My mom was a very smart lady. Looking back, I wish I had documented more of her life advice, but being young and self-involved, well, you know how it is. So I’m relegated to memories, which are sketchy even on the best of days.
The point is, my mom taught me some useful things, some of them by trial and error (I prefer a hands-on approach) like how to roast a chicken not upside down and how to bake, not broil, a cake. In my defence, I was 11 or 12 when the cake incident happened and not much older than that in the failed chicken experiment.
The other day, though, as I was getting my hair cut, I noted, and not for the first time, either, that the stylist was using a brush to untangle my wet hair. A brush! And it got me thinking, what else have I been doing wrong all these years?
Mom Myth #1: Use a wide-tooth comb to untangle wet hair
Busted: I have been doing this all. my. life. In fact I still used my wide-too comb this morning! And so apparently all my hair is going to break and frizz and I’m going to look like Maxine any minute now.
According to my stylist, the tip du jour is that you must use a brush with bendy, flexible bristles so that they don’t yank at your hair or something. They kind of just bounce through your wet locks, I guess, and they you’ll have a mane like J.Lo. Good luck with that.
Mom Myth #2: File your nails in one direction, not back and forth
Busted: This is a good one. And I don’t think it’s wrong, per se. In fact I’d say she was onto something with this expert tip except that no one else in the history of manicures has ever followed this principle!
It makes sense, though, so as not to weaken the nail or split it by see-sawing back and forth, right? Yet everywhere I go, manicurists, aestheticians, my husband are all doing it the other way. WTF? I wonder what Flo-Jo would have said.
Mom Myth #3: Keep the oven door open when broiling
Busted: Ask my husband and clearly I’m the one who’s got it all wrong. Ask the interwebs and people have a lot to say on this subject and most share that their moms taught them to leave the damned oven door open when broiling.
There are fancy reasons as to why this is the case not the least of which is “because my mom said so”. I will concede, however, that when the convection oven is on, the door stays closed because the fan does magical things and stops working when the door is ajar.
Bonus Mom Myth: Don’t sing at the table or you’ll cry before you go to bed
Trickery at its best. I’m convinced that my parents said this simply so we would shut up and eat. I’ve tried it on my kids and it completely backfired, resulting only in fits of giggles and laughter.
Got any Mom Myths of your own? I’d love for you to share them in the comments.