In a twist on Mother’s Day today, we asked Washington journalists to think about a time or moment in their lives when they disappointed her. Just the asking part was fascinating in that it sometimes evoked complicated feelings. While many readily replied to the question, more than one declined for any number of reasons. A few said the question brought up touchy things they’d rather not discuss or have her see, while others dealt with the heavy reality that she’s no longer alive. We appreciate those who provided us answers, and to those of you who couldn’t or wouldn’t respond, we understand that too.
NBC Producer Andy Gross told us he’d rather not answer the question since his mother, Cornelia, passed away fairly recently and this is his first Mother’s Day without, as he put it, her “reassuring presence in my life.” In lieu of an answer, he sent this photograph of the two of them. He’s the one in the big black shoes.
SiriusXM’s Julie Mason: “I grew up in a seriously liberal family — Boston Irish Kennedy-huggers from way back. Effective modes of teenage rebellion were highly limited. I became a punk rocker, but that raised few eyebrows. Then one summer during college, I went to work for the RNC. It was like I had stabbed her in the heart! We both got over it, eventually.”
Mike Elk, In These Times Magazine: “My mother used to fart a lot when I was a kid and then blame it on me in public. Occasionally, I would be like no mom you farted, I dont know if that she was disappointed I wouldn’t take the fall for the fart, but she was certainly embarrassed.”
Politico‘s Dave Catanese: Probably when I was a young teenager and a few friends and I got nabbed by local po-po swiping political signs. And nooooo, it wasn’t a partisan thing. Just dumb kids seeing what we could get away with it in the dark of night. Mom wasn’t pleased, but neither was Dad.
WaPo‘s Erik Wemple: “I am sure that I disappointed my mother on many fronts. Thing is, I don’t really know what those things were, because she never betrayed disappointment. She was everything to me, and then she dropped dead in a supermarket in Schenectady, N.Y., 12 years ago. So I’ll add this question to the many that I never got to ask her.”
NJ‘s Jim O’Sullivan: “My mother is a tough lady. You’d have to be, to endure the perpetual state of disappointment in which I’m certain she exists. She’s too kind to ever show this, of course, but I’d imagine on any number of levels – sartorial, behavioral, professional – the disappointment is almost total.”
The Daily Caller‘s Brian Danza: “I wouldn’t want to disappoint her more by saying something stupid in the media. My mom lives in Italy, so it’s not mother’s day over there. I am off the hook this time.”
Publicist and Hollywood on the Potomac blogger Janet Donovan: “In general, my mother was very supportive and non judgmental so it is hard to say just what disappointed her, but if I had to guess it would be when she and my father would take my children in the summer so I could ‘get my act together’. Instead, I went tooling around in the Greek Islands and pretended to be calling from a ‘bad connection’ when I checked in with them. They never said anything, but being a mother myself, I know she knew, so assume she was disappointed.”
TWT‘s Anneke Green: “So I called my mom on this one. She denied every disappointment I accused her of ever feeling, including that I wouldn’t cut off my hair. Apparently I am a model child. Or it’s right before Mothers Day and she doesn’t want to jeopardize her gift situation. Gotta go, jumping on a plane to surprise her this weekend!
TPM‘s Evan McMorris-Santoro: “I have never disappointed her. Every mother dreams her 30 year-old son will spend his days driving across the frozen Iowa tundra in the hopes of yelling questions at a former Pennsylvania Senator in a pizza buffet restaurant.”
Publicist Dannia Hakki: “I have the lucky privilege of having a mother for a client. My mother is the COO of my father’s plastic surgery/med spa practice, Luxxery Medical Boutique. I am the boutique’s publicist. My mother loves to bother me about pitches, press releases and other public relation’s services that are included in her monthly retainer. She sends me daily emails with updates, questions, and concerns to make sure my father is being pitched properly. Take, Plastic Surgery Practice Magazine, for example. Email from my mother attached – in which she yells at me her assistant Maha about our pitching efforts.” An excerpt from her mother’s email: “This is going to become poop on Maha day because Maha doesn’t know poop about what I am talking about, and besides: AINT GOT TIME FOR THIS. Dannia, if you are in your office, please look in the pile of junk this is on your left hand side at your desk and you will find the PSP issue, at which point we can talk.”