Some Things Your Mother Used to Say

Throw a whole stick of butter into any sauce; it will taste
just like the dishes in a rich woman's house.

If even a single hair falls from your head into the stew,
empty the whole pot in the trash and start over.

In some citiies (some), it's a compliment when men 
pinch the bottoms of women walking in the street.

Kissing? The sensation's just like when you eat
freshwater snails cooked in tamarind pulp.

A little bile in the soup makes you strong.

If you're able to take singing lessons, learn a repertoire
of sad melodies in a modest mezzo-soprano key, ending with
words like farewell or last song.

Finish your studies. Sex and marriage later.

When you have a big fight with your husband, threaten to leave;
then order everyone else not to reveal your hiding place
in the laundry room closet.  

You can make up names for things you've forgotten the correct
term for, or don't know. For instance, proclaim the pale 
connective tissue between your bones and 
in your ears and nose is culidon.  

When ghosts come back to haunt you, especially in-law ghosts, 
remind them they're dead; burn all their clothes and throw
away the chamberpot.

A kettle of boiling water is as good a weapon as words, or even better.


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