Have you ever seen the movie “Because I Said So”?
Well, you should if you haven’t. Essentially, it’s a typical romantic comedy movie about an over-controlling mother trying to get her youngest daughter a man. It’s kind of complicated, but my main point to referencing it is because the mother’s catch phrase whenever she is questioned by her daughters is “Because I said so!”
Most everyone can relate to that. Most all conversations when I was younger ended with “Ugh, fine, whatever Mom” or “But, ugh, Mom.” She never really used “because I said so,” but she could have, and I would have been okay with it. Why? Because (I can feel the smile creeping across my mom’s face as she reads this) she was and is always right.
Not until I started living away from her did I realize this however. I caught myself trying to remember exactly what she said about baking potatoes and whether or not it was appropriate to wear shorts to an interview (usually not). There was so much she told me and taught me that I needed to write down some for my future reference and to share her brilliance with others.
- Form your own opinions; never let someone make up your mind. From boys, to best friends, to which rug you want to take home from Ikea, you have to live with your own choices. Many a time, my mom would listen to my passionate, in-depth, sometimes violent telling of a drama filled incident in my life. After I was done, she would ask me a few questions. 1) Does any of this really have anything to do with me? 2) Are any of the facts hearsay? 3) So, what? She would tell me to make sure I was basing my judgement and opinions off of things that have actually happened before my very eyes, and even then, people are allowed to make mistakes.
- Only own a pet when you have the right place, job, and circumstances. Both my parents had animals once they moved out on their own, and they both told me it was difficult. Between having to make sure the apartments they rented were pet friendly and making sure they were home to feed and give them attention, it was like having a baby without the pregnancy. Some people handle it with ease, but with my dream of living all around the country, they always told me to avoid the free kittens on the side of the road.
- Don’t think you have to get married because everyone else is. Before my dad, my mom was married for seven years to a man that she now realizes was the closest thing she was going to get to a semi-decent catch at the time. She was always the bridesmaid, never the bride, so why not just put a ring on it? Well, sometimes the ring just doesn’t fit quite right and your husband doesn’t let you keep a Christmas tree because it is against his Jewish ways. Get married when you want to, not because there is a special on two-for-one wedding bands.
- You will grow out of people, but that will help you grow. Every year, I usually have a different group of friends. It has always bothered me because I want to be a part of the ten-person clique that have known each other all their lives and live in apartments across from each other in New York City and go downstairs and have coffee at Central Perk. My mom has always told me people come and go from your life for different reasons. The only friend she has kept a strong bond with she is married to. The ones that are supposed to stay, will.
- Family will always support you. Besides visiting my Aunts in LA and my grandparents in San Diego when I was younger, my family dynamic had always just been my mother, father, and brother. Through wanting to be an advice columnist at a magazine, wanting to perform on Broadway, wanting to move to New York and then back to California and then to Spain, my family always responds to my dreams with “Okay, what do you need to do to get there?” It has never been “I don’t think that will work, honey” or even “Well, seems like a tough life choice.” I know I got lucky with my family. I know I am blessed to have parents who are still happily married and still seem to put up with their strange children.
What has your mother or any relative been 100% right about?