Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mama On: Living Your Life (When You Think No One Is Watching)

"Autograph your life with excellence. You never know who will read your signature."

The direct and immediate consequence and an easily drawn conclusion for this bit of Mamaknology, oddly, can take years for even the brightest and most clever among us to understand and assimilate. But it simply comes down to this: do you really want to have to apologize for who and what you allow yourself to become? Could you explain it to your mother -- would you want to have to? And here's the acid test -- does your action shame you in your own eyes?

If you answered, "yes," it's time to check your signature.

Former NBA star Charles Barkley was quoted as saying that he was not a role model. He got a lot of press for that and yet, he wanted you to buy his shoes, workout gear, game tickets, and ... well you know how the marketing goes. Would anybody have bought anything, had he not been someone's role model?

As a practicing Mamaknologist, remember that though you may not be getting Barkley bucks (...don't say it...) somebody IS watching you. Somebody IS taking their cues and learning from you. So, even if not for yourself, your best effort in all you say and do must be the mark you strive for -- because you don't know who is watching and what the consequences of your teachings might be. And, just because God has a sense of humor, you also never know when you might find yourself on the receiving end of your own actions.

When you leave your signature on this life, let it be one that you can be proud of.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mama On: Manners

"If you don't think enough of yourself to keep good shoes, why would you bother with good manners?"

My mother had beautiful feet, the kind you see in television and magazine ads. And, yes, she was a tad vain about them. She believed in wearing expensive, well-cobbled shoes and in making sure that those shoes were appopriate to the occasion. She also believed that it was as much your feet as your brain that took you where you were meant to be in this life.

Now, while my mother's shoe collection was probably second only to that of Imelda Marcos (look her up...), the Mamaknology to be gained is this -- if you're going somewhere that cute shoes should not go, you probably shouldn't take the rest of your cute self, either. If you are dealing with people who think nothing of stepping all over your cute shoes, don't be surprised when they step on the rest of you, too.

Further, a woman who doesn't bother to take care of herself rarely bothers to take care of those around her. This is an extended and advanced concept of Mamaknology: tacky women lead tacky lives. They tend to be rude, crude, and mean, and need I say, nonpracticing Mamaknologists.

So, I urge all practicing Mamaknologists to catch a GREAT shoe sale, love yourself enough to stand tall in stilettos, enjoy a pedicure, and treat yourself and others well. Life is, after all, for living, learning, loving, and wearing fabulous shoes!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mamaknology: Defined

My mother passed from this life on February 5, 1985. Before she left, she had a lot to say, and now I find myself acting on her words and even (gasp!) repeating them. Funny, but the older I get, the smarter my mother becomes. Even funnier, is how applicable her advice is. When my personal code of ethics gets skewed, when I'm lost for a response, when my sisterfriends get twisted, it's my mother's voice I hear -- her wisdom I draw from.

My mother was the leading 20th Century proponent of Mamaknology. Honey, believe it when I tell you that some of my friends even call me to ask, "what would your mother say about..." and I have the nerve to have an answer! I did tell you that my mama had a lot to say, didn't I?

Since Mamaknology is my word, I get to define it. Mamaknology is the acquired art and science of living as a woman -- as opposed to surviving as a female. Mamaknology is the reminder of manners and the actualization of self. The knowing it / saying it / doing it with style, flair, love, and authority -- now, that's Mamaknology in full effect.

The biggest things I've learned in all my years as a practicing Mamaknologist (daughter) is to love myself, to be present in this life, and to share the good things. So, because I have only one daughter to bequeath this abundance of wisdom to, and cats don't listen, I'm going to bless you with some of my acquired Mamaknology.