“It’s going to rain today,” Jessica says.
“Yes, it sure looks like it,” I agree.
“I just wanted to make sure you know.”
“Um, okay,” I say. I am fully capable of reading a weather forecast or looking up at the iron-gray sky and reaching the appropriate conclusion, but whatever.
An hour later, I’m in the coffee shop. A friend stops by.
“It’s going to rain today,” she says.
“Sure looks like it,” I agree.
“I just wanted to make sure you know,” she says.
Seriously, I think. WTF? Do you people really believe I am so incompetent that I would not notice the storm clouds overhead, the way the wind is picking up, the quiet of the birds?
This is Kansas. It’s below freezing on Sunday and 94 degrees on Tuesday. It’s tornadoes and thunderstorms and dry lightning and the wind whipping across the prairie. It’s one hundred degrees day after day and long years of drought. It’s snow piled three feet high and sleet and hail and fog in low-lying areas. I have lived here as long as I can remember, and I have never thought the weather was something to get worked up about.
“Um, thanks,” I say.
“I worry about you,” she tries to explain. She must see the death glare in my eyes.
I don’t know why people think they need to mother me; it’s not as if I encourage it. Some days I think that’s exactly why they do it. If I spent my days asking for advice, and help, and validation, they would probably leave me the hell alone. It’s sort of like how a cat is always weirdly attracted to the one person in the room who hates cats.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, two people mentioned the rain and you go off on a screed about how much you hate being mothered?
Exactly. It starts with mentioning the rain and pretty soon they’re telling you not to go out at night because you know how they worry, and also you should call more.
So, I have a plan, fiendish in its simplicity. I am going to stop going all prickly when people try to mother me! I will stop making snarky comments and rolling my eyes like an adolescent. I will welcome it! I will tell myself, See how much they love you? And then I will start asking if they like these shoes.
I’m thinking within a week, two max, they’ll stop telling me about the rain. Can’t lose, right?