When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no.
You’re going to get it anyway.
― Erma Bombeck
Growing up I got great advice from my mom. I’m sure of it.
However at the moment, all I can think about is the time she told me to always carry a hat pin when riding a city bus. You know, in case of unsavory strangers deciding to get a little too close.
It was advice she dispensed for my safety. You see once I hit the 7th grade, I liked to go to the mall. A lot. I didn’t ride a bus there and I’d never owned a hat pin, but maybe my mom was worried about me going without her. So she offered up a quick tidbit from the stores of her own immigrant mother’s wisdom stash. The hat pin was a reflex.
Hat pins, weapons of minimal destruction.
She quickly amended the advice to this:
Stay away from strangers a.k.a. unsavory sorts. If need be, act a little crazy to encourage them to stay away.
Or at least that’s how I remember it. The mistakes in this advice are all mine, but you get the gist–she wanted me to be safe.
Because that’s what moms do.
They advise you:
“Do not eat chips out of a communal bowl. You might as well stick your hand in a toilet.”
~Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
They love you:
“I know you’re afraid. I know the world feels like a hard place, sometimes. But you’ve got people who love you. Your dad and I, we have all the faith in the world in you. We’ll always be with you. You have got a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself.”
~Mrs. Summers to Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
They teach you (and maybe humble you):
“Jealousy is a very ugly thing, Dorothy. And so are you, in anything backless.”
~Sophia Petrillo, Golden Girls
And okay sometimes they confuse you:
“Don’t play with the food! When I was your age, we didn’t have food!”
~Maria Portokalas, My Big Fat Greek Wedding
But it’s wisdom from a (longer) life lived. And it’s meant to be a good thing.
Because they want you to be happy.
Oh and that reminds me of another pearl to share. Here’s the first stanza of the song my mom used to sing to pull a smile out of us when we were having the mopes:
Nobody Likes Me (Guess I’ll Go Eat Worms)
Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
I think I’ll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones,
Eensie weensy squeensy ones,
See how they wiggle and squirm!
Happy Mother’s Day!
What is your favorite bit of motherly wisdom?