Out of My Mouth

There’s a T-shirt I’d like to buy that says, “When I open my mouth, out comes my mother.” It’s true. I often hear my mother’s words come out, before I can think about it. After all, I heard these words for umpty-dum years. Here is a brief sampling of expressions.

When I worry that I might not be wearing the right thing or doing the right thing, my mother’s voice says, “That’s all right. They don’t pay your electric bill.”

When I worry about a spot on my skirt or a rip in my hem, my grandmother’s voice says, “It will never be noticed on a galloping horse.” I think the original saying was, never be noticed “from a galloping horse,” but I like my grandmother’s version better, albeit not very flattering.

When I hear a sour note or a glaring grammatical error, my Aunt Lynn’s voice says, “That jangles my ankles.”

When I think about the troubles people have in their lives, my grandmother’s voice says, “Peopley peopley, got more troubles than anybody.” And then if I go to a crowded store, and it’s jammed with shoppers, I hear Grandma’s voice muttering, “They don’t have any,” as she’d turn and leave the store.

Of course there are always the old standards, “Pretty is as pretty does,” and “A place for everything and everything in its place,” and “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today,” and “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” All good advice, but it amuses me that I find myself saying the very same things. As my little plaque says, “Mirror mirror, on the wall, I am my mother after all.” My grandmother, my mother, and my aunt have all left their legacies to me, which I am apparently passing on.

I’d love to hear the quirky things your parents used to say. And are you saying them now too?


4 thoughts on “Out of My Mouth

  1. My Uncle had a plaque on the wall in his office that read, “Next week we’ve got to get organized,” but the phrase I find myself most often echoing is my Dad’s: “It’s enough to make a man think!”

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