Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Momma Done Told Me

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When I wrote my first book, we ended up with lots of quotations that were not used. My editor put them all together on one page and we ended up including them in the book. She titled it:

My Momma Done Told Me.
No, these weren't things my mother told me. Although some of the sayings were heard by many of us as we grew up. Primarily, these are things the women interviewed were told by their caregivers and also some of their random thoughts about life in general.

Behave yourself and remember whom you belong to. If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Birds of a feather flock together.

People judge you by the company you keep. What will the neighbors think? Good girls don’t talk like that.

No time to do it right, just time to do it over. It’s the poor dryer that can’t help the washer. Shut the door. Were you raised in a barn?

Spare the rod; spoil the child. Children should be seen and not heard. If I told you once, then I’ve told you a thousand times.

I’d be thinner and a little shorter. When it mattered, I wanted to be thinner. I’d change the sagging of my body that is happening as I’m getting older. I’d change my feet. I hate my toes. I would have fuller lips and thicker eyelashes.

I’d be like Ruth Lovely—she’s as good as she is beautiful. I wouldn’t change anything. I’m quite satisfied with what God gave me.

Yep, I have a regret! I regret that I married the wrong person. I have some regrets. It’s hard to say that things didn’t turn out like I planned because I never had any definite plans for my life. I always wanted to be married, have children and a home.

I had to wear dresses and ruffled socks and ruffled underwear. I wore Mary Jane’s, a hand-smocked pinafore and a bow in my hair. My cousins wore little suits. We looked like dolls . . . they looked like grownups.

No, my mother didn’t make a difference. She told us she was an equal opportunity ass whooper. She’d whip us all. They treated us equally. My mother and father dealt with us the same.

He always got off lighter and had more freedom. I felt stifled in that way. I can’t say there was a difference in the way we were disciplined. The Queen says the things we wish we could!

Why dogs are men’s best friends? I’m a girl and Snow is my best friend!

My goodness, what will they think? How will it make your family look? What about your reputation?

My dad's mother used sickness a lot when she was raising a family of six kids. Her's was "bed" rest though. She'd say she was "sick" and go to bed for a day or two. I'm sure others coped this way.

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Can’t tell you how many times I was pinched or jabbed in the thigh with a hatpin for messing up that one! I think that children should be seen not heard so much.

They weren’t heard as much in my day and time. We were told to leave when adults had company. The grown ups would get the bigger pieces of chicken and the children would take what was left over.

We played domestic games, so the fact that I couldn’t wear shorts or pants didn’t hinder my play. The girls had to do the inside chores like laundry, cooking and housecleaning. The boys did anything outside the house such as yard work. But, we all worked in the fields—chopping and picking cotton.

We did the inside chores. My brother’s job was to take out the trash. He only had to do one job—take out the trash. I was encouraged to spend time in the kitchen, but I really didn’t like it. I knew how to clean up real well. I sure didn’t care about doing that on a regular basis.

We all had to share in the household chores before we could go outside and play. When my little brother got older, though, he was only required to take out the garbage.

Yes, I try to avoid conflict. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells. I always worry that I’m going to offend someone or step on somebody’s toes. And, it’s hard for me to realize I can’t make everyone happy.

And finally, more than one person told me the following...some used different words, but the point was made repeatedly: "I had to suppress the real me."

Allyn Evans

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I often repeat one of these from my mother: "If you don't try, you will never know if you could have won."

Loved this entry, Allyn.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of the award-winning novel This Is the Place

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The woman who'd want to go back and be shorter made me laugh - I'm not sure height change is an option!

Sadest one is the woman who said she'd had no real plans for her life. We get one shot at this life and she didn't know what to do with it...

L. Diane Wolfe

Barbara Techel said...

This was a great post, Allyn! My mom always says, "This too shall pass." Over the years I have come to truly understsand it and appreciate it.

Author & proud mom of Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog