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Like Grey Gardens But Not: Mothers And Daughters

Like Grey Gardens but Not: Mothers and Daughters


I have been thinking a lot about mothers and daughters lately.

I blame it on four things:

1. I keep seeing the commercial for Flowers in the Attic coming on Lifetime. (One of my favorite books as a teenager, and man, what a mean mother)

2. I’m obsessed with Game of Thrones and Lady Stark was one kick-ass mother. (#teamstark)

3. My family’s annual Golden Globe party is this Sunday night!

4. My seeing August: Osage County (Holy dysfunctional family !!)

Yep. Three words: August: Osage County.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the Golden Globes with my parents. Every year, my mother and I try to see as many of the nominated films as we can, and we usually get it done. This weekend, we still have three more to see, and I can’t wait, but let’s get back to #4.

I want to get one thing out in the open: my mother is my best friend, and I would never, ever, EVER, E-V-E-R dream of hurting her, forget about cursing her out. With that said, watching Julia Roberts’ character verbally and physically attack Meryl Streep’s character (her mother) pained me. Needless to say, hearing Meryl’s backhanded comments to her daughter, were equally hard.

I’m grateful to have a mother I enjoy. I mean that.

I can still remember, as an undergrad, being dumbstruck when I saw that my college roommate only spoke to her mother on Sundays, and never seemed too happy about it.

My mom and I talk a lot. Probably more than most of my friends talk to their parents. It’s just the way it’s always been.

Now, when I say talk, I don’t mean TALK. I mean more like we chat.

It’s not like my mother and I have deep conversations about life and the mysteries of the universe, everyday, we don’t. I mean, if I needed her to, she would, but we don’t.

When we talk, it’s usually about celebrity gossip, our favorite TV shows, how much we love Jessica Lange in American Horror Story, or Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones, or simply venting about work.

So, I’m aware this makes me an outsider and I accept that. Most of my friends would never dream of watching The Golden Globes, a near 4-hour program on TV, with their parents, especially when it means they have to get up early Monday morning and have to take the LIRR back into Manhattan to go to work. With that said, I happily do it.


Maybe it’s the tradition of it. We make appetizers. We have drinks. We print ballots. We vote.

(one year we even bought boas and crowns)

Maybe it’s the fact that we look forward to it.

Maybe it’s the fact that we’re both really passionate about movies.

Maybe it’s the fact that we know we’ll be together.

Maybe it’s just the oohing and ahhing over the Red Carpet glamour.

Maybe because only my mom would understand the way I sit there, on the couch, saying:

“oh good for her”

“oh, I’m just so happy for her.”


“oh, that speech was so touching.”

We’re both nerds. Yep. I’m a nerd, and my mom’s a nerd. (I just called her a nerd.)

There!!!! THAT’S about as mean as I get when it comes to my mom. I’d never pull an August Osage County and say,

Eat your fish, Bitch.

But hey, to each their own.

Enjoy The Golden Globes this Sunday!

Some of the BEST female actors are being nominated for their work this past year and they were fabulous.

Leah Umansky’s first collection of poems, Domestic Uncertainties is out from BlazeVOX Books. Her second book, Don Dreams and I Dream, is inspired by Mad Men and is out by Kattywompus Press in February 2014. She is also the host & curator of the COUPLET Reading Series in NYC. She has been a contributing writer for BOMB Magazine’s BOMBLOG and Tin House, a poetry reviewer for The Rumpus, and a live twit for The Best American Poetry Blog. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such places as: POETRY, Barrow Street, Similar Peaks, and The Brooklyn Rail. Read more at her blog and@Lady_Bronte.

4 thoughts on “Like Grey Gardens But Not: Mothers And Daughters

  1. Eat your fist, bitch! Ha. Hey, Cheryl Strayed’s relationship with her mother spawned Wild. It’s good to focus on the things we love and let them be forces in our lives.

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