Thursday, January 07, 2016

Thursday Thirteen: The Ones That Mother Gives You

We all have that voice in our head, echoing from days long past. It is especially strong in women, I think, because daughters spend more time with their mothers, and those mom-isms lodge themselves in our brains.

So, 13 things Mom might have told you:

1. Wear clean and mended underwear. Heaven forbid you wreck the car and the medics see that the elastic on your tighty-whiteys is frayed.

2. Have your own money. My mother was quite insistent on this point, and while my husband and I have always had a joint account, I have always had a separate checkbook for myself. When I was working, I paid smaller bills, my car payment, etc., and credit cards are in my name as well as hubby's. Every women should stash away enough money that she can leave if she must. You never know how a man will turn out.

3. Always wear make-up. My mother was big on this - maybe not all mothers are. But an unmade face should never go out in public. Your clothing, too, should be clean and decent.

4. Mind your manners. I'm not sure many people remember this one these days - we seem to have become the most ill-bred bunch of loud-mouthed illiterates the nation has ever produced - but I still say yes ma'am and no sir to the point that I have actually had people I am dealing with on the phone about some issue or another stop the conversation and ask me where I was raised because they usually did not hear such politeness.

5. If you can't say something nice, say nothing at all. I tend to live with this on social media. I notice many people do not. Even an innocuous comment can receive the most vicious and nastiest retort. For the record, I think people who must do that are incredibly insecure in themselves and are only trying to make themselves important by bringing down someone else.

6. Be careful what you wish for. I never quite understood this one, and perhaps because I don't believe in the "law of attraction" I never will - but even so, I try not to wish for bad things. Nor do I wish for an abundance of good things. I generally only want enough, whatever that is.

7. Because I said so. This is actually a good one to use as an adult with other adults, too, only perhaps in other forms. For example, "it is not my policy." Well nobody can break a "policy" even if it is one you made up on the spot. "I'm sorry, it is not my policy to speak to people after 6 p.m." And if you're the boss, well, then "because I said so," is the perfect response to the reluctant employee who doesn't want to do his job the way you want it done. (Though a good boss might listen to the reasons for a change of policy.)

8. If you have a man around, you'll never have nice things. My mother said this a lot because men seem to track in lots of dirt, put glasses on furniture, break dishes, and otherwise ruin "stuff" that women may value. I know I have said this on occasion to my husband: my mother was right, men always break things. Oh dear.

9. I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it. This is actually a horrible and scary threat to a child, but it is, alas, one I heard with some frequency. I prefer things like, "if you don't behave you're, I'll knock you into next week," if one must make such threats. At least being knocked into the future doesn't imply imminent death.

10. I do all this work and this is the thanks I get? Yikes. Yes, mom, you did the cooking and cleaning and we didn't say thank you because you taught us to expect you to do it. That, of course, is not the lesson you wanted to teach but it is what we learned. It's what every girl learns.

11. Don't talk to strangers. I guess I tossed this one completely out the window because I will strike up conversations with anyone if I'm in the mood. I think it is the news reporter in me, or so says my husband. But really, these days, one can't be too careful. You never know what will come out of the other person's mouth (see #4 above, about manners).

12. Marry a man who treats his mother well. This advice worked for me. My husband's family was and is very close-knit.

13. You did it, you deal with it. I'm not sure parents say this today. If they did we wouldn't have helicopter parenting. But my mother told me this. If I made the mess, I had to clean it up. If I started the fight, I had to finish it one way or the other. If I took a job I didn't like, I had to either learn to like it or leave. You get the picture.

What did you mother tell you that you still remember?


Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list
here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 429th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. My father was the one who passed on wisdoms like this. One that I remembered yesterday was not to get vanity license plates because the cops can tag you too easily! He also imparted the very useful knowledge to us that bullies that pick on others actually feel small inside. The only one of the above I remember my mother saying was #7, I think.

  2. My mum doesn't say many of these but I remember my Nanny and Gran saying some of them or variants of them such as "neither a lender nor a borrower be."

  3. I find myself saying #13 a lot lately. Might be because my kids have finally grown up and I want a break from parenting.

    No one in my family said that thing about the underwear. We all figured if we needed medical help, it would be the least of our problems. Then I ended up in the hospital for less tragic things and found myself wishing I'd worn better underwear. *shrug*.

  4. I can't recall my mother having any sayings.... but my dad sure did. "You made your bed and now you're going to have to lie in it". "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps". "If you don't want to do what your boss hired you to do then you better go find a different job". I totally agree with #8, and it's a good thing my husband is good at fixing all the things he breaks. LOL

  5. Both parents said a lot of these, with the except of number three. I rarely wear makeup, while one sister always wore too much. There was also that old saying, "if your friends jumped off a bridge..." My T13

  6. Some of your mother's advice rang true with me as well, Anita, and I can especially recall an added one "you can do anything you want, after your chores are done." Growing up, one of those chores was ironing which I rarely do now as an adult. In fact, the ironing board is still in the VA house.

  7. I've heard most of these from my parents, too. Thanks for reminding me. I think I'll give my parents a call.


  8. Yes, mom said most of these. I'm glad that I will never say them. Thank you for the reminder and visiting my site.


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