Some of you may have memories of getting your hair braided and the women sitting in the house talking about love and life around you. Maybe you were on the porch and eavesdropping like I see little ones do, snickering when a foul word slips out. Oh, the good ol’ days.

Last week, I heard a woman say, “Women need their circles,” while explaining to a man why we come together. While I don’t think we should go put all our business out in the streets, we do have to come together and exhort and educate one another. It’s a form of oral history being passed on. Wisdom is spread. We are prepared through the experiences of those that came before us.

Admittedly, sometimes as a younger woman, I’ve rejected such admonishment. I bristle when an older woman tells me about my dress being above the knee or being told not wearing stockings is unladylike. Recently, I was asked, “What are you in the mood for?” when I wore a shorter dress, some fishnet tights and some high heeled boots. I politely said, “Nothing,” because I didn’t want to get into a discussion on preference, but the woman who pulled me over is the same one who helped me when I went through a bad breakup.

My mama always fusses when she sees young ladies in Hollywood going through through drug problems, and taking other peoples husbands, and being caught without underpants. Her favorite thing to say is, “Those girls need me to talk to ’em.” Perhaps they would benefit if they had a good talking to from a down home mama.

The problem may not always sit with older ones not being generous with their wisdom, but in our unwillingness to listen. Perhaps I would benefit greatly if I did switch up my fashion style (still stuck in my rebel stage). Maybe the Fantasia’s, Alicia Keys’, and Lindsey Lohan’s of this world would do well to hear what their mothers, grandmothers, or aunts have to say about the choices they make. *Shrugs*

All I know is while I’m transitioning into my thirties, I’m realizing that I’m relying a lot more on my mama for insight into what to do when things come upon me. In my twenties, I could care less what she told me. I didn’t value her input. However, when learning about her past, and hearing her triumphs, I can’t help but to ask, “How did you get through that?” This especially so when I face similar experiences and want to literally crawl in a hole and die. How did mama get through it?

How did granny deal when she found out papa was cheating? Why did aunt May poison uncle Joe with old potato salad? How was it working as a cleaning lady for ungrateful millionaires while being verbally abused every day?

The answers to these questions may give us insight to who we are and what we should do. It can make things better for us. We can avoid learning by experience and get the lesson in someone else’s mistakes.

So the next time I see a group of ladies in their truth circle, talking about who cheated and why, I will listen in. Maybe someone will give me aunt May’s poison potato salad recipe! ; )

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