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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

37 Things

I should start this off by saying that last year’s birthday column is one my favorite pieces, and so when I thought about how I could possibly top that particular collection of aged wisdom, I was daunted to say the least. But, I’ve also come to realize that, despite all of the schooling (both formal and informal) that I’ve received, I still learn something almost every day. This realization is particularly profound as I continue to suffer through what I can only call as the American Age of the Idiot - where no one seems to be learning much of anything (despite having the whole of the world’s knowledge literally at our fingertips). And so in the interests of marking the passing of yet another year in this extraordinarily strange trip I call life - here we go with a brand new slate of lessons learned, for those who have yet to travel this far down the road to perhaps avoid a similar set of stumbles - or for those who have traveled farther, to reminisce about simpler times, here are 37 things I’ve learned:
  1. The worst thing about reality television used to be how unlike real life it was, now it’s how much like real life it is that makes it horrible.
  2. Driving is like air hockey, most people think they’re pretty good at it, but ninety percent of them just end up flailing around and causing most of their own damage.
  3. The primary difference in parenting between this generation and the last appears to be the amount of noise that will be tolerated prior to any beating.
  4. Peace of mind is never overpriced.
  5. Anything being sold to you by someone you’d otherwise pay to see naked is always overpriced.
  6. Justin Bieber is karma’s way of getting back at us for scaring our parents with Ozzy, Motley Crue and Iron Maiden.
  7. Of all the things that have come “back” into style, none is more baffling than the giant ass (e.g. J-Lo, Kim Kardashian, Niki Minaj) - the 19th Century called, and they want their healthy body image back.
  8. You’re more likely to be taken seriously with a clown nose on than with sunglasses parked on top of your head.
  9. No matter how the other gender inequities stack up, they are all outweighed by profoundly how much less it sucks to get older as a man.
  10. There is only one man over the age of 30 who is allowed to wear skateboard sneakers, and since you’re not Tony Hawk, get yourself to the store and buy some grown up shoes.
  11. No one wants to see your feet.
  12. How do I deal with the heat in Vegas? Well, not having to worry about earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, blizzards, ice storms, hail, humidity or even severe thunderstorms helps quite a bit.
  13. The one thing Facebook has done better than e-mail, phone calls or even real life, is just how easy and effective it has made it to completely erase someone from your universe.
  14. Twitter is the new MySpace.
  15. Rental car companies know something that we don’t: no one under the age of 25 should be driving - and they’re right.
  16. Stupidity is bad. Willful stupidity is worse. Petulant and indignant willful stupidity is the worst - and this is why I both fear and hate the Tea Party.
  17. Despite all the idealogy I’ve been exposed to (willingly or otherwise), researched, or even heard about, the only comprehensive social theory that seems to hold up under any scrutiny is economics. If you want to understand the world around you, put down the Bible and pick up a macroeconomics textbook.
  18. Everyone who really gives a damn about you will give you more than one chance.
  19. When it comes down to choosing between incompetence and crazy - smart people choose incompetence, because at least you can plan for that.
  20. Three things you should never lie about (because the truth is way too easy to find out): your age, your weight and whether or not you can dance.
  21. Becoming a lawyer didn’t make it harder to understand why people hate us, it made it a whole lot easier.
  22. The only great American thing that will never be duplicated overseas is college sports.
  23. That being said, the only things I love more than Navy Football are the people I knew when I was seven.
  24. A bad mother is neither uncommon, excuse-worthy, or an indicator of how I feel about women. It’s just a bad mother - look around, they’re everywhere - and most of us turn out just fine.
  25. The three most reliable indicators I’ve found for when it’s time to completely disregard everything someone says (and just start nodding): reading/defending the Twilight series, believing Sarah Palin is a viable Presidential candidate, and regularly watching Fox News.
  26. The primary objective of my thirties has been to avoid, at all costs, my life resembling a Dockers commercial in any way.
  27. I’m sure I know why we’ve invested young women with the idea that they’re all beautiful, but not so sure why we’ve imbued them with the idea that they should all get paid for it.
  28. A solid rule for plastic surgery: keep the knife away from your face.
  29. In the end, you will get what you deserve - good or bad.
  30. Being older is fantastic, acting older sucks.
  31. No matter how far I go, no matter what I achieve, unless you’re a female, honking your horn at me for any other reason besides my failing to notice the light change is an invitation for me to kick your ass.
  32. Even if you’re part of the world‘s most popular religion, you must believe that over two thirds of the people on the planet are completely fucked. I think it’s much more likely that it’s all of us.
  33. The two least attractive words you can say to a woman at 37: “my roommate.”
  34. Being good at math never got me laid. It did, however, help me figure out just about anything - including why I wasn’t getting laid.
  35. Obese people don’t have a “medical condition” they have a “motivation condition” that we used to call “being lazy.”
  36. Getting older isn’t about wanting sex less, it‘s about sometimes wanting sex less than a really good back rub.
  37. The beginning of any great thing often requires the end of some other really good thing - so here’s to a great 38th year.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Funny and so TRUE!! Happy Birthday!

Kristina said...

#11 Thank you!
#12 YES YES AND YES! no natural disasters, just the manmade ones!
#21 YEP!
#25, do you have to do all 3? And for Twilight, if you just READ it, and don't DEFEND it, does it count? (Have you read it?)
#28, The face is one of the least likely places to kill you. As a doctor told me once, elective surgery results in elective COMPLICATIONS. Is looking better really worth your LIFE?
#30, no LOOKING older sucks! :)

Don't know how you do it, but I love it.

David R Snodgrass said...

Sorry for the deletion. I misused a word. Here is what I meant to say...

I took a look at last year's birthday column and I must disagree. This year's edition is better. You've grown.

Jen and Tonic said...

You. Are. Awesome.

I seriously nodded my head at each one. I also agree with David that this year's piece managed to edge out last year's.

SavageLettuce said...

We should all make such a list each year; both to celebrate what we've learned and recognize we still have a long way to go. Kudos!

Jen and Tonic said...

My favorites (I love them all, seriously) are: 1, 3, 9, 11, 16, 18, 26, 29, 30, 37.

#11 goes straight to the top simply because I abhor feet.

#9 has become more apparent in the last year or so. My boyfriend keeps getting better looking, and I am…deteriorating.

#3….I don’t even need to go there because you and I AGREE on screaming kids.

The one that really had me shaking my head in agreement is #30. I love my life now more than I ever have. I’ll take the bills, no summer breaks and the inevitable physical changes over the turmoil and uncertainty I felt the majority of my young life. Still, I don’t think I’ll ever really grow up. I still love wrestling around with my sisters, playing pranks on people, and laughing way too much when my friends fall down.

You. Are. The. Man!

gmangus said...

As for 25 and watching fox news, try watching O'Reilly and Hannity and every time they mention Palin take a shot, every time they mention Obama slam a beer (I bet you can't even make it through the 1st 30 minutes of O'Reilly)

Ferrari said...

#18 is my favorite. Loving others is all about patience, forgiveness, understanding, mercy, and hope.

Overall, great mixture of clever, funny, sobering, ornery, and encouraging.

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