All about my mother: 21/01/2010

Emer O'Brien and her siblings get hassled

Emer O'Brien

Sometimes, just for the hell of it, my mother gets on a roll with what my siblings and I refer to as "the hassle". It usually comes at the end of a prolonged period of calm and accord between mother and offspring. Basically, she gets bored being nice and decides to give one or other of us grief.

Sibling A rings me on Monday. "Have you talked to Mam?"

"No, why?"

"Jeeeesus. She's wrecking my head. Hassling me about not going to the doctor when I only had a cold."

"Thanks for the heads up." I am secretly glad someone else is receiving the mammy grief this week.

An hour later, Sibling B calls. "If you're thinking of talking to Mam today, don't bother."

"Really, why?"

"She's like a bag of cats. Asked me to go over for my dinner and when I couldn't, she got into a snot."

Two down, one to go. She's coming for me.

Sure enough, later that day, the phone trills ominously.

"Hi love. What happened to you on Friday?"


This must be about a mixed-up arrangement with an aunt that was very vague in the first place.

"You were meant to meet Auntie Bernie."

"I had to cancel."

"You could have called her."

"I did. And left three messages on her phone."

"Well, I think that was bad form."

"I've spoken to Auntie Bernie and she's fine."

She is actually annoyed about something that no one else is annoyed about and has absolutely zero to do with her.

"Do you want to come around for your dinner?"

I feign a cough. "Er, no. I'm going to the doctor about my cold."