A mother's advice

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By Sandy Gil

Sunday Dunes

Saturday, June 28, 2014


NOW that life has changed its gears from high to low, and as twilight gradually approaches, I have had this in incredible luxury of treasuring the seemingly most mundane advice from my Mom.

-oOo-

Even at the extremely ripe old age of 84, my Mom continues to provide me a variety of curious advice - as all moms do - about growing old gracefully. A few of these have caught my undivided attention. First, my Mom says that women after 60 should NOT take a bath every day! Duh. She says that taking a bath every day - and normally twice a day - will quickly turn an old lady's skin into dried prunes (take note of the plural form!). With eyebrows raised in shock, I asked her how often should an old lady therefore take a bath. Hmmm, she smiles, about twice to three times a week? MAAAA...

-oOo-

Mom also advises that before applying make up, old ladies should remember to delete their faces. Huh? Delete their faces??? Ahhh... what do you mean, I asked. With a grand gesture, she pulls out her drawer of cosmetics and shows me a hoard of cosmetic containers that look like lipstick, all lined up like soldiers ready to... to what?... delete old ladies' faces?Here, she says offering one to me. Open it and see.

I read the cosmetic label before opening it. Oh! A concealer! For the benefit of those who don't know what a concealer is, it is a stick foundation applied to hide dark spots of the face, particularly eye bags, to smoothen the surface on which to apply make up. Mom, it's not a deleter; it's a concealer. Raising one eyebrow at me, she retorts, read the label; it says "Erase." Same thing. Delete, erase, and erase, delete.

-oOo-

Another advice she had once nonchalantly thrown at me was: Don't sneeze immediately after applying mascara on your eyelashes! Or you'll end up with spider eyes.

Also, don't remove your dentures when you're with the man you love. WHAAAATTT??? Talking without one's dentures makes one slur; he won't understand you. OMG, Mom! Or when your little 3-year grandson is watching, lest you want the entire community to know about your dentures.

-oOo-

But there is one advice she has given me that really beats the rest. She warns that as age silently creeps in, a woman's breasts not only follow the Law of Gravity, but they get angry with one another and sort of separate ways - one on the left and the other on the right side of a woman's body, particularly when in the lying-flat-on-your-back position. Consequently, the youthful cleavage is no longer formed. But... as my Mom appears to have all the simple solutions to the most complicated problems in life... there is a trick to address the grievous loss of the cleavage.

If a woman lies on her side, her separated breasts will not desist the Law of Gravity, and fall together on one side, and voila... the marvelous return of the cleavage!

However, my Mom cautions me, don't be too cocky for not only will the breasts obey the Law of Gravity, so will the rest of the woman's body, particularly all the flesh, fat and folds of the tummy - which, she adds, can also form a multitude of unfortunate cleavages.

Of course, my Mom has a solution to that too. She says that all you have to do is suck in as much air as you can, at the same time hold in your tummy and DON'T BREATHE... Oh yes, make sure that you have a blanket nearby so that when you can't hold your breath any longer, gracefully cover your lower torso with the blanket to hide the multitude of unfortunate cleavages, so you can breathe.

Thanks, Mom, all daughters can use your advice!

-oOo-

Avoiding dried up skin by rarely bathing, deleting the face, spider eyes and dentures, as well as regaining and deleting cleavages are incredulous advices that only a mom with a warped sense of humor can conjure.

Mom's best advice however is the way she looks - her laughing eyes with those tiny adorable crow's feet! I do hope I age like her...

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 29, 2014.

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