Mother's Day Reflection: Things Mum Said That Make Sense Now (Or Not)
STORY: Pearlyn Tham
08 May 2020
It’s going to be a different Mother’s Day this year (er, unless you are living under the same roof lah).
No 10-pax restaurant meals. Or hugs and kisses IRL. Or “I don’t need another Hermès bag, I just want a grandchild” emotional blackmail interrogations over dinner.
Well, theoretically, you could still deliver a fine-dining meal (yes, even Odette delivers now) to your mum, send her flowers, blow kisses at her on your laptop screen… and give her a grandkid.
But what if you could pay tribute to the most important woman in your life (gfs and wives, relax, you can have that title on the 364 other days in the year) just by looking back on what she has said all these years and knowing that mothers know best? Or maybe not.
1. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough
In times like these, don’t sniff at this advice – unless you want people to social-distance from you even further. Also hoping my neighbour (who sneezes heartily throughout the day) reads this.
2. Don’t waste food
A popular legend in Ahsoh’s Fables goes like this: if you don’t finish up all the rice on your plate, your future spouse will have a lot of pimples. While we can’t double confirm the truth behind this, we sure know the importance of not wasting our food now during this CB period. Why? It takes so long to queue to get into a supermarket and also to pay your way out of it too. So, make every vegetable stalk in your fridge go a longer way.
3. Don’t accept food from strangers
Yes, until food delivery services came along and it became the norm these two months to pick up your dabao-ed meals from a stranger in green or in pink.
4. Don’t hop into strangers’ cars
Guess in Mother’s time, there was also no Grab or Gojek.
5. Always call someone ‘uncle’ or ‘aunty’
Your mum wanted to raise you as a polite kid but she probably didn’t hear hearts breaking when you anyhow addressed anyone as uncle or aunty, thus elevating their status from a more nubile-sounding ‘gor gor’ or ‘chae chae’. Also, after you yourself reach a certain age, it gets tricky to call the chye png aunty, well, ‘aunty’. She could be your age or even younger. Do that and don’t complain if you get only a sliver of sweet and sour chicken hor.
6. Obey the law or police will catch you
These days, it could also be a social distancing ambassador or your kaypoh, we meant civic-minded, neighbour who may snap iPhone photos of you not wearing a mask, smoking at your HDB staircase and inviting your 35 primary school classmates over to your home for a CB reunion. So, don’t be a Covidiot.
7. Don’t always go out (when you were 13)
Oh. So. True. These. Days. Because #socialdistancing.
8. Go out more or else how to meet new friends (when you were 30)
Oh. Not. True. These. Days. Because #socialdistancing.
9. Comb your hair
For what. We are at home the whole day anyway. And if we position our laptop cameras in a certain way, our colleagues can only see our chins, not our barber-deprived hair.
10. Don’t be online the whole day
That was what your mother probably chided you about in 2000 because your 24/7 Sims or Diablo gaming session meant that you had the modem on 24/7 too and so, she couldn’t call her mahjong kakis on the family landline. But now, you have no choice but to be online the whole day because your bosses love holding cheonghei Zoom meetings.