The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


May 13, 2013

Carol Stark: America in need of more 'momisms'

— Several years ago, I attended a writing workshop where one of the sessions was called “Tell it to Mom.”

The idea was that reporters should gauge the relevance and interest of the story they are working on by hypothetically sitting down and telling the story to their mother. If they couldn’t explain the story to their own mother, well, they probably needed to do some more work.

The workshop could have been much improved if there had been a session called “Things Your Mom Tells You.” Entire nations could — and should — be built on the wisdom of mothers.

In fact, as I reflect on this Mother’s Day, almost everything in life could be improved via ‘momisms.’

I grew up hearing this one from my own mother: “Pretty is as pretty does.”

Obviously, my mom’s last name is not Kardashian. She would use it if she thought I was preening in the mirror too long. In our house, conceit was a dirty word.

But as irritating as that little saying was to me, I can’t help but wish that more mothers would preach it today.

Then, of course, there was her version of the Golden Rule: “If you are nice to someone, they will be nice to you.”

In theory, that should be true. Sadly, there are some who won’t reciprocate.

Here are a few more “momisms” that should be part of our regular conversation:

“I don’t care who started it.” (Tell that to the Democratic and Republican parties.)

“Your face is going to freeze like that.”

“Your hands are not broken.”

“No one said life is fair.”

“There are two options for dinner: take it or leave it.”

“Don’t run with scissors.”

“You’re going to put your eye out.”

“Are you going out dressed like that?”

“Cupcakes are not breakfast food.” (Unless, of course, they are topped with bacon.)

“Do I look like your maid?” (That’s a good one for all occasions.)

“Don’t make me stop this car.” (Mom really did that once. As I recall, all three of us girls got spankings. She never had to stop that car again.)

Times like that might have been followed by “Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

Then there was “Don’t get smart with me.” I always wanted to ask Mom if I should get dumb with her, but I thought better of it. The fly swatter was too close for much back talking.

A coworker told me her mother repeatedly said “I don’t know why I bother telling you kids anything. It goes in one ear and out the other.” She said her mother said it so often that her little sister, when she told anyone a secret, would whisper in one ear and hold her hand over the other so the words wouldn’t leak out.

My publisher, Mike Beatty, who is probably one of the most positive people I know, says his mom preached to her sons: “Always do your best, and always be positive.” Now I know where he gets his attitude.

As for us skeptics in the newsroom, there’s a little sign that reads: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”

Fortunately, I’ve never felt the need to go to those lengths — except for maybe that one time she stopped the car.

All my love to you, Mother. See, I really was paying attention to what you had to say.

Carol Stark is editor of The Joplin Globe. Address correspondence to her, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email Follow Carol Stark on Twitter @carolstark30.

Text Only
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Too many questions on No. 5

    Even though the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” Missouri voters on Aug. 5 are being asked to consider an amendment that restates that freedom and then goes even further.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Beware the wolf

    The wolf (the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other radical animal rights organizations) has conned Little Red Riding Hood (the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, The Joplin Globe editorial staff and, as of last week, the local Democratic leadership).

    July 31, 2014

  • Your View: Dally for Division 5

    I have known Nate Dally almost my entire life. As we grew up, Nate always had a strong passion and desire to make sure everyone was treated fairly and equally.

    July 31, 2014

  • Your View: Vote ‘no’ on 7

    The Globe has been on my reading list for over 35 years, and during that time the Globe has frequently supported tax increases. Same thing again in the Sunday, July 27, editorial, “‘Yes’ on 7.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: An America transformed

    On Oct. 30, 2008, Barack Obama boldly declared: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

    July 30, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: Open the primaries

    Missourians will go to the polls in the Aug. 5 primary.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

    On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

    July 29, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: No need for No. 9

    “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Missouri's sales tax-free weekend begins Friday. Do you plan purchases around this weekend?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
NDN Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN