1. SCREEN YOUR CALLS. However, if you must answer the migraine inflicting, anxiety stimulating, vomit inducing phone call, follow the suggestions below to ease your agony.
2. Pull out that five liter box of Franzia that you keep on hand for such occasions. If the conversation turns out to be unusually heinous, upgrade to hard liquor. Jack Daniels or Jim Beam work nicely. (Warning: Do not use nice wine glasses, as they may be propelled with high velocity against a wall while you regrettably recall the conversation post-phone call)
3. If you are expecting a call from your Unbalanced Maternal Parent (UMP), make sure you pick up an extra pack of cigarettes. However, be sure to purchase a pack of the light variety, as the amount of smoking that will ensue will surely knock 34 years off your life. (Note: If you are currently not a smoker, you do not have an UMP.)
4. A well fueled lighter should be on hand for the dreaded phone call. As your anxiety may not be eased by the consumption of cheap wine and chain-smoking, the constant flicking of the lighter may help. A well fueled lighter is also valuable in destroying insect life and burning the fringe off the holes in your jeans.
5. Be sure to surround yourself with friends who have UMPs of equal or greater insanity than your own (although the latter may seem impossible at this point). They too will have that tell tale sign, so you will surely feel less self-conscious about that constant twitch in your right eye.
6. Following a phone call, it is crucial to your sanity that an art therapy session immediately take place. Be it Pollack style paint slinging or Kahl influenced sharpie portraits, art therapy will bring your anxiety level down a notch. Art supplies of any and all varieties may be used (Voo Doo doll construction materials are a plus).
7. Indulge yourself in Taco Bell smothered in Cheez Wiz, McDonald's Happy Meals, vast amounts of icecream, or any other such fattening food. The extreme caloric intake will allow you to feel less guilty about resenting your mother and will direct your guilt to your fat ass.
8. A phone call from a UMP is guaranteed to decrease your maturity by years, so embrace your sudden youthful self. Position yourself in front of a mirror and allow yourself to mock the bitch. (Caution: seeing the uncanny resemblance plus the earlier binge session may cause vomiting).
9. Bucket and moutwash (See #8)
10. Although not recommended, you may attempt to seek comfort in a confidant who does not have a UMP. If you must take this route, keep a generous supply of lye in a safe place. If your "friend" tries to convince you to see things from your mother's perspective, use the lye to destroy the remains.
11. Pamper yourself. Give yourself a full blown makeover and get empowered. Feel like the most beautiful you inside and out. Imagine yourself as an inspiring author, life-changing artist, world's most fabulous supermodel, or whatever you can dream up. However, remember that this is make believe. As your UMP has reminded you again and again, you will never amount to anything, just like you will certainly never lose that baby fat.
12. It is a well known fact that a UMP chooses one of her children from an early age to direct her rage at. Put a reminder in a visible place to get the dirt on your siblings. Next time your UMP calls, quickly spill the beans on your brother or sister. If all goes well, your UMP will hastily end the conversation and contact said sibling. However, this is not recommended for those with UMPs of extreme imbalance, as they will proceed to list the sibling's respectable traits and how you will never measure up.
13. A common side effect of a phone call from a UMP is the hasty and often desperate post-phone call attempt to find acceptance and love. This leads most commonly to one night stands and phone calls to ex-boyfriends. Remember, before jumping in the sack that Unbalanced Maternal Parenting has been linked to heredity. On that note, I'll leave you with this final thought: Don't Procreate... Masturbate."
Thank you, Katelyn, for sharing your experiences with the world. Stay posted for the upcoming installments in our Words of Wisdom essay series: "Disney Movie Drinking Games for Agoraphobic Alcoholics with a Neverland Complex", "How to Complete your Last Semester of College with $.37 and a Dream", and of course, "The 'Fun' in Dysfunctional: The Katelyn Durden Story."