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Things your mother told you...

Posted by Txn4thGen (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 1, 04 at 4:47

Are there things your mother told you when you were growing up that are just ingrained in your psyche that you'll never forget? Things that are just part of you now?

Here are some things my Texas/Southern-bred mother always said which have just stuck with me:

- Don't stack good china - and never put it in the dishwasher.
- There's no reason for silverplate. Have the real thing or nothing at all.
- There's nothing cheaper-looking than a woman walking with a cigarette.
- Any place is better than under the bed. (regarding storage options)
- One stands on an escalator. Walking up/down one is trashy.
- There's no reason to eat or drink while you shop.
- Never shop anyplace that smells like popcorn.
- Never chew gum in public.
- A lady should be able to walk on hard floors without being heard - don't clomp.
- Stand with your feet together.
- Don't drink out of cans.
- Never wear white before Easter or after Labor Day, unless it's Winter White.
- There's no reason for a female over age 12 to wear a bow in her hair.
- You can say just about anything about anyone, as long as you "bless their heart" somewhere in the sentence. (She never said this specifically - it's something one just knows in the South!)
- Describing someone or something as "sweet" is not a compliment.
- Don't "chew" your words. This was regarding word and voice inflection. The lower classes in the South tend to do this. (Reba McIntyre, bless her heart, chews her words when she talks, for example.)

Anyone else?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Things your mother told you...

Hmmmmmm, sounds kinda snobby to me.......I'm glad things are more relaxed now so people can be who they are and not put on pretenses that make no sense!
Can't imagine why a woman would look any more cheap than a man ......walking? with a cigarette, or why walking up or down an escalator......and, well, seems as though some of these are just too uppity for me.....LOL
I'm glad my Mom took more time on the important things to teach me, as in sewing, crocheting, cooking, cleaning and not putting on airs, but teaching us to respect others and treat others as you want to be treated!


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RE: Things your mother told you...

I love the list of things your mother taught you. I don't know they came from, but I grew up know many of these things. Probably read them in the woman's magazines.

I know times have changed, but I think that someone did not learn their lesson of respecting others too well.


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RE: Things your mother told you...

Deb -- a little harsh, no?


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RE: Things your mother told you...

I had forgotten about my original post and just rediscovered it on one of my latest "lurkings". I reread my list and smiled all over again thinking of her saying or implying those things. Some of them she'd comment about with a twinkle in her eye, but we knew what she meant.

She hated smoking, so her commentary on women walking with cigarettes might have been a prejudicial one - lol! But her mother (my grandmother) smoked and I NEVER saw her walk with one - and she smoked a lot. She always sat while she smoked and would put her cigarette down if she got up, even just to walk across the room. I'll bet it's something my grandmother, the smoker, taught my mother.

She softened in her later years regarding under-the-bed storage. She loved the Container Store and thought the under-bed storage boxes were a great idea. Now that I think about it, however, she never owned one. Hmmm. :)

She was a stickler for good manners and expected others to behave in a certain way. But if they didn't, she didn't say anything, for that would be rude. She'd just pass it off as them not knowing any better (bless their heart!). For her family, crude or rough behavior was unacceptable. Another thing she taught us was to respect everyone, regardless, and be kind. If we couldn't say anything nice, we weren't to say anything at all. Stone-cold silence can speak volumes. In my opinion, if more people carried themselves like she and my grandmother did, the world would be a much more civilized place.

With that being said, it's back to lurking...


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RE: Things your mother told you...

I love those sayings!...the "bless your heart" one touches me because I too have a dear friend from the South who uses tha expression often! :-) There has been a sense of pride of self loss over the years to 'who cares'...We could all do better with a bit more manners....There is a huge difference between some one who is pretending to be someone or something else and someone who conducts themself with diginity...


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RE: Things your mother told you...

Txn4thGen, thanks for the touch of Southern Charm.
It sounds like Deb, bless her heart, is just voicing a bit of the "East Coast Practicalities" that I grew up with in New York.


