I inherited a number of things from my mother: Blue eyes, receding gums, easily tanned skin and an appetite for early-morning cocktails. But while many of my genetic legacies are unavoidable, I’ve begun to notice that I’m instinctually — although perhaps not knowingly — adopting more and more of her mannerisms. As I get older, I’m starting to look and act like a new, 2.0 version of my mother.
Earlier this year, Hallmark Cards UK conducted a survey that found women believe they truly turn into their mothers at age 32. And sure, a study performed by a greeting card company might not be the most scientific poll of all time, but it seems pretty reasonable that the transition would happen around this age. For many women, our early 30s are a prime time for child bearing, rearing and realizing that maybe we should start using night cream.
I’ve still got a few years until I hit that magical number. At that time, or more likely when I have children of my own, I assume the metamorphosis from my former self into mom will accelerate in Kafka-like proportions.
Unlike some people, I’m not one to make sweeping declarations about “NEVER turning into my mother.” My mother has always been someone I have admired, so turning into her would hardly be a bad thing.
However, I didn’t quite realize how involuntary the transition would be.
We’re no Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, but our tastes and habits are increasingly aligning. We drink the same wine, use the same shampoo, and, last month, we unknowingly went shopping on the same day and purchased identical suitcases for a family trip.
I hear her voice inside my head every time I philosophize about the importance of dressing in layers or tell my boyfriend to actually look in the fridge before asking me if we have any milk left.
I see it not only in myself, but in my friends as well. Kelly is turning into Kathy and Jen is turning into Janet and other Jen is turning into Jo Ann (yes these are real alliteration-loving mother/daughter combos). Of course, none of us are carbon copies of our mothers; we’re more like fun-house mirror reflections.
My mother and I will always have our differences — she will always know more about stain removal than I care to learn and I will always have to help fix her Facebook privacy settings — but slowly we are meeting in the middle.