While you obviously absolutely adore your mother, and miss her more than anything when you’re away at school, is it sometimes possible that she loves you a little too much? That’s the question The Jewish Daughter Diaries: True Stories of Being Loved Too Much by Our Moms tackles. Even if your mom doesn’t happen to be Jewish, you’ll still relate to this anthology (although you’ll understand fully if she’s already started pestering you about JDate). If you’ve ever been the not-so-proud recipient of a guilt trip worthy of its own movie (far superior to that hot mess starring Streisand), this is a must-read.
Editor Rachel Ament features stories from daughters who describe growing up with overbearing Jewish mothers. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll relate, and you’ll give your mother a hug and apologize for being kind of a bitch. It’s that good. Then, you’ll make your mother read it, and she’ll claim she’s not like any of those mothers, despite the fact that she recently told you to text her with an explanation whenever you’re unavailable to pick up the phone– it’s fine, because most parental relationships are healthier when you agree to disagree.
The essays range from actually LOL-worthy to wiping away secret tears (which I did on the plane from New York to Florida, which seemed v. fitting for this anthology). The book opens with a conversation between Ament and her mother, and if you have parental units that want to know every detail of your life, down to the last second, it will sound oddly familiar to you.
The first essay, “JDate My Mom,” by TV writer Lauren Greenberg, describes what happened when her mother impersonated her and tried online dating (hilarity ensues, obviously). If your mom has ever questioned your gentlemen callers (or lack thereof), you’ll get it. In Ament’s piece, she talks about how her mother was convinced Seth Cohen was her soulmate (I disagree, not because he’s a fictional character, but because he’s mine). She then describes going on the first date from hell, and I mean hell. No spoiler alerts, but it’s actually a nightmare… okay, one little spoiler — it involves his parents.
Other stories that stand out are from Mayim Bialik (of The Big Bang Theory fame — her mom is convinced everyone ever is just jealous of her), Anna Breslaw (the Cosmo sex blogger), and Jena Friedman, a stand-up comedian who sprinkles a recipe with advice from her mother (if you’ve ever had to call mom for a quick recipe and then logged an hour on the phone, you’ll feel her).
If you feel yourself turning more and more into your mother every day, you need to read this immediately. If your mother is the one human on the planet who both fully understands you and can drive you to insanity, order it now. If you call your mother at least once a day because she’ll listen to you vent, offer you advice, and support you 100% completely, this book is for you. You may have reading for school, but put it aside for The Jewish Daughter Diaries, a sociological study that’s equal parts real and fascinating. It’s the perfect reminder that no one will ever love you as much as your mother– and that you’ll never love anyone more, either.