Advice from Mom, Part II

6th October 2008

You can’t change people.

Learn to type. You can always be a secretary.

When someone is drowning, don’t jump in after them. Find a branch.

Men like it when you ask them to open the jars.

If you’re in a contest, you have to find a way to be different than everyone else.

Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.

It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one, Margaret.

If you ever want a nose job, I’ll pay for it.

In a fire, cover your mouth and nose with your T-shirt while you crawl out.

Airplanes are too big to float.

If you ever need birth control, you can go to Planned Parenthood and they’ll tell you what to do. I don’t want to know about it.

42 thoughts on “Advice from Mom, Part II

  1. derfina

    Don’t panic.
    Learn something new every day.
    Never let them see you sweat.
    You may have to move something.
    If rules one through four don’t work, go to lunch.

  2. TwoWishes

    Ha, my mother used to give me the exact same “rich man, poor man” advice. And, as usual, I didn’t listen…. Hubby earns 1/3 of what he should, in exchange for a job he actually enjoys that lets him work from home. We can take the dog to the park or run off to lunch whenever the mood strikes. And, when we have our first child in a few months, he’ll be around to catch every special moment. Wouldn’t trade that for all the salary in the world!

  3. Kate

    I’m beginning to suspect your mother and mine are the same. Long lost sister?

    I would add to the list:

    It doesn’t matter what scandals you get into as long as your grandmother doesn’t hear about it at church.

  4. Meegan

    Sounds a lot like my friend Maurine’s mother, except for the lack of the use of the word “cocksucker”. No lie.

  5. Kathy

    Learn to type. You can always be a secretary.

    My mom pretty much dissuaded me from learning any stereotypically feminine skills; ergo, I am 35-years-old and still type with two fingers.

    (Guess she didn’t predict that we’d spend most of our days behind computers typing.)

  6. Jenn

    You can’t change people…
    the best advice I never listened to — it took therapy for me to realize that hey, I can’t change anyone but myself!

  7. Kelly

    Ha! That thing about opening jars made me laugh because I’ve watched almost all of my boyfriends totally light up when I come to them with a stuck jar. Yeah, I can usually undo them myself, but I think they feel flattered to be my big strong man, even in matters of me just wanting to get at the pickles.

  8. Teresa

    Hi Maggie, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I read No One Cares over the summer. I’m a big fan, but this is the first time I’ve gotten a chance to post a comment.

    My mother would add to the list:

    -It’s better not to have any nail polish at all than chipped nail polish.
    -Never lend more money than you can afford to lose.
    -Always use the bathroom before you leave the house.

  9. Vanessa

    Wow. My mom said the nose job bit, too. You seem all well adjust and able to laugh about it. I, on the other hand, am still stingy and self-loathing. Damn it!

    PS- I’d really like to join you for the: gather a few dozen people to blow bubbles from the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Want me to set up a Renkoo? Is that too forward?

  10. Megan

    ‘You can always be a secretary…’ For exactly that reason I deliberately avoided typing class. I needed to be sure that I didn’t have an easy-out into administrative assistant-hood. Had to make sure I had no exit strategy.

  11. Sarah

    Maggie, it’s hysterical to me that you’re so down to earth and yet came from a mother who said she would pay for your nose job. Love it!

    Very much looking forward to Hank’s list in 20 years.

  12. in va

    Advice from Dad:
    1) Watch out for the idiots.
    2) Don’t get your hopes up.

    These two bits of advice explain a lot about me.

  13. jessica

    My grandmother was the sage one is our home. Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten:

    – make sure you’re wearing nice, clean underwear when you leave the house. You never know when you’ll be an in accident. And it would be embaressing if the paramedics saw your dirty skivvies.
    – suck in your stomach, throw out your chest – the boys will notice.
    – don’t hide behind your hair – your face is beautiful and the world deserves to see it.
    – boys LIKE easy girls; they MARRY smart ones.
    – get an education. no one, not even time, can take away knowledge.
    – smile!
    – be kind to people; you never know what they may be going through.
    -always keep $20.00 hidden in your purse for an emergency.
    – eat dessert early in the day.

  14. Stephanie

    Love the advice about saving someone from drowning.

    My mom’s mom once advised me on the best method of birth control. “An asprin,” she said, “you hold it between your knees.”

  15. Kimberly

    My mom forced me to take a year-long typing class in my freshman year of high school. I thank her for it at least twice a year.

