right."
I felt he got it, sort of.
Now about that mom sharing her favorite sexual positions with her daughter?