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RE: Things your mother told you...

lets see, one of my favorites - if the little dog hadnt stopped to take sh!@ it would have caught a rabbit. make sure you really want kids b-4 you have any. dont borrow money for anything but a home. if getting married dosent improve your life, then dont do it.


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RE: Things your mother told you...

I recall my grandmother forever telling us to "Never put shoes on a table!"
'Spoda be bad luck...LOL


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RE: Things your mother told you...

Love your list Txn4thGen.

In a bad or uncomfortable situation, Mom would say "Well, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye


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RE: Things your mother told you...

My mother always has said "You should always wear nice underwear in case you're in an accident." She also has said many of the things you mentioned. The other thing she said was "A woman's reputation is like fine Dresden china. Once it's broken, it can never be repaired." I am 35, and scoffed at many of her sayings, but in the end, she's right, right, right...


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RE: Things your mother told you...

Yeah, the bless her heart thing! We joke about that but it's true.

You wouldn't want to say, "he's dumb as dirt" but if you said, "he's dumb as dirt, bless his heart" it's OK. Makes it sound like you pity the poor guy for being dumb as dirt instead of that you're insulting him. Works with any insult, by the way.


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RE: Things your mother told you...

Play in the fire today, peee the bed tonight!


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RE: Things your mother told you...

"There are plenty of kids in other countries that would love to have that food on your plate."
Here's an idea, if they want the leftovers from my supper, why didn't she ever send them to the kids? Obviously, the answer is because no NORMAL kid would want to eat their peas or other vegetables, let alone somone elses!
"God's watching you. Is this what you want him to see you doing?"
That was a popular one afterwe were all a little older,Especially for my brothers when they were fighting and stuff.


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RE: Things your mother told you...

Many in the south, both black and white, were dirt-poor and trying, which required a great deal of effort, to get ahead and make something of themselves.

Many of them had to try twice as hard - in order to get half as far?

Part of the game was living with some dignity. Courtesy.

It's easy to cast aspersions at others and their sense of values. Many of the attitudes to life that our forebears followed wither somewhat under scrutiny in this generation, as well.

It seems to me, as a rank outsider.

joyful guy


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RE: Things your mother told you...

Remember, you never really know what goes on between two people behind closed doors. My Mom always reminded me of this! It is so true!


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My Grandmother always said "Stay out of discos and condominiums" I guess that where all the girls on her soap operas got in trouble.
My Mom would tell me "Get a good education and always keep a job, you never know when you will need 'walking money'"
Also "Never have more kids than you can support by yourself"


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'You'll understand when you have children" - - thus, I never wanted/had children!


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M Grandmother ( Mama Nic as we all called her) used to have several things she always said and now i hear me and my grown children syain " as Mama Nic would say" before we repete her words of wisdom...such as 'work easy until you get your hand out of the lions mouth' which I took to mean,be carful around anyone you had dealings with and didn't trust to much! and " don't let your right hand know what your left hand was up to' in other words don't tell all your buisness! and one my daughter now repetes daily to her 2 yr/old tiwns..."Caldonia, what makes your head so hard?" she said this often to us all and not until she had passed aay and i happend to hear some old songs on t.v. did i understand it was from a song about a girl named Caldonia who was evedentlt hard headed! i also loved txn's list,many of the southern 'charms' are gone these days but i do use 'blees his/her heart an awful lot the older i get!
beth in ga...a nanna who is going to try to instill many of the charms in her 8 grands!


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RE: Things your mother told you...

My grandmother would admonish us girls, "Pretty is as pretty does."


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"To have a friend you must be a friend". I have found this to be absolutely true.

"When in doubt, don't". Not always true.

"You only have one chance to make a first impression." This, when she made me wear a skirt and sweater (50's) to my first sock hop. I was mortified; the only one in a skirt. She backed down after that one.


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RE: Things your mother told you...

Here are a couple that I remember.

There is a vast difference between a woman and a lady.

When walking down the sidewalk the man should walk on the outside. I think that one goes back to the days of horse and buggies.

You should always have some money stashed incase you need to leave.

You are judged by the company you keep.

If he can't come to the door when he picks you up, you can't go.


