It started when I was little, “Wow!” the little boys would exclaim, “Your mom is so pretty! She looks like a princess.” “That’s because she is a princess” I’d retort, proud to claim the statuesque and regal woman who was busy passing out orange slices and Capri Suns to my fellow Little League teammates. I’d admire her beauty, wondering if someday I might too have blonde hair and stand 5’10. How she put all the other mommies to shame. She was a Galadriel; the other moms, mere Frodos. Or, you know, some other more normal, non-Tolken comparison. As I grew older, however, my appreciation for my “hot mom” began to deteriorate. She’s not really a princess? What do you mean, she’s just some normal pretty person yelling at me to make my bed? Fuck that. I don’t take orders from commoners.
As I began to realize that my mom was just like the other moms…just prettier, I began to get annoyed. There were no special powers or magical spells. No genies, or princes, or three wishes…although she did bag a lawyer for a husband, so I’ll give credit where credit is due. While it was initially nice to have something pretty to look at, a real life doll, if you will, my adoration turned to irritation when I began to realize that…well, we looked nothing alike. Here she was, this tall, beautiful, blonde woman…and then there was me. Chipmunk cheeks, mousy brown hair, and due to an unfortunate fall when I was three…without my two front teeth for nearly eight years. It didn’t seem fair. By the time high school rolled around and I had shed my baby weight, gained some teeth, dabbled in expensive orthodontia, learned the art of makeup, painted in some highlights, befriended a straightener, and took up running three miles a day, I finally felt as though we were somewhat equal. Sure, she would always be a beautiful swan, but at least I was no longer an ugly duckling. Or, thanks to modern cosmetological advancements, could masquerade as such.
My freshman year of high school, “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne became huge. Every time I walked down the hallways, someone would be singing “Catie’s mom has got it going on!” While funny at first, I quickly became annoyed with the incessant reminders of my mother’s beauty. “WHAT ABOUT ME?” I finally screamed to my prom date after he (hand on the Bible) gave my mother a bouquet of roses when he came to pick me up, “Am I not pretty?!?! Why is everyone so obsessed with her?” After calming me down and coaxing me out of ripping my corsage off of my wrist to smash it into his face, he leveled with me. “People love older women. Mrs. Robinson, Stifler’s mom…it’s just a fascination. Besides, would you rather have a hot mom or an ugly mom?” After taking in his words and a swig of the vodka from his flask, I realized that he was right. It may be annoying and it may be a sucker punch to the ego, but there are worse things in life than a hot mom. Still. That doesn’t mean that I don’t complain about her from time to time.
Pro: You can borrow her clothes.
Con: She will also borrow yours.
Pro: Your boyfriend won’t be afraid of what you’ll look like in twenty years.
Con: He enjoys being around her just a little too much.
Pro: You can talk to her about anything.
Con: She also feels comfortable enough to talk to YOU about anything. #gross
Pro: People sometimes ask if you’re sisters.
Con: People sometimes ask if you’re sisters.
Pro: Everyone always wanted to hang out at your house in high school.
Con: The boys really just wanted to hang out with the female thirty years your senior.
Pro: She’s cool enough to take out to bars.
Con: It stops being cool when she gets hit on more than you.
Pro: Compliments are flattering.
Con: Compliments are only flattering when they’re directed towards you.
Pro: She understands the importance of dropping $400 at Sephora.
Con: You’re the one who has to hear about it from your dad.
Pro: She looks really, really young.
Con: You frequently forget her birthday, because she’s been lying about her age for so long.
Pro: She’s probably blonde.
Con: There’s a good chance you’re not.
Pro: You have a gym buddy when you’re home.
Con: Thanks to a few dermatologists and plastic surgeons, she’s in better shape than you.
Pro: She’s easily accessible when you need her.
Con: That’s because she’s on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Pro: She doesn’t embarrass you with her appearance.
Con: Sometimes you feel like you’re the embarrassing one of the two.
Pro: She’s never worn “mom jeans.”
Con: She did, however, rock the Britney Spears inspired low riders from 2000-2003.
Pro: She’s sort of your best friend.
Con: She knows it.