My daughter is in Florence for the spring semester. Naturally when I heard about the earthquake I looked online at a map, emailed her, got her response that she is fine, and forwarded it to my mother to circumvent hysteria.
Okay. Then my mother hears there is an aftershock. And I say I’m sure it’s okay in Florence. Then she emails me:
“I am concerned about K - the earthquake and the aftershocks in central Italy. I have looked at the map and wonder if they are taking precautions in Florence. Please tell me what you know about this. Love you, Mom”
I swear to sweet Jesus, I just want to smack her. Hard to do given she is in Arkansas and I’m in Ohio.
What does she expect me to do, fly to Florence and make K come back a month early? Sure, if she was anywhere near the destruction I would be getting her home pronto. Or obviously if she were hurt. But for goodness sake, SHE IS FINE and the aftershocks are going to be where the original earthquake was, right? I would send my mother the State Department advisory email we got but it’s on my work computer at the moment.
What can I say back that is clear that she is annoying and stupid, but in an ever so nice way?
I have no good advice, but this cracks me up. Just yesterday a friend was telling me that she was studying in Portugal when the London bombings occurred and her mom freaked out so much that she called the airline about changing her tickets home before even calling my friend.
In case you missed that, the bombings were in LONDON. My friend was in PORTUGAL. Of course she refused to go home.
When I was studying abroad, a bomb actually went off on the campus of my university (two soldiers were injured, no one was killed.) Of course my parents were a little freaked out, but it didn’t even occur to me to return to the US. Let me think, I called my mom right when it happened to let her know that I was okay and to ignore CNN. Then I ignored my mom except to email her periodically so that she knew I was okay. (I called her again a few months later when there was a suicide bombing…I didn’t want to be too blase.)
So, I don’t know your mom, but ignoring mine seemed to work okay.
FWIW, my family worried that a “stray bomb” from Iraq might hit us in Dubai and worried about us in Laos because “there might be another tsunami”… nevermind that if sea water is flowing over Laos, there are much more serious problems.
We didn’t tell them beforehand about trips to Lebanon and D.R.Congo…
We were in Lebanon when Israel attacked and the part of DRC we were in is held by rebels. They live in Texas and I wanted to call them when I heard about street violence in New York to ask if they were ok.
My mom told me I was brave for going to Turkey, what with all of the violence in Iraq. Yes, what with all of the sectarian violence in the streets of Istanbul. (Of course, when I pointed out how far every place I was going was from the Iraqi border, she got all huffy.)
your mother isn’t used to Earthquakes, is she? I mean, the aftershocks from a 6.3 quake can be pretty bad, but generally speaking aftershocks are pretty small compared to the originating quake.
Just tell her “dear sweet mother, I know you are worried and I appreciate your concern but, as previously stated K is fine, as Florence was not affected by the earthquake or it’s aftershocks. Don’t worry about her, and let the kid enjoy her stay in Italy” or something alone those lines
It is the job of parents to worry, and it is the job of kids to make them worry. When I was backpacking during my college days, I thought it would be a great idea to disappear into the far reaches of Morocco for a couple of weeks, out of phone contact. My mom, of course, was convinced I had died, and called the US Embassy, who said that people did what I did all the time and almost always came back. When I got back to Spain and finally called, I remember how relieved she sounded, and was surprised that she had been worried.
My dad is more Zen, and took the escalating series of bombings in Beirut pretty well for the time we lived there. But he was actually visiting us when the 2006 war broke out, and is now kind of freaked about the place. I didn’t tell him when I visited Beirut in January, and he’s not happy that we’re going this summer. :shrugs: What’re you gonna do?
ETA–My sister was living in Kobe when the big earthquake struck back in 1995. My mom was still alive then, so both parents got a big shock. My sister and I seem to excel in creating worry for the parents. That’s okay; I think my dad looks distinguished with gray hair.
Ahaha, this is great. It reminds me of my husband’s grandmother, who called my MIL when he was a direct care supervisor at a camp in New Hampshire. She saw on the television that a storm knocked over a tree in New Hampshire, and wanted to make sure he was okay.
I guess mothers are universally the same. I’m a mother and I fight to be different. Sometimes I feel that I channel my mother.
K went to southern Spain and Morocco for spring break. I was not happy about the Morocco part, but I pretended to be calm. And it worked out okay.
When I was a freshman in college what my mother didn’t know was that we had a “scarf strangler” hanging out trying to kill women. Oh, and some pyromaniac setting fires. I didn’t feel particularly safe but she wasn’t upset about it. Now we have so much media that you hear about everything all the time.
I have three nephews in the military right now and my mother is pretty frantic about that. One of them is covered in tattoos. (sp?) Then, when another nephew got a tattoo my mother said, “Does he realize those are permanent?” She is so funny and she doesn’t know it.
When the shootings occurred at Virginia Tech two years ago, my cousin’s son was in one of those classrooms. He was the last one to get out the window. The person behind him did not make it out. His teacher was killed. This is something to get upset about.
So a couple of months later my daughter and I were visiting my parents in Arkansas. We went to see my aunt and uncle (great aunt and uncle of the boy at Virginia Tech) and talked about how awful it must have been for him.
Then they asked where my daughter was going to school, which is Kent State University. “Isn’t that where they have shootings?”
Well, yes, in 1972, when I was 12, when colleges and universities all over the country were having demonstrations against the war in Viet Nam, there was violence and some people were killed at Kent State. It was terrible. And it was 35 years ago. Nowadays people calmly go to classes.
That’s funny, I know someone who is studying abroad in Florence this spring. I tutored her in Italian before she left and I just heard that her parents were worried and called to make sure she was OK.
As soon as I heard it was in Abruzzo I wasn’t worried for her. Well, unless she’d taken a trip down to Abruzzo. But I had heard she had gone to see Pisa with her class. There’s so much to see and do in Tuscany (and relatively little to see and do in Abruzzo) that a trip down there seemed unlikely anyway.
I think that beats the time my mom called me because there were tornadoes in Ohio. I was living in Michigan at the time. I was like, “WTF? The tornadoes were in OHIO. I live in MICHIGAN. TWO DIFFERENT PLACES.” But Ohio and Michigan are next to each other, so…obviously I could be dead. Or something. I cannot follow mom-logic.
It’s my mom’s birthday today, btw. Happy birthday, mamacita! I love you!
I moved to NYC a couple of years ago and any time anything even remotely news worthy happens here I have to email my mom and tell her I am okay. Plane lands on the Hudson River? Despite the fact that I don’t work or live in the middle of the river I had to email her immediately. Crane falls on the east side of the city? Doesn’t matter that I work and live on the west side, there is a tiny, tiny chance I might have been in that building at 8 in the morning so I need to let her know I am okay.
That’s fantastic! With all the weird things that seem to happen around here you must need to contact her daily.
Just curious, Kyla, what state are you from originally?
People in the tri-state area seem to have an unusual paranoia about tornadoes (god knows I do) even though in Michigan we rarely get super damaging ones. It happens every few years or so, but we’re not freakin’ Kansas.
California. Both of my parents were born there and have lived there their entire lives, are convinced that all people want to live there, and were SHOCKED, I tell you! when I left. (My mom’s observation when I was packing to move: “Are you bringing everything? You’re just going to have to schlep it all back when you come home.” Thanks for the vote of confidence, Mom.) And continue to be shocked that I don’t have any intention of moving back.