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July 31, 2012 / hippiechickamblings

Momma Said

My mother is a lovely, strong, independent woman with an iron will and enough backbone to start her own museum of natural history. She’s also generous to a fault, and when it comes to giving advice, her generosity can be downright boundless. Mom has always been of the opinion that I can benefit more than anyone else from her advice, and I’m sure she’s convinced that had I heeded her instruction, I wouldn’t have become the big fat loser I am today. I know this is true, because the older I get, the more desperate she is to heap her wisdom upon my reluctant ears. I have learned to cope, however. There’re definite clues to listen for when the giving tree is about to dump another load. One of my favorites is, “If I were you, I would…”

According to Mom, the secret to a happy, safe, and successful life can be summed up in just a few simple guidelines:

“Pretty” is, as “Pretty” does. Translation: Behave beautifully, and you will be seen as beautiful, and people will like you. Nice philosophy, Mom…if you’ve got a corset and bustle in your undies drawer, and Charles Dickens lives next door. In the real world…you know, the one we live in NOW…the more you behave like a jackass, the more people adore you…as long as you’re pretty, of course. If this were not true, there would be no celebrity reality shows.

Always chew your food at least 20 times before swallowing. Otherwise, it could get hung in your “e-sock-afuss,” and you could choke to death. Plus, you won’t eat as much. Translation: Mom cannot pronounce the word “esophagus.” Also, Mom is weight conscious, and everybody knows a healthy weight can cure heart disease, cancer, hypertension, distemper, and rabies.

Never sleep naked. There might be a fire in the middle of the night, and you’d have to run into the street in clear view of the neighbors. Not sure where Mom was going with this one. All I know is that if my house catches on fire, the least of my worries will be whether or not the neighbor gets an eyeful of my “groceries.” I think this may be a recycling of that old “wear clean underwear when you leave the house…in case you get in an accident” rule. How dumb is that, anyway? Everybody knows that if you get in a car accident, a second one is going to take place anyway…IN your clean underwear.

It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as with a poor man. Mom was not advocating that I become a gold digger. This rule came while I was still in my twenties, and she noticed that I seemed to be a magnet for homeless, and/or unemployed dudes whose last jobs involved making license plates and Mr. Potato Heads.

Never shave above your knee. The hair will just get coarser, and you’ll never be able to stop. This must’ve been truly life-altering advice, since I heard it at least once a week, long after I’d been shaving my thighs on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, I heard it just this weekend. Mom was scandalized when she discovered I hadn’t taken her advice. “I tried to tell you what would happen,” she declared. “Right,” I said. “I can’t stop, now.” I suppose it’s a good way to go, as long as you’re not some hairy mutant freak who could pass for evolution’s “missing link.” Like me.

Never buy “new” if you can still use what you have. Translation: Wasting is a sin, and throwing away that polyester jumpsuit could send you to hell.  My mother believes that a sell-by date on food is part of a government conspiracy designed to get you to spend more money. She also has mascara from 1965. She washes aluminum foil, paper plates, baggies, and has enough plastic Cool Whip bowls to store food for a third world country. Of all my mother’s life rules, this one has impacted me the most, and to this day, I can’t walk by a Goodwill store without getting a buzz.

You can tell a lot by a person by the condition of their shoes. Since Mom has never gotten around to elaborating on this one, I’m still not clear on what life-shattering mysteries are to be found by looking at someone’s shoes. I can only assume that in Mom-town, if your shoes are shiny, new-looking, and well-cared-for, you’re likely to be nominated for mayor, whereas I would be living in a box. I’ve never fully grasped the obsession many women seem to have with shoes. My personal philosophy on shoes is simplicity itself: You need them, especially in winter. Buy a couple of pairs that fit well and wear them until they disintegrate. Then replace them.

Try as I may, I’ll never be the woman my mother is, but I’ve come to a certain comfortable acceptance of my inadequacies. Some of her advice is as much a part of me as the color of my eyes, while other bits and piece just never have fit who I am. I guess I’ll continue to behave like a lady, content with the fact that it will never get me my own reality show. I’ll gulp my food, because I never have time to do otherwise, keep my flannel pajamas, steer clear of men, both rich and poor, deal with my hairy thighs, catch a buzz every time I pass by a Goodwill store, and keep both pairs of shoes. And I’m okay with that.


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  1. queenicess / Jul 31 2012 8:10 pm

    well with the shoes mine are pretty well clean I just can never find them when ready to walk out the door I am a boot freak though and those are bought at thrift stores I don’t like new things to much have been known to buy some new tennis shoes though but my Boots looks almost brand new , I shave all the way up as well was told the same thing but did not listen at all not even sure if this is true any hows so I will will do the same and keep shaving all of my legs. I guess if my house catches on fire while I am asleep then my neighbors will get a eye full I hate sleeping in clothes. You are to chew your food 50 times at least 20 is about what we do any hows. I too think that some of the food the has dates on them are not needed because I kept milk and drank it for over a week pass its due date but allot of things you better eat it by that time or you will get sick, As for love it makes no never mind if the man is rich or poor all that matters is that you love him and he loves you and you are happy. I am a weight freak as well but have a huge reason for it but that my dear is another story but I have gain some and it is about to kill me but oh well i will survive and go on living and kicking just not very high thanks to the fat 🙂

    • hippiechickamblings / Jul 31 2012 8:17 pm

      Wow, sounds like you’ve had a visit to Mom-town, as well. Good to know that you came back to tell the tale. As for the fat, according to Mom, you should never gain weight as long as you’re chewing your food the correct number of times. Maybe you need to recount, Haha! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. As always, it is much appreciated.

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