So after reading my latest post regarding how I believe that my life resembles a Soap Opera, my mother called me up to contend the fact that I blame my Soap Opera mentality on her. According to my mother she never watched those Soap’s, and so I must now revise my thought and fully blame my sister. It is the only other rational explanation, because I know I didn’t watch this T.V. trash by choice! So… sorry mom!!!
After hanging up with my mother, who was now satisfied in the thought that the drama surrounding my life was not due to any actions of her own, I started thinking about all the strange advice mothers have given their children over the years, especially their daughters. (Don’t worry mom your advice was always wise and effective.)
I think of an article I once read in a book called “In Motherwords”, which is a witty book of advice for mothers raising daughters, this article called “fashionably indifferent” outlines the following advice;
- No woman should wear plaid pants – you just look silly.
- Nothing plastic. No plastic shoes, no plastic boots, belts, nothing plastic.
- Avoid clothing with other people’s names and phrases on them. Why be a walking billboard?
- Never wear white shoes before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.
These are just a few of the tips, and the author goes on to express that a woman should not care what she wears as long as she feels beautiful…. it is actually quite good thinking and reading. But it’s the strange advice that we have all heard, either from our mothers, their mothers, or someones mother that I was truly thinking about. All the well-intentioned, uninvited, brainwashing that has occurred over the years to innocent children all over the world.
Some of the worst advice I have ever heard mothers give; (but not my mother of course)
- Don’t hold your baby so much, after all he is out of the womb now and he has to get used it!! (Harsh much!)
- Just shave your eyebrows off and draw them on it is easier. (Don’t do it, no matter who tells you to, just DON’T)
- Don’t start shaving yet, or your hair will grow back thicker. (well if its thick already where do you draw the line?)
- Don’t start the fight but always finish it! (this advice was probably given by a dad in the first place but has been repeated by mothers in the past!)
- A shot of brandy will help a baby sleep. (Sleep, deep, and for a very longtime….or land you in prison! But at least you won’t hear the crying baby anymore from there!)
- Newborn babies should be on an eating schedule, they should not just eat when they want to, or they will always do so. (Yes let’s promote starving our infants… is there not enough anorexia in the world already!)
- You should always provide a man with a clean house, a warm meal, and a smiling face. (Yeah well sometimes a baseball bat to the head will do the trick just as well.)
- If you’re not married by the time your 30, it’s too late! (well gee-gosh-golly ain’t that a shame!)
- Chewing gum takes 7 years to digest. (Nothing takes 7 years to digest, but swallowing gum is not healthy!)
- The way you look is more important than the way you think. (hmmm… beauty or brains!!)
- If he is smart, successful, and likes you, marry him! (Because you’ll learn to love him, right?…Ummm..WRONG!)
- It’s better to be over dressed than under dressed. (I’m sorry but both are equally uncomfortable!)
- No swimming until at least an hour after you eat, or you will get a cramp and drown!
- Take a typing class, one of the best jobs a woman can have is as a secretary. (Aim for the stars why don’t you?)
- Having a full family (a lot of children) will make your home happy. (Ummm.. I don’t speak for everyone, but if it’s not a happy home in the first place I don’t think this is going to help!)
- Lay back and make your grocery list, you must give a man sex to make him happy, so at least make it productive. Besides, it’s only once a week… deal with it! (WOW, that’s all I can say! If you are able to concentrate on making a grocery list, there’s a problem!)
- He’ll change, you must be doing something wrong! (or maybe…and I know this is a bit out there…but maybe he’s wrong!!! *Gasp*)
- Never tell a man your real age, or weight, there are just somethings that a woman needs to keep to herself (well you know what, if my boyfriend has an issue with either he can move on!)
- Don’t bother you husband with your problems, he has enough stress. (yeah well I’ll trade him places, lets see him cook, clean and raise the kids…even for one week without bitching at me!)
There are too many examples to list, and while some of these are a bit out of date they are still in a sense relevent today. Look at the media and see how they portray women, it seems that all women over 30 who are single are portrayed as ‘desperate.’ And all single women under 30 are characterized as sluts. Men are still seen by many as the ‘bigger, stronger’ species and women are ‘helpless and weak.’ The truth of the matter is that life is simply about “pleasing yourself” and if you can’t do that in what you’re doing then move on.
My advice: Don’t take any advice!
Feel free to share your experiences of the worst advice you have ever heard, either from your mother, or over the years, i am curious to see what people are teaching each other, and what advice should be long forgotten!
Possibly, but Probably Un-Related Article:
- $%&! My Mom Says: Best Advice Mama Ever Gave Me (psychologytoday.com)