TO: All staff
FR: Brian Bieber
DA: 3/21/11

I am not your mother.

If you’re looking for someone to pick up your room or do your laundry, look elsewhere. And I’m not going to wipe your nose if you have the sniffles.

I’m not going to read you any bedtime stories or sing you any lullabies, and if you think that every year on your birthday I’m going to tell you where I was when I went into labor with you, then think again, because I won’t, because I didn’t.

I have no skin in this game, people; I’m not your mother.

I’m not going to tell you that I don’t care what you do with your life as long as you’re happy, but secretly wish you had pursued a field that was a little more lucrative. After all, a certain degree of happiness comes from financial security, doesn’t it? Don’t answer that, because I’m not really asking. Save that conversation for the Thanksgiving dinner I will not be preparing for you and your siblings. Do you even have any siblings? I wouldn’t know, and if you do, none of them came out of me.

To be honest, it bothers me that I even have to say this. Aren’t we all adults here?

Listen. I don’t care if you’re gay, and if you tell me, I won’t take it really hard at first but eventually come around after I realize that you are, after all, still my child, who I conceived, carried, birthed and suckled, and that the gender of those to whom you are sexually attracted has no real bearing on any of that. And even though it would mean that any of the grandchildren I had always hoped for would likely not be related to me biologically, I would get over it. None of that applies to this situation. I’m not your mother, and if I was, I would be too young to be a grandmother anyway.

Are you having your first period? Not my department. Come to me if you have payroll questions, but save the tampon talk for a more appropriate conversation partner. Like your mother.

Are you Catholic? I don’t care that you didn’t get confirmed. Are you Jewish? I don’t give a shit whether your spouse is, too.

I didn’t marry your father out of some outdated sense of moral obligation. I don’t get tense when the subject of your birth date or my wedding anniversary come up, afraid that whoever is asking will perform that simple, embarrassing calendar arithmetic. I don’t even know when your birthday is; that generic greeting card you get every year comes straight from HR. I don’t read it before I sign it. Last year I didn’t even sign it. Does that sound like something a mother would forget to do?

So, please: If you use a community dish, take a minute to wash it, and put it back in the break room cupboard.

Thank you.