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My Mother Was Wrong about Spinach (standard:humor, 904 words)
Author: GodspenmanAdded: May 06 2012Views/Reads: 1463/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
One of the great joys of getting older, and there is at least one joy involved in this grueling process, is discovering that you were right all the time. I try not to boast here because, well, that’s just the kind of person I am. And, I’m not going to mak

One of the great joys of getting older, and there is at least one joy
involved in this grueling process, is discovering that you were right 
all the time. I try not to boast here because, well, that's just the 
kind of person I am. And, I'm not going to make a list of all of the 
things I was “right” about. No sense in boasting, but I just can't 
resist one. 

Some of these things centered on my relationship with my mother. One
advantage a mother has over her children is that sense of authority and 
being right all the time. Looking back, I can see that she was not 
right all the time. 

As a young person, my mother told me things I have since learned not to
be true. For example: It takes more than clean underwear to survive an 
accident. The boogieman under my bed does not exist... any more. None 
of my friends wants to jump off a bridge. I will grow up even if I 
don't clean up my plate. And, it's almost impossible to behave yourself 
and have a good time simultaneously. 

My mother, like other mothers, was not a bad mother. She just had bad
information, much of which she got from her mother. I'm not sure where 
grandmother got her information, but it too was wrong. And, when you 
have bad information, there is nothing more you can do but inflict it 
upon your children. And my mother inflicted away at us children. 

This week another one of these “not true things,” was revealed. This one
was the mother of all untrue things mothers tell their children. 

I must confess there is a bittersweet sense of victory in this recent

I can't tell you how many times my mother told me to “Eat your spinach.
It's good for you.” When I would protest she would further admonish me 
by saying, “Finish all of your spinach on your plate, it won't kill 

Boy was she wrong. I hate to say, “I told you so.” However, the
temptation is beyond my ability to resist. After all, I'm only a man. I 
guess I never ate enough spinach for the strength to resist everything. 

For years, I told my mother that spinach was not good for me. Now, I
have scientific proof as well as verification from the United States 
government that spinach can kill you. 

Where was all this information and government verification when I was
young and being force-fed spinach? Some things should be retroactive. 
If I could find a way to give back all the spinach I have eaten from my 
mother's table I certainly would do it right now. (Could someone find 
me a porkbarrel?) 

Of course, there is always the idea that my mother knew this and was
simply trying to kill me. No, after further thought, I'm sure that is 
far from being true. But don't think I haven't been pondering this, 
lately. She had plenty of evidence to incite this kind of attitude 
toward me, I assure you. 

My mother used everything she could think of to get me to eat my
spinach. She used intimidation, arguments and a gold old-fashioned 
thrashing. None of it seemed to make her spinach taste any better. 

One of the arguments my mother used to get me to eat spinach was good
ole Popeye. “Popeye eats spinach,” my mother would taunt me. “Look at 
all of the things he does because of eating spinach.” 

Of course, from my observation, Popeye only ate spinach when he was in
extreme trouble and his life was being threatened. I tried to have an 
agreement with my mother that I would eat spinach every time my life 
was threatened. Then she threatened my life. 

Her arguments continued. “Certainly you want to be like Popeye, don't
you?” my mother pleaded. 

To which I responded, “Yes, and he smokes a pipe too. Can I smoke a
pipe?” I did not think it fair for my mother to make me eat spinach and 
then not allow me to smoke a pipe. If you choose one the other comes 

At the time, my mother was not too amused with my argument concerning
Popeye's pipe. I tried explaining that Popeye's use of spinach was only 
occasionally but his use of the pipe was continuously. This argument 
had no effect upon my mother, but it did cause severe pain in my left 
ear as she led me by my ear back to the table to finish my spinach. 

At the time, my mother had a one-track mind, which led to a plate of
spinach. I, on the other hand, had a one-track mind, which led as far 
away from that plate of spinach as possible. Nothing would do but clean 
up my plate of spinach. Only one mind could win, and it sure wasn't 

I listened with amusement to all this news concerning spinach this past
week. Reflecting upon this incident from my past, a verse of Scripture 
came to my mind. "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth 
it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:17 KJV). 

At the time of my spinach eating frenzy, my mother thought she was doing
the right thing. At the time she was, much to my consternation. It's 
not so much, what we do, as it is what we know. 


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