I never realize how great my social influence truly is until I pay attention while shopping with my mother. Obviously, we have been in each others' primary groups for a long time, but I know that the distance between my siblings and myself has helped add to my influence. Since my brother and sister are six and eight years older than me (respectively), I was given the unusual opportunity to be a sibling while also spending six years at home with just my parents and dog. This brought many challenges, but also built a great friendship between my mother and me. My mom is my best friend. As time has gone on, we have become more and more homophilous, and our density become greater. I think we have one of the strongest ties imaginable.
All of these things said, in the past several years, it appears that I have come to the top of the list of members of my mother’s associative reference group. Although there is still a distinct mother/daughter relationship, I noticed very blatantly this Black Friday how quick she is to ask my opinion, even about things she is more than capable of making a decision upon. Surely she could have chosen a textile to hang in our bathroom during the Christmas season on her own, but she wanted my opinion. She trusts my judgment. It is kind of cool for my opinion to be held in high esteem by someone whom I respect and love so much.