By EMMA CROWE
My mum is a very smart woman. Full of wisdom. So insightful. She has all these great sayings, collected over the years and lovingly passed on to me and my four sisters.
You’re a people pleaser, but there’s just no pleasing some people.
It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Look with your eyes, not with your mouth!
And my favourite:
Our faults are the excesses of our virtues.
Can we just reflect on this one for a minute? What a lovely way to think about the things that annoy us most in people. Too loud? Life of the party. Messy? Creative genius. Over-involved? Too caring. Slobby? Relaxed. Neurotic? Brilliant attention to detail.
Mum’s sayings are spot on. Apart from this one:
People don’t think about you nearly as much as you think they do.
That one is obviously wrong.
For example, I am quite certain that the people who live in the townhouses over our back fence spend a great deal of time thinking about me.
I mean, sure, it’s possible that they might be out on their balconies for some fresh air, or to eat al fresco, or to water their plants, or read the newspaper, or catch some sun, but it’s far more likely that they are out there to learn more about me. I’m pretty sure they are gradually constructing a picture of me, based on the sights and sounds coming from our home.
I’ve taken to giving the neighbours as much information as possible to make sure they don’t get the wrong impression. Mostly I do this by taking every opportunity to incorporate key messages into the nagging of the children.
This happens whether or not I can actually see any neighbours.
Opportunity to explain to neighbours that I don’t normally raise my voice:
“Now, as you know, I’ve asked you very nicely at least twenty times to please get dressed for school. This is why I am now raising my voice. You know I don’t LIKE raising my voice. It’s very frustrating to find myself raising my voice and it’s not nice for our POOR NEIGHBOURS to have to listen to me raising my voice.”
Opportunity to explain to neighbours that I am aware that 9pm is pretty late for primary-school-aged children to go to bed: