Recently, my sister and I got on a tear remembering what Mama said. An aside. I'm sure you're shocked that I 'm about to get off topic.: Though we never called her Mama. She called our grandmother Mama, who we called Grandmother. We went straight from Mommy to Mother. At the time, southerners did not call their mothers Mom. Truly. The only people I knew who called their mothers Mom were in books and on television. I attribute the unfortunate and recent cultural change we've seen in the maternal moniker to the media and the influx of people who have relocated from other parts of the county.
Anyway, enough of that. Back to my mother and her directives.
In keeping with her self-imposed duty as CEO in charge of our lives, our mother spent an extraordinary amount of time and energy doing what she called Laying Down the Law. I say self-imposed because, God knows, we didn't ask for it.
This is just a sampling:
- Know your place. Don't overstep. Don't presume.
- Don't start. Just don't. We're not starting that.
- It's not about you.
- Do not horn in on a situation where you are not wanted. If those people don't want to be with you, they don't deserve your company and you can do better.
- You tend to your own rat killing and let them tend to theirs. (Which means: Mind your own business.)
- There is no boy worth your girlfriends.
- Put your husband first and he'll put you first.
- Don't you let anybody run over you. Don't start it, but take up for yourself.
- If you think you're going out like that, you can think again. Now you go wash that face and try again.
- No decent girl has any business out after eleven o'clock. You had better be in this house by then or that phone better ring with you on the other end with a good reason.
- Don't contradict people.
- You don't have to tell everything you know.
- If you are not able to go to school/church, you're not able to do anything else.
- Get off the phone.
What did your Mother say? What do you/did you call her?