Moms say amazing things, so we asked a bunch of Hairpin pals to anonymously pass along their moms' best, and we made it into a tournament. An impartial judge picked the "winners."
1. [I baked crappy-looking brownies for the sixth-grade bake sale, and no one bought them, so I came home crying. My mom gave me shots of Baileys, and told me:] "I will always be here with shots when your first boyfriend breaks up with you and when you don't get into the college you want to go to."
2. "Don't touch me!" ["Oh. Why?"] "Because it doesn't feel good."
3. "It's such a shame that in this age of disease and danger you'll never be able to enjoy purely casual sex in the way I did."
4. "Don't ever have sex."
5. "I told [my boyfriend] I was too old to have children, but he said we could just use your eggs..." [She looks at me curiously]
6. "Some girls' hair just doesn't grow past their chins, that's just how it is."
7. "What clique do you think you're in at school? I think people think you're a gothic slut."
8. "There's a pretty girl underneath there somewhere."
9. [I was three and my grandfather had just died of cancer, so I was asking lots of questions to try to understand, so my mom finally said:] "If you think about cancer too much, you'll get it!"
10. "Not shaving your legs makes you look like a dyke. And the fact that you don't wear a bra makes people think you're easy."
11. "Maybe if you wore makeup, you'd be a little more popular."
12. "Adios, amigos!" ["What does 'amigos' mean?"] "Amigos was a famous Spanish painter."
13. "If you want, I'll pay for you to get a nose job."
14. "I never used to get angry before you were born."
15. [At my 30th birthday party, after a bottle-plus of wine] "My girl is too immature to have kids."
16. "Your legs look fat. Do you need that snack?"
17. "I mean if Jake [the dog] died it would be like ... like if [daughter's name] died."
18. "Thinking about it, you probably shouldn't have had a baby."
19. "One thing you could try is not sleeping with everyone."
20. [At age seven, I asked her every day for a year: "Mom, am I cool?"] "No."
21. "I just wanted you to know that if you call the house and a man answers the phone to not be surprised because it's my husband." [Husband = a man she met over the internet and met once in person, then married, then divorced]
22. "Well, I guess you peaked early." [Re: second grade report card, in earnest]
23. "The tampon goes ... in here [plies deeply, points upward at crotch]."
24. "Just get them done and stop complaining. Breast lifts are cheap now. What, it'll be $3,000 or something? You have savings."
25. "No one is going to want to spend time with you if you keep crying."
26. [While paying at the cash register in a store] "You went on a date last night?! Did you [dramatically leans over and whispers 'sleep with him' in my ear as if the cashier can't figure out what she's talking about]?!"
27. "Do you want these [ben wah balls]? My therapist gave them to me but I didn't like the way they felt."
28. "Since I don't really like or care about sex, it's hard for me to understand you."
29. [When I was seven:] "Your belly is too big for a two-piece."
30. "I guess you wear shirts that show your belly because you want old men to touch it?"
31. ["What's a 'blow job'?"] "That's when a woman leans over, blows in a man's ear, and looks deep into his eyes, and he really likes it."
32. "It's not that I don't like you, it's that I don't like taking care of children."
Next: Amusingly Horrible Things Daughters/Significant Others Have Said: The Bracket[s]. Please submit!