The thing about having a dead mom is that everyone assumes you miss her most during crucial and memorable milestones.
“I’m sorry your mom is missing this!” guests shouted at my wedding, as my college roommates swayed arm and arm to “Sweet Caroline.” “I wish your mom could meet her,” friends cooed about my newborn daughters while gifting us with lasagnas and flowers. And they’re right, of course. There isn’t a second that goes by where I don’t think of all the things she’s missing, all those profound moments I long to share with her.
But the truth is, the real reason I wish she was still here is to discuss the Kardashians with me. Because holy shit, my mom would love the Kardashians.
She would hate them, too, and she would love to hate them. Dissecting their over-documented moves would be our most favorite thing to do together, along with shopping for soft, loose-fitting cotton tees and sitting on the kitchen counter together washing cheddar cheese sandwiches down with white wine.
Just the thought of Kris Kardashian getting a facelift before Kim’s first wedding would have sent my mom into a feminist rant. “This is why I don’t dye my hair!!!!!” she’d have slowly hammered out in a text message. “She is beautiful she should love herself as she is!!!!! Love, Mom.” Minutes would pass, and then another note would pop up on my phone: “Which one is going out with Will Smith’s son? Also, can I throw out your old poetry journals from 10th grade?” I would roll my eyes and sigh and then type back “Kylie, and NO” with a smile. I secretly loved all her messages to me, no matter how stupid.
She would loathe Kim, and her airy voice and vapid narcissism. Above all my mom valued self-deprecating humor and sensible shoes, two things Kim knows nothing about. But she would connect with Khloe’s brashness, wit and family loyalty — finding in her that fiery something often stewing within herself.
My mom would sign up for Twitter and then call me, confused about how to use it. But once she had it figured out she’d follow just me, Michelle Obama, Howard Stern, my best friend from college, a bunch of local Boston weathermen, and every Kardashian created on the Earth. “Khloe just unfollowed LamLam!” she’d tweet, and then delete it because she’d meant to send it to me as a direct message. She’d be shocked by his drug use. “He just didn’t seem like the type!” she’d gasp over a cup of tea in her kitchen. But when it came to his cheating, she’d just roll her eyes. “Of course he did,” she’d say with a shake of her head, reaching for her secret stash of Good N’ Plentys in that cabinet filled with random things no one dared touch. “All men are disgusting.” Somewhere from over on the couch my dad would object. “All men but you, Jim!” she’d reply, then twist her brow at me, knowingly.
This belief would lead her to loathe Scott Disick. “I just can’t stand his face,” she’d say to me as we’d catch him speed-walking in Gucci loafers across a tabloid cover at the grocery store. But she would tear up watching Kourtney give birth, applauding as she pulled her own baby from her vagina during delivery. “That’s just what I did with you and your brother,” she’d say, turning to me with pride. “No pain meds…” I’d finish her sentence for her, “just ice chips.”
More than anything, she would love Kris’s relationship with her daughters the most. “See how protective she is of her girls?” she’d say, pointing at the TV. “That’s how I feel about you guys. She’d do anything for her kids.”
“It’s just too bad you didn’t think to use my sex tape to elevate our family name,” I’d reply.
“You don’t have a sex tape!” She’d squeal. “Wait, do you?”
“Mom.” I’d whack at her arm, hidden somewhere in her lumpy old bathrobe. “Ew.”
“I’d be okay with it,” she’d say, turning back to the TV. “Just as long as you didn’t let him pee on you.”
“You’re ridiculous,” I’d tell her, leaning over the coffee table to refill our wine glasses.
“I know,” she’d say.
“That’s why I love you,” I’d add, and snuggle my feet under her legs.
Then we’d both turn our attention back to the TV and watch in silence, laughing at all the same moments until the credits rolled.
Kate Spencer is a Senior Writer/Producer and on-air host at VH1. Her written work has appeared in Salon, The Daily Beast, Vulture, and The Huffington Post, who named her one of their “18 Funny Women You Should Be Following On Twitter.” Kate can also be found on Tumblr and performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.