My mother is the most irritating person on the planet. My Dad gets on my nerves from time to time but mostly we get along fine. My mother on the other hand, I can’t bear to be in the same room with for any length of time.

First there’s the issue with the television. She controls the remote, no matter what. My Dad and I could be sitting in the living room, watching a show we both like, and she’ll come into the living room, take the remote from which ever one of us has it and announce, “Let’s see what else is on” before proceeding to change the channel. Rude? Of course, but it gets better.  After scrolling through the guide channel for ten minutes, she’ll park it on something that neither Dad nor I have any interest in, and then leave the room. I swear to God.

Sometimes she can’t even be bothered to park it on a channel but instead leaves it on the guide, and leaves the room. Or she’ll put it on a show that she knows that Dad and I both despise – like QVC.  And she has the unmitigated gall to throw a tantrum at us if either of us dare say anything. I don’t watch tv anymore – for this very reason.

The TV isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. She and I fight constantly over laundry. Every time I do a load of laundry, she suddenly decides that she has to do her too. The washer is like 1000 years old and sounds like someone is torturing a field mouse every time it’s run. In order to use fabric softener, you have to wait for the rinse cycle to start, before you add it. Mother doesn’t use fabric softener so all of her stuff feels stiff and nasty, like sandpaper. I like my stuff soft.

Sometimes I don’t hear when the rinse cycle starts and it gets through the entire wash cycle. I go back and re-run the rinse in order to add the fabric softener. My mother will wait until I miss the rinse cycle and then run in and throw my clothes in the dryer. All she would have to do is call upstairs (which is where I hide since I can’t stand to be in the room with her, and which is why I don’t always hear the start of the rinse cycle) and I would come down and finish my laundry. But no, she just can’t wait.

That brings me to another reason why I’m convinced that she does this irritating shit on purpose. She does her laundry on Sundays. I know to have my stuff clear of the washer and dryer on Sunday because that is her day, and I have no problem with that. Except that when I start to do my clothes on Saturday, well then that’s suddenly the day she has to do laundry. Now that I’m working again and only have weekends off, when the hell am I supposed to do laundry if her day is any day I try to do mine.

So I haven’t done laundry in almost a month and I’m suffering from a dearth of clean underpants. It’s Wednesday, Christmas eve, and I’m off work but my Mom isn’t so I begin to tackle my mountain of laundry. The washer and dryer are old, as I mentioned before, so doing laundry takes a really long time. Plus my Dad and I ran some errands in the middle of the day so laundry lasted well into the night. I put a load in the washer at 9:30pm and head upstairs.  About 10:45pm I remember it and rush downstairs. She has already thrown my clothes – sans fabric softener – into the dryer. My light is on, she knew I was awake, and yet she fucked up my clothes – again. I’m convinced she does it just to start a fight. I can think of no other logical reason for any rational human being to behave in this manner.

My list of grievances could go on for days, and I realize that I’m no saint, but I think I generally try to avoid conflict, while she goes out of her way to start it. My father and brothers will tell you the same thing. This a horrible thing to say on Christmas Eve, but I honestly detest the woman, and if she weren’t my mother I would have written her off a long time ago.

And some nasty, petty part of me – which I clearly came by honestly – is really looking forward to choosing her nursing home.