Psychologist and prolific author Paula J. Caplan, whose Buzz contribution, “On Each Other’s Side (Instead of at Each Other’s Throats,” was adapted from her 1990 classic Don’t Blame Mother — now out as The New Don’t Blame Mother and a must-read for mothers of any age — also writes Silence Isn’t Golden, a fascinating blog for Psychology Today. Paula prefaces her May 6 post, Mother’s Day Thoughts: What’s Funny, and What’s Not, with this wonderful story about her own mother. A kernel of wisdom (in bold) that I had to pass on:
When my book, Don’t Blame Mother, first appeared, a journalist from one of the major women’s magazines called me. For their Mother’s Day issue, they wanted to report “The Best Advice My Mother Ever Gave Me” as told by numerous interviewees. They knew I had just written this book. I replied, “When you said that, a response immediately popped into my head, but could you do me a favor? Before I tell you what it is, I’m just curious to see what my mother would say. Could you please call me back in five minutes?” She agreed.
“Perfect!” I said. “That’s exactly what came to my mind!” When the journalist called back, I told her what had just happened. I heard her sigh.
She was disappointed. “That’s not really what we were looking for,” she said. “We were looking for things like how to keep mascara from running.” Mother, I like your advice the best! Thank you. And Happy Mother’s Day. (Mother is now 87 and still saying what she thinks.)
Happy Mother’s Day to Paula and Tac, to our daughters Emily Caplan Stephenson and Jen, and to mothers and daughters everywhere who are–we hope–doing their best to say what they think!