I’ve found myself saying one phrase in particular since the end of my 1L year: “My mama taught me better than that.” I started saying it because I had weddings to attend and no money for the wedding present. Everyone was very forgiving and understanding but my mama taught me better than that. Now I have been saying it because my mama did teach me better, but oh well.
I hate that I’m ignoring her lessons too. My mother is wise and smart and she taught me better. It’s probably all the stress and struggle of returning to law school, starting 2-Hell year (heard that the first day and, after the first day, know it to be accurate), but just because I’m sleep deprived doesn’t mean I’m the same bratty sociopathic child that I was. I clearly need a refresher course, so these are some of the things my mama taught me.
1. Obviously, you always get someone a wedding present, whether you attend the wedding or not. The bane of Summer 2016 (although shoutout to my boosk, Liz, at Baby Got B.A. for being a poor grad student with me and splitting the presents).
2. If someone offers to pay, you eat like you would if you were paying for yourself and/or you get a small drink. This is a lesson I’ve carried with me since she told me when I was in elementary school. I use it to judge my friends as well, so be warned.
3. Don’t waste your energy on pointless things or things you can’t change. In this instance, because it’s her giving me advice, it’s in regards to my “temper.” My mom is fairly non-confrontational, which sometimes drives me crazy. The funniest example of this is my current irritation with the U-Haul across the street from me. She shut down my ire with one sentence: “Are you really this angry at a U-Haul? Aren’t you in law school? Shouldn’t you have better things to worry about?” Yes, I do (but the U-Haul still irks me). However, the most legitimate example of it is with people. I had friends where their political views and selfishness made me so angry. My mom always said that either I learn to deal with it or you end it. There’s no point in wasting energy arguing with them. This may seem inconsequential or obvious, but it has affected how I am around people ever since.
4. Putting milk in coffee is for poor people. I feel like this needs context to not sound as weird (and possibly elitist) as it does, but all I can say is that my mother and I put either half and half or coffee creamer in our coffee. I once called her while I was in undergrad and told her that I put milk in my coffee (I’m not sure if it was because I was poor or needed to do groceries). She felt very sorry for me and said that she’d give me money to buy some creamer and then said milk in coffee was for poor people.
5. “It’s fine!” I’m a control enthusiast and I like things a certain way. Presentation means more to me than my mother will ever understand. She doesn’t sympathize with my plight. Every now and then, I’ll hear my mom’s voice in my head whenever I’m being over-controlling about stupid things, like what order the books on my bookshelf should be in.
6. “The money will be there.” This first popped up when I went to college. I’ve never been great at getting my own outside scholarships, sos when I was talking about loans and all these financial worries about attending the school I wanted versus the school that gave me aid, my mom would always tell me that the money would be there. Definitely applies today still.
7. The Art of Chill. I’m still learning this. Anyone who has met my mother knows and has said that she is the most chill person on Earth. The world could be crashing in around her and she would be perfectly chill. Life is easier when the stupid things don’t bother you and then you can focus on important things. This sounds like Lesson 3 and I suppose it’s along the same strain. She doesn’t let things bother her, even when they would bother any other normal human being. She doesn’t judge people, even though she should. I aspire to her chillness.
I’m stopping at 7 because that’s her favorite number. It’s also encroaching onto another post I want to do. I appreciate all that my mother has done for me. 🙂