One day, all girls turn into their mothers. No matter how hard you try and fight it, or how much you lie to yourself saying that it won’t possibly happen, it does. One day you are cleaning your kitchen, wiping down your already clean stove after making dinner and you realize this is exactly what you always saw your mother do after dinner, and the realization hits you.
Ever since you turned 15, you did everything in your power not to turn into your mother. After leaving home to go to college you experimented with laundry detergents other than the Tide your mom always used. When you moved into your first apartment, you stacked all your books into whimsical piles around the living room instead of alphabetizing them like your mom always wanted you to do when you were a kid. You hoped the kitchen floor would miraculously self-clean. And then one day you wake up, realize you’re an adult, and that it’s time to start mopping your own floor. You buy bookshelves and feel a sense of relief as you line your books into neat rows. After many brief yet exciting flings with other laundry detergents (with sometimes disastrous results), you find yourself reaching for the carton of Tide, just like your mom.
You catch yourself saying things that your mother once said to you. After your roommate hopelessly plugs the toilet up for the third time in less than two weeks, the toilet that you have never had a problem with, you find yourself lecturing her on using more than five squares of the expensive four-ply toilet paper. As your mom’s words come out of your mouth you wonder how this happened. Was it when you turned 26 that you magically turned into a younger version of your mom? Or was it the stress of living with a roommate who still acted like a child? You tell yourself that it’s the latter, that living with a twenty-five year old teenager as a roommate is horrible and you promptly call your mom and apologize profusely for every time you ever used more than five squares, left dirty dishes in the sink, or pretended not to notice the garbage needed to be taken out.
But it’s okay. We all turn into the women who brought us into the world, perhaps as payback for causing them so much pain on the day we were born. No matter how hard you try and fight it, you too will unexpectedly catch yourself uttering words that your mother once said to you, wiping down the counters and stove every time you are in the kitchen, and using the same laundry detergent your mom used. Because your mom was right about everything. The boyfriends she was polite to yet hoped you would not marry, how you’ll sleep better if the kitchen is clean, and, of course, that Tide is the best laundry detergent out there.