Heart to Heart

© Laurin Rinder | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Don’t spend your lunch money on ice cream or candy; always be pleasant with company; stop smacking your gum, it makes you sound like a cow; always brush your hair before bed; don’t mix plaids and stripes; never talk to strangers; here’s how you wish on a shooting star – oh no not that one, that’s just a satellite; look both ways before crossing the street; don’t cross your legs when sitting in a chair, just bend your knees and cross your ankles; always wear a skirt to church on Sunday; always go to church on Sunday, if you can’t make Sunday, there’s a Saturday evening mass; don’t you dare talk back to me, young lady; never put celery down the garbage disposal; or forks, never put forks down the garbage disposal; wash your face every night, even if you feel like you’re too tired to move; always take out the trash before it starts to smell; don’t rile up the dog like that – if she pees on the carpet, you’re cleaning it up; stay away from pot and booze; but if you drink, don’t drive; have you thought about wearing a little makeup to hide the imperfections?; remember to just be yourself; always watch what you eat; don’t use Sun-In in your mahogany hair, it will only turn it orange; don’t give your heart away too quickly, but try not to keep it locked up too long; if the tag says “dry clean only” you should take it to the dry cleaner; wipe off some of that eyeliner – you wear too much makeup and it makes you look cheap; did you even brush your hair this morning?; don’t wear jeans that are too low, too tight, too faded or too shredded; No, I won’t pay for modeling classes, it’s a scam; you can make yourself miserable or make yourself strong, the effort is still the same; never mix aspirin and alcohol; the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach; here’s how you setup a savings account, here’s how you setup a checking account; here’s how you apply for a loan; always take time for yourself; stop slouching, you look frumpy; your shirt’s a little low, perhaps a sweater would make you look descent; if you get a tattoo, I’m not paying your $40,000 a year tuition; courage is the power to let go of the familiar; remember to bake the pie for twenty minutes at 350, then another 30 minutes at 325; don’t worry, your day will come; never live with more than one cat; you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression; never travel abroad alone; smile a little more, you always look so sad; you don’t need a boyfriend now anyway, you should concentrate on your school work; it’s not that I don’t like your hair, I just liked it better when it was blonde; did you forget to iron that blouse?; here’s how you get a red wine stain out of your khaki slacks; here’s how you get a red wine stain out of the carpet; here’s how to get a red wine stain out of the couch; I saw that boy the other day, the one you said used to make your heart flutter – why didn’t you marry him?; always carry five dollars in your purse, just in case; the will of God will not take you where the grace of God cannot protect you; stop being so damn pessimistic, you’ll never get a man that way; nothing can come into your experience unless you summon it through persistent thoughts; be careful when talking to strange men; always cook a meatloaf with ketchup, not salsa; never cry in the workplace, if you need to cry go outside; when are you planning on giving me grandchildren?; have you eaten today?  You’re a little cranky; you should have taken that job in Chicago; that dress really isn’t flattering on you; always take chances and never look back; your father and I have papers in the top dresser drawer, a written copy of our wills, account numbers, just in case; never be afraid to talk about your fears; don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Inspired By Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” and conversations with my mother.  Thanks, Mom!


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