Janice and her mom adorably posing together for the camera.
Mothers — with all their earnest, loving intentions — can often be entertaining, and their advice can be an interesting mix of serious, silly, insightful and mind-boggling (sometimes all rolled up into one zinger you can’t wait to share with your friends). In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve asked fellow Asian American writers and artists to share the funniest advice they’ve ever gotten from their mothers.
Janice Jann of The Media Maid (and former Audrey Assistant Editor!)
Throughout the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of wisdoms from my mother. I would share them all with you here, but a big piece of advice from my mom is:
“Don’t share with the Internet advice that I tell you.”
Like many Asian mothers, she wants to give the illusion that I just spontaneously, randomly, magically became the charming, alluring, poised, well-behaved, well-kempt, and witty lady that I am today with no help whatsoever.
Hate to break it to you – but I did get a lot of helpful advice from my mother.
Helpful advice that I sometimes didn’t want and didn’t always appreciate. Helpful advice that I sometimes laughed at. Helpful advice that I sometimes took for granted. But helpful advice that I now notice nearly always rings true. Whether it’s packing a light scarf in my purse whenever I go out, taking my Vitamin C’s, being careful about who I choose to give my heart to, or standing with a straight posture — my mom’s advice makes sense.
The most outlandish advice my mom often dishes out is this upheld belief she has that anything can happen in this world. No seriously. “Anything can happen in this world, Janice” my mother would say, “you never know.”
She truly believes that a young ingénue could walk down the street and get discovered by a hot-shot director who will propel her to stardom. She believes that a big ladies’ man could take one look at the bookish girl-next-door, fall in love, and change his wild ways forever. She believes that the lottery could be won. She believes that papaya can make boobs bigger. She believes.
I used to laugh at all of this. “Really, ma?” I’d ask. “Do you live in your own world? Have you ever faced reality? Have you calculated the odds?”
But the older I got, the more I came to realize that what she was saying was right. After all, reality is partially based on your perception of the world. And if you’re endlessly optimistic like my mother, who’s to say that anything can’t happen? As the years pass, I’ve encountered more and more crazy situations and surpassed countless expectations and odds that have led me to relate more to my mother’s wise words.
My mother’s belief that anything can happen in this world is true. I would just add, “if you believe” to the end of that phrase. After all, she did turn me, a girl who used to scoff at her advice, into a believer. So seriously, anything can happen. If you just believe. Hey, who knows? Maybe you’ll even think of this entry as inspiring instead of cheesy? After all, anything can ha…you get the point.
Check out more funny advice in our Mother’s Day series:
Celebrating Asian Mothers: Funniest Advice My Mother Has Ever Given Me