I just had to reblog this! Well said, Norm!
You may remember some time ago I wrote about my mum’s attitude that ‘A little bit of dirt never killed anybody’. This was in regards to her cavalier disregard for sell-by dates.kitchen cleanliness and other such pleasantries!
To add to this, I remember only having a bath once a week (on a Sunday night fresh for school on Monday), and it was either in with my younger sister, or somebody else’s second-hand water! We didn’t think anything of it really at that time, as we still washed, just didn’t bathe!
Of course, becoming teenagers was a whole new ballgame. We were never out of the bathroom! Mum would be vexed that we would only wear our clothes once and then chuck them in the wash. Apart from underwear, she was convinced that our clothes still had another day or two left in them before they got dirty enough to warrant washing.
She thought we were crazy washing our hair every day as well, telling us that it ‘would wash all the goodness out of it’. We still did it anyway, and got through a job lot of shampoo and conditioner along the way.
According to a survey of 2021 women commissioned by Flint + Flint (A skin care company) four out of five women still don’t bother to shower every day, and in fact one-third will go for three days without washing at all. Phewwwww, I bet things get a bit whiffy around the nethers. How gross!
Like most women I know, I bathe every day, and many times more often than that. I would never dream of going to work without first bathing, which is one of the reasons I get up so early. In my opinion, it is not just about personal pride, but consideration for others as well. I have to get pretty close to my patients, and I am sure they would not want to be a couple of inches from an unwashed armpit – or worse!
By the same token,when I worked in a hospital, we would wash our patients every day, for their self-respect and dignity as well as the obvious infection control measures. Most of us actually feel better when we are clean, with washed hair and fresh clothes.
I am not averse to a bit of dirt either. Kids like to play in the mud and get filthy, as it is so much fun. I think if we obsessively clean everything to within an inch of its life, then we run the risk of not building up any resistance, and catching everything going! It is about balance and common sense.
Are we too clean or should we leave it 3 days between washes?
Some time ago I read a post by Wendy on the Rock where she talks about her love for bad language, particularly the ‘F’ word and how this used to upset her mother to hear her swearing at one time, but now she has become used to it.
I could relate to this post, mainly as it brought back memories of how strict my mum and stepdad were when my siblings and I were growing up. I have to say that as a little girl, I was not much of a swearer, in fact, I was reticent and a bit of a ‘Goody Two Shoes’. Well, truth be known, back in the ‘olden days’ we didn’t hear much bad language, not even on the TV (Mind you I had to be in bed before eight until I was about 12 years old)!
I never heard my mother swear at all, growing up, (I don’t count ‘bugger’, ‘bloody’ and ‘Christ’ as swearing. She did let the odd ‘shit’ slip out though (Ha Ha! bit of a double entendre there). Woe betide any of us that dared say any of those words though, We would be threatened as Wendy was, with our mouths being washed out with soap. My stepfather was a bit different though as he had a broad West Country ‘oooh-arrr’ type of accent that made us laugh, especially when he described someone falling as ‘going arse over tit’. Commonplace now but shocking to us kids back then. Mum would give him a bit of a look, but he was oblivious to it anyway!
I remember when I was about nine years old and desperate to grow up quickly, was upset about my deficiency in the boob department. We had been singing Christmas Carols at school. A line from ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ had piqued my interest, which was …’a breastful of milk and a manger full of hay’. Hmmm, did that mean that if I drank a lot of milk, then a would get big boobs, which I desperately wanted ( I was very innocent back then). Anyway, I asked my Mum for a glass of milk, and for some reason told her why I wanted it. She asked me to repeat what I had just said,
“To make my breastful of milk grow bigger,” I chirped. WRONG! I got a clout for that!. We did not discuss intimate body parts in our house, not even allowed to say ‘bum’. Bottom was the correct term for everything front and back, girls and boys! Sex education we learned at school (or from other kids), and I dreaded telling my Mum when puberty started!
I would never swear in front of my older brothers and sisters either, particularly my eldest sister as I would probably get a smack off her as well (she dobbed me in to my Mum when she found a packet of cigarettes on me when I was 13)!!! Funnily enough, Mum wasn’t as mad about that as she would be about us swearing!
My younger sister was and is a lot braver, and much feistier than I am. I remember once when we were teenagers; she was sleeping in my room, and as we used to fight like cat and dog then. I for once got furious and told her to ‘piss off”. Oh, no, Mum’s room was next door, and sure enough, my stepdad yelled, but at my sister, not me! No-one thought I had it in me to use such language!
Now of course. Mum doesn’t seem to mind her grand-children swearing, in fact, she has been known to come out with a few choice words herself. Not only that she openly talks about sex (CRINGE), and has a filthy mind we’ve discovered. When we have large family gatherings, we quite often end up playing games, and although they always start reasonably innocently, ‘consequences’ ends up making an appearance, and the filthier, the better!
For those unfamiliar with it, everyone starts off with a bit of paper, you write a girl’s name on it, fold it over, pass it to the next person and they write a boy’s name on it, fold it over, pass it on. Then write where they met, what they did, what he said, she said and how it ended up each time folding it over and passing it on. When that is over, you take it in turns to read out all the combinations. It is a playground game really, but you can get some interesting scenarios if you have a dirty mind!
It is odd though that I still have that fear (or respect) in me that I will not swear in front of my Mum!