Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times - Chapter 2

#2 - "Always wear clean underwear. You never know when you could be in a wreck or get sick and have to go to the hospital."

A reoccurring theme of  ‘one hundred things my mother taught me a million times’ is the uncertainty of life. As I pondered this inclination, my first reaction was that my mother's generation had such a hard life that they became wary and paranoid. Two world wars, the depression, having to fight for the right to vote, prohibition - I can see how swimming through all of that would tend to make you cautious.

But then I looked back on my own history. The Vietnam War looms large in my memory, an icon of horror, futility and heart-stomping reality. Then there were the gut-churning conflicts of race and the flood of drugs constantly beckoning to a youth desperately seeking a haven from the harshness of life. It is a freaking wonder we ever left the house - clean knickers or not. Click on Read More Below...

On third look, though, these examples of human conflict are universal, geographically and historically. Every generation, every society and country has their Vietnam, their race conflicts, their drugs of choice, be it marijuana, cocaine, booze, over-eating, radical religious beliefs, rampant materialism. My husband is missing the gene that tells you that a pot on a stove gets hot. I think humans are missing the gene that learns not to hate or fear (or at the very least not to be irritated by what is different from us). That which causes us to judge, condemn and kill (figuratively or spiritually). We all judge, we all condemn, we are all missing that gene. As my mother would say, "You just have to keep a lid on it."

So about those panties… Why would we worry about our drawers if we were in a wreck or sick? Are we so desperate for approval that we even need it from the guys that drive the ambulance? Are we so worried about our image that we want to impress people we know we'll never see again, and who are probably going to see us at our very worst anyway? That's a little around the psycho-bend. As if we didn't have enough to worry about! However, you can be sure that I never leave the house without thinking about how I might look to one of those cute firefighters, as they cut me out of the twisted wreckage of my car.

Mother was right. Life is uncertain, and one must always face it with clean undies.


1 comment:

  1. I'm a nurse and so I know people in each of the facilities in this area. I find myself thinking things like, "I must have on clean underwear without rips or holes because if something happens to me my friends and co-workers will be the ones taking care of me." or "I can just picture myself in the ER trying to explain why I did [some stupid thing I was about to do]." It puts a whole new twist on the 'always wear clean underwear' mommyism.