Saturday, July 18, 2009

Life's Simple Lessons

Try to take your first steps on a carpeted floor. Make sure your first word is a cuss word. Learn to hold the sippy-cup tight, so fewer mistakes are made when you're given a real glass. Bed-wetting's not so bad, but those plastic sheets are obnoxiously loud. Cry for your mother on the first day of school; she'll love it. Aim for the nose when you fight the playground bully... just remember that breaking noses doesn't work as well when you're older. Never play with marbles too close to a sewer drain. Hold onto the kite with both hands; it can fly away faster than you can run. Don't let your parents throw away the boxes your toys came in. Comic books are literature.

Learn at least one sport, and learn it well. Keep the fact that you still watch cartoons a secret from the girls in the class. Don't sit in the same place in the cafeteria every day. The rules of chess will come in handy one day. Monkey bars are a great way to stay in shape, and they're still fun. Be seen at the school dances, even if you don't dance. When a friend moves away, write at least one letter. Perfect the art of flipping someone off. Take pride in being funny. Walk your dogs; they don't stick around forever.

Take your driving test in a stick-shift. Recognize that people are different, but all want the same thing. Tilt your head to the right when you kiss. No means no. Juvenile hall is full of kids who can't stop crying when they're alone. Transfer students have more stories to tell. Your fake ID doesn't really work, it's just that the person you're showing it to has been there before. Stupidity happens, and friends will die because of it. Cancer takes the young, too. Carving your name in a desk doesn't ensure immortality. Prom dresses are supposed to be hard to take off. Everyone you make fun of will surpass you in life somehow. Pride is not a sin.

College is high school all over again, but with more alcohol. Don't marry young. A good backpack is better than flashy clothes. Quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive. Military friends are closer than any other. Gorgeous women love to laugh. Fraternities do not ensure fraternity. Someone's resume is better than yours, but that's no reason to quit. Aim for the neck in a fistfight. The world is bigger than your campus. Fear will keep you alive. Don't walk around afraid. Typing is the most important skill you'll ever learn. Perfection exists, because it's subjective. There's safety in numbers; there's solace in loneliness. You can survive without your feet, so don't jump in head first.

There's no shame in paying the bills. Vacations can wait; Hawaii's not going anywhere. Under the exterior, cars are all the same. Friends are a phone call away. Happiness is loosely defined for a reason. True pacifists have seen the face of war. Your children will bore you, but will make you proud. Love is fleeting, as is all emotion. The news doesn't exist to tell you what's right in the world. Comedy and tragedy are the same, it just depends on who's watching. The world turns with or without your blessing. Growing old gracefully is the only way to accept life. Buying toys is always okay. Too busy is not an excuse. Try to take your last steps in a place you've never been. Make sure your last word is a cuss word.


  1. Wow, you pretty much cover all the bases there.

    One I would add: Don't worry, everything passes in time, one way or another.