Lessons from my mother.

It’s my mum’s birthday today! Normally on these occasions people post some poetic quotes on Facebook, perhaps on top of a picture of a Minion. Or just a paragraph on how much they love their mother. Maybe a card or a text message if they’re not into their social media.

Surprise! My glass heart rejects any overt emotional display, so I’m not going to do that. Aside from the card. I’m not a total animal.

I have a feeling that, having kept her questionably competent daughter alive for 26 years, my mum would prefer if I shared some of the most important (or at least memorable) things that I’ve picked up from her in my lifetime.

In fact, I think she’d like it about as much as she likes cake.


Mummy Mac’s Life Lessons

You have to be able to taste the gin in a gin and tonic

If you’ve ever had a drink mixed by my mother, you’ll know this one first hand. She once complained to the dude giving out samples in Malaga airport because there wasn’t enough gin in her G&T. It was 8am.

I left.

The wine buying priority goes percentage -> price -> anything else

I am frequently caught looking like the world’s biggest jake in the supermarket. If you see someone methodically turning round bottles of Pinot Grigio in the wine aisle, it’s going to be someone in my family. Take your bets on which one!

The horn in the car is not just to alert other drivers to your presence

Let me take this opportunity to apologise to my driving instructor if he reads this, because I have – whether through genetics or social conditioning – adopted my mother’s attitude. Someone cuts you up at a roundabout? Horn. Someone pulls out of a junction a little too close to you? Horn. Someone generally being a dick on the road? Yep. I’ve been in the car with my mother and she’s overtaken someone driving obnoxiously slowly with her hand on the horn the whole way.

Never trust a driver in a flat cap and a Volvo

I think she got this one from her driving instructor. I’ve never actually come across a flat cap wearing Volvo driver, so I can’t vouch for the integrity of their driving, but every time I see someone in a Volvo I automatically double check their headwear. Just in case.

You shouldn’t kill insects when they come into the house

You have to understand what an internal struggle this is. I’m entomophobic to the highest degree. The only insects I can tolerate are flies and occasionally wasps. Anything else turns me into a weeping snotty mess.

My mother has drilled into me that it’s cruel to kill them, which makes me feel an enormous amount of guilt when my first reaction is to get the Dyson, attach the longest selection of cleaning tools I have and suck the offending beastie up. Now I usually get Sean to get rid of them. Or whichever of my friends happens to be coming round.

I’m not entirely sure Mummy Mac’s approach of “trap them carefully under a glass, carry them gently to the upstairs window and lob them out” is any more humane, but I’ll humour her.

The Eighties were the peak of music

If I’m ever looking for a decent playlist with very few songs I’ll need to skip on it, I’m almost definitely going to the 80s. Much like the car horn thing, I’m not sure if this is something I’m genetically engineered to enjoy or if I’ve been carefully trained through years of background music, but now that I’m in my 20s we both love an 80s night.

Unless they play Come On Eileen. I have never seen anyone have a reaction as visceral to a song as my mum does to Come On Eileen.

Happy birthday Mummy Mac – you’ve taught me everything I know to be a slightly functioning adult. Especially when it comes to alcohol.

me and maw

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