Problem: My Mother Is Annoying

Our advice columnist to the rescue

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Q: I visit my mother, who is aging but vital, quite often, and she’s developed this annoying tic: We’ll be eating breakfast, and she’ll ask me what I want for dinner. At lunch, she’ll start planning the next day’s breakfast. I would sooner focus on one meal at a time. Then again, this tic has replaced the one that had her saying “I’ve bought you so many beautiful clothes, why are you wearing that?”

— R.R.,
Bethesda, Md.


Dear R. R.,

Consider yourself lucky: (1) Your mother still buys you clothes, and (2) she’s an optimist. A person who plans the next day’s meals believes in tomorrow. As opposed to the sort of person who eats dessert first, just in case he dies during the main course.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/whats-your-problem/309455/