I wrote yesterday that my mom treats men and women differently.
Here are some examples:
To my husband, she always speaks with the utmost deference. If he enters a room, she even gets up to offer her chair to him (he always refuses). She compliments his appearance.
What's wrong with that, you ask?
Well, she once told my husband he was lookin' good, while he was wearing a tool belt and working on a piece of carpentry in the kitchen.
Mother: "My Anthony, you look quite lean. You sure have no weight problems. (giggle)"
Mother: "Yes, that's quite the physique you have there, dear."
Anthony: "Mrrrglllmph. (giggle)"
Anthony laughs when he's nervous.
She has also patted him gently on the thigh as she's walked past, supposedly to indicate a motherly type of approval. Anthony giggled quite loudly at that one.
My mother also compliments me from time to time, in the ordinary way. More often, though, she crticizes, nit-picks and condescends to me, lecturing in minute detail how I should do any simple little thing. To an outsider it gives the impression of my apparent latent idiocy.
In my heart, though, I know that my mother supports me in the grand scheme of things. She'd pick me over Anthony in a Sophie's Choice kind of situation.
You would just never know it by looking at us, day-to-day.
It's so overt, my children have noticed, and commented.
Kathleen, bless her heart, has tried to come to my reputation's rescue, on numerous occasions.
My Mother: "Anthony, what do you think about this Mumble-Jumble Affair?" (referring to a current scandal involving my work-place).
Anthony (deer in the headlights look): "Hmmm, yes interesting. But Delia knows all about that, you know it's where she works."
My mother: "Oh. Yes."
"So Anthony, do you think it means curtains for old Mumble Jumble?"
Kathleen: (indignant tones) Granny! Mom has a degree in Mumble Jumble and works at the Department of Mumbly-Jumbly! Why do you keep asking Anthony?"
My mother: "Yes dear."
"Anthony, I think it's definitley curtains for the old MJ."
My mother does this, because when a man is present, she alsways defers to him, and his superior intellect. She would never ask my opinion, because I might give it. And my opinion might be good. And that might make the man feel bad.
When Anthony isn't around, my mother and I discuss world events. But when he's there, his huge male brain overshadowing everything feminine in the vicinity, my mother speaks with deference, in full, rich tones, to him, and him alone. For me, she reserves her little jabs, her notes on my self-improvement, her overview on 'How Delia May Better Herself.'
I guess she can't help it; she's been treating men and women differently for so long, she doesn't know how to act any other way.
That degree, she reminds Kathleen, that degree your mother got? Well, she went to university to get her M-R-S, my dear, didn't you know ?(giggle)