“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”.
What a smart man Mark Twain was. It’s true that no matter how many straight A’s your grade report may boast, it’s no indicator that you have the life skills needed to deal with the real world i.e. how to reject a boy (or girl), where to find the best travel deals, or notting your shoelaces. Luckily, someone is there every step of the way to tell you exactly how horribly you’re doing it. Your mum is someone who will love you unconditionally but won’t hesitate to kick your ass when you screw up. Love her, thank her, and don’t ever mess with her kitchen set up. These are the 10 things my $300 textbook never taught me but my momma did:
1. You’re beautiful…until you get old
Ok, before you get all gung-ho “$%#& skinny bitches”, all shapes and sizes are beautiful, lemme explain! Growing up, I had a hard time maturing into my looks and when I was finally comfortable with my appearance, it turned into my shield. My mom didn’t want my looks to become my crutch through life so she constantly reminded me that beauty wasn’t enough and I better equip myself with a skill set. I’ve heard her loud and clear hence lifting my butt off the chair and getting a post-secondary diploma. Everyday is a learning day. No one’s young looking forever but my mum is a walking example of those damn awesome Asian anti-aging genes. I have hope.
2. A mustard jacket looks hideous on me
There’s a reason why I never leave the house without a strong lip colour. My skin tone is completely ashen which basically means I look like an extra on the set of Walking Dead without any added rouge. Because of this, my mom is extremely against my wearing of the colour yellow, says it compliments my dull complexion. If your new haircut isn’t up to par, your mom will always let you know through either a disapproving side glance, straight-to-the-point text or simply telling you directly to your face. She’s got your back 4eva.
3. How to pick out the freshest celery stalks
Every weekend, my mum and I go grocery shopping for munchies and vegetables to balance out my brother’s diet of coke and Kit-Kat bars. As a kitchen novice, I have a hard time picking out the cream of the crop literally. Thankfully my mom was there to point out that I had chosen the crappiest stalk of celery because it’s stems were dry at the end. Huh, well now I know something even Google couldn’t answer.
4. Parent-teacher meetings are useless
My mom never attended a single parent-teacher meeting in my entire academic career. The only time she interacted with the people responsible for my education was when Mrs. Ashe, my gym teacher, drove me home after Mr. Sparrow, my English teacher, sent a puck at my forehead during a friendly students VS teachers floor hockey match. Her philosophy was, “if they aren’t going to give you an award, there is no reason for me to attend and make pointless small talk.”
She was absolutely correct. Softened up comments on my behaviour weren’t going to turn me into some star pupil, it was the fear of losing her approval that got all of my straight E’s (E for excellent and fine, I got some G’s too).
5. A husband determines 50% of a woman’s life
This isn’t an anti-feminist spiel because it works both ways. After marriage, your life will change significantly and that person you swore to stick with through sickness and in health determines if that change will ultimately be fantabulous or horrific. He is the one you wake up to every morning and whisper goodnight to.
You spend the first part of your life figuring out a career, who your best friends are, and how to get from A to B without getting more broke than you already are. The second half is spent with a somebody trying to decide on a place to live, whether or not to have kids and who loses an hour of sleep after the little bugger arrives. Tread carefully and find someone worth spending the next chapter with.
(Thank goodness I’m still loading at around 30%.)
6. Also don’t date a man with less wrinkles than you
Instead, you should date a man 10 years your senior so he will care for you like a baby. I get where her logic is coming from. Men are visual creatures and women age faster with all the wrinkles and sagging stuff so the math adds up. No matter how darling of a personality you have, a younger woman will seed temptation. Luckily, I never had a thing for the younger boys.
7. Food is great white flag
Whenever a fight erupts in the household, the participating members all go into weird silent treatment mode. Unfortunately, this is typically the case between my mum and I. If she comes to the conclusion that she was the one at fault, her way of apologizing is not by saying the three little words but by cooking my favourite dishes. I’ll know the fight has blown over once I see a box of egg-tarts laid out on the kitchen table. Sometimes, food speaks louder than words. Well played mom, well played.
8. Eating 10 kiwis in one day does not cure canker sores
After trekking all the way to chinatown to buy the kiwis, blending them in my magic bullet all the while telling her how ridiculous this was, she did not miraculously wake up the next morning sans canker sores. This is what I get for introducing her to the great World Wide Web. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet youngins.
9. Love is not a choice
It latches onto your heart and lives there despite how much you wish you could stop caring. It’s pretty evident in the number of headaches I’ve given my mum yet she still worries I’ll get arthritis from wearing leggings in the wintertime.
10. Hard work always pays off
As a single mother who sacrificed more than any person should ever need to, she has taught me the meaning of perseverance. To provide for her three kids and give unconditional love while enduring so many unspeakable hardships, I owe her everything. Thanks for staying strong, looking so fresh and succeeding in every way.
Love you long time Mommy,