04/20/2007 12:10 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

"Only 'Nothing' is Bad": Mom's Proverbs

A few days ago my mother called from Haiti to tell me that according to my horoscope, on that very day someone, somewhere would make me an offer that would change my life! I happily waited for my soon-to-come, potentially life-altering proposition; but by the end of the day, the only offer I'd gotten was to write a blog for about my mother.

The first thing that came to mind was how my fashion designer mother had forbidden me to wear jeans to high school because she deemed them inappropriate for potential scholastic excellence. I decided to sneak out of the house in my jeans on Fridays only. When mini skirts were all the rage, my mother insisted my skirts go no higher than two inches above the knee. This forced me to roll up the waist of my skirts once out of her sight, creating a very attractive bulge under my top; but at least I was in style. Then Hot Pants burst onto the scene. I thought they were so cool that I organized a Hot Pants party at our house. I guess she wasn't paying close attention to the party theme because that night, when I came down the stairs in my very hot, white Hot Pants, my mother was not amused. The thought of her daughter dancing (or gyrating, as she saw it) in short shorts--at a nighttime party, no less--was more vulgar than she could bear. I went down in history as the only one wearing long pants at my very own Hot Pants party. When I asked my mother to make me a simple, solid-white gown in a flow-y Grecian style for a special New Year's party, beaming with excitement, my mother brought home fabric that had a floral print against a black background on one side, and green and white stripes on the other. She thought something with a peasant skirt flounce and puffy sleeves and lots of bows would be soooo me!

Although we still lock horns over fashion, my mother is my most unabashed cheerleader. She prays to God on my account all the time, for which I am grateful. She thinks it's just a matter of time before I am featured on Oprah; and she thinks I am a fantastic writer. My mother obviously knows what's going on. Just take a look at some of her favorite and oft-repeated Haitian sayings and proverbs:

Stupidity is an event.

Only "nothing" is bad.

You can hate a dog, but admit his teeth are white.

It's not like having to drink the ocean.

My wise mother also gave me plenty of advice as I was growing up:

Why move into your own place when you can live at home rent-free? I ignored that one.

If you're going to move out, be independent. Forget roommates! I listened to her and never regretted it.

You would look so much better if you straighten your hair! My curly hair gets bigger every year.

According to all the big-time psychics, the BIG EARTHQUAKE is going to annihilate California in 2010. Make sure to move before then! I'm still weighing my options.