A Valium and a couple Oreos

My mom’s known to bust out with funny one-liners from time to time. Behold some of her recent gems …

… to my sister, who was stressing out over hosting a party: “Take a Valium and eat a couple Oreos and everything’ll be fine.”

… on Starbucks coffee: “The first few sips are kinda like drinking tobacco, but then it starts to taste like coffee.”

… while studying her wind-tussled hair in the rear-view: “Is that mirror right?”

My mother has some great catch phrases, too. Some are Barb originals; others are common expressions. Here’s a sampling of my favorite.

Do you need a slap? Mom’s not-so-rhetorical question when she senses I’m slipping into temperamental artist mode.

Everybody’s a critic. In other words, there’s already enough negativity and judgment in the world; why add more? It’s easy to criticize someone, but perhaps more original to seek out a person’s endearing qualities.

If you’re bored, you’re boring. This statement always put an end to my whining. Who wants to be boring? Besides, you really don’t have to go very far in this world to find something interesting to observe.

Count your blessings. I blogged about blessing-counting a few months ago; click here for the post.

If you can find it, you can eat it: Her usual response when my siblings or I asked, “Hey Ma, is there anything to eat?”

What words of wisdom has your mother passed on to you?

~Alicia Bessette

20 Replies to “A Valium and a couple Oreos”

  1. I like the saying “Everybody’s a critic” best.Of course it’s much easier to find things to complain than positive ones. My experience is that (in most cases) a friendly word helps more than angry complaints.

  2. Mom’s sayings are always the best, and when sayings don’t srping to mind, whimiscal memories are always there waiting. When I was younger, my mom would take me to the Cosmetic Center and spray all different kinds of perfumes on her wrist then up her arm, on her shirt. When she ran out of spots, she came after me. We’d laugh, and say we both smelled like “French Whores” … a phrase and a past time her mother passed on to her.

    And then there’s the fake fingernails flying across the dressing rooms when she’d try on pants that were WAY too tight…hey, that was what women did in the late 80s, early 90s. One time, I had to use a coat hanger to zip up her pants as she laid on the bed because my fingers weren’t strong enough. Ha!

    …Oh, Mothers!!!! Gotta love ’em.

    Barb sounds awesome! I concur that “Is that mirror right?” is a classic, and I love and agree with her statement about tobacco-tasting Starbucks coffee.

    Thanks for posting this, Al, for sharing your memories and giving me a chance to remember some of my own gems! Enjoy!

  3. Your mom sounds so fun! I especially like, “if you’re bored, you’re boring.” It doesn’t take much to find some amusement if you have the right imagination, and the right attitude.

    And I definitely appreciate you mom’s saying, “if you can find it, you can eat it.” I’m convinced all mom’s HATE that question. Growing up, my sisters and I asked, “what’s for dinner?” so much that my mom completely outlawed the question in our household. Even now, when I visit my parents, I never dare ask, “what are we having?” It’s a recipe for disaster.

  4. Alicia, your Mom sounds darling!!!

    My mother has a habit of speaking like Yoda: “The front seat, you want to sit in?” One of her classics: “Did you hear Twiggy (the cat) died? He crawled under a hosta and just died. It was the same (day) as Rick James.” Parenthetical information was definitely not included in the conversation.

  5. Love it! Your mom sounds like a riot!

    My mom’s favorite expression is “I’ll be hornswaggled.” She uses it to express surprise, and it never fails to crack me up.


  6. Personal favorite Barbism was “Guess what? I’m going to bed.” She always started with the guess what when we were all over making a ruckus. She was always so happy to be going to bed! Didn’t get that until I became a Mom.

  7. So Barb…guess you are NEVER bored…cause you are anything BUT boring! Mom’s with sense and humor are the best…and create amazing daughters!

  8. So cool! I really love this ‘don’t take things to serious’-way of life! my moms answer to ‘where are my shoes/ my glasses/ my gloves?’-questions was always “where you left it” 🙂

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