100 Things I Learned From My Mother

100. It’s okay to leave the house on Halloween as long as you put a giant basket of candy on the front porch; none of it will be left when you return—15 minutes later.

99. It’s more fun to sing the tenor an octave higher on hymns so I can be a harmonizing soprano.

98. Laugh at yourself.

97. Buy classy clothes that won’t go out of style.

96. My eyes are crooked.

95. State your opinion.

94. When your husband gives you a fixed income for food that never changes after 20+ years, earn your own money to supplement.

93. What doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

92. It’s not easy to be beautiful; it may take a lot of beauty products which you can buy for much less at T. J. Maxx.

91. If a man in Italy tries to harass you, punch him in the face.

90. If you draw in eyebrows, make them look somewhat natural.

89. When traveling, you can still have homemade food to save money and eat better.

88. Eat squash.

87. Have a dress coat you can wear to the symphony.

86. You can still be accomplished after marriage.

85. It’s good to be all legs.

84. Never let a dog ride in the back of a pickup truck—especially on the freeway.

83. If you ask Dad for help, he’ll make it hurt more before it gets better.

82. You marry not just your husband, but their family too.

81. Enunciate.

80. Go to church.

79. Laugh. Giggle, even.

78. Brush my hair, even when it hurts.

77. Don’t wear black and blue together (you’ll look like a bruise).

76. Keep your husband awake when he’s trying to “be a man” and drive through the night.

75. Needles are nothing to be afraid of.

74. Save money.

73. Don’t let others trample on your opinion.

72. Don’t support an overly involved government.

71. If you don’t wear a wedding ring when playing onstage, you may have men asking you out.

70. You can still go to the Rostropovich concert even if you had a baby on the same day.

69. It’s always a better buy when you say, “it was on sale.”

68. Even if you’re old, you have no excuse to own a Cadillac.

67. Don’t buy cheap furniture. You’ll have to replace it in a year or two while quality furniture can be recovered and last for years and years and years.

66. Be wary of violas and French horns as they are most susceptible to playing out of tune.

65. Christmas trees can never have too many lights or ornaments.

64. Be busy.

63. How to make delicious mashed potatoes.

62. That mushrooms are gross.

61. It was worth the fights when I was younger to keep practicing piano.

60. Don’t wear too much makeup so you don’t look slutty.

59. How to tie amazing bows.

58. How to wrap packages.

57. How to find Elie Tahari deals at T.J. Maxx

56. How to water the plants on my little patio.

55. How to read voraciously.

54. To pronounce the store Super Target, ‘Soop-ehr Tar-jey.’

53. To blow-dry my hair upside down for more body.

52. That Lynnie is God’s gift to haircuts and colors.

51. To put lotion on my neck.

50. To repeat someone’s name you just met.

49. That deviled eggs are delicious in the summertime.

48. That store-bought lasagna can never compare to homemade.

47. Thanksgiving meals are to-die for.

46. That bikinis don’t belong in the family hot tub.

45. Even as a kid, home magazines are an interesting read. (I used to measure my room, then draw it all out on graph paper, cut out the furniture separately and ‘rearrange’ it.)

44. A good poem makes a great Christmas present.

43. Remembering a person’s name is a huge compliment.

42. Wear a slip under a skirt.

41. How to peel potatoes (fast).

40. To pick up brochures and wander through open houses of homes for sale even though you’re not in the market.

39. To indulge every now and then in the foods that give you gas.

38. To love classical music.

37. To compromise.

36. To arrange flowers.

35. That Pepsi may cure depression.

34. To participate in ward choir.

33. To make delicious rollups (a.k.a. crepes).

32. To wipe from front to back.

31. Don’t overpluck your eyebrows.

30. Never underestimate the power of black dress pants.

29. Pure vanilla from Mexico tastes so much better.

28. How to drive.

27. Little girls don’t need to pierce their ears.

26. You can never go wrong with David Yurman jewelry.

25. To mostly avoid Wal-Mart.

24. To appreciate luxurious bed sheets.

23. To double loop the bow on my shoe so that it stays in longer.

22. To use a pressure cooker.

21. Swiss chard grown in the garden is delectable.

20. Have good posture.

19. You don’t need to wash the measuring cup after using it for flour or sugar. You’ll use it for that next time, too.

18. To wear flattering colors.

17. To keep a good ‘imaginary friend’ around for going on cruises, taking cowboy poetry trips and helping your daughter move.

16. How to go boating even when you get nauseous.

15. How to spell.

14. How to weed.

13. To keep working out.

12. How to clean a bathroom.

11. To make Rice Krispie Treats for an after-school snack.

10. That I don’t need to worry about getting a tan.

9. Use mouth wash.

8. To cook without a recipe.

7. To set the table with individual salt and pepper shakers.

6. To comfort me when sick with chicken soup, toast, 7-up and staying in bed.

5. To love my family.

4. Hard work.

3. To write my checks in cursive.

2. That eating around the hotdog (like corn-on-the-cob) isn’t good table manners.

1. That a good way to say thank you is to serve somebody.

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