I have been living independently for close to three years now. I don’t count my college years—well, maybe the last year and a half—because I went to college in my hometown, literally five minutes from my parents. My moving-in-to-college-day was quick.
But that’s beside the point. Even though I have been living on my own for three years, I still encounter many, many situations where I apply the following code: What Would Mom Say (WWMS).
For all you people who get offended easily, the fact that this parallels What Would Jesus Do (WWJD) so well was a pure accident. Sometimes I do have strokes of brilliance.
For those of you have been reading or following, I think my Mom is pretty great. I mentioned in this post that she’s a Mom when I need her to be a Mom and a friend when I need her to be a friend. WWMS applies to the first part of this statement.
Allow me to educate you on the WWMS Principle. I encounter certain situations in my life where I often find making a decision on my own difficult. Most of the time, I can weigh the odds on my own and decide. Many times, I pull in other people in my life, like Rahul, my parents, my sister, or a few of my close friends. Deciding which MFA program to attend was one I bugged people about almost every day, especially my parents and R. Some decisions present such a clear answer that I decide almost immediately. For instance, accepting the House Mom position was one I made on my own, and very quickly, because it felt right.
But as I said, certain situations only Moms can advice on. Which fabric cleaner should I use? Do I really need to dry clean my quilt, or do you think it’s okay to wash in the washing machine? When does raw chicken become unacceptable to cook with? Does it take on a certain color?
Actually, Mom, those are questions I really do need answers to.
Since my Mom and I live far apart, and I can’t keep her on the phone 24/7, applying WWMS stands as a convenient way to apply Mom’s advice without calling her 24,000 times a week. Some examples of times I’ve applies WWMS:
- Even though it’s Buy 1, Get 1 Free Strawberries, do I really need two packs of strawberries? No, you don’t.
- Do I really want to buy this shirt, or is just because it’s on sale for $4.99? No, you really don’t want this shirt.
- If my African Violet shows a root that looks like a bug, is it dying? (Another serious question.)
- How do you chop garlic? (I actually called her earlier this week to ask her this question.)
- Can you bake cookies on tin foil? (Another actual question I asked a few weeks ago).
Today, I had the opportunity to apply WWMS again. While I was working out, one of the TVs was on the local weather, which featured scary radar maps and urgent voices telling all of us to stay calm as “bad conditions” approached. I tried to speed through my work out so I could get back home, as I planned a few days ago to go grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s.
I knew the weather was getting bad, so I started weighing the options: Can I afford to not go to the grocery store? No, I’m almost completely out of food. Is it really necessary to drive the 20 minutes to Trader Joe’s? Not really, especially since everyone forgets how to drive in bad weather.
I checked the sky, and it was getting kind of dark. Knowing how traffic can back up on the street I have to use to get anywhere from my house—stems right into D.C., has inconveniently timed constructions, and no back road options on my part—I knew the “20 minute drive” would be more like 30 minutes, during which the sky would probably get worse. So, knowing I would probably let my desire to shop at my beloved Trader Joe’s override responsible decision making, I applied WWMS.
Should I drive in tornado-like weather to Trader Joe’s and Target (as I needed some non-grocery things), or just drive the much, much shorter distance to Giant, which will have most everything I need, and allow me to avoid the scary weather? Yes, Katherine. Obviously.
Actually, she probably would have told me to just stay home altogether. But I really, really needed groceries.
So, even though I was jonesing for Trader Joe’s, I got all the necessary groceries at the much closer Giant, leaving the store literally right as the sky broke and started pouring buckets. There were other signs too: on the way to Giant, the sky was littered with lightening. While leaving Giant, I had to wait FOREVER to turn out of the parking lot because people were going BATSHIT CRAZY trying to enter and exit the lot. Plus, a random woman chose the MIDDLE OF THE SUPER BUSY ROAD to cross the street, adding another complication.
All of the caps in the last paragraph were intentional. People drive crazy in bad weather. Me included, but I’m not a stellar driver in the first place.
So, once again, WWMS paid off, as the weather has only gotten increasingly worse since I’ve been home. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited about the thundering outside. Being from TN means I miss tornado warnings and watches every other weekend, so I didn’t mind the excitement today.
I suggest applying WWMS if you often find yourself stalling over certain decisions where Mom knows best. Obviously, I turn to my Mom for many other and much more important things, but this is one area where I trust Mom 100%.