Moms love to help and give advice. When you got your finger stuck in the door at age five, she had a plan. When you overate pineapple and your tongue went numb at age 11, she was there with a remedy. When you rode the Greyhound interstate last summer, she was practically overflowing with handy information about vagrants and motion sickness, as well as a copy of the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” soundtrack. But how do the most common “mom-isms” stack up to real life testing? We pit some of the biggies against life experience.
I think that haircut looks lovely on you. My mother uttered these words shortly after I got an ill-advised pixie cut that took three years to grow out. They came from the bottom of her heart, despite being light years from the truth. Your mom is keeping these words handy for the next time you decide to get an undercut on a whim. Even when we look like Chaz Bono, we are all beautiful to our mothers.
Never sit on a public toilet seat. This piece of advice has gone head to head with the counter advice: Never pee all over a public toilet seat. The gallery is often divided on the best way to approach a sullied toilet seat that has seen the asses of too many in between cleanings, but in the end, for us, the latter option, spurred by the fickle behavior of toilet seat covers, wins out.
Use party invitations that cannot be photocopied. No matter whether a tea party, cookie swap, or all-girls sleepover, my mom was convinced that gate-crashers could descend at any moment, and insisted on checking guest lists as people arrived. Nary was a gatecrasher seen at any party I attended, including the historic end-of-year pool party at Sarah Meyer’s house. In the era of e-vites, however, you might not be so lucky.
Always carry your own toilet paper. You know how moms always have those ageless balled-up tissues in their handbags? It’s totally gross until you’re stranded in a dirty train bathroom with no TP. Then, the gift of this soft, pillowy tissue can be fully appreciated, as you skirt certain death from venereal disease thanks to your mom’s need to blot her lipstick.
Don’t hang around with that Jennifer. Convinced that I could do no wrong, my mom used to pin my hijinks on my poor, frizzy haired friend, Jennifer. Your mom likely has a similar scapegoat on whom she blames for all your naughtiness and questionable fashion choices. Sure enough, by the end of grade eight, Jennifer had been shipped off to boarding school after bringing drugs to school. Another win for mom intuition!
Grandma would love a letter from you. If the pile of floral stationery my grandma has been giving me each birthday since I was six weren’t a clue, Grandma does indeed love a good letter. Write your grandparents a letter full of jokes about gold mining towns and Abraham Lincoln beards so they remember the good old days, won’t you?
The lady at the shop said everyone will be wearing culottes this summer. If my mom knew this was an out-and-out lie when she first said it, her conviction after the third or fourth time is to be commended. Will anyone ever be wearing culottes in any summer? Doubtful, though baggy shorts that look like a skirt and give you an enormous FUPA do have their merits.
You like chicken liver, don’t you? Despite years of vegetarianism, my mom’s belief that I will spontaneous resume consumption of meat is a testament to her knowledge of the role that B-12 plays in a balanced diet. I’ll give it to you, mom, protein is important.
I bet you could have any boy you wanted. This one is king of the momisms foisted upon each of us as we wallow in the dumps, lovelorn and lonely. Is she right? Most often, no, Ted Dunn is interested in only the hottest girl in school, but it’s still lovely to hear such optimism from someone who shares your genes. After all, she scored your dad.
Perhaps it might be nice if you took a shower. This one is often uttered shortly after the previous momism, once self-loathing has taken a firm hold and personal hygiene has been “relaxed” somewhat. Believe it or not, mom is right about this. You would be amazed at the wonders a pouf of peach-mango soap and hot water can do for a damaged soul wearing three-day-old mascara. Go on, sunshine, fire up the faucet.
What are some of your favorite momisms?
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