I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up I heard a lot of statements from my mother that my childhood/teenaged mind thought to be not just false, but beyond outlandishly, comically, completely false.
The most obvious of these being “you just wait and see – some day you will know I was right.”
Damnit if it isn’t true, and damnit if every single one of the things that she said that drove me crazy didn’t turn out to be 100% right.
As it turns out, mother really does know best. Think of the time and effort and pain that could be saved if we could actually convince teenagers that this is indeed, true. (But if I could do that, I would bottle that talent and make a FORTUNE!)
Some of the gems that had teenaged Keri rolling her eyes so hard that I am surprised I didn’t do permanent damage to my vision:
–Generic tastes exactly the same. Dang, she was right. Now I am a total store/value brand junkie. Enough said.
– Don’t Smoke. Teenaged Keri was a “rebel” (ok, she fancied herself a rebel, looking back I see, and am very glad that, I was actually pretty square. Thank goodness.) She liked to do what the older kids did, liked to do what ticked mom off, and LOVED her Camel lights. She lived for the moment and figured there was plenty of time to quit before it did real damage, right? Except that at 24 she was hacking up a lung every morning and reluctantly accepted the Patch when the smartest mom (and dad) in the world bought it for her. Quitting SUCKS. Hard. It was NOT fun. I never really gave much thought to just how awful it must have felt for her to see me doing that to myself until I thought about the idea of The Cub lighting up. :::cringe::: Don’t do it, Cubbie – don’t even start or I will be paying for your patch around the time of your quarter-life crisis too.
– Take your coat/Wear a hat. It took me a while to get this, but being warm is actually pretty awesome. Being cold totally sucks. I used to think that the other kids were staring at me because I looked lame in my weather appropriate attire, but looking back I bet they were just sorry they didn’t have my ear muffs on their own frozen noggins. Bring on the outerwear!!
– Your metabolism will slow down too, just wait. Teenaged Keri ate Grape Pop Tarts and 44 oz Dr. Peppers for Breakfast. That was actually the “healthy” part of the day since it didn’t come out of a drive thru. I hit my mid 20’s and suddenly my pants wouldn’t button. The scale started to go to numbers I never thought I would see. I found myself wanting to file a malpractice suit against my beloved Dr. Pepper. Bu-bu- but, I could always eat whatever I wanted, couldn’t I? Nope – ditch the Big Gulp before it kills ya, chunk. Booo.
– Don’t spend what you don’t have. No college kid wants to hear this, I know. But take a college-aged girl, give her a credit card, a life altering disease diagnosis, and a strange sort of case of shut-in depression, and you have a recipe for shopping disaster. This was one of those times when mom “just didn’t understand me,” and it “wasn’t at all like what she thought.” Except she did, and it was, and I was NOT entitled (though I felt like it,) and “future Keri” (who I didn’t start really considering until I hit 30,) really was going to regret my spending habits, just like mom (and dad) said. Actually, as I continue to work to finish paying off that “single girl” debt in a very aggressive manner, I often think of what I could be doing with that money if I wasn’t using it to pay off the things that silly young version of me “just had to have.” Think of what it could do for my son. :::sigh::: Seldom wrong and right again, mom.
– Learn to type. What kind of out-dated, sexist, crappy advice is this? Did she think I was going to end up in some ::cringe::: office job or something? Uh, NOPE, not this girl – clearly I was going to have someone to do that for me! I hated my typing class, and I did NOT try very hard in it. Many years later and OH LOOK, any job I would end up in would require me to use a computer and to type. A lot. It is true that I do quite well in the typing department now, but that didn’t help me a bit when I was limping through 50 page English Lit papers in college. Typing is a good skill for ANYONE.
–Someday you will WISH your sister lived right across the hall. Dr. Sissy and I had some epic battles growing up. We were oil and water, jockeying for space in the bathroom every morning for many years. I mean, come on, we had been sharing the same space since conception – ENOUGH ALREADY!! We “hated” each other and “couldn’t wait to get away” and have our own space. Except that as soon as I was settled in my apartment in the city awaiting the start of my Freshman year of college, I found myself asking her to come stay the night a lot. Then she left for her own college in the Mid West, and suddenly the most awesome mom (and dad) in the world were paying some MASSIVE long distance bills on the family phone card (that is how we called long distance in the “olden days” kids,) because I couldn’t stand being away from her. Oh look, mom was right again – I would give anything to have her living across the hall from me (or even across town for that matter.)
:::pause for sobbing to stop::: (Sorry, Dr. Sissy is VERY important to me.)
– A real friend wouldn’t care what you wore/drove/made/did/etc. This one took me a while to embrace as well, and years of chasing after my idea of “the ideal” in a group of friends. Keeping up with the Joneses doesn’t get you anywhere, and it doesn’t win you friends that you can count on. If someone thinks you are lame, consider it a commentary on them, not you, and drive on.
There are plenty more that I am not listing here. The majority of my married life has been one face-palming, “she was SO right” moment after the next, to be honest.
I wonder if 30 years from now, The Cub will have his own “DANG, MOM DID KNOW WHAT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT” epiphanies to share?
Until then, I bet I am in for a lot of eye-rolling and “Oh Mo-mmmm” moments of his horror and embarrassment in the years to come.
“You just wait and see, kiddo. Some day you will know I was right.”