Stories of mum: Hey you! Hairy Legs!

All I know about men and relationships, I learned from mum.

How to decide if he’s the one, for instance.

Mum was engaged twice before she hooked up with Dad. The first guy gave her a diamond ring and they went out for almost a year, but then…”he came home with me one evening, and we were sitting having tea, and it might have been something he said, or, I don’t know, but I just thought to myself, I don’t really like you. So I gave him his ring back, and that was it!”

I have to say that this thought occurred to me many times in my last but one relationship. If only I’d acted on it so decisively!

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

Diamond Ring Guy didn’t just give up.  He followed mum round, declaring she was the most beautiful woman in Newcastle and his only love. On some days. On other days, “he’d say completely different sorts of things – I won’t repeat them, dear!”.  One day as she was walking down on the beach with a friend, along comes Mr Ring, and he’s apparently at a loss for words, so he says,

“You’ve got the hairiest legs I’ve ever seen on a woman!”

“So what did YOU say?” I ask gentle little mum.  “Oh, nothing! I just laughed! Because..(well, you know).

“There’s always more fish in the sea!”

Hairy legs or no, mum had oodles of boys hanging about.  Anyway in those days, just about nobody shaved their legs or for that matter anything else (I know where I’m going when the time machine’s invented) – that’s why my first razor was a source of major contention (“I don’t see anything wrong with your legs! Just because all the other girls are silly…”).

Let THEM do the leg work.

Mum could have written The Rules. Let him chase you. Don’t let him think you’re too interested!  It’s a man’s job to run around after you. If he doesn’t, well there’s plenty of fish in get the picture.

If you sleep with him he’ll think you’re easy!

Mum, now you’ve passed on, perhaps I can finally break it to you. I AM easy.

And not least – a woman should always have secrets.  You might be married to someone, you might be in love with them – but don’t tell them everything. Always hold something back.

Was she right?



  1. Mister Tribble doesn’t care about my legs or armpits – they get shaved when I remember and at no other time.

    Neither of us did the chasing – I just jumped him one night and that was that.

    Some things change; the fact that women have body hair does not 🙂

    1. I’m in two minds about this chasing thing. On the one hand, I know I think twice when a man is too keen. That could be because the ones that are, are usually not attractive, to me. On the other hand, if you like each other, let’s just cut to the point and say so! And then hop into bed! The last is a lot more appealing, to me. Mr Tribble sounds like a Role Model for the Modern Male! (as you are, of course, for the Modern Female).


  2. Always have secrets, always. It is the only thing that has kept me married which if I was being really honest may not be the best advice but sadly the secrets allow for a rather detached relationship and that seems fine and also very depressing at the same time 😦

  3. I just read a quote by Mother Teresa,’ I have a paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurts, but more love.’ I think she is right, for whatever I have given, I gave it all, and leaves no regret now.


    1. I like it that it works for you. But I’ve loved till it hurt, and then there was no more love! Maybe Mother Theresa was thinking of the non-romantic sort.


      1. I got hurt, badly in the end too, and I have found that it takes time, often a long time, before people realize what they have lost. My ex left me when I needed her most in my life, but building up her career is more important than our love, and than to accompany the last journey of my mother. But I am fine with all the difficulties, these will lead me to discover myself.

        It did not work for me either, in term of getting love from others. But it opens my eye to see those who share their love unconditionally.


  4. Your mom was very wise about many things. I personally don’t believe in telling everything, sometimes because it isn’t important and other times because the past is the past.
    I have known a few friends that thought there should be no secrets at all in their marriages. Let’s just say it didn’t always work out causing more pain and harm. Some things are best left unsaid, if you really want to hurt someone there is no weapon better than the truth, because words can hurt if they are aimed carefully and come from someone you love and trust.
    Discretion is the better part of valor,.

    1. I’m totally with you there. There’s nothing worse than someone who says something hurtful and then says ‘but I have to be honest, don’t I’. Eww.


  5. If you asked this question some years ago my response would have been very different to todays..
    NO Chasing allowed… If he’s a ‘normal’ male he will either want to be with you, or he won’t. End of story. I’ve learned that ‘most’ guys do what they want to do; full stop. There’s no mystery about them (well, not the ones I know). They are black and white; they’re either in or out…. Jumping into bed with one who doesn’t want you won’t change him to wanting you. Jumping into bed with one who wants you won’t change him; he’ll still want you…. Go figure; they’re pretty simple really….!
    As for secrets…! YES, have secrets… please……! 😉

    1. Carolyn, I like that exposition a lot! Can I bottle that please? I have to say, that’s been my experience too. Some guys I’ve slept with after half an hour have wanted to have a full on relationship (and we have), other guys I’ve waited and they’ve tailed off. I think probably most ‘people’ do what they want to do – by their acts shall ye know them.

  6. I’ve told my Don much, but not everything. I think he might imagine a few “things”, but he’s not one to manufacture facts: He waits for information. He’s a “need to know” kind of guy. If he wants to know those last bits about me, he’ll ask.

    I may, or may not tell him the truth. Will that be dishonest; yea i guess so, but if it messes up our relationship, “silence is golden”.

    See you can apply any philosphies ya like here. I like that.

    1. Follow your instinct and be kind? I guess the things you do in the past don’t really count unless the bodies are under the patio..but maybe the best way to approach secrets in the present is not to do anything which really demands them – anything really naughty, that is. I like your approach, anyway!


  7. Right. Exactly. The past is the past. I have a firm commitment to “not being naughty”. There are no major skeletons in my closet anymore. As far as men, well, there were a few more of those in my closet then i’d like to imagine. But i found the right one and the rest were probably practice dummies. 🙂

    1. I think I’ll never again tell a boyfriend (supposing I ever have another one) how many lovers I’ve had. The evil one apparently took it as a threat/challenge 🙂


      1. Right: I get it: Challenge (or threat). He “acted as if you challenged him” and his fragile male ego was “threatened”. Unbelievable. DM doesn’t know the total … but if that sad fact made him upset, i’m not sure i’d think as highly of him as I do. However, he IS a man … SLACK must be given.

  8. I thoroughly love this 🙂 your mum sounds the best. She would have entertained your childhood!

    Just can’t help thinking though, with Mr Ring – him saying not so nice stuff (the other days) pretty much tells your mum she had FINE instincts

    1. yeah and she was kind of confident. If it had been me I probably would have thought, oh well, it’s just something he said, people say stuff, I’d better hang on to him anyway, never know when another one’s coming along. But that wasn’t her attitude, and good on her.


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