So I had an idea for a possibly fun thread. I thought it might be interesting, enlightening, and just plain hilarious if we wrote valuable, outdated, funny, or otherwise interesting advice from our parents/guardians. It doesn’t have to be particularly good advice either.
To get us started, my mother used to tell me I should always write on envelopes (y’know, for the now largely outdated practice of personal letter writing) in pencil, either alone or beneath the ink, in case wet weather made the ink unreadable.
My father always wore loafers with his suits. I asked him why and he said that really busy men don’t have time for shoelaces.
Grandfather at the zoo advised me to not use handrails for sanitary reasons. I still ponder on the relative risks.
It’s not so much a matter of risk as ineffectiveness. They’re mostly good for balance and guidance, maybe a few stretching exercises.
My father once advised me never to trust the Shia. (Why yes, I was raised Sunni, why do you ask?)
What’s funny about that is that he invoked the doctrine of Taqqiyah, which is frequently invoked by anti-Muslim nutjobs. It’s particularly frustrating because if you’re Muslim, it’s impossible to refute. The conversation goes like this,
“According to your religion, you can lie to me about anything.”
“That’s not what it says. I’m not lying to you.”
“But what if THAT was a lie?! Hmmm?”
me: (pulling a face)
Mom: How would you like it if your face froze that way?
Mom: (gives up)
Mom: Birdy’s gonna poop on your lip.
me: (no longer pouting, too grossed out by the thought of potential bird poop on lip)
And there was the always popular “starving kids in China” admonition when I wouldn’t finish supper. Some stuff worked, some didn’t.
“Don’t cut the bread at both ends, it’ll collapse,” said my grandfather, the troll.
Using BS argument of things being “human nature” to rationalize why we should do things we knew were stupid.
Property and territory are “real”, because animals automatically know this!
Economics and finance are “real” because everybody secretly wants to engage in commerce.
Science and art are silly past-times for people who don’t understand squabbling over resources and enjoying personal problems.
What you think of other people, and what they think of you are meaningful ideas to waste your life ruminating about.
It matters if/how long you live, because you’re programmed to think that it does.
All people have equal worth - especially The Authorities.
It’s ok to live irrationally, you are absolved if the people around you are doing it. You’ll make great friends.
My mom kept telling us that the least appetizing part of any food—that spongy white part in the middle of an orange, the crust on whole grain bread, the ornamental sprig of parsley on a diner breakfast plate—was “where all the vitamins are.”
She may not have been totally off base in many cases (the parsley was probably the most nutritious thing at Denny’s) but it did take a lot of fun out of eating.
I’m trying to think if I’ve ever gotten good advice from any of my parents (I have significantly more than the usual number) and I can’t come up with anything. Other extended family members, sure, but not the parents.
Thinking about this has made me realize how much I’ve blocked out. I can’t remember a single conversation right now. (Perhaps the 4.5 hours of sleep is part of the problem.)
Underwear (white cotton briefs, natch’) is the same as a swimsuit.
Unless the usual stuff like “You’ll never amount to anything” counts. About the only thing they did teach me was that if you’re going to do anything, don’t expect anyone to ever help you out.
My dad always implored us to buy American, and he led by example. His reasoning was that the he’d rather pay to keep manufacturing jobs in America than to encourage outsourcing to cheaper countries (China of course).
He’s relaxed his stance over the decades and drives a Toyota Tacoma now, all of our AV gear is Samsung, and his phone is a Huawei. He still buys Craftsman tools though, because he likes the warranty.
I wouldn’t trust that LaBeouf guy either… Oh, wait.
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