“Is that your handbag on the table?”…

… the Rules of Mama G.

The other day I was chatting with my new colleagues and mentioned that my mother has a few rules that she taught my sister and me, which we generally tend to live by (with a few exceptions – don’t tell). It was only when I started answering the questions of my new and slightly bemused colleagues that I started to realise they might be a little odd (the rules, not my colleagues – mostly). So I’ve decided to write them down, I think it’s a good to document these things, for posterity – and so that people can see me in context (I find I make a lot more sense that way – ex-boyfriends have said so).

Me and My Mama
Mad Mama and Me!

Mama G’s List of Rules for Life

  • Gin and Tonic is a good drink, Vodka and Tonic is a drink for women with loose morals.
  • Never shave above your knees (it took me until I was 19 to break this one, however I have now given up shaving – it’s winter, I need the extra warmth).
  • White wine with soda water/sparkling water is fine, white wine with lemonade is common.
  • Never put your handbag on the table (aparently it’s a sure sign of solicitation in Spain and indeed the rest of the continent).
  • You cannot wear white pants with a black bra or visa-versa (matching underwear doesn’t seem to be a possibility for me, I do try but it always seems to go wrong).
  • Always hold your white wine or fizz glass by the stem (to prevent the heat of your body transfering into the cold liquid).
  • Malibu is an insult to humanity.
  • Handel’s Messiah is the only thing you can listen to whilst putting up a Christmas tree.
  • If you’re wearing a black dress, your knickers must be black also (I struggle).
  • Never wear white shoes (I don’t understand this one really but I still can’t bring myself to buy a pair).
  • Going out with wet hair will give you a cold (I have been told to amend this one, apparently it is my Oma’s rule not Mama G’s)
  • Don’t wear knickers with a seam down the middle (there really are a lot of underwear ones).
  • Iron the table cloth onto the table when you have special guests.
  • Drinks receptacles must have a thin rim not a think rim.
  • No side pony tales (I broke this one on Saturday – it felt so exciting!).
  • Green cars are bad luck.
  • Never wear yellow to ski in (it increases your chances of accidents and crashes).
  • Radio 4 is the only radio station.
  • If you’re the one driving, you are the one who chooses what to listen to (I spent my a lot of my childhood listening to the Archers).
  • You can only tell the true softness of everything and anything by rubbing it (gently) on your top lip.

I’m sure that there are more, but in trying to list them I have realised that I mostly only remember them when I’m in a situation the rule could apply to. It’s a little bit like when Harry Potter is about to die, stuff sort of seems to just turn up and save him, like the sword from the Sorting Hat – maybe for me they’re slightly less dramatic situations and of course mostly less fictional.

These rules may be have been slightly odd rules to be brought up with, especially considering that as a child I was allowed to wear literally whatever I wanted, to whatever occasion; I went to supermarkets dressed as mermaids and Queenie from Black Adder; I went to school with peace signs drawn on my cheeks with blue eye-liner, all this was fine as long as my knickers matched my dress. This all led to a properly hilarious and fantastic childhood.

My Childhood Style
My Childhood Style

Recently my sister called me and said: “We’re going to bring up our children with the same rules we were brought up with aren’t we?”

“Definitely” I replied, “But we’ll add in a few of our own too…”

Rule 1: Gender colour stereotyping is an abomination (they will learn this one early).

Rule 2: Earl Grey tea is for mornings, Lapsang Souchong is for afternoons, Yorkshire Gold is for never.

My mama and me by the sea!

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