Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Granny Mae's advice

A to Z challenge: Day 7

G is for Granny Mae's advice

Granny Mae was a wise woman. She lived to 92 and buried three husbands. As a young woman, she was one of the first to get divorced in Canada in the 1920s. And, she suffered for that. She lost custody of my mother and went to work scrubbing floors to pay for lawyer. She won her custody battle and got her daughter back and was never apart from her again.

Granny Mae was an elegant woman. She could make even the ordinary seem glamorous. She substituted the “y” for an “e,” in her name so when she married for a second time she went from MaryAnne Brown to Mae Bush.  She may have been just a "regular" woman but she still owned an evening dress or two.

I inherited her beautiful hair and for that I am grateful. I hope it turns the same shade of silver. I also inherited her strong jaw line, the kind that holds up your whole face for years so you don’t need plastic surgery before age 80.

Gran taught me to appreciate beauty and grace. She showed me what makes a good glove and a great shoe. She encouraged me to travel and not be afraid. I still haven’t mastered the art of painting my lips into a perfect ruby bow but I still practice.

She's been gone 10 years and  would have been 100 years old this April 21. In her honour, I share some of her advice that I still use to this day:
  • Never marry a man until you have been to bed with him. It’s like buying a car without test-driving it first.
  • You have to lie down first to become a doormat.
  • Let men amuse you, make you laugh, make you smile, make you feel pretty. Don’t rely on them to make you feel good about yourself. You do that on your own.
  • Make your own way in life so you have something no one can take away.
  • A rainy day fund is always a good idea. Sunshine doesn’t last forever.
  • Be a good mother but don’t give yourself up entirely. Keep a part of yourself so you can have a life afterwards, because your children do grow up.
  • Only lend money if you never expect to see it again.
  • Don’t expect to get all the emotional support from your husband or boyfriend. Leave something to share with friends.
  • A splash of lipstick, good gloves and a hat can make any outfit respectable.
  • People won’t remember your outfit but they will remember if your shoes are scuffed and dirty. Handsome is as handsome does.
  • Mutton dressed up as lamb! (Her expression when a woman dressed too young.)
  • Good manner trumps money every time.
  • Pay a little more and buy quality.  It will make you happy.
  • You catch more flies with honey.
  • Stand up straight. 
  • Life is too short to drink bad liquor or eat lousy chocolate.