It's not what your mom says that counts -- it's what she really means.
Sometimes we can be our own worst critics, but other times that honor goes to the woman that gave birth to us. Sure, it's often tempered by pauses, strained smiles and a quick change of topic, but deep down you know well enough to read between the lines.
In an effort to clarify the most benign motherly statements, we've complied a list of comments, scenarios and translations to further ensure you know what she's REALLY saying when she's not really saying anything at all:
1. You go shopping with her and make the mistake of asking her opinion after trying something on.
Comment: "It looks a little snug on you."
Translation: You've gained weight, those pants don't fit and she's refraining from calling you a total sausage roll.
2. You've got a new guy and bring him by the house to introduce him to your parents.
Comment: "He seems nice enough."
Translation: She doesn't like him at all and doesn't appreciate the fact that he turned up his nose at her famous meat leaf (even though he's a vegetarian and you told her that weeks ago).
3. You move into a new apartment and her and your dad insist on helping you bring a bunch of stuff over.
Comment: "How quaint. And the neighborhood is very...colorful."
Translation: She thinks your new digs are crappy and there's a pretty good chance you're going to get mugged coming home from the bar late at night.
4. You get a new job offer than would require you to move more than 50 miles away from her.
Comment: "It's your life to lead. I can't make that decision for you."
Translation: No it's not and yes she will. In the days and weeks to come, she'll casually offer you insights, like how expensive moving to a new area will be and how you won't have the support system there you have here (namely her).
5. It's your parents anniversary and you and your siblings decide to take them out for dinner. You show up in a to-die-for dress you got on sale -- which immediately grabs your mom's attention.
Comment: "Is that new?"
Translation: Multiple thoughts going on at once. "I though you said you didn't have any cash?" "Didn't we just loan you $100 to get your car fixed?" "Why are you spending money on a dress when you could be spending it on Match.com -- I mean, even your brother brought a date!"
6. You and your mother are invited to a baby shower. While oohing and ahhing over all the gifts, she can't resist adding her two cents.
Comment: "Don't you think those booties are adorable? I remember when your feet were this tiny."
Translation: "Are you ever going to get married and give me grandkids? Your sister is engaged, your brother is in a steady relationship and you're still dating guys with bad body piercings and weird names like 'Clay' and 'Wren.'"