Tall Tales?

I was out with some friends recently and we got to talking about the “advice” we got growing up–most of which were old wives’ tales. It was kind of fun reminiscing about the stuff our grandparents and parents would tell us. Some of the “advice” was straight up ridiculous, some may have had some truth. I always heard some mess like:

Black women don’t shave their legs. My mom told me this and she refused to let me shave. I was an adolescent walking around with hairy legs like whoa. Got teased like a mugg. I went to a sleepover one weekend and came home armed with smooth legs and a new razor, and I’ve been Gillette’s best friend ever since. I’ve never bothered to check her situation and she’s always wearing capris so she could be walking around looking like Cousin It for all I know.

Black people don’t shower every day. One of my aunts tried to run this game on me. She told me that I should only take a bath on Sundays and do bird baths during the rest of the week. I managed to sneak a shower every night I had to stay with her. High water bills be damned.

A cat will steal a baby’s breath if you leave it near a newborn. I babysat a lot of babies whose parents owned cats. Those kids are still alive and doing well. I don’t believe this one, but best believe none of my pets are going to be drooling all over my babies.

-Drinking coffee will make you darker. If this were true, I’d be a vortex by now. I’d be so dark that light would cease to exist around me–I drink about 2 cups a day most every day.

-Hold an asprin between your legs and you won’t get pregnant. Ummmmm. Hmmmm. I’m here, right? You’re here, right? Apparently that doesn’t work. If it were true, I could save some money on BC.

-If you get a fresh relaxer then go out in the rain, you’ll turn ‘dumb’. That happened during my relaxed days unfortunately. A sista didn’t have an umbrella leaving the salon. I didn’t turn ‘dumb’; I got pissed cuz I had to do my hair all over again.

Turn off the electricity, stay off the phone, and be quiet during a thunderstorm or lightening will strike. I went down south and we had to do this in a thunderstorm and lightning still struck the tree outside, so I dunno.

-If you have pink eye, use pee to clear it up. NERP. Not going to try that one. We’re going to the doc to get some antibiotics. Nasty!

-Never buy your man a pair of shoes, if you do he will walk out of your life. D’s still here and I bought him a pair of boots for Christmas. He’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

That’s all I can think of right now. Were any of you taught any of these or other “tales”? Do you believe in them?


8 thoughts on “Tall Tales?

  1. We don’t shower everyday? Girl BYE! LMAO!! I can’t say I’ve ever heard that one. I could only imagine what I would smell like if took hoe baths 6 out of 7 days/week.

    Hold an aspirin between your legs and you won’t get pregnant. LMAO! I know some folks that probably wished that were true.

    Turn off the electricity, stay off the phone, and be quiet during a thunderstorm or lightening will strike.
    I don’t turn off the electricity but I do try and stay off the phone if it’s storming. WHAT?! I am southern ya know. lol

    I have never had pink eye *knocks on wood*. I hope I never do.

  2. Some of those you posted are too crazy to believe. I have heard of the cat taking a baby’s breath. I don’t so much believe it but a cat won’t get that near for me to find out. Turn the electricity off during a storm is something I grew up doing. My family didn’t play that mess. We couldn’t have anything in our hands. lol

    I don’t necessarily believe this but I don’t do it to be on the safe side. lol If you cut your hair don’t throw it away. Burn it. If you don’t burn it, at least wrap it up good before throwing it away. Because if a bird eats it, your hair will fall out.

  3. Actually, there is something to the aspirin between the legs. Just imagine how hard it would be to hold that aspirin AND unlock your knees to participate in the act. That’s an abstinence theory wrapped in a stupid pet trick. LOL

    We were forced to be quiet during storms my whole life… to the point where I’m still like that but mostly to enjoy the storm and relax.

    The pink eye remedy sounds like it ends in an Infection of Massive Proportions. Save your sight. Just say no to pee. hehe

  4. LMAO! I’ve heard of some of those. Ugh, the showering? Was is this the seventeenth century? Yuck! During the summer (even here, where there is little to no humidity), hubby and I have been known to shower up to three times a day! I’ll be ashy before I’ll be stinky. LOL!

    The hair? Oh, yes. I think that’s just a preference thing, though. My dad loved hairy women. I can remember trying to braid my mother’s leg hair (I know…). Once they divorced, the hair came off and stayed off. I’ve never had hair (East Indian and Native American trait, I’m told). I’ve never had to shave my legs because there’s nothing there (I always felt like I missed out on some female right of passage not being able to do this).

    Ever hear of the spaghetti myth? Supposedly, if you lace spaghetti sauce with a little of Aunt Flo (I know, nasty), your man will never leave. Whoo! What were people thinking?!

  5. @ southerngal

    Chiming in on the hair cuttings thing — the version I heard claims that if the birds get hold of your hair, they will build nests with it and you will go crazy.

  6. I heard putting the BC in the vagina made you less susceptible to side affects, maybe the asprin dissolves an acts as a spermicide?? Whatever. Shaving is about preference, my cousin didn’t shave her legs when she was dating her baby daddy years ago, but now she is smooth as baby behind, and I had a friend who did not shave her pits until well into her teens and didn’t know why she had a body odor issue…ummm cause the deodarant ain’t getting no where near the skin!!
    We also shied away from the toilet during lightning storms, I dunno why…
    We were told if you see a blue jay in the yard that meant someone was going to die, and if it got into the house that meant it was someone in the house. I do believe that kinda because my aunt chased that bird out of her house, and she died a couple of months later.
    I dunno about in the eyes, but Urine, clean 8 glasses of water a day drinking urine on the skin is suppose to be good, Foxy Brown (the original one) says her people rubbed her down in damp baby diapers when she was a child and thats how she got good skin, and eskimos (well maybe not in the 21st century but…) kept urine on hand to groom with.

  7. I can think of two hair-related ones I heard growing up..It’s bad luck for two people to do your hair at the same time. Never got a common sense answer as to why that is…lol

    The other one is that it’s also bad luck to say “thank you” after getting your hair done by someone…the proper response is “more hair”.

    I don’t subscribe to either belief, but it always tickled the heck out of me when I heard it..

    Thought of one more I heard growing up…during your menstrual cycle you have to stay out of water. I guess the theory was you would fill up with water?

    To that one I say, “EWWWWWW!”

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