The other night we watched Blast from the Past for the first time. It’s full of nostalgia for those of us who grew up in the ‘60s. In the movie, the Webbers go into their incredibly well set up underground shelter during a nuclear bomb scare. When the locks open again after 35 years, their son, Adam, goes out to get supplies and search for a bride. Having grown up in a perpetual 1962, the culture shock is extreme. Eve, a girl he meets above ground is mystified by his innocence and perfect manners.
There were many choice lines about proper etiquette. In my favorite scene Eve and her roommate, Troy, discuss Adam’s manners. According to Adam, “the short, simple definition of a lady or gentleman is someone who always tries to make sure that people around him or her are as comfortable as possible.”
Eve wonders, “Where do you think he got all that information?”
“Oh, from the oddest place. His parents. I don’t think I got that memo from mine,” laments Troy.
That delightful exchange made me think about the many things my parents taught me. I know they gave me most of the memos. Some I even paid attention to. When I went to college I remember my Dad giving me this advice: if you get lonely or depressed or worried, go out and do something. Don’t sit around thinking about it. I’ve used this advice often and it works!
Dad is also a big fan of lists. I remember sitting in my dorm room making a list of things I had to do before the end of term and thinking Dad would be proud of me. I still make lists . . . though I don’t always remember to check them to see if I got everything done. When I do follow my lists, life goes very smoothly.
Mom told me many wonderful things about life over the years too. Much of what she taught me was by example. Be organized and keep routines. Be consistent. You can cook anything if you can follow a recipe. Don’t waste time was a big one. We were always doing something with our hands while watching TV. Often it was sewing.
Because my Mom is an artist, she taught me to appreciate the beauty all around us, both on the grand scale and the minute. In our life here in Alaska I think of my Mom nearly everyday when I see our incredible natural world here and I say to myself, “Mom would love this!”
So, Mom and Dad, thanks for the memos, examples and advice. You did well. I love you!