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advice from Mom and Dad


I don't know why, but I have been thinking about the "advice" my parents have given me over the years. None of it has really fallen into the category of Universal Truths.

Here are the few items from my mother that I have retained. Item number one: When preparing your face to go out in public always remember to comb your eyebrows.

She never showed me how to apply make up, she was just concerned about my eyebrows. As I think about it, no one really showed me how to put make up on. No, that's not right. I just remembered, my junior high friend Christy showed me how to put eye shadow and blush on. These days I only wear lipstick. I'd like to be able to say that my skin is flawless and all I really need to "freshen myself up" is a dab of lipstick. But that's not true.

Putting lipstick on is all the effort I put into my face. Besides brushing my teeth and combing my eyebrows, which I do every day. Thanks for the tip, Mom.

Item number two: After you put your bra on, bend over at the waist so your torso is perpendicular to the ground. This will distribute your "attributes" evenly in your brassiere.

Yes, ma'am, I am a good student. I adjust myself every day when dressing in the morning.

Item number three: Don't ever get divorced. Stay and make his life miserable.

This little gem was the advice my mother gave me when I got engaged. It is definitely the strategy she has employed in her own 52-year marriage. I guess it proved successful for her.

Now on to my dad's advice; there are only two items. Item number one: if you ever think a man is going to rape you, you can do one of two things. First, you can put your hand up by his temple and caress his forehead until you get the courage to jam your thumb in his eye.

Second, if he has his "jewels" out (he actually used the word jewels and yes, it was awkward) squeeze the sack behind his unit. If you squeeze his unit it won't hurt, but if you squeeze the sack and twist it, he'll be on the floor screaming and you will be able to get away.

Thank God I have never been raped. But in college I did find myself in a stupid, scary situation and while I thought about what my dad said I never did any of it. And the guy finally drove me home.

I was incredibly stupid and incredibly lucky. My girlfriends and I went to a bar to drink and dance and I was dancing with a tall guy who had blond hair. He asked if he could drive me home and my friends and I gave him the once over. How stupid we were. We looked at him and deemed him safe because he looked like a nice guy. We were wrong.

So he's driving me to my apartment and I'm giving him directions, then he starts to turn a different way and winds around the city neighboring the campus. I'm kind of laughing saying, "Hey, this isn't the way I told you to go." And he's laughing saying "I want to show you my house."

We park on a city street and I'm trying to figure out where the locks are on the door and where the handle is. I'm still drunk, though, and he parks the car and we start to kiss. I'm feeling nervous, but thinking we'll probably kiss for a while and then he will drive me home.

That's what ended up happening, but not before he put his hands around my neck and said "I could strangle you right now" as he kissed me. He also released his jewels from his shorts and guided my hand to it, trying to make me rub it. As I think back about it I realize that's the first time I ever saw or touched a penis. I wasn't quite sure where "the sack" that my dad talked about was located.

I don't remember all of the details, it was over 17 years ago but I think this guy was sexually frustrated and was trying to "teach me a lesson." That was basically his parting statement to me as I got out of the car and actually thanked him for the ride home. I can't believe I said thank you. Anyway, he said something like, don't accept a ride home from a guy if you're not going to have sex with him.

So clearly, I do not operate well under pressure and would be an easy target. Thanks for the words that rolled around in my head but never got used, Dad.

Item number two: when you are thinking about getting married you should pick someone whose background is similar to yours. There will be enough to fight about without having to argue about big things like what religion to raise the children and which cultures to emphasize.

Turns out my husband and I do have a lot in common except he's half Mexican and I'm a WASP with no family money.

Regardless of what my bigoted 80-year-old father thinks, my marriage is the strongest one going compared to the marriages of my siblings and their WASP spouses. Of the four other marriages, two have ended in divorce, one is actively spiteful and the remaining one is holding on by a thread. That would be Rob and Caroline and we know what a bastard pig Rob is. If not, see my entry part 3: more red flags.


2006-12-14 at 7:25 a.m.

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