Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Because She Said So, That's Why

She was the first person to see you naked, your very first life coach, number one fan, chef, chauffeur, confidante. Let's face it: moms make the world go 'round. And no matter what your age or where you live, I'm willing to bet your mom used the same Momisms raising you that mine used with me. I think on the day a mother brings her baby home from the hospital, she is given a list of these 'isms that she is required to use with the child as often as possible.

And even though some of these little reminders don't seem to make a lot of sense, I've learned over the years that mothers (mine, anyway) have an uncanny way of being right. About everything. So always listen to your mother: she knows her stuff, even if you can't see it/understand it/handle it at the moment. In honor of Mother's Day, let's review some of Mom's favorite pearls of wisdom, shall we?

Don't run with scissors. This one, probably the most common, is a bit bizarre for me. What kind of crazed, deranged kids are running around with scissors to begin with? I supposed you could also add not running with knives, switchblades, hedge trimmers, sickles, spears, forks, or other dangerous objects with the ability to impale. Or you could just use my philosophy and not run at all. Safety first, people.

Wait 30 minutes after you eat before swimming. I don't know if swimming too soon after eating will actually cause a cramp and put you in danger of drowning, but it absolutely will make you look chubby in your swimsuit, so this one is a gem. It's nearly impossible to strut your stuff poolside while rocking a Buddha belly, so unless you're planning to go old school "but I've got a bad sunburn" and swim in your t-shirt, lay off the buffet before taking a dip. For everyone's sake.

"Everyone" is doing it? Well, if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too? Sadly, in the age that we live in, probably so. Because if everyone did it, it would make a cool Facebook picture/viral video/flash mob, and lately that's what it's all about. So at least if you're going to join the masses in their bridge jumping and other trending tactics, be sure to follow Mom's next piece of advice:

Be sure to wear clean underwear. What will people think if you get in an accident? Do you think that, if moms everywhere hadn't stressed this one, we would be a society full of dirty underwearers? Was the temptation so great to not change one's drawers that our mothers had to nag to get it done? I shudder at the thought. But in the era of Britney and Lindsay and those celebrity commando photos, I think just "be sure to wear underwear" isn't necessarily a ridiculous suggestion. Bonus points if it's clean.

Don't slouch. Your mama (all of ours, actually) was your first yoga instructor. Before it was popular and you started schlepping your own mat to classes full of hipsters seeking zen, Mom was telling you to keep your head up, shoulders down, stand tall, and you would look and feel better. And sure enough, she was right. Just ask Rain, your Bikram yoga guru. She'll vouch for it.

Elbows off the table. And while we're at it, cell phones, too. If it's so important that you just have to text about it, then do your tablemates a favor and leave. Trust me, they would rather look at an empty chair than watch you message back and forth with your friend Mary Helen about her night last night--"OMGeeee! She stayed out how late? Nooooo!" Forced to choose, we'd all rather you put your grimy elbows up.

Don't talk with your mouth full. I'm not going to get into a whole laundry list of table manners, but this one is important. Don't ever do it--unless you are yelling "fire!" When I worked at Cubicles Incorporated (or Satan's Lair, whichever nickname you prefer), one of my rather large, food-loving coworkers downed a chicken salad club sandwich and had not quite finished the last bite when he simply had to discuss a project with me. I still remember looking at that food dancing around in his mouth...and then he burped, right in my face. The sheer force of the bacon-scented belch blew my hair back away from my face. You do not want someone telling stories like that about you. Chew, swallow, chitty chat away.

It's all fun and games until someone pokes an eye out. As a Barbie doll playing, inside-loving child, I can't relate to this one very well. What in the world were the rest of you doing while I was playing Nintendo that gouged out eyes? If some of you are reading this with the one good eye you have left, I would love some feedback about what fun and games turned so horribly wrong it cost you an eyeball. Still, as a scare tactic, it is highly effective. I'm blinking like a maniac just thinking about it.

Mother's Day is Sunday, so make you sure you take a moment to appreciate your mom. After all, she raised you, fed and watered you, made sure your underwear would pass public inspection, and kept you from cutting yourself to shreds running with sharp objects.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom, who put up with, policed, and sometimes even participated in, all my hijinks, shenanigans, and tomfoolery over the years. Practically everything I know about being a belle, I learned from her. Love you, Mom!

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