Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Mother's Guilt is a Powerful Weapon

You learn a lot growing up in an Italian (Sicilian) household. From traditions passed down generations to basic skills that we will carry with us until our dying breath.

Well one skill that I have learned from my mother is the mighty super power of guilt. That's right, guilt. If all men were afraid of disappointing their mothers, think of how much more productive this country could be, let alone how many more made beds and clean plates there would be. (not to mention less wars...)

It all started when I was a kid and my mother would need me or my siblings to do something. My mom would end the sentence with, "like a good boy."

"Put out the garbage, like a good boy."

"Don't forget to fix your bed, like a good boy."

Now I don't know about you all, but the last thing I wanted to be was a bad boy for my mom, and by not doing as she asked; you no longer are a good boy. The repurcussions for not being a good boy for your mom would lead to many things including:

  • That look of disappointment on your mother's face

  • Meals that just don't have Mommy's Touch

  • Your father getting wind of letting your mother down which opens a door to a whole bunch of new problems

  • Comments from Mom like "Whatever," which is accompanied by her not looking you in the eye

  • Loss of Mom being in your corner which means she won't put in a good word for you if a decision rested upon your father

There are many more that are specific to your household but I think you all can relate. Just be careful, because too much disappointment can lead to a dramatic climax with your mom in tears speaking about herself in the third person saying the dreaded "One of these days, your mother won't be around, and where will you be?! " There are many variations of this declaration, and all are not fun to endure.

Well suffice to say that years of Mom trying to keep me on the straight and narrow with the help of guilt has rubbed off on me a bit and I can tell you that on occasion, I have been able to turn the tables on my Mom and use her power against her. The pupil becomes the master! The only problem is that using guilt on your mom is a direct violation of the Good Boy Act and the guilt you feel is immediate and it is a violation that isn't easy to get out of. But Mommies love their sons and forgiveness is inevitable, for a price.

Seriously though, as time passes, I realize what my mom has done for me in so many ways, and returning the favor by trying my best, making her proud, and hugging, kissing her, and telling her I love her is a small price to pay. After all, I still can use the power of guilt on others and as my children grow up, they will know the power that was passed down to me.... and as they learn it's power, I will then show them how to harness it. It's a sure better way than showing them how to beat people up..... thanks Mom.

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