Growing up, my mother and father told me all kinds of things. On balance, most of them were Very Good Things, and I listened to a great deal of them. But like most parents, they also told me a lot of things that were simply Not True. Sometimes they were Nice Things, sometimes they were Comforting Things, and sometimes they were Folksy Things that were passed down for eleventy generations or merely things that became part of their DNA once my eldest sister Patti was born and the Parent Gene was flipped to the On position.
Here then are the
Top Ten Lies My Parents Told Me
1. You're Prettier Than All Of Those Contestants
2. Just Ignore Him/Her And He/She Will Leave You Alone
3. If You Don't Bother The Bees, They Won't Bother You
4. You Don't Need Makeup/Only Whores And Streetwalkers Wear Makeup
5. Piercing Your Ears Is A Tragedy
6. It's School, Not A Fashion Show
7. The Best Thing For A Headache Is Putting Your Hands In Warm Dishwater
8. 8th Grade Is Too Early To Be Shaving Your Legs
9. You Think Too Much
10. We're Not Having Any Pets In This House
I know. Bless their hearts.
1. Both Mom and Dad said this every single time we watched any beauty pageant throughout our lives, and they said it to all three of us girls. We all rolled our eyes because it was Patently Absurd. Some of those women were gorgeous and had perfect bodies. We, ranging in age from Patti--seven years my senior, to Susan, five years my junior, could not possibly imagine how any of this could be remotely true.
2. Absolute bullshit, and almost every day in my family it was proven False by my brother, who terrorized me daily with taunts about my weight. I could never suitably retaliate because he was invincible physically and emotionally. We're very close now, but growing up was hell.
3. Someone needed to tell the bees. I suffered an unprovoked attack--twice--while minding my own business. I didn't even disturb a nest or flight pattern. Ouch.
4. I was in my sophomore year when my mother found my mascara and face powder. She immediately tattled to my father, who gave me a terrible lecture, including the above quotes. Ironically, in later years, every time I would show up at Mom and Dad's without any makeup, my Dad would ask, "Are you feeling alright? You look pale and a little wan." Sigh.
5. In the seventies, everyone was wearing cute earrings. Except me. I waited until I was eighteen and went to the jeweler to get mine done so that I could do it without parental permission. When Dad found out, he was devastated. Somehow, though, I managed to survive it. So did he.
6. As everyone in the universe knows, School IS a Fashion Show. It shouldn't be, but it is. Even as a teacher, it was still, for me, a Daily Walk On The Runway.
7. Oh, St. Patsy, you really thought you were the clever one with this. We all knew what you were up to.
8. No! No, it wasn't! Not when you are mostly Eastern European and your legs looked like gorilla legs and you had to dress for gym. I ended up surreptitiously shaving them while home alone after school one day and took off about a foot of skin on my shinbone because I pushed too hard on the razor. That's another story.
9. St. Patsy still tells me that I Think Too Much. I am not one to brood, but I do analyze. But not overmuch, usually. How is Thinking a Bad Thing?
10. Oh, this one was the biggest lie of all, perpetuated by my mother. For a complete list of the TEN pets "not allowed" in our house and the full explanation, click here and read the post over at Stuff On Our List.
Your turn. What Little White Lies did Mom and Dad tell You?