They Slip Apology Notes!
“My mom is very I-want-to-talk-to-your-manager. She complains about everything and treats service workers poorly because she sees them as beneath her. She doesn’t demand free stuff, and usually doesn’t ask for discounts, but she definitely complains about EVERYTHING. She once nearly made a phone store employee cry because the in-store stock was different from the website and my mom tried to argue with the poor girl and asked where she could lodge a formal complaint.
Anyway. Pretty much from a young age I was embarrassed by her behavior, because I never saw any other adults behave like that and I knew it wasn’t okay and wasn’t normal. I stopped going places with my mom because I knew she would just be annoying and I didn’t want to be associated with it. By the time I was a teenager I’d try to slip notes to employees apologizing for her behavior.”
A Freaking Monster
“Most of the time my mom was chill. But whenever she felt that I was being treated unfairly (regardless of whether I actually was or not) she became a freaking monster. She would smile and ask for your supervisor and then refuse to leave until that supervisor was in tears. I’ve seen this tiny woman make big burly manly men break down in tears with nothing but her words.
I was a quiet kid, I didn’t want to bother anyone, and I didn’t want anyone to bother me. When this happened, my biggest concern was that people would be mad at me for my mom’s behavior, and sometimes they were.
I remember one time, when I was about 13 I was on a Boy Scout camping trip. I was Troop Guide, meaning I helped teach the younger kids camping and survival skills. On this day, the younger patrol drew cooking duty, one of the kids was struggling a bit and asked for some help, so I stepped in and helped him out.
My mom flipped out because it wasn’t my turn to cook, so why was I cooking? She first tracked down his mom and made her cry, which made me feel awful. And then she started bad talking the kid. Talking about how useless he was that he didn’t know how to boil water.
I exploded on her and told her to shut up and leave. I told her I didn’t want her around and that she should just go home; I’d grab a ride home with one of the Scoutmasters. I apologized to the kid and to his mother profusely. Then helped the kid make dinner.
My mom claims that it was this incident that finally made her realize that she was the bad guy, and then I didn’t need, or want, her to stand up for me.
She backed off a lot after that, and now she’s much better, never loses her temper like she used to.”
The Karen That Could Have A Book Series
“I could literally write an entire book series, complete with unnecessary spin-offs, about my entitled Karen mother. Entitlement-wise she was pretty much what you’d expect, treated retail workers awfully (despite being one herself), demanding to see the manager, and having the emotional depth and maturity of a 7 year old; so with that said I won’t dwell too much on EM stories you’ve all heard before. Want discounts, would haggle everywhere, my child deserves this item etc etc etc
Definitely the most embarrassing thing she’d do though was her trademark strop (sulk) in restaurants. She’d fold her arms, slouch in her chair, and pout while looking at the table. Drove me absolutely freaking insane when she did that. Going out to eat with her was a pain, because she’d want to pay no more than a tenner but wanted gourmet food with outstanding service that was cooked to her own personal taste – which she’d never tell anyone what it was. Also, lamb. Crazy obsession with lamb, and if the restaurant didn’t sell it or were out of stock then she’d berate them and try to make them feel bad cuz they ruined this poor woman’s entire life because they didn’t feed her lamb.
Also, while she treated normal servers badly, god help the non-english ones. And I’m not talking about the one that came from another country to England, no, I mean servers who were in their own country listening to this crazy English woman talking LOUD and s l o w about how she doesn’t want a salad in her burger but still wanted the lettuce and tomatoes. Despite herself being an immigrant, if you didn’t speak English (or simply were not from England), you were trash. I began picking up Spanish and Flemish to apologize to foreign servers she’d harassed.
Another thing she was perhaps the most entitled to was my future. She had (or still has) this belief that she was going to control every single part of my life, from the clothes I wore, the friends I kept, the reputation I built, the professions I studied, the person I married (Indian, so, arranged marriage, ya know), and the children I had. She despised the idea of me doing things because I wanted to, and in her mind everything I did somehow have something to do with her. I trimmed my hair? Did it to spite her. Stayed out an hour longer than I should have? I did it because I wanted to rebel against her. I didn’t eat what she cooked? I did it because I wanted to starve and make her look like a bad mother. She simply couldn’t fathom that I could – and would – do things that didn’t involve her.
So, ‘what was it like being that kid’? Embarrassing, humiliating, constricting. I’m 20, and I’ve grown to despise my mother more than I thought I was capable of hating someone.”