|What is it about the female species? Do they actually have some sixth sense that knows all, sees all and remembers all? I realize that part of being a mother or a wife is to have these powerful talents.Moms and wives have created their own jargon. As a child growing up, I recall many of the powerful admonishments declared by my mother to her 11 children that she brought into this world.
Here are but a few. “Be careful or that will put your eye out.”
When I tried to blame a buddy for a stupid move I made mom would say “What if everyone jumped off a cliff? Would you do it too?”
“If I talked to my mother like you talk to me… Don’t’ make that face or it will freeze in that position!”
My personal favorites… “You have enough dirt in those ears to grow potatoes!” or “Close that door! Were you born in a barn?” I don’t know mom, you never told me where I was born.
Her admonishments to her five daughters were interesting. “Always change your underwear; you never know when you’ll have an accident.”
And then there was the mother’s curse: “I hope you grow up and have kids just like you!”
And then there were the proverbial go-to phrases that mothers always love to use. “Because I’m your mother; that’s why!” or “If I told you once I’ve told you a thousand times!” or “Because I have eyes in the back of my head, that’s how!”
The ultimatum quote was always a killer. “I brought you into this world and I can always take you out.”
“If you break your leg playing football (which I did), don’t come running to me (which I couldn’t do).” The ridiculousness of that statement always stumped me.
When you have 11 children, getting us to eat was rarely a problem. Even the dog had to call for a fair catch in our house.
I admit we rarely heard this one: “Eat everything on your plate, there are children starving in China.” I was actually a China baby. My baby brother Andy, now a lawyer, was an India baby. It all depended on who was starving somewhere in the world that day.
It’s been said that we men marry women like our moms. That doesn’t give her permission to treat me like I’m her son.
A speaking colleague of mine tells the story about how his wife had a nightmare and he failed to save her in her dream. I know we aren’t always the kind of husbands we need to be in real life, but now we have to be a hero in her dream?
The old axiom “Happy wife, happy life” is very true because if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. The fact is most of us husbands will only become as great as our wives think we will.
Conversely, a nagging wife can be worse than an overly protective mother. In Proverbs, we are advised that “A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.”
It’s been said that man is incomplete until he’s marriedÖ and then he’s finished! Marriage is an institution where men lose their “bachelor’s degree” and women get their “masters.”
There was a story about a man who ran an ad for a wife. The next day, he got 100 responses from other men saying: “You can have mine!”
We men are so stupid about so many things, like giving our wives cleaning supplies as a gift. I once bought my mother a broom for Mother’s Day.
And for God’s sake, never comment when she asks “Does this make me look fat?” Anything you say is going to cost you a prolonged period of some kind of inactivity.
Don’t say let me jog around to the front side to see how it looks from there. Cute lines like “Not to Stevie Wonder” won’t earn you any points either. A good humorous response might be “Does this time make me look stupid?”
You must avoid lines like “No way! You look least fat in that.” You could try “No hablo ingles.”
Michael Aun is a syndicated columnist and writes a weekly column for this newspaper. To contact Michael Aun, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.