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.
- 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 Today it has been replaced by “Whatever!”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.
- Your eyes are always bigger than your stomach – Pronounced when I served myself so much of something to eat that I could not finish it. She was always right.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Better to be early than to make someone else wait – She 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.