My mom wasn’t the most open about many a things when I was growing up. Most things were learnt from friends and my grandma (maternal side who I called Baba). Baba would teach me invaluable things like ‘Washing dishes makes your hands and nails beautiful’ and ‘Don’t sit with your legs up and spread apart while wearing a skirt so everyone can see your underwear’. Of course I can’t forget the one about ‘I must learn to cook because how else will I become a good housewife’. Afterall the key to a man’s heart is through his stomach right? Well, I later found out that washing dishes by hand ruins your nails, and if I wore shorts under my skirt I avoided people seeing my underwear, and I learnt to cook for myself and not because I was going to get married. Anyway, besides all that, being an only child didn’t help my situation either. So growing up wasn’t an easy task to conquer. With my mom’s limited hands-on, in depth talks and my friends telling me wrong things I was a hopeless case. However with that being said my momma did instill one tidbit of information that has stuck with me throughout my life…And that is to never write anything down that you don’t want others to see. Because if it happened to fall into the wrong hands, it would ruin you.
At the time my momma instilled these words of wisdom to me, I was in the 7th grade and still living in New York. One day I came home from school and my Ma was waiting for me in the living room. I always knew when she was in crouching tiger mode ready to pounce into a lecture with how she said my full name…. “Alexandra….” Which was also said in a stern tone. Oh lord, here we go. “What Ma?!” I was an annoying, impatient kid to her. Now that I’m older I do appreciate the patience she must have had. “I found this note in your room” (she went snooping). “Maaaaaa, why are you going through my STUFF!!!!” Her face showed that she wasn’t having my attitude that day. “I wasn’t snooping, I found it on the floor.” She unfolded the wrinkled note. “I’m going to tell you something Alexandra and do with it what you may. What if this note fell into the wrong hands?” I just looked at her. Inside my brain was working out the damage that it would have actually caused had it really fallen into the wrong hands. And the outcome? Was not a favourable one. “Alexandra, what if your friend kept this and decided after to share it with people?” She starred into my face to see if she was getting through. “What I’m trying to say is, never write anything down that could compromise you as a person. You never want people to not respect you or to take your words and use them against you.” This made sense to me. I mean it really made sense. But all I said was “Gaaaaaaaaawwwdddd, maaaaaaaaaa, FINE!” And I stormed out the room.
Ever since that day, I never wrote anything that could put me in jeopardy. Nowadays I internally become so thankful that I did not follow those unfortunate folks who had not gotten this piece of advice. The one’s who’s naked photos fall into the hands of jealous ex’s. The one’s that decide to become amateur porn stars and then their significant other leaks the video. The one’s that write mean text messages about others only to have the receiver take a screen shot and post it around. I’m glad I’m not in this group. And I might have been, had my momma never actually said anything.
Now, I’m not trying to preach or act like I’ve never done anything that could compromise me as a person, because I have! I’ll have you know that I have done a couple of sex videos and taken photos in my underwear. But my boyfriends at the time, were never allowed to keep the videos. I was the only one who had access to them. And as a double precaution, they were kept in password protected files on my computer, or locked away in a drawer. The photos that I would send were never of my face or things that could identify me, like my tattoos for example. They were snippets of skin,lace, straps. I would also never send a full body image of myself. When it came to notes or texts, I wouldn’t write anything important in them. In actuality, the only time to be vigilant about writing everything down is when it comes to business. That’s when you make sure you get agreements down on paper. A good old hand shaking while verbally agreeing to something does not make for a good idea.
Anyway, the reason I decided to actually listen to my momma was because I found out that people can be mean, vindictive and down right nasty, even in the 7th grade and even despite how nice you were to them. So if they don’t have anything on you, you’re smooth sailing from here on out.
Despite my Ma not being the best at communicating when it came to boys, sex, girl things (like periods) and other vital pieces of information, she was at least forthcoming on one thing. So kudos to you momma for sharing that with me. I have appreciated it every since!