Pinings: Hurtful words
by Sherry Hughes email@example.com
My mom constantly uses bad words to describe people. I donít think she has a bad memory, but itís as if she canít remember names so she makes up things about people to remember them. Itís like Flavor Flav did on The Flavor of Love but sheís been doing it forever. She actually calls one of my friends ďlittle Cuban girlĒ and another one ďLong neckĒ because she has a long neck. I donít want people to think sheís a racist or that sheís mean because sheís not. Iíve talked to her about it and she just thinks Iím overly sensitive.
This only matters slightly, but you donít say whether or not your mom does this right to peopleís faces. If she does, thatís clearly offensive. If she doesnít, Iím less concerned. But I totally understand your desire to have your mom remember who your friends are. To me, itís about respect. To her, itís probably frivolous.
You can put your foot down and tell her you will never bring friends home again if she doesnít use their real names. You can tell her itís hurtful that your friends matter so little to her. You can start calling her by some name that is appropriate to her body size, habits or gender (Iíd stay away from ďold ladyĒ or things in that realm) and see how she likes it. Or you could warn your friends that she does this and itís just who she is and she doesnít seem willing to change.
Iím sorry. I think, for the most part, parents who respect their kids get respect in return.
Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org