IT’S NOT WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW THAT WILL GET YOU

Hand-Me-Downs – Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.


The family

The most important stuff I got handed down to me — other than my DNA, which has turned out to be a mixed bag of goodies — were attitudes. Culture. Habits. Taste. Sayings and a few useful tips.

My mother gave me a love for books, as well as an expensive — nearly lethal — appreciation for the finer things in life. Without, sadly, leaving me the money to afford them. She also left me her far left knee-jerk liberal world view and a saying I have never quite escaped: “For everyone, there’s someone. Even you.”

Thanks mom. You have no idea how much confidence that’s given me.

Dad? Not my favorite person, but he did pass along some good jokes and knowledge of how to tell one without blowing the punchline. He also taught me how to throw a meal together using whatever I have in the fridge. Because knowing “what goes with what” is the most important thing to know when you do a lot of cooking.

He also bequeathed me a firm — grim — determination to be as unlike him as I could be. Plus one great saying: “It’s not what you don’t know that will get you in the end. It’s what you do know that’s wrong.”



Categories: Family, Humor, Sayings and Platitudes

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10 replies

  1. I was passed down some real gems from my folks, too, but nothing I couldn’t/didn’t eventually get over. But there was also a lot of music, a lot of books, sense of humor, and compassion for others that was passed down as well. I think it’s just like I hear often said — you have to keep the good and throw out the bad.

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    • You might as well treasure the good stuff. There’s little enough of it in life. Dwelling on the misery just makes you more miserable. I don’t understand the point. It’s not therapy. It’s just obsessing over the awful past. Emphasis on PAST. But what do I know, right?

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  2. Very nice take on the prompt. Loved it.

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  3. I share the same sentiments on books, culture and habits. Lovely post.

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  4. It is a generation thing. The environment, the background. Europe was still piecing life together after the war. Today it is all there and you can just throw it away if it doesn’t suit. Who wants an old piece of good quality furniture – no-one, you can buy new with no problem.

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    • I will never understand the throw-away mentality. Not only is it stupid economics, but it’s lethal to our ecology. We generate trash faster than we can possibly get rid of it. Especially because many of the hand-me-downs were of far better quality than I would ever be able to afford.

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  5. We share some of the same family hand me downs. Appreciation of books, music and a sense of fairness. I also would add a strong determination to succeed and excel.

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