In Letters to My Daughters, famed political consultant and TV personality Mary Matalin shares the moral, ethical, and occasionally comic life lessons gleaned from her mother's experiences and her own. These intimate, personal letters range from the spiritual to the practical, from giving life to accepting death, from civic to personal responsibility, from looking and feeling good to dealing with those pesky boys, and more.
Here's a sampling of the mother wisdom found in these pages:
Crying is not a weakness; it's cathartic and cleansing. People who live life with the fullest commitment tend to cry a lot. It's a healthy expression of deep emotions. I don't like or trust people who don't or can't cry.
When I tell you I understand what you're going through, it's not just because I remember what it felt like to be a teenage girl whose body is being hijacked by hormones against her will. It's because I'm a fifty-something whose body is being hijacked by hormones against her will at this very moment. And if you don't believe me, just ask your father.
I believe in my heart of hearts that a life without faith is unanchored and unfulfilling. Without it, you're just wandering in the desert. You experience deeply that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts -- and the singing is damn good.
Ma had a complex philosophy of sex, which I heard almost every day from age ten. "Boys would screw a snake if it would lay still long enough." Let's flash forward forty years and allow your mother to give you a twenty-first-century take on boys and S-E-X: "Boys would screw a snake if it would lay still long enough."...And the men in Washington think that's a compliment.
A deep sense of loyalty can help you overcome almost any bump in the road. The disloyal may advantage themselves in some work situations, but their gains will be temporary, fleeting. They will fail their institutions, their colleagues, and worst of all, themselves.
Filled with warmth, common sense, a belief in the values that keep families strong, and her trademark sense of humor, Mary Matalin's letters will inspire, guide, entertain, and inform. They're the perfect companion for any mother looking for a smart, sensible fellow traveler on the road to raising good daughters.
"Don't ever feel like you have to choose between Daddy and me or, more importantly take up any political opinion out of peer pressure or because it's trendy. Think for yourself," writes outspoken Republican political strategist and media personality Matalin in one of a series of letters containing life lessons for her two young daughters. Daddy is the equally outspoken Democratic political strategist James Carville, whom Matalin married in 1993. Their daughters are now preteens, but Matalin's advice covers all stages in a woman's life. Each letter is centered on a theme, some more serious than others: marriage and childbirth; career and civic duty; mall shopping and bad hair days, among others. "The time and money you'll spend on your hair will exceed the GNP of Liechtenstein," she predicts. Carville's opinions are here, too the letter about loyalty has his explanation on why he stuck with Bill Clinton in the wake of the Lewinsky affair. "ell my girls that their daddy had a friend. And, his friend did a bad thing. And what you do when you have a friend is you forgive them. And that's what I did." Most of the advice is loving, humorous and generally open-ended. But Matalin draws the line at casual sex. She warns, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" echoing the advice her own mother gave her. This is not a parenting manual, nor does it contain any earth-shattering political or family revelations. But Matalin's engaging, sensible tone will appeal to many moms and daughters.