Drinks without coasters on wooden tables, and five other things mums wake up screaming about

MOTHERS hold families together, but even they have secret terrors that stalk their very nightmares. These things scare them shitless: 

Permanent coffee table rings

Even if you go to place a dry mug on a shitty beaten-up table, a mum will dive across the room like a bodyguard taking a bullet in order to place a coaster. It’s an instinctive reflex built up through generations of reading Ideal Home magazine.

Mud on carpets

A single, dried flake of mud traipsed into the house can send even the hardiest mums into a tailspin of panic and despair. Expect them to emerge with a cocked and loaded vacuum cleaner like Schwarzegger with his minigun in Terminator 2, and much the same stone-faced determination.


Mothers will say that they’re just bitterly jealous of youthful, attractive women swooping into their family and stealing away their sons, but that’s merely a front. Deep down they’re actually deeply afraid of daughters-in-law judging them based on sons they’re aware haven’t really turned out that great.

What next door thinks

Fear is an incredible motivator and mums scared of the neighbours’ judgement try to protect themselves with new kitchens, needless extensions and large family cars. None which quell the anxiety but work like a nightlight to help keep the gnawing paranoia of social expectations at bay.

Cluttered surfaces

Tables, shelves, windowsills: they’re flat surfaces. People put things on them. Then a mum enters the room and falls to her knees in horror at the sight of a set of keys left on the mantelpiece, cluttering it so foully that the entire house may as well just be burned down to erase the shame.

Other mums

The other phobias on this list are nothing compared to the horror of other mums. Franklin Roosevelt claimed we had nothing to fear but fear itself, but he’d never met these bitches and their vicious invitations to Macmillan coffee mornings. Your mum would rather go bungee jumping in a shark cage. But she has no choice. She has to go.

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'She was so pissed she threw up in her handbag' and other first date red flags

FIRST dates are tricky, unless your date makes it unambiguously clear that a second date would be a mistake by doing one of these:  

She puked in her handbag

Having a couple of drinks to calm nerves is normal. Arriving shitfaced is worrying, and carrying on drinking to the point where you discreetly vomit in your handbag is an absolute deal-breaker. If you had to pour them into a cab and give the driver an extra £50 for his upholstery, they’re not The One.

He only looked up from his phone once

And that was when the barman dropped a glass and everyone cheered. Yes, phones contain the internet which contains the entire world, but you’ll be spending the rest of your relationship looking at screens rather than each other, so put it down for one night.

She talked about politics

Obviously you’ll have to talk politics at some point, otherwise you’ll be in too deep to end the relationship when the next election comes and she votes Lib Dem. However, anyone talking very intensely about Britain First’s values-focused politics before the starter arrives is practically screaming ‘f**k off now’.

He wouldn’t f**king shut up about his ex

Whether talking them up or slagging them off, if he can’t shut up about his ex then he’s not over his bloody ex, is he? Ditch immediately or you’ll have to put up with him still banging on about what a bitch Jenny was when you’re 75.

She suggests going for a fortnight’s holiday in Portugal

Some people come on a bit strong on a first date, and some go wild-eyed at commitment like a tiger chasing fleeing prey. Never go further than Bognor Regis with someone you’ve only met once because, though they won’t be a murderer, they will be repulsively needy.