What My Mother Taught Me

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Life Lessons From Your Mother

What would we do without our mothers? They taught us to cook dishes far more delicious than Easy Mac (as if that’s possible), they love us even when we’re unlovable, and they’re the even crazier versions of our fabulous selves. They reassure us that it’s totally fine to be borderline insane, because they’ll always adore us, even when they lecture us for hours on end about everything ever. This Mother’s Day, it’s time to celebrate the terrible and wonderful advice moms give whether we want it or not.

Over the years, my mom has given me many pieces of advice, some of which I follow, depending on my mood and the occasion.

“You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
It’s difficult to adhere to because I’d rather kill a fly with a swatter than catch one with anything, but I appreciate the sentiment.

“It’s as easy to love a rich man as it is to love a poor one.”
My dad loves to echo this one whenever he receives a credit card bill.

“You don’t always have to admit to everything.”
Whether this means hiding the Saks bags in the trunk overnight until Dad leaves for work in the morning, or keeping some of the most intimate details of my life to myself — message received.

My mom insists on being fully made up anytime she leaves the house, because “You never know who you’ll see.” As it turns out, this was the best example to have set. On those hungover days, when you roll out of bed in last night’s fake eyelashes, you will always run into whomever you’re artfully avoiding. It’s science. Because my mom taught me so well (and because of the advent of yoga pants), I learned at an early age not to fall into the sweatpants trap, ever.

I learned that if someone doesn’t return your call within a five minute span, it’s okay to assume the worst, call for a search party, alert the police, and text the five people closest to the person with whom you’re trying to get in touch. That’s what she does when I miss her calls anyway. A prompt response can be tricky when you can’t exactly answer your phone, but that has never stopped my mother from questioning my whereabouts. It’s like she always knows when I’m doing something I shouldn’t be. I’ve been guilty of a drunken double text or ten in my time, but that’s only because I learned from the queen of repeat texting, herself.

During college I learned that you shouldn’t take your mom to happy hour at the campus bar, because fraternity boys will hit on her, and she will like it. Watching her guzzle Natty is an image that’s not easily forgotten, and believe me, I’ve tried. If she ever accompanies you to a tailgate, she will attempt to introduce you to every seersucker-clad gentleman within a mile radius, and when she’s decided you’re thoroughly occupied, she will pawn your sisters off onto unsuspecting suitors. At least standards can’t step in when she brings her own monogrammed flask. You learned from the best.

Regardless of how insane and overbearing she may be, your mother is ultimately pretty amazing and selfless. Think about how self-absorbed you are for one second. This shouldn’t be hard because you love thinking about yourself. Now, realize that everyone else in this world is just as self-obsessed. No one but your mother is thinking about you as constantly as you are — what you need, what you’re doing, how she can help. That’s why she’s always stalking calling you. It’s not to bother you when you’re shacking busy, it’s because she loves and cares about you more than anyone.

My mother shows me that being an adult doesn’t mean you have to be basic and boring, which is important to remember once post-grad status updates about grocery shopping start invading your social media world. She proves that you can have fabulous younger years and go on to have a successful career, a loving family, and many wonderful nights out, even when you’re a certified grown-up. Most of all, my mom taught me that no matter what kind of mistakes I make, she’ll love me one hundred percent completely, and for that I am forever grateful.

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