Mothers Hold On To Your Daughters

There is a John Mayer song that annoys me more than other John Mayer songs. It goes like this:

Fathers be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters too

Boys, you can break
You’ll find out how much they can take
Boys will be strong
And boys soldier on
But boys would be gone without warmth from
A woman’s good, good heart

On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the god and the weight of her world

Uh huh. Yeah. Partly this song irritates the crap out of me because of the way the words all run together. …girls become mothers who turn into lovers so mothers be good to your daughters too. It’s like he just discovered that words that end in “er” rhyme! (Potential other rhymes include: I’ve got drawers full of lawyers they’re not payers just destroyers.) Stupid rhyme scheme. Stupid sentiment. (“on behalf of every man looking out for every girl?” With you looking out for me, John Mayer, I would not get a moment’s sleep.) Then of course there is John Mayer singing it. He seems like a nice guy. Talented musician. I just don’t like the way he sings. Sorry.

But of course what pisses me off here most is the stereotyping. Boys are strong but will break, nay, disappear! without a woman’s good heart. But a woman won’t have a good heart unless her daddy is good to her. Definitely not. So consider it an investment in your future son-in-law: be good to your little girl.

You men, looking out for each other. High fives.

Well, I guess the world does need more first dance songs for weddings.

On Tuesday I was at the local grocery store. It was a bad day, Tuesday; Fresco was just about to cut a third tooth and he was cold and cranky. I yelled so loud in the park I made a baby a block away start crying. Then, in the silence of the cold, empty park, my yell echoing, Trombone said, “Mummy? Would it help if I sang a song?”

Mother. Of. The. Year.

We went to the grocery store on the way home from the park. I went through the self-checkout because it was one of those days when I did not want to make polite conversation with the clerk and on a Tuesday morning, all the clerks are bored and want to make polite conversation and I thought I might just lose it if anyone tried that shit with me. We were almost out the door, too, and then the clerk who stands at the self-checkout just in case you do something wrong and need a store employee to release your groceries, she started talking to Trombone. OK, fine. He’s fine with that. They talk about the weather (I am not even kidding) and I’m wheeling the buggy out and she says, have a good day, congratulations on your beautiful boys. Thanks, I say.

Could she leave it at that? No. No she could not.

“But you know. You have to have a little girl.”
“Oh yeah?”
“Oh yes. You need a little girl.”

I can not imagine why I need anything resembling MORE CHILDREN AT ALL actually, but why don’t you tell me, lady. Go ahead, oh, what’s that? You’re going to tell me? Great.

“I had my two boys,” she said. “And I’m glad I had my girl. Because,”

and here I’m thinking “because girls are precious angel droppings and the bathroom smelled fantastic,” or “because I had someone to share tampons with,” but no,

“…the girlfriends? They STOLE MY BOYS AWAY.”

“Hmm,” I said.

“Yes,” she went on, “my first son, he loved me, but then his girlfriend stole him away. My second son, he never cared for me all that much. But my little girl? She still loves her mother.”

“OK then,” I said.
“So you HAVE to have a girl.”
“I think this one is still a bit fresh,” I said, gesturing to Fresco, “I don’t really want to think about more children right now.”

Indeed lady. Indeed.

I don’t really have a problem with unsolicited advice or opinions. I figure as long as people are willing to tell me things, I might as well listen. One day someone might say something useful. I imagine it will sound a lot like, “If you have a third child, you will be given ONE MILLION DOLLARS and a nanny and a 6 month long vacation in a warm climate for just you or you and your husband you can decide that later.”

But if someone is going to eyeball me in the store and decide I might like to hear something like that about herself? (And she was serious, without a hint of wink wink, durn boys and their durn girlfriends.) I figure I am entitled to think: wow. Glad she’s not my mother.

And: those poor boys and their future wives because there’s the mother-in-law from hell steaming in her own righteous indignation right there.

And also: wouldn’t it be funny if the daughter turns out to be gay and then the woman can tell her customers that ALL THREE of her children were stolen by girlfriends.

Walking home, humming, Sons become singers / who turn off their ringers / they always ignore their dear mothers / too.

* I know, I know: John Mayer’s not boring. I am.

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