My sisters and I have a pact: drastic intervention is authorized if we ever sound like we’re turning into our mother.
So far, it’s just little things. My eldest sister over uses the word moment. I’m having a hard time coming up with an example, but when she does it, I cringe a little. Because mom *really* overused moment.
I’ve heard my middle sister use “whatever whatever” before. This is verbal DNA transferred directly from my mom, who got it from Mrs. B.
Hopefully, I’ve avoided the verbal tics. I’m sensitive because I had an ex with the weirdest verbal tic I’ve ever come across. He’d add “for going” or “for actual going” or “for actual going through” to the conversation and he didn’t know he did it. I pointed it out, he denied, I started pointing it out every time he did it… he’d deny he’d just said it, but it’s the only time I remember him laughing without bitterness. He broke the habit. Eventually. Since then, I’ve tried to maintain awareness and avoid picking up the tics myself.
But never fear, she lives in me in other ways. Wasting water, for example. Nothing makes me crazier than letting water run with no purpose. Fine. If you’re trying to get the water to run hot. Leaving it running while you’re brushing your teeth and not using it? Maddening.
Okay, so I can take a kind of virtuous pride in that one. Because really, who is justified in just running water because you can. This next one, however… it was gross on her and it is gross on me: fishing stuff out of my teeth with little awareness I am doing it. Seriously. I gotta fix that because it’s repulsive.
So far, we’ve managed to avoid the big issues. Inability to see appropriate boundaries or respect them. Selective memory about our failures. A marked preference for appearances over reality. Failure to take ownership.
We’re on the lookout, though.