Mom, you worry too much.

My mom is totally not a mom-worrier, but all of a sudden she’s totally gone off the motherly deep end.

It’s a scooter. It’s not even a motorcycle. It goes a whopping 35 miles an hour, downhill, with a tailwind. Southeast Asia runs on these things and they ride them in flip flops - I wear a full face helmet, armored jacket, boots, etc. My mom (and dad, even) is sure I’m going to get smeared across the pavement. I’ve practiced in different conditions, practiced emergency stops and swerves - I haven’t taken a class but plan to. In other words, I’m going about it soberly and smartly.

She clipped an article about the local football players getting in scooter wrecks. When I told her I drove it to work today, she said, “I guess you didn’t read that article I saved you, huh?” Like two morons who weren’t looking out and weren’t wearing helmets getting a little hurt (one broke his leg, but the other one just got some bruises, and frankly if you let a car back out into you then in most circumstances you weren’t watching) is going to make me stop riding the thing? She honestly wants me to get rid of it! She used to say “you should ride your bike to work!”, but the scooter isn’t safe? (Granted, the bike doesn’t go as fast, but on the other hand it’s less visible too.)

It’s just really frustrating for me - for one, it makes them dislike my SO even more, since he gave me the thing. Also, I want to do a better job at reducing the gas I use, and the scooter gets a hundred miles a gallon. Not to mention it’s a nice day out there and it wouldn’t hurt to breathe some fresh air every so often! I go about it as safely as possible and I’m always trying to get safer. I’m not saying I’m sure I would have seen that car backing up, but I have a feeling I’d have had a much better chance, seeing as that guy wasn’t even wearing a helmet (which state law does require at his age.) One assumes he also isn’t as alert, didn’t practice emergency stops, etc. And she hardly clips every article about people getting in car or bike wrecks, does she?

Arrrgh. Make me feel better, guys - tell me what your otherwise perfectly rational family members unexpectedly got irrational about.

Sometimes, my mother seems to think that what I’m actually saying is something like “Oh, by the way, I’ve taken up fire-eating. And the all all-gasoline diet is just fabulous.”

Seriously, mothers are just nuts sometimes. Even the usually-normal ones.

Yeah, I hear ya.

All my life, I’d never learned to swim, but I love kayaking. My husband and I got a couple of inflatables a few years ago and love them. I took some basic swimming lessons (finally), always wear a life jacket, stay close to my husband, who is, for all intents and purposes, a fish, and only ever go out with him, on calm, sunny days, on lakes, with many other people around, including lifeguards (like Green Lake, here in Seattle). We don’t shoot any rapids. We just love paddling around.

She thinks I’m going to drown. Even though she knows all of the above.

Her (paraphrasing): “Life jackets don’t always work, you know!”
My father, dryly: “They don’t call them death jackets.”

Don’t even get me started on the fact that I recently got my driver’s license. I’m 29, see, and I got it right around my birthday last year. But, since I haven’t been driving with a license since I was 16, I couldn’t *possibly * know how to drive now. I’ve waited too long, you see.

Never mind the fact that I aced my driver’s test, both written and driven.

She was freaked out enough when I was driving a 2005 Mazda 3. I don’t know how she’d take it if I told her I drive the 79 Monte Carlo now. :eek:

Hah! All of this pales in comparison to a mother who is convinced her son is going to become a drug addicted Satan worshipper and burn in hell because he likes gasp rock & roll!

(Hi Mom!)

If I took time off to take Mom to doctor’s appointments or the like, she was absolutely certain that I would get fired. “Mom, I’ll pick you up at 10 a.m.” “You can’t take all that time off! You’ll lose your job!”

I still remember one time I was going to go to Halifax for a weekend. I’d never really driven in the city before, so Mom was freaked out. Nevermind that I’d been gong to school there for three years already.

“Okay, so me living in the city is fine, but me driving in the city freaks you out?”

My mom had a cow about my consideration of a VW Jetta once upon a time, because, and I quote “I had a cousin who died in a Volkswagon*!” “Mom, if your cousin had died in a Ford, would you say I couldn’t get a Ford?” “Don’t get smart with me!”

*beetle. One of the original ones with the bursting-into-flames problem.

Hey, now. Fire eating’s not all that dangerous. And you don’t really touch your tongue when you do it, so the white gas isn’t actually being absorbed. You even expell the fumes from inside your mouth afterwards. Maybe you should do some more research before you pick on the poor, misunderstood hobby of fire-eating.


Sorry about that. It’s just that we like to prepare for things. We want to make sure our children are not in danger. So, to prepare, we come up with scenarios that our children could possibly encounter and figure out ways to keep them safe, should they find themselves in said situation.

Mothers worry. It’s what we do. It’s in the job description. Sometimes we share our worry, sometimes we worry in silence, sometimes we share our worry with our husbands who shake their heads in bemused wonderment…“Yes, dear, I suppose it is possible, while our son is away at college, that he could step in a fire ant hill and miss his class on the day of final exams, causing him to fail the semester and have to come home and you’ll have to repay his student loan, because the only job he will be able to get is at McDonalds. So by all means, call him up and tell him not to walk on the grass. Make sure he brushes his teeth too, so he doesn’t get cavities and have to go to the dentist for expensive repairs.”