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My friends Mom warned us on a teen night out. "Ya'll watch your "P's" and "Q's". or was it "Mind your "P's" and "Q's"?

I still don't understand that.


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Longing for days of old...

Yet the days of old were tough times for many of us. Even still, manners and respect for respect's sake were so important back then. My mother too, always said, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." I think that's the difference between then and now. People don't respect each other as much these days. Or, if they do, it isn't much because there isnt' much self-respect these days. I listen to the younger generation now a days, and it is amazing how much they have been taught to care about the environment, nutrition and health, technology, etc. They have been exposed to so much - things that my parents and grandparents couldn't have dreampt about. But there doesn't seem to be a true understanding of the impact of their words on the recipient. Sign of times going by, I guess. My folks probably said the same about my generation.

Funny story here - My parents along with those of other neighborhood children hired a real-live Checker cab to carpool us to school each day - there were no school busses in DC at the time. I'll never forget my mother becoming upset when all of us were together one day, singing James Brown's new song, "Make it Funky". She hit the roof!!! I had never heard the word "funky" before then, and to all of us it was a word in a song. My mother thought we were talking about someone smelling badly and thought is was in poor taste to speak of someone in that regard. I still laugh at that one.

My Grandmother, bless her heart (and I'm not southern), used to live with us, and was home when we would arrive from school (Mom worked during the day). Each and every day, she would greet us at the door, give us a hug, and then say, "now y'all shrilren come on in and get your lessons." My sister and I thought she had lost her mind!! We new she meant homework, but to us, we had just left school, getting our lessons. Who would want to do homework and study right after just leaving school. That time was for playtime!! I miss Granny. She was waaaaay beyond her years a nurse and an educater that believed in staying prepared. She thought women should always have a nest egg, just in case. I think that's why my parents divorced. Granny always thought women should respect their place in the home, but should also be prepare in case she was ever left alone - she was after my grandfather was killed in a horse accident. She was left with 6 boys and 2 girls - ALONE. I also remember her saying, "never sell you house; just get another one". Consequently, my family has over 100 acres in what was wooded areas in VA. The area is now a thriving metropolis!! We still have land there and the family is considering how best to use it - maybe a nursing home. My mom always wanted to put a nursing home there, but it was so long ago. Now every corner has an assisted living residence on it. She too was ahead of her time, or maybe, just prepared. We don't worry we will loose the land. One of us is always keeping up the taxes and all. If we did, Granny just might roll over!!

Anyone know about "fair to midl'n"???? That one is my Dad's, who is from Phila, PA - Pinnochle territory!! (OK, sp errors maybe, and Webster is no where to be found. Sorry).

Fun thread!!


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RE: Things your mother told you...

Mother's favorite...."no answer, is also an answer".


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RE: Things your mother told you...

So many of these sayings sound very familiar ;>) My mom said a lot of them plus: "The man is the head of the family but the woman is the neck: she can turn the head any way she wants". So, while sitting in the theater watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and hearing Laine Kazan utter those words, I almost fell out of my seat! If we left a door open when we came into the house, we'd hear, "Do you think we live in a barn"? Oh...no white shoes before Memorial Day Weekend; no white shoes after Labor Day. I can't remember when we'd be allowed to wear suede and patent leather but my mom knew - she grew up in NYC and was full of all these sayings and these "rules" (but she was a lot of fun and a truly loving mom :>)


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"since when did the dog start drinking cheap wine"


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My mother told me to always walk around graves, not on top of them. She said that walking on top was disrespectful to the deceased.

After I got married, I went to a family funeral - for one of my dh's nephews. All of my in laws were there. I was on crutches, nonweightbearing, and under strict orders to NOT bump my knee (recent major surgery). I didn't want to make my in laws horrified by walking (hopping) on top of graves, so I carefully hopped around the graves to find the site for the grave side committal service. It was a *long* hop, and I almost slipped on a bad spot on the cement path. I finally made it to the grave without falling.

After the funeral, my mother admitted that *her* mother had told her to not walk on top of graves, but she has never seen the reason for that "rule".

So now I walk on top of graves. But I still feel a bit guilty when I do so.


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