I mean, yes, 11 great life suggestions are in this article, but they’re way down at the bottom. However take my advice, there’s juicier stuff up top. Wow, unreliable narrator…
Take My Advice
The world is full of advice. Do this, don’t do that. Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen.
There are bits of advice that we all have lodged in our memory banks from teachers, parents, mentors, big sisters.
“Always keep your closets clean.” Something my Mom likes to say. It always makes me think of some dire home invasion incident where robbers come in, open my closet and, after pushing aside the jumble of boots, sneakers and flats are stunned, nay SHOCKED, to see the mess. But really it means, you never know when you’re gonna go, so, delete those embarrassing journal entries just in case.
My Great Aunt Sara, then, a brittle-thin, 80-something, used to tell us kids, “Waste not, want not.” (Which may have originated with Ben Franklin.) You could surmise that, having endured the Great Depression, Aunt Sara was all about conservation and miserly wisdom. Make sure to save the scraps and you will never want for anything.
Turns out, according to my Mom, everyone was sitting around drinking strawberry daiquiris (as one did in the ’70s) and when my Dad went to refill Aunt Sarah’s drink, she looked at her glass, tossed back the remaining bits and said, “Waste not want not!”
So, because my kid-brain misunderstood this advice, does it mean I’m now not a wasteful person? That I’m a thoughtful penny-pincher who washes and reuses plastic forks?
Not so much.
We love to read and listen to advice, pin it to our corkboards and espouse it on our Twitter feeds, but do we actually take it? Do we really need it?
Often, no, as former sex advice columnist Judy “DateGirl” McGuire writes this week. Which is perhaps why, in the last several years there have been so many satirical or highly literary “non advice” advice columns, from Dear Sugar to Dear Polly to Social A’s. The format is really just a form of entertainment.
This week, we’re launching our own occasional advice column, “What The…?” which will address the strange stuff we’re wondering about as we hit (ohmygodihatethisword) “midlife.”
Part of our mission here at TueNight is to speak for the trees. Huh? What I mean is, those of us who aren’t as withered and in need of constant photo-retouching. We’re not young, we’re not old — we’re somewhere in between. There’s an awful lot of weirdness in that in between.
So to that end, we have some questions. And we’re a little pissed that nobody told us about this stuff. From health, to finances, to family to careers, we have a few things we’re not too ashamed to ask.
We don’t expect to always get the perfect answer; in fact, there might be several. We really just want to start the dialogue and encourage you to share your own insights with us, as well.
Multiple writers may contribute to the column, depending on the question, and we’ll always let you know who they are.
We want these answers to be well-researched and valuable. We’re not sure how often we can pull these columns together, so that’s TBD.
Finally, I keep my own advice lists on my own corkboard, on my iPhone notes and on scraps of paper. So here are a few. I bet you have similar bits of advice floating around?
The Stuff I Try to Live By Now
1. Question everything.
2. Before tweeting, ask, “Would I be proud if this was on the front page of the New York Times?”
3. Tell the truth, it’s usually best.
4. Wait at least 30 minutes before responding (usually to an email that pisses me off).
5. Don’t go to Macy’s on the weekend.
6. No phones, iPads or TVs in the bedroom (broken often).
8. Never run for the subway.
9. Be Margit.
10. Add to the world, don’t subtract.
11. Waste not, want not.