Bad Moods, Good Moods
Ridge Road: A Dramatic Documentary

My Mother’s Voice

While doing some serious moping around the house the other day, I heard my mother's voice in my head. "Nobody likes a sourpuss," it said, bringing back visions of me as a grumpy adolescent suffering because some boy hadn't called or I had suffered some other great setback in my teenage life.  But I have this nagging doubt.  Am I still a grump?  I do have friends who seem to like me, but who knows?

I thought of other times I hear her voice.  For example, "Eat now because you might be hungry later." That sounds as odd now as it did then.

Mother also had the habit, usually practiced as we were walking down the street, of saying "SB."  That was her code for "shoulders back," her incessant reminder that I have bad posture.  Despite her exhortations, I still have bad posture.  And I still hear her saying "SB" in my head, alas.

Or my all time favorite, "If you practice the piano, you'll always be popular because people like to gather around and sing."  This statement would be made as I was listening to my friends playing kick-the-can outside while our kitchen timer sat on the piano ticking away until I was allowed to stop practicing and join them.  By the way, in my entire adult life, I have never gathered around the piano to sing with friends, with the possible exception of Christmas parties.

I asked my children for examples of what
I say over and over that will remain in their heads forever.  They couldn't come up with anything.  I'll have to work on that.


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