1. You know all the important saints.
You’ve searched high and low for your car keys, but you haven’t exhausted every avenue until you’ve said a prayer to St. Anthony. Every Irish mother has her own particular saint that works wonders for her and has never let her down. God is a busy man and doesn’t have time to be dealing with small prayer matters. The Heaven JobBridge scheme has allowed him to hire interns, or saints if you will, to take care of those jobs so he can concentrate on more important matters…like hating homosexuals and female members of the clergy.
2. You can scrounge 20 quid off her up until the age of about 30.
You always find the time to say goodbye to your mam when leaving for town. “Have you got enough money?” are the words you’re hoping to hear as you slowly make your half-hearted exit. Even more half-hearted is your feeble attempt to reject the bountiful offering. As you stuff the ATM-fresh note into your arse pocket, you avoid eye contact and mutter, “Thanks Ma!”
3. You only learned to do laundry in your 20s.
We’ve all brought home the giant sports bag worth of washing for her to do over the weekend. You’ve had 20 hours of lectures this week and couldn’t have possibly found time to wash your own clothes. As a result of doing this until the age of 21, you have absolutely no idea how to use a washing machine, and to this day still get confused as to where the detergent is meant to go. Your ma enjoys it so much she still opts to dry clothes naturally on the line over wasting money on the tumble dryer.
4. Doctors’ advice has no place in her house.
Those pills will take at least 30 minutes to kick in and in that space of time you could have had a glass of flat 7UP, taken a poop, and had a spoonful of honey. Irish mothers have an eye for knowing exactly which remedy will cure you. That doctor who spent 7 years at university has no idea what they’re talking about, a spoonful of Calpol Six Plus will have you on the mend from that chest infection in no time. And no, you can’t stay home from school.
5. No shots!
Hard liquor is only to be enjoyed with a dash of ginger ale or other mineral besides coke. According to your mam, it’s always that one silly shot you did at the bar that made you sick, never mind the copious amounts of beer you guzzled within the space of three hours.
6. Buying sandwiches from shops inevitably leads to disappointment.
Irish mothers don’t care for purchasing store-made sandwiches. You spent 5 euros on that sandwich combo?! You can be guaranteed your mother is disgusted that you didn’t consider buying a sliced pan and a packet of ham for less; you could have fed your entire list of Facebook friends!
7. You were left the most precise instructions on what to do when she was away from home.
Bomb disposal teams aren’t given as many instructions as you were when left in the house alone. The oven was treated like a nuclear weapon. “Turn off the oven…AND THE SWITCH ON THE WALL!!!” You may have been entrusted with the responsibility of turning the immersion switch on and off, but that pressure was too great for many an Irish child who would rather not bathe than live in the fear of forgetting to turn it off.
8. You’ve had holy water thrown at you at the most random of times.
Nothing says, “Have a great night out on the town!” like being drowned in holy water straight from Lourdes. Always kept at a prime location close to the front door, your mother will make sure the Holy Spirit is with you as you prowl the town for talent. Lord knows you need that a bit more than just a simple good luck!
9. You know not to answer her rhetorical questions.
“You must think I’m some sort of eejit?!” Back in Higher Level Maths you were told to ALWAYS give an answer. However, this isn’t Leaving Certificate Maths…it’s much more complicated! The wrong answer, meaning any sort of response or defense at all, will see your mother thinking you’re getting “smart”…and that’s not a good thing in Ireland!
10. You’re prematurely balding as a result of her drying your hair as a child.
Going to bed with wet hair was a one way path to you catching pneumonia. As a result of this, Mother Dearest spent a good 10 minutes making sure your hair felt like the Sahara Desert before you laid a strand on a pillow. She didn’t hold back, with a bath towel pushing and pulling your head in directions you never knew you could move. The hair dryer was next to come out, and it rarely spent more than 10 seconds on any setting other than ‘high’.
11. Your punishments often sounded quite barbaric.
You’ve been threatened with crucifixion in the past but have lived to tell the tale. Well done, you were raised by an Irish mother!