My mom thought I was at risk for AIDS because I work with patients with AIDS. Months later, she said something about blood and I said what? I reminded her that I don’t work with blood, I do eye tests and schedule appointments and do interviews and stuff. It was like I was telling her that for the first time - I think she heard “AIDS” when I was telling her about this job back then, and her brain just shut off.

I had dinner at my parents’ house tonight - dropped the scooter off at my place and took my car because I knew I’d have a glass of wine, and I don’t feel safe on the scooter with any amount of alcohol. So I drove up and she said “So you DIDN’T drive that thing!”

Yeah. It was the combination of drinking gasoline and fidling around with fire I was going for. Actual fire-eating, you know, with propper instruction, would be pretty cool.

Just because it’s only a scooter and can only go 35 doesn’t mean you won’t get just as injured when a huge SUV blows through a red light and hits you. Don’t you read the papers? People die and are horribly injured every single minute of the day in accidents and every victim is somebody’s child.

How can we stop worrying when we can’t protect you anymore?

If I had known that a mother can never stop worrying I don’t think I would have had children. The worries just get bigger and scarier and less predictable the older they get.

My parents were cool enough to let me go to Europe by myself in college yet paranoid enough to keep me on an 11pm curfew until I graduated. :dubious: My dad was the worst. He always got on my case about getting drunk with guys. He was convinced they were going to take advantage of me in my drunken state. :rolleyes: As if I were just randomly picking guys off the street and doing shots with them in some sketchy dive bar.

I worry about you getting a scooter, too, that probably won’t keep up with traffic or be able to accelerate out of trouble. I recommend taking the Motorcycle Safety Foundation class and getting yourself a real motorcycle (with helmet and protective clothing, of course, because I’m a mom, too!)

Heh. My daughter mentioned that she was thinking of getting a motorbike licence, and I got all neurotic and anxious about it, visualising her mashed up on a freeway somewhere.

It took me a few seconds to recall that from the ages of 18-21, I used to ride a motorbike too, and my mother had the same reaction, breathing a huge sigh of relief any time she heard the bike pull up in the driveway.

Don’t worry about it. Mothers are just like that. It’s in our genes or something.


I once called home to say hi to the folks, only to have my mom pick up and berate me because, in a dream she had had the night before: not only had I been smoking crack. Not only had I been smoking crack in her house. I had been smoking crack in her house with my feet up on the new sofa!

I kind of laughed - wow, that’s a crazy dream, mom - and made to move the conversation forward, but she was really pissed!

Me: I kind of feel I dont need to defend myself against the crack-smoking, mom, because, you know, I dont actually smoke crack.

Mom: :::fuming silence:::

Me: sigh. Mom, I dont actually smoke crack.

Mom: Well…

Me: !!!
But, ha ha! The joke’s on her! Last time I was home, I made a sandwich for dinner, and: not only did I eat it in the living room while sitting on the new couch. I ate it in the living room while sitting on the new couch, and I didnt even have a napkin!!!


My mother was pretty liberal with me, growing up. She only had two main rules; No Riding on Motorcycles and No Snakes in the House. Of course those were the things I most wanted. I had lizards, turtles and frogs, which she accepted. My boyfriend in high school rode a Honda CB350, and whenever I rode on the back with him, my mom caught me and I was grounded. It was worth it, because I loved those rides from Santa Cruz over the mountains and down to Palo Alto, to Stanford University, where he went to school. Ever since then, I’ve loved that style of upright, naked sport bike with no fairing, no laying on the tank. Engine explosed in all its glory.

When I moved out of the house, I got a python. But I continued to respect Mom’s motorcycle rule, though I was sorely tempted to get one all through college.

Many years after my parents split up, my mom went to visit her family in New York (that she had left at age 18, headed out on the train for California). While there, her mother (then in her 90s) convinced her to look up her old high school boyfriend, who had held a flame for her all those years and had kept in touch with her family. Now in their 60s, over 40 years since they had first met and she abandoned him for the glamour and excitement of Hollywood, they married. The old photos came out, and there was one of my mom, age 16, riding on the back of his old BMW motorcycle. She confessed to me that it was the time they slid and went down on some gravel that made her forbid me from riding motorcycles all those years. But then he got a big ol’ Goldwing and my mom was again riding on the back of it! Hah. Double standards.

My mom finally passed away about four years ago. I waited a couple of years, but ended up getting a Ninja 250 that was an absolute blast. I’ve recently traded it in for a Honda 599 naked sport bike. Somehow I think, wherever my mom is now, she would approve.

dupe message deleted.

My mom would not teach me how to drive. She was convinced that since I liked to sleep in the car as a passenger, I would fall asleep at the wheel. My tales of video game crashes didn’t help either. I eventually learned from my girlfriend (now wife) and her dad.