It’s true: we all have a mother (sorry to disappoint those who thought I was going to trot out the line about opinions and a-holes… oh, wait). Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, the diversity of contemporary families and the good old circle of life, some of us will experience proximity to our mums to a greater or lesser extent, but that’s how we all started. I’m now going to try and avoid that can of worms – and the one labelled “religion” because, contrary to the myths perpetuated by commercial enterprises, that’s the reason why offspring on the UK side of the pond are going mad for flowers, cards, chocolates and pub lunches today – and offer instead some genuine appreciation.
Tesco and Disney aren’t going to give my mum an award anytime soon – largely because she’s not a fake-tan slathered nobody who’s trying to be a somebody by posing in Leicester Square twice a year with my sister on her hip and me stood nervously behind her legs – but if it were up to me, she’d be winning all of them (don’t worry, Dad, you can have an award too, you just have to wait until June). To demonstrate my point and share the love, here’s some of the best advice she’s given me so far. However, if there’s a book deal to be had out of this, it’s all mine!
- Treat others how you want to be treated. The human version of “bad ponies aren’t born” needs no further explanation, apart from to follow up with her other classic: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.
- Ladies: no need to hand wash your bras – that’s what pillowcases were invented for. This prevents the dreaded call to the engineer (who is usually male, even though it’s 2014) who will then resolve the clanking of your washing machine by retrieving a bent piece of wire from the drum. It also preserves the laciest of delicates, and means the all-important hooks don’t snag any other items during the cycle. Place bra in pillowcase. Knot the open end. Put in drum. Add favourite detergent. Walk away happy.
- Buy two of everything. Because even in the age of being able to rush back to the shop the following morning having fallen head over heels for the world’s most perfect pair of jeans (we all know how long and hard that journey is – Olympians have struggled less), or hunt high and low on the internet for said garment, we have all experienced the despair that is never being able to find them again, to the point that you wonder if even the item you are holding in your hot little hand (or rather, clutching possessively to your bosom for fear that it may disintegrate) is actually a figment of your imagination. If it’s available in your size, colour, shape, taste, price range, BUY TWO. If your bank balance or credit card can take it, buy five. Ignore the eye-rolling of your friends, partner and family. For your backside’s denim-clad future is secure. (NB: this applies to many things, jeans are just one example. Others include, but are not limited to: shoes, underwear, luggage, cosmetics, coats).
- Learn to drive. Even if you have no access to a car, if you live anywhere other than the most metropolitan of areas, this is an important life skill. Do it as soon as possible, get it out of the way. Because it doesn’t matter if you then aren’t able to take to the roads – nobody can take it away from you if you’re not out there doing anything wrong! And no matter how little money you think you have as a teenager, there will be precious little spare cash as an adult. And a driving licence is a far more night out-friendly form of ID than a passport.
Enjoy your day, Mums!