The Trouble Between
Mothers and Daughters

By Jeanne Robertson

And people ask where I find my speech material . . .

I was seated in a gate area waiting to board a flight when I became aware of a heated argument several rows behind me between a teenager and her mother. Having been a teenager albeit years ago and having had a teenager at one point, I recognized the tones immediately. Actually, I could have filled in for either of them and continued the argument without missing a beat and I thought about it. Just step over, tap one of them on the shoulder and say, “If you want to take a break, I can handle this for you for a few minutes.”

The situation was awkward. On purpose I looked in another direction and faked disinterest but from what I couldn’t help but hear, they were arguing over a boy. No surprise there.

Suddenly, the teenager spat out, “You can take me on this trip and you can take away my cell phone but when we get home, I am going out with him. You can’t stop me!”

I glanced around to see if anyone else was eavesdropping on this little scenario as I was and discovered that everyone in the gate area had become interested in anything in an opposite direction. People were gazing out the big windows, staring at books, looking at the ceiling, examining their fingernails. One man was untying and retying his shoes. Anything to avoid looking over at the ugly scene.

A few seconds later I discovered that we were all listening because we all burst out laughing at the same time. It was when the teenager hissed to her mother through gritted teeth, “He is too a nice boy! Why else would he be doing two hundred hours of community service?”

Reprinted with permission from Alamance Magazine.
Humorist Jeanne Robertson, can be reached through