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May 10 2013

Mama said… a lot

by Veronica W

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 knowGlass-5442_fs 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.”

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia D May 10, 2013 at 10:04 AM

I so love your mama’s sayings! I have found them to be very good advice in my own life and can’t help but wonder what she would make of that. Here are a few tidbits from some relation of mine: If the cake cutter can’t get the biggest slice of cake, there’s something wrong with the cake cutter and also, You can’t trust a man who is wearing both suspenders and a belt. Not sure what he truly meant by either, but they make me giggle.

Jnai May 13, 2013 at 3:09 PM

“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” I think that means that wishful thinking will get you nowhere. I don’t remember where I heard it, though. Great post, Veronica!

Unknown May 14, 2013 at 1:11 PM

I think that Moma knows best. I also thimk that life is not a farry tail. In life u have to make sure that u do the right things so that u wont end up in a bad situation. Make wise decessions

Lillian May 14, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Here’s one. “If you run with the wolves, you’ll howl.” Aka, “You’re known by the company you keep.” Loved the post! It brought back tons of memories. :-)

S. Benton May 16, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Usually I don’t comment on the blogs, but this one sent me strolling back down memory lane. I remember so many sayings from my mother and grandmother. But the one that I have always hung onto is ” There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” My grandmother was so quick to remind us of this when something didn’t work out.

Tamika May 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM

So funny I should read this today. We heard a few saying at church this past Sunday including “A hard head will make a soft behind.” Another momism – “Just as sho as Peachtree goes to Buckhead” (Something is very true) “Give out what you want in return” (Treat people how you want to be treated) Thanks for sharing Ms. Veronica! Enjoyed it.

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