Mother’s Maxims

Remember all those cool sayings your mom doled out when you were a kid? Did you understand her point? Do you use them today in the same way? When you hear your mom’s words pop into your head and/or out of your mouth how do you feel?

My mother did not curse or use “bad words” in front of me. I suspect she didn’t use them behind my back either. What she did contribute were short & precious life lessons.

Here are the ones I remember fondly and may have used myself a time or two.

    1. Six of one, half a dozen of another This was one of her most used adages. Today it has been replaced by “Whatever!” but I still use Mom’s occasionally.
    2. Your eyes are always bigger than your stomachPronounced when I served myself so much of something to eat that I could not finish it. She was always right.
    3. You can catch more flies with sugar than vinegar Clearly my favorite and one I use a lot. She used it not only to scold me but to point out someone else’s faux pas.
    4. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face Apparently one of my greatest sins as I heard this one often. As an adult that little voice inside my head warns me I’m about to do something rash.
    5. It’s easier to tell the truth than to remember the lie I was always impressed with how she discerned my little fibs. I quickly realized that the truth, while sometimes painful, brought a lesser punishment.
    6. Better to be early than to make someone else waitShe used this as a mantra for herself (and perhaps to teach me) so as not to be really irritated at someone who was late to meet her.
    7. You get what you pay for There were many variations, but I learned that it is always better to buy one item that costs a bit more, is of higher quality, and will last longer, than to replace a cheaper item multiple times.
    8. Little pitchers have big ears I remember this one from my early years. It didn’t make sense to me until I was older because I heard “pictures” rather than “pitchers.” She would proclaim it to someone else as she nodded in my direction. Personally, I’ve never said – or even thought – the maxim in any situation. Maybe we Baby Boomers are the full-disclosure generation.
    9. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything I never got the hang of this advice although it remains my goal to apply it as well and as often as my mother did.

 

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