Old Wives’ Tales

My mother was an educated person, but still she embraced many of the “old wives’ tales”.  You know, the superstitious things your mother tells you that are clearly crazy but she really believes they are true.

Even as a kid, it was obvious from my limited experience in the world that most of her commandments were nuts.

Her absolute favorite: “You’ll get sick if you go outside with a wet head.”  This couldn’t possibly be true or we would get sick every time we went to the swimming pool.

Another frequent gem:  “If you sing in the morning, you’ll cry at night.”  This had to be nonsense or we would cry every night because we sang every morning at school.

Some of her convictions turned to the bizarre.  No kidding, actual transcript from my teenage years…

Ma to me:  Jaclyn?  JACLYN!

Me to Ma:  What?

Ma to me:  Get over here.  I need you to water the plants.

So, my mother is standing right beside the plants in question, holding a pitcher of water.  There is no climbing, no lifting.  I don’t mind to do it, but it’s a little confusing why she needs help.

Me to Ma:  You want I should water the plants?

Ma to me:  I can’t.  I have my period.

Me to Ma:  You have your period.

Ma to me:  You can’t touch the plants when you have your period.  They’ll die.  Didn’t you know?

Again, my mind is thinking she has totally lost her marbles.  I mean, farm women must have to tend the crops every day of the month.

Anyway, I water the plants, and next time I get my period, you better believe I fondle every plant inside the house and several shrubs outside the house.  Nothing dies.  Or even wilts.  Meshugeh!

© 2014 Jaclyn Schrier. All rights reserved.