I’m all about life truths right now because I’m raising daughters.


If you have daughters you are nodding. You get it. You understand. It’s one of the hardest mountains you will ever have to climb—mostly because daughters watch you and look at how you live your life and take notes and let you know you shouldn’t forget sorority mom meetings that you didn’t put on the calendar.

The other day one of them asked me if I could go back to college, what advice would I give to that girl back then.


I barely remember that person.

She was full of episodes of LA Law and cups of coffee and stirrup pants and blue eyeshadow and big opinions on life.  But the question is a valid one. Especially because now? I live in the house where I learned all about life…

….and its lessons.

I have an entire list of brilliant advice for the road ahead that I’m planning on giving them when they graduate college, but I realized the other day that most of what I’m passing on?

Most of what I want them to take with them when they leave the nest?

Most of the wise, sage, brilliant, perspicacious advice?

I learned from my mother.

I can still hear her words echoing in this bathroom on the day of my wedding.

I can remember it like it was yesterday.

I stood right here in front of this mirror—with an attitude a mile long topped off with a southern accent and a head full of hot rollers sprayed with an entire can of Aqua Net hairspray.  I was wearing bright red lipstick and liquid black eyeliner and yards and yards and yards of beaded satin with a monogrammed train gathered up behind me.

It was a hectic morning.

We were supposed to be leaving for the church and my mother was rushing around with the veil and a cake server asking me why in the world was I wearing such red red lipstick and telling me how late we were going to be and reminding me I still needed to write thank you notes and making sure all of the last minute details were taken care of.

And all the while she was talking and fluttering about I stood here in front of this mirror.

Thinking about Dear Abby.

I can hear what you are thinking.

Dear Abby?


I mean, isn’t that what every bride thinks about on her wedding day?

They would if they read the whole column Dear Abby wrote on weddings.

It explained that you should be extra careful when you get married because your wedding date and time are published for the world to see in the newspaper and all sorts of unsavory characters could break into your house while you are gone and take 23 place settings of your elegant new china and fancy silver.

And sometimes they even abscond with the occasional toaster oven.

Can you even imagine?

I loved my new toaster oven…..

……and Dear Abby had me all tied up in knots just thinking about losing it.

Panicked, I rushed from the bathroom and immediately told my mother that we needed to put our dog in the house.

I thought it was a brilliant idea.

The dog could protect the china and the silver and the toaster oven from all the unsavory toaster oven thievery.

My mother stared at me as if I had 27 heads and firmly said “NO.”



Obviously she had never read Dear Abby.

I pled and begged and let a stray tear slip from my eye and stomped my pearl-encrusted newly dyed satin heels.

All to no avail.

My mother informed me in a very stern voice—and in no uncertain terms—that the dog would be staying outside.

Even after all these years, I’m not really sure what came over me at that moment in the middle of this bathroom.

Maybe it was the hot rollers.

Maybe it was the Aqua Net haze.

Maybe it was too many well-intentioned advice columns.

But right then and there on this tile floor…

…I took my last stand.

I gathered my courage and my monogrammed train and plopped down on the tile floor with yards of tulle swirling around me….

…..and refused to budge until I knew that my toaster oven was safe.


My mother put the dog in the house and put me in the car and lectured me and my hot rollers all the way to the church.

All because I am so stubborn. Even now I sometimes I hang my head in shame when I look at that mirror and think of that day.

It was not my finest hour.

See what I mean about life lessons?

This house is FULL OF THEM.

And I learned a few of them right here in this bathroom on that long-ago wedding day.

I learned my mother was wise and brilliant and a saint all rolled into one.

I learned that if you leave your hot rollers in too long, your hair over curls itself.

I learned that taking a last stand on your bathroom floor can make you 20 minutes late for your own wedding.

I learned that sometimes when you are taking a really big step and your life is about to change, you transfer all that emotion to a countertop appliance.

All those life lessons.

I’m trying to remember them all.

Each and every one.

Especially if the twins start reading advice columns, too.

PS Just between us? If I thought my mother was wise then? She’s a Rhode’s Scholar now. 🙂

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  1. Image for Betsy Betsy

    Yes, we’ve all been there. We look back and realize our emotions weren’t anything close to what we were upset about. You are the best messenger. ❤️

  2. Image for Margaret Allegretto Margaret Allegretto

    Too funny - my hot rollers didn't curl my hair enough and I had a meltdown!! If only I knew then what I know now, the curl of my hair didn't matter at all in the grand scheme!! xoxo

  3. Image for laura laura

    You had me at hot rollers I attended a shower and my girlfriend who is my tennis partner and our couple travel buddies noted she has never seen my hair down because it’s under a baseball cap on the courts and on flights… and I told her I don’t have room for hot rollers in my carryon! I am bringing them back into my hair style rotation.

