I went to the movies a few weeks ago with a younger, childless friend. As the lights dimmed in the theatre, I pulled out my sandwich baggie of ninety-nine cent Walgreens Bridge Mix. Previously, the chocolate covered raisins and peanuts melted together from sitting in my purse too long; I had the presence of mind to stick the baggie in the freezer before I left for the movies. What emerged from that plastic bag was one large clump of chocolate, from which I gingerly took a bite. My friend glanced over at me in the darkness and exclaimed softly, “Oh no; you’re “THAT” mom!”
“What do you mean, “THAT” mom?” I whispered back. I had to wait until the movie was over for my answer.
“THAT” mom is what my childless girlfriends and I call someone we see who we can tell is obviously a mom by her actions, even if there are no kids around,” she explained. “We’ll point her out; look, it’s “THAT” mom!”
Was this her polite way of saying I was cheap? I wasn’t offended; I just perfer “frugal”. Besides, I was intrigued by her perception. Did Bridge Mix really give me away? “Only “THAT” mom would carry around a bag of candy from Walgreens instead of just buying a box of Raisinets at the concession stand,” she teased me.
Then it hit me; I’ve become my mother. I vividly remember her telling my dad at Coco’s Restaurant that she was taking some extra Sweet ‘N Lows to put in her purse. I get it now; she had kids and kids are expensive. Maybe she could save a few cents by slipping an extra sweetener or two in her purse.
I also have a hard time throwing items away, just like my mom. I hate being wasteful so I wind up eating the left-overs in the fridge long past their dates of expiration. No one else in my house is as brave!
To solidify I am “THAT” mom, I found a bottle of after-sun lotion in my bathroom that my mom had given to me. It was so old that something was conspiciously absent: the UPC code. Only “THAT” mom would hang on to a bottle of lotion that is older than her kids…
I also know that I am “THAT” mom because I go around the house unplugging all the energy vampires, like the curling iron and coffee maker when they’re not in use. Why waste the energy–is that only something a mother would do?
I have also been known to “dumpster dive” when my kids throw away a package that has a “Box Top for Education” attached. Come on; it’s money for the school!
After the movie was over, my friend and I decided we would stop and have coffee.
“Just wait until you have kids,” I chided her. “You’ll see that your habits will change.”
She gave me a smirk that I thought was directed at my comment.
“You’re doing it again,” she smiled. “You’re being “THAT” mom.”
I was so concerned with making my point, I unconsciously slipped into “THAT” mom mode. It was automatic. While discussing the virtues of being a frugal mom, I unwittingly reached in my purse and pulled out…two Sweet ‘N Lows.