Sunday, May 13, 2007

"True politeness is to say . . . "

Like all mothers, mine had a very deep well of “momisms.” Who knows where they came from? Some were from Ben Franklin. Some from the Bible or Shakespeare. Some were twisted versions of well-known quotes. I’ve posted before about how Mother would begin one of her sayings with “As it says in the Bible . . . “ and head straight into “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” or “To thine own self be true,” never crediting dear old Shakespeare’s Polonius in Hamlet.

I’m sure Kate - who is now 18 years older than in this picture, yet I am exactly the same age! - could list a string of my momisms. I’m not really aware of anything I say all the time except for “Pee or get off the pot.” (See how I cleaned that one up before foisting it upon a small child?) Evidently mine don't come from lofty places like the Bible or Shakespeare, unless you consider American musical theatre rarified. At any rate, momisms do seem to spew forth once one has given birth. Maybe it’s something in the delivery process.

So on this Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate our momism-generators and their pearls o’ wisdom (if you can consider “Pee or get off the pot” wisdom). As it says in the Bible - according to my dear mother, who died in 2004: “True politeness is to say the kindest things in the kindest way.”

6 comments:

Liz said...

My great-aunt used to say, 'Kiss my arse, Tom Chalk,' on any occasion.

Jay Branum said...

Your Mom was a true "Southern Lady" in every sense of the word . I can still remember those rides to Brainerd Jr. High dispensing all kinds of knowledge and wisdom to our little heads full of mush. I really miss those days when our lives were so simple and uncomplicated . Too bad we had to grow up ! Happy Mothers day Mary...

Joy said...

I see a resemblence with you and your mom Mary. What a lovely lady.

My mom had a lot of momisms...but I can't repeat any. I guess that's the difference between a Southern Lady and a Hot-Blooded Italian Woman...but she was funny.

Big Bro said...

Sis, two of Mother's greatest momism... "As it says in the Bible, This too shall pass... it didn't come to stay, it came to pass."
My personal favorite; which she did credit to the rightful source, Mickey Tucker, (maybe not the right source but her source) "A man that has friends must show himself friendly."
I had never seen that picture of the three of you... Great!!
Hope you had a happy Mother's Day!
Bro

MaryB said...

Liz: Love it! Don't know who the hell Tom Chalk is, but I just bet he needed to do some arse-kissin!

Jay, yeah - who knew that her ride-to-school wisdom would stick with us all these years (though mostly my head still feels full of mush . . .).

Joy, well, while Mother didn't use much profanity, when the situation called for it, she could stretch the word "shit" out to about 14 syllables! (It didn't even sound dirty the way she said it.)

Bro - believe it or not (and you will), "a man that hath friends must show himself friendly" is actually FROM the Bible (Proverbs 18:24 - and, no, I didn't just know that; I looked it up). So, she credits the Bible for Shakespeare quotes and Mickey Tucker for Bible quotes. Bless her.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, there were several occasions that warrented the not-so-clean version of "Pee or get off the pot". Most of my mama's momisms were preffaced by "As your Granny used to say . . ." I only hope one day I can tell my daughter "As your great-granny used yo say . . ."

-Kate