Another Year Older, Questionably Wiser: 10 Life Lessons for My Children on My Birthday
They say that as you get older, you get wiser. I’m not so sure about that because even after all these years, I still have no clue who “they” are. I also still fall for the ol’ “tap on Candy’s left shoulder when you’re actually standing on her right” trick.
Yup. Foiled yet again.
Regardless, under the assumption that I am a teensy bit wiser as I celebrate my birthday today, I would like to impart 10 important life lessons I’ve gleaned over the years to my son and daughter, in hopes of giving them a leg up:
1. No matter how many appletinis you’ve had, do not convince yourself you can pull off “Last Dance” at karaoke. The long, high notes will eventually make your performance uncomfortably bad — even if your gay best friend tries to save it by jumping on stage and becoming your back-up dancer.
2. Become a good listener. It’s a rare gift that not only will make people trust you, but also yield valuable ammunition for future arguments with your partner/spouse. (Example: YOU: “No, we are NOT naming our daughter Emily.” SPOUSE: “But I like it!” YOU: “Of course — because Emily was the girl with short skirts you loved in seventh grade!” SPOUSE: “I wish you didn’t remember everything.” YOU: “On to the next name in the baby book…”
3. Nitch, not neesh. “Neesh” is a tad pretentious and, more importantly, makes you sound like a drunkard trying to say “knees” (e.g., “Get me to a toilet on my neesh before I get shick.”)
4. The difference between a good haircut and a bad one is two weeks. Two days for a dude.
5. While I can’t stop you from drinking alcohol eventually, I can tell you that the harder it is to spell the name of the liquor, the harder it is to get over the hangover (e.g., Jägermeister, Goldschläger).
6. As my dad told me as I hopped from activity to activity and job to job: “Don’t be a jack of all trades, a master of none.” Also: “Jeans are going to go out of style by 1990 — mark my words!” Oh, wait…
7. If you stumble in public, save face by yelling to passersby: “WATCH OUT FOR THIS SIDEWALK — DAMN THING JUST JUMPED UP AND TRIPPED ME!”
Or you could just laugh at yourself. Either/or.
8. A good friend will tell you s/he saw your ex-boyfriend — and he’s bald now. (Alternatively: “…Saw your ex-girlfriend — and she grew another chin.”) He will also willingly make a fool out of himself to distract an audience from your awkward karaoke performance.
9. If you pick up something that says, “Jersey Shore: Seasons 1-3 DVD Boxset,” drop it and run away. IMMEDIATELY. (Same goes for: Gigli; anything with Pauly Shore or David Caruso.)
10. There are no calories on your birthday. True story. Which why I am writing this with a mouth full of cheesecake, chased with a pile of french fries.