DON’T YOU HAVE those days when you’re just sick and tired of hearing that other people know for sure the absolute best way to do something and you’re doing it wrong? Often it turns out that they’re wrong but never in doubt, which adds to the frustration and embarrassment of it all. Almost as bad is listening to legitimate experts drone on about the one topic they have mastered. Sometimes I wish everyone would just shut up and go about their business, like animals foraging for food. You don’t see large groups of them clustered together on a smoke break, spreading misinformation and outright nonsense. Usually they work alone, and silently, like Picasso or Mark Rothko or Hemingway or James Joyce…..
I’m thinking all this because of a little book I stumbled upon last weekend in a quaint “5-and-10-cent” store selling nostalgia in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As my husband accurately observed, the place was more like a five and ten dollar store, but alas, times have changed. Anyway, I bought a book, the kind you might leave in a guest bathroom as entertainment. Mother Knows Best: The Truth About Mom’s Well-Meaning (but not always accurate) Advice shattered the few intact remains of my youth in just 140 pages.
I certainly hope the author, Sue Castle, knows what she’s talking about since she pulled the rug out from under me on many fronts. For an investment of just $12.95, I now know that everything I was taught growing up is wrong. And although I already had a vague feeling and some concrete knowledge that much of my mother’s “teachings” were a load of well-meaning crap, still I held onto some of it like a favorite childhood teddy bear missing half his stuffing. Surely there was some truth somewhere? Come to find out: no.
Following are some of the delusions I have been living under all my life, and I’m pretty old already. You may still have time to smarten up:
2. If you get stung by a bee once, the next time will be worse.
3. Black coffee sobers you up.
4. Put butter on a burn right away.
5. Yams and sweet potatoes are the same vegetables.
6. Feed a cold, starve a fever.
7. Don’t go out with wet hair, you’ll catch cold.
8. Don’t put plants in a sick room, they use up oxygen.
9. Don’t store food in open cans in the fridge, it will spoil.
10. If you don’t move, you won’t get stung by a bee.
11. Shaving makes your hair or beard grow back thicker.
12. Eating too much sugar gives you diabetes.
13. Brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs.
14. If a dog’s nose is hot and dry, he’s sick.
15. Don’t have sex before a competition, it saps your energy.
16. The best way to stop a nosebleed is to tip your head back.
17. Don’t go swimming right after eating, you’ll get cramps and drown.
18. Milk is good for an ulcer.
19. You have to suck the poison out of a snake bite.
20. Brown sugar and honey are healthier than refined white sugar.
21. Fish is brain food.
I am sticking with #7, I don’t care what anyone says.
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.