NOTE: That picture is NOT a picture of my mom. My mom looks like this:
1. Be Brave, Because You Are Awesome (Preschool)
My mom gave me an outrageous amount of confidence. The neighborhood kids would be like, "Lauren, you are NOT cool. Four eyes." And my mom would be like, "Lauren, you ARE cool. And you're beautiful." When I was afraid to talk to a boy in my preschool class she urged me to invite him over to play. AND I DID AND WE GOT MARRIED. AS 4 YEAR-OLDS. IT WAS A SMALL CEREMONY.
2. You Do NOT Need Boys (Ages 11-14)
When I got older and all my friends seemed obsessed with boys, my mom told me I shouldn't be. She urged me to focus on more important things, like throwing Fish Taco Fiestas for our cats. I had a very childish childhood, thanks to her. Very kid-like. My biggest worry was that I would miss my favorite Nickelodeon show on Saturday night (Are You Afraid Of The Dark?)
3. Well Actually, You Can Be Friends With Boys (Age 14)
In high school, I had a lot of boy friends (not boyfriends.) They felt very comfortable around me because I, on constant cootie patrol, would never have kissed any of them. There was no stress. They came over to my house, I hung out with them after school, and when school dances rolled around, they all wanted to ask me to be their date because I was safe. But I never really pursued them romantically, even when I wanted them. "They're dumb, remember?" I told myself.
4. Do NOT Date The Townies. (Age 18)
The only advice my mom gave me when she dropped me off at Gettysburg College, when we were driving through the small town, was "Don't date these people." I ended up dating one, obviously. She liked him.
5. Hey, Become a Little Sister (In The Frats)! (Age 19)
When my mom was in college, she wasn't in a sorority but was cool with the frat guys and hung out at frat houses all the time. She urged me to do the same. Unfortunately, I disliked the frat guys and I truly believe I was better off staying far, far away from their gross parties, hazing,and illegal activities. (Not ALL frats are like that, I know, I know. But THESE ONES WERE.)
6. Oh My God. Get a Boyfriend. (Age 20)
After years of taking her advice to stay away from boys (who drool, while girls rule), Mom started to think her advice worked a little too well. When I showed zero interest in ANYbody, she started pushing me to date.
7. Treat A Guy How You Will Treat Him Forever. (Age 21)
Don't bend over backwards for him just to get him in the beginning, because then he'll expect you to always do that. Set your standards at the beginning. Set those standards achievably low. Be flawed early on so that you can flaw, flaw away for the rest of your life without worrying he will be like "WHAT? SHE'S NOT PERFECT?!"
8. Just Make Sure He's Nice. That's it. (Age 22)
When you're a mom, and you're dreaming up a guy for your daughter, I guess you don't care if he's a hottie-patottie, or on the soccer team, or splits his Fun Dip with you. Mom just wants someone to treat you like are A QUEEN.
9. Stalk. (Age 23)
Walk by his work. Be where you know he'll be. How else is this going to happen?! Remember— be brave!
10. Holy Moly Seriously Get A Boyfriend. I Cannot Be Your Boyfriend. (Age 24)
We are very close, my mom and I. And more than once she said, "When I die, you're going to be all alone." I think she thought she was fulfilling the role of a boyfriend, and she kind of was. We talked on the phone all the time, we went out, we spent all our time together, we shared everything. Moms make awesome boyfriends, don't they?
11. Okay, you have a boyfriend. KEEP HIM. He's amazing. (Age 25)
I waited a long time to get a real boyfriend because I was waiting for a really good one. When I got my boyfriend she was so happy for me she really wanted thing to go well. She was invested. She'd always worry that SHE was messing things up with him. She didn't want to be the reason I lost him. "IS HE GOING TO BREAK UP WITH YOU BECAUSE HE DISAPPROVES OF MY BOOTS? I WILL GET NEW BOOTS."
12. Don't ever trust his ex-girlfriend. (Age 26)
Mom kind of always assumed that a girl talking to your man is no good. Since I spent a majority of my life not giving a rat's bee-hind about boys, I never thought like that. Maybe she's right, but I'm very trusting, anyway. My boyfriend goes rock climbing with his exgirlfriend, and I'm like, "Have fun, want me to pack you some snacks?!"
13. "When I die, you're going to be all alone." (Age 28)
I got myself a boyfriend for her, but she still won't leave me alone. When I roll my eyes at the thought of having kids (I mean seriously, HAVING KIDS?!), she gives me the sameeeee olddddd line. She wants me to have a family like she did. She wants to bring a grandchild to Disney World. She wants to buy a grandchild ugly little outfits so I will say "ugh, my MOM bought him that." I guess the advice will never stop coming. (And I hope it doesn't, whether I listen to it or not.)
Has your mom ever given you dating advice?