    Her other advice that stuck with me: “Don’t sleep with a man unless you’re 100% prepared for him to leave you.” Sounds macabre, but it worked like a charm when I was a teen.

  16. Carly

    I got the ‘easier to marry a rich man’ one also– instead, my husband and I are firmly middle class. But my high school age sister told me the other day mom drove her through the rich town nearby and asked her, wouldn’t you like to live in one of these? It’s just as easy to marry a rich man and you can live like this. So she’s holding out hope for my sister–

  17. Kat

    A piece of advice I got from my mom:
    “If you want to lose weight, don’t bend your elbow.”
    And a piece of advice I got from my dad:
    “Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answers to.”

  18. elfini

    Sorry fellas, in this case I really don’t care about your egos – I just need this godd*mn jar opened!

    When it comes to jars (and 2 liter bottles) I really am the weaker sex.

  19. Janelle

    My dad’s birth control advice throughout my teenage years: “Watch out for boys, they only want one thing. I was a boy once too, ya know.”

  20. becky

    Love it! I am totally going to steal this idea and come up with my own list of mom’s advice. I’ll give you credit of course!

  21. darcie

    Two parental gems I still just love & think about often:

    mom: “You can never have too many friends, or too many pairs of underwear.”

    dad: “Boring people get bored.”

  22. Meg

    I hope advice from Dad is coming next. Some of my Dad’s advice includes:
    “Sometimes you should ring your own bell. No one else is going to do it for you.”
    “Never underestimate the American voter.”
    “If you buy the cheapest option, you end up paying double when it breaks. Buy the middle option.”
    “Major in something you love. No one can ever take your education away from you.”
    And well,
    “Learn to type, you never know.”

  23. Allison

    “If you don’t like a man, don’t spend his money.”

    “Men fall in love, women *grow* in love.”

    Regarding the division of labor (emotional and otherwise) between two people in a relationship: “It’s not always a 50/50 split. Sometimes it’s 90/10. And sometimes both people feel like they’re the one giving the 90%.”

    My mom has a lot to say about relationships!

  24. sethonious

    From mom: Don’t tuck your t-shirt into your underwear

    From Grandfather : Fake it till you make it

    From Father in law: Booze is OK, party it up. Pot makes you lazy, and everything else is just too fucked up.

    And as far as evacuating the house for the thermometer (#31) here is a good video to illustrate why mercury is bad…

  25. Jan

    My mom too – insisted I take typing in SUMMER SCHOOL. I was in the 8th grade and outraged because I was going to have a job where I wouldn’t NEED to type. ::visual of pages flying off a calendar… lots of pages:: Time passes and I am now doing information and data management and can type 85wpm net. This was yeeeears before computers. Who knew? Thanks, Mom! (Yes, I’ve told her that. More than once.)

    When I asked for a nose job: “You’re too young (7th grade). Your face is going through changes. If you still want one when you’re 21, we’ll talk about it.” It did, and I didn’t, so we never.

    “For God’s sake at least wear some mascara.”

    “When a lady eats soup, she moves the spoon away from her in the bowl, not toward her.”

    “When a man opens a door for you, always say thank you.”

    When I was 6 and asked her when mommies and daddies do what they do that sometimes makes a baby: “When they love each other very very much.” I didn’t realize till many years later that she hadn’t mentioned marriage. Ahead of her time in some ways, my mom.

    “Sit/stand up straight.”

    A few days before my wedding: “You know that thing about not going to bed angry? That’s nuts.”

    “When presented with food someone else is paying for, never say, ‘I don’t like that’. Be genteel and say, ‘Thank you, I don’t care for any just now.'”

  26. Matthew

    Of course, this is the same woman who told me when your sister and I were both teens and your sister was blossoming into womanhood, “Aren’t you sorry that you two are cousins?”

  27. Maureen

    Never assume that you will always have a man to look after you. Know that you may some day have to support yourself and your children on your own. Also, not everyone you meet in life is going to like you. Sometimes you’ll know why, and sometimes you won’t, but it will happen.

  28. Pingback: Mom~E~Centric » Blog Archive » Mighty Girl’s Advice From Mom - Part Two - With My Commentary As Well……

  29. Michelle

    You can’t change people, but you might be able to change how they VOTE!

    Here’s a little something for you’re Canadian readers:

  30. Edwin

    Лично мне кажется вопрос разложен по полочкам дальше некда, человек выжал всё что можно, за что ему мой поклон

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