Friday, July 3, 2009

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times - Chapter 8

#8 - "Always leave an inch of tipping room from the top of your cup or glass." 
 Although this is such a simple statement, this lesson that my mother taught me a million times brings a smile to my lips and a particular lightness to my heart. First, it is one of those things that everyone in my family has sort of latched onto as a humorous and sweet touchstone of remembrance of my mom, along with "enchi-lalas" which is what she called enchiladas, and a few others that will no doubt surface in later chapters of "One Hundred Things...." When there's a family get together and a beverage is being poured (usually tea - we're southern after all), there's almost a contest to see who will be the first to say, "Be sure to leave an inch of tipping room," as a silly but loving tribute to mom.

Second reason this mom-ism makes me feel light-hearted is because I'm laughing inside at myself for thinking, for the um-teenth time, "Damn, it burns my butter when she's always right."

And finally, mom's lesson #8, brings a smile to my face because it is one of the things she tried to teach me a million times that when I pay attention and remember, it keeps me out of trouble, and when I don't, well...

I don't remember mom ever saying, "It's not what you do that gets you into trouble, it's how much," but somehow I deduced (or rationalized) this ism from "Moderation in all things," which is something mom did say, and "leaving tipping room" is all about not doing too much. When you over-fill your glass, your plate, your talk, your anger, your self-flagellation, your life, your head, something is going to get spilled and make a mess.

So mom was right, leave a little tipping room in your cup and in your life, so you don't have to stop and clean up.

Happy Birthday America. I love you.



  1. What great advice! Whenever I go to Starbucks (and I only get a tall coffee of the day, none of that hi-priced, hi-calorie fancy digs), they ask if I want room for cream and I say no, but leave room anyway because otherwise I'm liable to spill some on myself. Why? Because when they fill it to the top and I take a drink, the lids don't hold well and I invariably end up wearing some of the coffee I'd rather be drinking.

    So, clearly your Mom was ahead of her time!

  2. It's funny how changing a word can bring so many smiles to the faces of those around us. To this day, if we are going to eat at a Mexican restaurant, someone or all of us will say, "Yeah, let's go get some enchi-lalas!" I think everytime we use that word we see Momy Wade in our mind's eye and it always creates a smile on our face and a grin in our hearts.

    I also remember the time when she was living near Lake Travis and my parents took her to the local Mexican restaurant, she insisted on having a sweet roll and couldn't understand why they didn't have any. That's our Momy Wade and that's one of many reasons why we loved her so much!