1. This too shall pass.
It annoyed me endlessly when she said this, but it’s probably the best advice she ever gave me and I tell my kids the same thing. Time heals most wounds (or at least it dulls the pain). And in the case of something embarrassing, people have short attention spans. I can barely remember what happened yesterday, so I know this is true.
2. Pinch your cheeks.
Everyone looks better with a rosy glow. My mom never spent a dime on blush, she just pinched. Many years (and broken capillaries) later, it was worth it. I don’t have to buy blush either. Think of the money I’m saving.
3. You could use some lipstick and while you’re at it, brush your hair.
For a person with kinky, curly, frizzy hair who didn’t have a clue about hair gel, this was more of a curse. She really just wanted us to look our best before we walked out the door, as “You never know who you’re going to meet!”. To this day, I feel naked without lipstick. It’s the frizzy hair I’m still struggling with.
4. They’re just jealous.
When someone was mean to me at school, this was her go-to line. Even if it wasn’t true, it made me feel better. I say this to my kids. They’re buying it, too.
5. It needs a little salt.
My mother is a good, old-fashioned cook. Most of her recipes came right of out the shtetl (little Eastern European towns where cholesterol meant nothing). It’s amazing we didn’t have clogged arteries in our twenties. I try to eat healthy, so when she reaches for the trough of Mayo or butter, I have to look away. However, if she says something needs a little salt, she’s probably right.
My mom’s favorite word when she wants to change the subject or avoid a confrontation. Completely crazy and lighthearted (the word, not my mom), it never fails to put a smile on my face.
7. Don’t run, you’re going to hurt yourself.
As a kid, I was a super fun combination of klutzy and foolish, so we had our share of emergency room visits. Practically every time I moved, she thought I was going to poke an eye out. Twenty years later, that almost happened during a rambunctious “Head, shoulders, knees and toes,” but that’s another story.
8. Your face is going to freeze like that.
I was the queen of funny faces. I could make my eyeballs shake and flare my nostrils on command. As you can imagine, my parents were very proud.
9. Put on a sweater, I’m cold.
I promised myself I would never say this to my kids, but I do. At least I no longer remind them to pee before they leave the house.