I think it's safe to state that most mother's know their children's likes, wants, and needs, and often times, better then their own. I have personally encountered this dynamic through the various friendships I've held over the years, and through extended family. I do not have this relationship with my mother, and neither do any of my siblings. In fact, my mother knows so very little about us, that we are no longer shocked by her absurd generalizations of our personalities, though I can't say that I have always been indifferent to my mothers strange perceptions.
My mother is the type of person who gets very distressed if you do not absolutely love something she has given you. On my tenth birthday my mother bought me a pair of tapered jeans with charms on the pocket. The charms were neat, but tapered(which went on to evolve into "stretch skinnies", for the younger crowd who may be reading) jeans were not in fashion. If I went to school wearing tapered pants I would be guaranteed to be made fun of, and I had enough things to deal with already(or so I believed). I told her the jeans were nice but I didn't like the cut and asked if I could exchange them. My mother went on for half an hour about how nice the jeans really were and how silly I was for worrying about other's opinions. She made me feel stupid and selfish for wanting something different, especially after she put so much thought and love into this gift of all gifts. Even my mother's jerk boyfriend explained that they just weren't the "style", but it didn't stop her from ranting. The next visit I was presented with the exact same pair of jeans one size up, because apparently one size up made the jeans completely different and lovable.
My mother thought I loved tapered jeans just as much as my tom-boy sister loved elegant jewelry. For some reason my mother generally bought things my brother actually liked, though as he got older she started buying him more "sensitive" or "new age" items including a dream-catcher with purple glass accents(I love it, it's in my porch), and the odd "collect-able" knock off like the "one ring" from lord of the rings. My mother's gifts to us are a pretty good representation of what she believes our personalities to be. I'm not kidding when I say that she gave my tom-boy sister(who's actually transgendered) dainty jewels . My mother viewed my sister as a delicate flower, just waiting to "blossom" one day. In my mother's mind, my sister would stop wearing mostly men's clothing and accessories and finally accept that little woman inside her. Actually, I always loved the jewelry my sister was given and often ended up wearing it. My sister would get mad at me, not because she liked the jewelry, but because I was wearing something she received from my mother(she always equated my mother's gifts as my mother's love).
My mother had a habit of buying me things she thought were trendy, which, like the tapered jeans, usually came 3 years too late. She always thought of me as a bit of an airhead, and told me last year that Jackie from "That 70's show" always reminded her of me. I was none to thrilled to hear that comparison. For one, I was never a cheer leader. I had boyfriends in highschool, but I wasn't boy "crazy", I often was broken up with because I wasn't a slut. That comparison brought back the memory of an equally inaccurate and anger inducing statement made by my mother during a visit I stayed home from. My sister told me that one night my mother, brother and her were watching tv. A commercial for "Girls gone wild" came on and there was a girl who flashed the camera, laughing and drunk. My mother laughed and exclaimed "There's Leslie in ten years". My sister was mortified and promptly defended me saying I was nothing like that girl, to the apparent surprise of my mother.
These are just a few examples of how little my mother knows about any of us, or maybe they're examples of the lives she's mentally manufactured each of us to live. I wish the life she envisioned me to have involved more then some bimbo persona, it's disheartening knowing that someone you love thinks you're literally "too pretty" to think reasonably. I shouldn't let it get to me, but sometimes I get so exhausted trying to rationalize my mother's thoughts that I just let go and allow them to infiltrate my mind. At least I have the ability to shake my head out and remember I'm not the one with the problem, thank god(or whomever you choose) for that!