A ...kinda wholesome Carolyn's mum story?

This happened today and I was thinking about submitting it:

I am the submitter of this story Can’t Face The Face-Talking » . My mum has had a bit of a redemption arc (wild, I know). My husband and I are staying with her temporarily for a few months until we can find our forever home. She has been making a significant effort to be a better person and we’ve both noticed and are appreciative of it.

I wake up one day to the doorbell ringing and a handyman having arrived to fix the back porch. I go to open the gate to let him through to the back. My mum, who had been working in the back yard, comes up on the other side of the gate. It’s 8am in the morning, I haven’t brushed my teeth or even put my glasses on, and she comes out with:

Mum: “Good morning [handyman]! This is my daughter. Isn’t she pretty??”

Please note, I’d never met the guy before. I cock my head at her and give her a completely unrestrained “wtf” look.

Handyman: awkward chuckle “Yeah, you’re pretty!”

The cringe is palpable. I hold my “wtf” look for a couple more seconds before walking silently back into the house. Later, when it isn’t so early in the morning anymore, I bring it up:

Me: “Mum, idk what was going through your head this morning, but… maybe in future… don’t ask random handymen to comment on the appearance of your married 29 year old daughter?? That was so awkward.”

Mum: looking embarrassed “You’re right, I didn’t think of that. I just… I never praised or said anything nice about you or [Brother], growing up, especially around other people, I only ever said bad things. I was trying to change that.”

I blink.

Me: “…Okay. That’s sweet. But still, terrible way to go about it, mum! You kinda put both of us on the spot.” (I’ve started laughing at this point).

Mum: sheepishly laughing as well “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”

Me: “A for effort.”

(Baby steps, but she’s getting there.)

What do you guys think? :thinking:


Well, it sounds like she is genuinely trying to break her habit of bad mouthing everyone. It also seems like she’s out of practice of accptable social niceties when being nice.

I think it’s a positive, but only you can say whether or not this is better for you and your family.


Oh, but as to whether you should submit it , i say go for it!


I agree, I think she’s genuinely trying, and personally I appreciate it. Once I realised her reasoning behind it I actually genuinely thought it was sweet of her for trying.

Was mainly trialling it here on the forums to see what other people thought - I didn’t want to submit it if the general reception would be negative, whether because people find her past actions to be irredeemable or whether this story still rubs them the wrong way and it’s just upsetting to read or whatnot.


Whether she’s redeemable or not is solidly “you” territory – I don’t think you should hold yourself back on account of us rubes. :grin:

This lands similarly to that meme: “It was a calculated risk, but man oh man am I bad at math.” Sort of funny, but heartbreaking in a sense that someone is that out of practice with basic humanity.
Honestly, it should fit right in at NA[foo].


Personally I think intention counts for something and the intention seems good. And she seemed receptive when you said you werent comfortable with it which counts for more. So to me it seems positive for your mom.

That said your reaction/feelings are your own.

With regards to submitting it. People will have opinions, some positive, some not, some well intentioned, some not. Its possible that you will hear every reaction. My advice would be to be cognizant of that before submitting. If you arent prepared to hear both “shes trying so you must forgive all your past” and " it doesnt matter what she does there is no redemption cut all contact" I would hesitate to submit.


I don’t mind a “mix” so much, it’s more like, if it’s overwhelmingly negative that would make me not want to post it. But I appreciate the advice/feedback.


I think it’s a cute story about how even the best intentions can lead to awkwardness and would do well on Not Always Related.
I wonder, though, if that handyman, who possibly had no idea you were married (and only lodging there temporarily), was thinking Mum was desperately looking for a suitor for her daughter :smiley: .


That’s part of the reason it felt super awkward! :rofl: Like… were you trying to suggest that to the guy or what? One of my friends was like “damn she just forgot the existence of your whole husband :joy:” (that was before I found out what her intentions were, lmao)