November 4, 2007

Words to Live By

Because we have an extra hour today, I think we should fill it with wisdom. If some of you have already filled it with sleep, well, you're off the hook.

In spite of having a hundred and one errands I should be doing, I don't want to get dressed properly or brush my hair. I so hate Sunday shopping; it has become so normal to be able to scoot out to get stuff, that we've effectively lost our last bastion of sensible, enforced downttime: I can't go out, they're closed. We raked and bagged things last weekend, when Jackson, forced at mom-point into the yard, chose the best gardening gloves, the only good rake and proceeded to do the least amount of work. Well, that's probably not fair. I chased him around with the lawnmower, and he probably thought he was trapped in a Stephen King novel.

But back to wisdom. My mother had a saying for everything, and as I get older I realize just how smart they really were. It was a British no-nonsense, stiff upper lip kind of thing. "We lived through the Blitz, and you're whining about a hangnail?". I found this thread on Salon's Table Talk today, and started hooting. You might like it too.

My mom was this gentle, sweet woman. And if you'd gone on long enough about some imagined wrong, she'd look you right in the eye and tell your 6-year-old self "quit crying or I'll give you something to cry about". And we would quit crying, because she was right. Today, the kid would call CPS, still manage to live at home until they were 35, get fired from every job someone managed to get for them and sit around buying lottery tickets and announcing that life wasn't fair.

Through my sullen teen years, my mother had a saying for every moment. She wasn't allowed to look at me ("Can't the cat look at a queen?") and I'd get peeved if she hated my friends ("soap is cheap and manners are free"). She did teach me how to go after something ("in for a penny, in for a pound"), and she tried her best to keep us polite ("if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all"). On that one, I fell off the rails. I'll take Alice Roosevelt Longworth's advice any day: "If you can't say something nice about someone, come sit next to me".
(Any yeah, I just corrected that. I always think that's Dorothy Parker's line.)
I've developed my own aphorisms as I go along (that's what they're called).
If a guy says it's not you, it's him -it's you.
If you're not supposed to order takeout, why is there a phone in every kitchen?
Watched pot never boils, but unwatched pot starts a fire. You choose.
I don't know who said "sleeping like a baby", but they didn't have my babies.
Two wrongs may not make a right, but 4 rights will just get you back where you started.
I'm a very spontaneous person. I just like to plan my spontanaeity.
She who dies with the most boys wins. (what's that? it's 'toys?'. Oh.) Toys. He who dies with the most toys wins...well, that's just silly.

Well, blog-people? Get to it...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I hear one more person say "It's all good" I'll scream, probably right into their face. It always means it's NOT all good. dumb saying.

November 05, 2007 8:57 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Especially if they follow it up with 'my bad'...growl.

November 05, 2007 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I agree; if things were different they wouldn't be the same."


November 05, 2007 5:38 PM  

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