In 1961 the Shirelles, a girls singing group, had a moderately successful hit with the song “Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This.” However most of us know that mothers have a lot more to say than that. Even when I became an adult, my mother and Inever engaged in cozy, confidential chats. She acknowledged the factI was grown, but she always remained the elder. Dictates became helpful hints, suggestions and “good life counsel,” which she implicitly indicated I would be wise to follow. Being southern by orientation, if not inclination, many of her pearls were couched in folksy sayings,some of which my sisters and I compiled into amemory book. Here are just a few.
- You can sift and sift and still get the husks. (Translation: It doesn’t pay to be too fussy)
- Pretty is as pretty does (Translation: Looks aren’t everything)
- You better save those tears?ou’re going to need them later (Translation: Don’t cry about trivial matters)
- If it’s on your back, it’s not in the bank (Translation: Don’t dress to impress)
- Make sure you have walls before you try to paint (Translation: Don’t try to improve a boyfriend who acts worthless)
- Cow’s going to need his tail come fly time (Translation:Treat everyone well. You never know when you have to ask them for help.)
Susan Sarandon in Anywhere But Here. Doris Roberts in Raymond. Freaky Friday, Steel Magnolias, The Glass Menagerie…the list of mothers andtheir sense (and yes, sometimes non-sense) is almost endless. Sometimes memories of the things our mothers said are foggy or clouded by childhood impressions. However, there may be one or two thingsyou find yourself saying which are, to your amazement, amusement or horror,your mother’s. Perhapsyou knowof a book ormovie full of “momisms.” If so, please share. Remember, Mama said “If you do good, good will follow you.”