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July 20, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

I have recently discovered that my guidance throughout my childhood was complete and utter crap. I’ve always thought I was raised to know my basis of decisions in everyday situations; the situations where you question yourself and a rhyme, song or saying bursts from the back of your mind (mine is normally in my grandmother’s shaky voice). “Worrying is like a rocking chair,” she would say, “it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” She really should’ve been preparing me at a young age that “Women need men like a fish needs a bicycle”. In any mess I managed to get myself into I had an oddly worded phrase, often prime alliteration, which would give me my answers and would often suffice as support to my friends. However, for every piece of nonsensical advice that your grandmother has given you, there is another contradictory piece out there waiting to be discovered.

As my social surroundings varied, and I tried to justify going against the values my family drilled into me, I came across new sayings. These all completely contradicted what I was brought up on, yet they seemed like such wise words, surely given to other kids from other grandmothers. “Two wrongs don’t make a right”, yet I still get tempted to claim “An eye for an eye”. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”, but I myself find “Out of sight, out of mind” works well with internet bills, holes in the socks, and Sarah Palin. “The chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link” wasn’t as appreciated as “survival of the fittest” through the vicious cat fights in early high school years. My padre still emphasises to me that if “I fail to plan, I plan to fail”, so when I regularly flunk at organising or sticking to any plans I remember the advice my grandmother never told me, “A leap into darkness is our greatest chance of success”. “All good things come to those who wait”, but I choose to get in quick because “You snooze, you lose”. Although “Opposites attract” I like to think “Birds of a feather flock together”.

“Opposites attract” was a household phrase, but when you imagine dating someone who is described as the opposite of you…I couldn’t think of anything worse than being with a stressed, graceful, sober, anti-social, conservative, national supporting, meat-eating, golf-watching, rich, mathematically capable, dependent, commercialised, well-spoken, city slicker femme. In fact the more I think about this absurd advice the more I realise the dangers of opposites attracting. Prince Charles and Princess Diana, she ended up with a spilt martini and tyre tracks on her new dress. Anna Nicole Smith married and allegedly shagged J. Howard Marshall, 63 years her senior and she died of a drug overdose. Playful Marilyn Monroe and straight-laced Arthur Miller, was the final of her three marriages before she too died of a drug overdose. Michael Jackson and… well anyone really. Too soon? John Lennon and Yoko Ono, I can’t even begin to point out how much this relationship was creep central, and I’m not going to because I’m a die-hard Lennon fan. I think the evidence speaks for itself; being part of a mismatched couple is bound to lead to heroine addiction, nasal disintegration or a limousine hijacking. It’s the only explanation to these tragedies.

This destructive cycle of useless contradictory phrases on how to live life are confusing, particularly to thoughtless beings such as myself. Hence why the advice I’ll carry onto the next generation (my children, my grandchildren, and any pre-teen punks I see hanging around Manners Mall), will be “If you wish to live wisely, ignore sayings including this one”. Making your decisions, whether they be life changing or simply everyday choices, shouldn’t be based off careless lingo that you were told after wrestling the boy with the mullet off the sandpit digger at kindergarden, or stealing gummy feijoa lollies from the pick’n’mix bins at the supermarket. The advice given from elders is simply their way to make kids remember their rules. They rhyme, sometimes have alliteration or onomatopoeia and occasionally they have a character who has a growing nose or who falls into a chocolate river as a consequence of their behaviour.

Also for future reference, “Third time’s a charm” does not apply to STAT193.


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