This past weekend, George Clooney – world’s most eligible bachelor – became just another married guy. How’s your mom doing with that news?
Seriously, you should call your mother.
There are several defining moments that broke the hearts and dashed the romantic expectations of baby boomer women: the death of JFK – nay, Camelot itself. The Beatles’ shaggy phase. Charles and Diana’s divorce. Now this: the man your mom is probably obsessed with is off the market. Yes, you should call her. But we don’t think you should go into this blind. Here’s all the prep you need.
Understand The Alternatives
Your mother may express dismay that Clooney did not wed one of his past loves. However, Clooney often dated less-famous gals, so you should also be prepared for your mother to mourn George’s failure to end up with single famous ladies who she likes. This is normal. If your mother laments that George should have married “Sandy,” “Jen,” “Meg,” or “Julie,” just know that she means Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, Meg Ryan, or Julia Roberts/ Julianna Margulies. Matchmaker to the stars, that mom of yours.
The correct emotion to express when talking to your mother is bemusement. Say things like “I never thought he’d get married,” or, if you’re slightly more dramatic, “well, I never thought we’d see the day.”
It’s understandable that your mom might be a bit taken aback by this news, because this is not a marriage of peers. No, it is a marriage between a major player on the international stage … and a man from this one doctor show in the 90s.
Your mother will become more comfortable with this development if she grows to accept – or even love – George’s new missus. If, like me, you don’t know much about Amal Alamuddin, here is your cheat sheet. Alamuddin is a British-Lebanese human rights attorney who earned her degree at Oxford and got an L.M.A. from N.Y.U. She clerked for a pre-Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor, and has spent the past few years working with the U.N., most recently on human rights violations in the Israel-Gaza conflict. She is fluent in three languages. So don’t worry, moms, I’m sure George will be provided for in his old age.
Know The Guest List
If your mom begins spiraling into self-pity and despair, dangle a star-studded guest list in front of her to distract her from her feelings. It was like combining the star power of the Oscars with the boozy fun of the Golden Globes with, probably, the irreverence of the Kids Choice Awards. Matt Damon. Bill Murray. Cindy Crawford. Bono (whose gift was probably something that wasn’t on the registry and nobody ever said that they wanted). Anna Wintour (whose gift was probably her stoic, slightly judgmental presence). There’s so much to talk about without even talking about the demise of George Clooney’s bachelorhood! Imagine being the person who had to figure out the table arrangements. It was probably like the dinner party word problems from Highlights For Children, but taken to the extreme. Feel free to speculate about the pals who didn’t make it, like Ben Affleck (IDK I’m sure that gem of a man had a very good reason) and Brad Pitt.
Again, if your ma is struggling with what this really means for her, it’s best to shift to a mutually agreeable subject. If the guest list doesn’t work, try outfits! Amal Alamuddin can dress. The best way to get your mother through this trying time is to get her to see Alamuddin as an ally, and that means that your mom has to find her as glam as her favs Sandy, Meg, Jen, and Julie. Fortunately, that won’t be too difficult.
Don’t Let It Get Personal
If you have one of those passive-aggressive moms, she may try to turn this into one of those “why aren’t you married yet” digs. Rise above it: after all, her boy George didn’t get there til he was 53, except for this one failed marriage in the early 90s that nobody talks about. Or, a “why can’t your career be more Amal Alamuddin” convo, because you know what, she didn’t graduate law school in the worst legal job market in the history of the world okay mom jeez. Like when a toddler is misbehaving, the best thing you can do is redirect. I suggest bringing it back to the outfits.