Things My Mother Taught Me: Daniel Cummings

Daniel Cummings, men’s buyer for Standard Style in Kansas City, offered to write this after we had a conversation about our parents. Having only known Daniel a short time, I can already tell we’ll be friends for life. He’s an example of the kind of man I am working to become. He’s a humble, confident man. He’s a great husband to his wife, Hattie. Oh, and he’s three years younger than me.


My mom has been a teacher for almost 40 years, a fact of which I am unbelievably proud. Needless to say, there’s no shortage of things she has taught me. She’s taught for so long because she believes it’s important. My mom grew up on a farm in rural Indiana, she raised my oldest brother on her own while working and going to school, and she is the most intelligent, unpretentious person I know.

She taught me that women are strong, that you’re not doomed by your circumstances, and that people are the most important things in our life. But more than anything she taught me to be myself and do what I love. More than titles and degrees, my mom is proud of the people my brothers and I have become (most of which is probably due to her).

When I walked out of my room in a hot pink bow tie and cummerbund as we headed to dinner for my sixth birthday (I also believe I was wearing cowboy boots) she didn’t flinch even though we were heading to one of the nicest restaurants in town, because to her my self-expression was more important than anything else.

I am who I am today, I wear what I wear today because my mom gave me the freedom to be just that: Me.