My mother and I have a little joke; a spin-off of the phrase, “If it’s not one thing, it’s the other.”
It goes like this:
“If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother!”
My mother and I tease that most of the things utterly wrong with me are the result of being raised by her; the mother God thought I should have (so technically it’s His fault?).
It wasn’t for her lack of trying to steer me straight; she did her absolute best. But I was born stubborn, and you can’t win when trying to challenge fate.
Luckily, there is one commonality (I’m unsure if it should be labeled a personality trait) that has connected daughter to mother; and vice versa.
Good grammar and proper punctuation is the place where we meet when all other places are raging with fire. I am being dramatic; another similarity that we share. We actually agree on quite a lot now that I am a grown woman, and we take pleasure in each others’ horror over the mistakes made by television newscasters and celebrities who care not for the rules of me versus I.
Even still, with my grown-up age to match my slightly, mellowing rebelliousness, we continue to have plenty of arguments of the grammatical sort.
Most recently, I insisted that the word “of” was not necessary after the words “a couple”. “A couple of” is the correct term, in case you were wondering. Just yesterday I finally admitted that she was right all along, to which she requested I repeat the phrase, “You were right, mother,” twice.
In preparation for my next CloudCrowd test, I’ve dusted off mom’s gifted copy of Eats, Shoots and Leaves, and am taking copious notes.
Amazing writing (I’m really having to use my brain), and as predicted by the author, reading it has ignited my inner stickler.
I imagine future blog posts will revolve around the proper use of apostrophes’, and hyphens, and commas. I will try my best to make them as fascinating as I am re-discovering.
To wrap things up, I should mention that I do believe that mothers are responsible for many of our traits and quirks; our triumphs and our failures. In a way, the joke is not really that big of a ha-ha after all.
It is, in my opinion, the true definition of what it means to be a mother; to do your best, and hope for the same, knowing that the chips will fall where they may.
So, thank you, mom. I think you did just fine (I mean, considering what you were working with, and all).
Fellow sticklers. Help me out. Early in Eats, Shoots and Leaves, I found the end marks outside of the quotation marks. I can’t figure out why in the world that could be? I tested it out in line 15, and it feels all wrong.
Did you notice all of my semi-colons? I’m having trouble deciphering if many of them should be commas …
The hub for all I do, marthawills.com documents life from a working mom's point of view. When not mothering, I manage the social media needs of small businesses through Wills Media Group, LLC, and write a weekly column for Raleigh's News & Observer online entitled, Are We There Yet? Most recently, my passion for health and wellness led me to become involved as a consultant for Beautycounter, a company that's making a difference by educating about toxins in products, spreading the word via the web.
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