Some of these are humorous (but they are things my parents have said), some are serious, but I am thankful for all of them because they are words that have helped, either by giving me great advice, a path to follow, hope, or just making me laugh…and some my dad will swear he never said, but he did.
1. “It always works out.” Words my mother often repeated…anytime we, her children, were upset, feeling sorry for ourselves, angry or hurt. As for myself, this is where my faith in God comes from.
2. “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Something my mother tried to teach us over and over again…something I still haven’t managed to master.
3. You should always do your hair and put on your makeup when going out in public. This is not something I was told specifically, but something I learned watching my mother and grandmother over the years.
4. You should use your best China more often than not.
5. The appropriate silverware for the appropriate course. We had etiquette dinners for our eighth birthdays.
6. That serving Sunday dinner to guests on disposable anything is inappropriate. (And actually, my grandma would say that disposable anything is inappropriate, but I’m not quite that extreme).
7. That, when there are less than six people at the table, it’s inappropriate to start eating if everyone doesn’t have their food (unless those without food tell you to go ahead).
8. How to bake…and that we were worth the time, energy and mess.
9. That water can destroy anything. Random, I know, but extremely useful.
10. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
11. How to make Swedish pancakes.
12. That you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
13. There is such a thing as hair that is too long.
14. The worst thing you can do is not try, because if you don’t try, the result is no better than if you try and fail. So, you might as well try. This philosophy helped me make cheer leading, sing in audition choirs in both high school and college, be an exchange student, and land a job or two.
15. “The fastest way to get over someone is to get under someone.” Words my dad told my sister after a bad break-up. Obviously, he was kidding…but it was worth a good laugh.
16. “You can marry more money in five minutes than you can make in a lifetime.” (Yes, it’s a joke…well, it’s true, but my dad wasn’t making any kind of suggestions)
17. “It’s just as easy to fall in love with some rich as it is to fall in love with someone poor.” (Same as above, only my mom said this.)
18. When you are cold, the best way to warm up quickly is to clean a bathroom.
19. How to clean a bathroom so the water sheets down the shower walls and there’s no Comet residue on the bathtub.
20. That I can always move home if I need to.
21. How much I am loved.
22. That you should do the right thing for the right reason.
23. That you really do feel better if you make your bed in the morning.
24. How to make a bed with hospital corners.
25. That there really are certain styles, cuts and colors that are more flattering than others.
26. That I meant more to my mom than a perfect house. (She let me splatter and sponge paint my bedroom when I was fifteen. It was peach, turquoise, hot pink and light pink…all to match this really bright bedding she’d purchased for me. I hope I will be such a good mother to my children some day).
27. That no matter what I do, or what someone else does, my family is my family.
28. That no matter how little I have, I can always give.
29. That we were worth the time and energy necessary to coach (or assistant coach) our soccer, swimming, volleyball, softball, and basketball teams. (Yes, my mom was amazing). Oh, and be our Brownie and Girl Scout leader.
30. How to drive while putting on mascara. (Mom)
31. That, after a certain age, you should always have lipstick on. (And I’m not quite there yet, plus my lips are tattooed and I always have gloss on, so I think that counts.)
32. How to make the best bar-b-que-d chicken ever.
33. To love all people, no matter what color or nationality, no matter how rich or poor.
34. That traveling is always worth it.
35. That you are never too old to learn something new.
36. And the last (and most important for now), blasting Neil Diamond while driving the Party Van with the windows down really can make you feel better.
Okay…I know there’s more. But I think this is a good place to stop.