We all have stories to tell about the "rules" we were raised to believe. For me these came not just from my parents, but also from my older brother. He was enough older than I to be an authority in about anything. I find it amusing to notice the expressions, rules, adages-- whatever you want to call them-- that permeate our speech. I work at keeping them out of my writing, but they are insidious, sneaking in when I look the other way.
Let's make a list. Add to this. These are not all mine. I've been creating a list culled from many. So, Mom, if you are reading this, it's not just our family but from many.
- "Clean Plate Club"- you didn't get dessert if you didn't eat everything you were served (I still can't eat dessert).
- "Try it, you might like it." You had to take at least one bite of everything even if it happened to be an odious color.
- "Clean underwear." You never know when you'll be in the emergency room. Be sure to have on clean underwear (like I got up in the morning thinking that by nightfall I'd be stretched out on a gurney?).
- "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" (where is the fun in that?).
- "That's a lazy man's load." This happens when you pile too many things in your arms, trying to carry the entire contents of the car all at once. You then drop half of it on the way to the house and then need to make three trips back and forth to clean up.
- "In for a penny, in for a pound." It took me until age 12 before I figured out what the relationship between a penny and a pound was.
"You made your bed, now you have to lay in it." My grandmother said this with a waggle of her finger. I guess I was not the best of kids.
- "Live and let live." Liz!! This is your chance here to make a plug.
The list goes on. Well, it does if YOU add to it. What are the ones you had? Now that my brain is going in this direction, more and more come to mind. The real question is not what are the expressions that are the common ones out in the world. Rather, what are the ones that touch you and those you know.