Sometimes, The Wisdom Of The Elders Is Just Malarkey
All four of my grandparents have left us. Most of the time, they were full of wisdom, wit, and lots of love. But some things they told me... were just full of CRAP.I'm sure you've had the same thing happen to you. A well meaning grandparent tells you some old wives tale that they are sure is truth, and nothing you say will prove them wrong. My grandparents were all kids during the depression, so I'm sure most of these things MIGHT have been true at the time, but now.... no.
1. "You've got to smoosh the baby's face to make it pretty."
My grandmother on my mother's side would tell us this whenever there was a baby within ten feet of her. She would actually push on the soft spots of the baby's head! She was convinced that this stuff was malleable, and that you had to do this or the baby would grow up looking strange.
2. "Got a tick? Let me get the dish soap, that'll get it out."
This only worked maybe once in the whole history of my life. And I read now that putting dish soap on it only makes the tick's salivary glands, and sometimes makes them upchuck INTO THE BITE. Eugh. So gross. No, thank you.
3. "Don't shave above the knee, that's for ladies of the night. It just makes the hair grow back thicker anyway."
Both of those statements are so not true. Expert Phillip Kingsley says you should think of it like a bamboo cane:
A long cane flexes easily, but the same cane cut short feels harder and tougher. Another reason for the belief resides with the naturally finer ends of uncut hair: compare the end of a long-lived hair with that of a hair recently cut or shaved, and you’ll see the one is thicker than the other. That could lead the less-than-careful to conclude that the whole of the hair’s shaft became thicker as a result of the hair’s being cut (which it didn’t) rather than to realize that shaving or cutting results in a blunt termination, whereas natural outgrowth concludes in a tapering.
4. "You swallowed that gum?! That's gonna stay in your stomach for seven years!!"
Nope. Apparently it just digests like normal, and leaves your system just like everything else does.
5. "Don't go out with a wet head! You'll catch a cold!"
Again, no. But I guess back in the olden days it might have been different. Still, I think viruses are a pretty darn compelling reason to get a cold as opposed to a wet head. Besides, my hair looks better air dried, Gramma!
Either way, I'm happy to have the memories of my Grandparents, even if some of what they said might need a little.... facting up.
What kind of stuff did your Grandparents tell you as a kid?