The Daily Illini

Categorize your mother

By Yoav Margalit, Staff Writer

I believe it was my mother who once said, “Stop making up quotes about me out of context; they don’t accomplish anything.” But do they really accomplish nothing? Nothing at all? After all, it’s through the words of others (made up though they might be) that we come to measure their character. So, at risk of being smote off the face of the Earth, I ask: What is the character of a “mother?”

We’re going to go through a few examples of what mothers can look like and how best to deal with them. Perhaps you’ll encounter these examples in real life. Perhaps you’ll find them as characters in books or movies. Perhaps you’ll never encounter these examples and conclude I don’t know what I’m talking about. Let’s find out together which one it will be.

The nice one

This mother is defined by the kindness she shows to the people around her. She enriches the lives of the people she talks to and wants nothing more than for those who she loves to lead happy, fulfilled lives. She’s got a sense of self and her own hobbies, but none of them are self-destructive or obsessive.

How utterly boring. I hope the rest of the examples aren’t as useless as this one is. Who the heck is going to want to read an article without drama? I sure hope the rest are going to be more interesting than this garbage.

The mama bear

Ah, that’s much better. The mama bear is a well-known example of inertia. She is known to sleep a lot. Sometimes she does it for months. At other times, she’ll ferociously roar to protect her children, their future or her food from interlopers. The response to this kind of mom is binary. If she’s asleep, go about your business (this includes if she’s bored or her eyes are glazed over). If she’s awake, run.

… What, you’re looking for me to tell you what she’ll look like when she’s awake? I just told you to run! Assume that if she isn’t asleep, she’s awake. If she’s awake, then run. Duh.

The baker

Everyone within a three-mile radius of this woman will, at some point, be diagnosed with permanently high blood sugar. This is the best case scenario; most people will be significantly worse off. Watch those glucose levels like a hawk, because that’s where the other shoe’s going to drop. You’ve been warned. If you desire maintaining your waistline, stay far, far away from this mom. What’s more, this wouldn’t be such a problem if she didn’t make such darn good cookies. And brownies. And cake. And then cookies again.You get the picture. You’ll die young but happy. There are worse ways to go.


The article hoarder

Do you have opinions? Do you believe all articles are reliable if they validate your opinions? You’re probably this kind of person. If you’re a mother or expecting, then congratulations. You are a perfect fit for this, or will be in the near future.

Symptoms of being an article hoarder are bookmarking every single thing you enjoy reading online and telling yourself it’s for “future reference.” It’s not. It’s to send to someone else when you want to start throwing your argumentative weight around.

Ma, I get you think the corn industry is a conspiracy rivaling the Illuminati. Noted. Stop spamming me, please.

The off-fencer

You see what I did there, with the title of this section? It’s a portmanteau of “offense” and “fencer.” I’m a genius. If you haven’t put it together yet, this mother uses guilt as an absolute thermonuclear weapon. By strategically being offended by the people in her life when they behave in certain ways, this mom manages to transform her relationships into her own personal resources.

Well played, mom. You’ve successfully guilt-tripped me into doing your bidding.

The superhero

This is the mom who inspires. The one who gets no sleep the night before and shakes it off, fills her 64-ounce thermos full of coffee and gets on with her day. The one who still powers through, even if she’s sick with the flu or something equally awful. The one who sometimes grimaces but never gives up. It doesn’t matter whether she stays at home or in the office; this mom is a modern-day Spartan, and you better get on board or out of her way.

To this type of mom, I say “Heck yeah.” Keep taking names, ma.

In conclusion

We’ve all seen mothers. They’re everywhere. If you’re confused about how you should categorize them, then refer here. Good luck.

Yoav is a senior in LAS.

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