  4. Image for Kris Kris

    So funny and so true. Misplaced emotions in stressful times = a probable need to apologize. Or at least that's been my experience.

  5. Image for Cathy Cathy

    OK, that was funny! Now when you look in the mirror do you see your mom looking back? Circle of Mothers. PS - I still read Dear Abby.

  6. Image for Diana Diana

    Life is funny like that and sometimes we have to apoligize, forgive ourselves and move forward. Eventually we will do it again over something silly or not thinking and the cycle continues. Hopefully, we won't be sitting in the floor refusing to get up, because lets face it, it is getting harder to do and maybe we can't without help. LOL

  7. Image for Rita Rita

    Isn’t it just amazing how the older we get, the wiser our mother’s become. May not have been your finest moment, but just look at the wisdom you gained and can share from it! Loved reading about your moment that we can all relate to…..

  8. Image for Barbara Barbara

    "I learned that sometimes when you are taking a really big step and your life is about to change, you transfer all that emotion to a countertop appliance." So, so, so very true!

  9. Image for Marie E Casale Marie E Casale

    Thank you for sharing this special memory Lol My mother constantly said, "Take care of your health because no one else will." At the time I thought she was a being negative and pessimistic. But now as a 62 year old sister, wife, mother, grandmother, daughter-in-law, etc,., I have learned the wisdom of her words. I find it is easy to help nurture and care for others, especially those we love. But it is equally important to care for ourselves, right? Sometimes a woman puts her own health needs on the back burner. It's not worth it and really, not AZ all good for her loved ones. Take care of yourselves. :) Each day is a blessing and we want to have many, many of them! God bless!! 🩷

  10. Image for Eileen Sproule Eileen Sproule

    As always - full of wit and wisdom. Great job friend! I have 2 daughters of my own and I have the privilege of watching them start raising their own children now. With age comes perspective and wisdom and sometimes it means you realize no matter what you say - no matter how much sage advice you dispense... or try to dispense... Experience is the best teacher and they gotta just plow through life just like we did. Doing the best you can with the person you are at the time. Too bad all our 'wisdom and sage-yness' comes with the 'other' fun stuff too. LOL

  11. Image for Toni Toni

    Such a fun read, you definitely have the gift of story telling!!! All mothers grow in brilliance as the daughters age!

  12. Image for Jackie Ludwig Jackie Ludwig

    55 years ago I decided to elope. This was the full consent of my parents also. We just had to agree to letting her plan a reception. Nothing was my choice. She picked out colors. She picked out the cake which is beautiful, but not what I would’ve picked out. She picked out the venue, the invitations and the time and date that fit into her schedule. My maid of honor showed up wearing white lace. And yet after all these years, I would not have changed a thing. I lost my mother several years ago. But I know she was in her element. She was happy. She was giddy with pride, and it made it all that much better. If I had to do it all over again, I would’ve changed the thing. Mothers know something that we Getty brides don’t know until it’s our job to do. Mothers know best.

  13. Image for Cyndi Cyndi

    Love this!! My mother told me on my wedding day--"We love you but you can never come home once you are married" In other words, work out your differences, right?

  14. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    What a hoot! I wish that hot rollers would’ve been invented before my wedding day! My last bachelor son got married this weekend in our backyard. A well meaning gentleman put a phone in my face and asked me if I had any words of advice for my son and his bride. As a wife of 49 years, you would think I would have the wisest of words. But, alas, I did not. After stammering a bit, and looking blankly into the phone, I said all I could think of was to love each other. That’s it. That was the sum of 49 years of wedded bliss. Love each other! I never even thought to tell them to protect the china and the toaster!! You are a wise woman Karianne! ;)

  15. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    SOOOOO sweet, KA. And so true. (Tantrums and all.) Love gets us through it all. ♥♥♥ In 3 days it will be be exactly 30 years since I lost my mom. She was much too young. And to this day I still hear her voice gently helping me be a better person. Sigh.

  16. Image for Angela Boswell Angela Boswell

    What a wonderful story. You have a way of making me walk down my own memory lane. I am now in the same place of my mother with my own children. They frequently joke with me about how much I am like her… I take it as the best compliment they could ever give me. She was grace and love. I can only hope to have a pinky’s worth of her gifts. Interesting to note, during those younger days I met a very dear long long friend and she introduced me to you… She is in this comment page now… her name is Diana Clark. Love you buddy!

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