Thursday, February 24, 2011

Marion Pellicano Ambrose

When my daughter left for college 3 years ago, I bought her a book called The Modern
Girl’s Guide to Life by Jane Buckingham. It was advertised as the “mod-girl survival
kit”. The cover told snippets of what could be found within: “ How to change a tire in
stilettos”, “the Diva’s guide to using a power drill” and “Welcome to the scariest room in
a modern girl’s house – the kitchen” I thought it might come in handy for her when she
was so far from home, and from mommy and daddy who took care of all these things for
Off she went to Jacksonville and her new life.
I’m proud to say she thrived! She
became fiercely independent and wholly capable. “That book is a wonder!” I told all my
fellow parents of college students. I was quite proud of myself for thinking of it!
Yesterday, I was dusting in my daughter’s room and happened to look at the
bookshelf. There was the book that I thought was making my daughter the well rounded,
imgres.jpgself sufficient “mod girl” she’s become! There was a bookmark in page 37. It seems
that’s as far as she read! The realization that my daughter had not been referring to this
survival manual hit me square in the face! She was doing all this on her own!
I can’t tell you the array of emotions that passed through me at that moment. Pride,
amazement, admiration and wonder at this young woman who was my own! She’s
tackled not only the challenge of her college studies (Child Psych major, Art minor), but
has learned to get along on her own in the real world! She’s made wonderful friends,
found gainful employment, kept up beautifully with her grades and studies! She was a
most beloved RA, winning awards and running all sorts of programs! She’s learned to
balance her budget (well, most of the time) and balance her schoolwork and social life.
She’s blossomed into the most awesome, funny, caring, hard working person I know!
So what about the book? Well, I found myself reading it. I’m not such a “modern girl”
but I’m learning a lot!( Did you know that you should fill the washing machine with
water and put in the detergent BEFORE you put in the clothes? Amazing! ) There are
pages and pages of great tips and “how to’s” in the guide. I now know how not to look or
sound stupid at the opera or in an art museum, how to entertain “on a shoestring” and yes,
how to change a tire in stilettos! As it turns out, my daughter was already a modern girl,
but her mom was the one who really needed the survival guide!

The Modern Girl’s Guide to Life by Jane Buckingham
Copyright 2004
ISBN# 0-06-073416-7



  1. daughters are not yet at the college age, but I can relate! I am amazed sometimes how much more mature they are then me :) GREAT POST!

  2. It is wild how much our children teach us. It never ceases to amaze me! I can so relate! It'll still be going on in college, YIKES!

    Your daughter's success is a direct result of her incredible Mom!!!! <3

    Excellent post - Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to more from you!

  3. I had bought a similar book, Where's Mom now that I need her. Full of recipes, cleaning tips, first aid, and car stuff. The recipes seemed to all be missing something...hmmmmmmm flavor! lol I still have it and it said to fill washer with water before adding soap....only you can't do that if you have a front load high effecient machine! However, I have gone back to that book more times to look at how to get stains out of stuff!

  4. C'mon Marion, have you ever really changed a tire in stilettos?

  5. Your daughter was ALWAYS awesome! Now she's even more so! Tell her I'm proud of her!

  6. You know what they say, daughters take after their mothers <3