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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

39 Things

The best-laid plans of mice and men… or so wrote a better author than I might ever hope to be. And so the year of writing that was to be has turned into an extension of the work-based sabbatical that I had hoped to conclude just six months ago. Thankfully, as it has for the past four years, the anniversary of my birth has provided a mid-year reminder that the time for reflection is nigh, and if I can produce no other good thing to read, that I can at least sit down and reflect on one lesson learned for each year that I’ve managed to stay alive. And while they, like my life itself, run from the sublime to the ridiculous, they have proven to be just about the only consistent thing over this long, strange trip – and so, in the interests of marking the better part of four decades of bachelorhood with the manliest thing I can muster (a list of rules for life), here are THIRTY NINE THINGS I’ve learned:

  1. The only things that you can finish which warrant a celebration called a “graduation” are high school and college. Anything else is the equivalent of a participation ribbon, and I will celebrate it accordingly.
  2. The following arts are increasingly lost, and are likely doomed to extinction: conversation, social dancing and writing in complete sentences.
  3. The only thing I’m willing to buy from a person with a faux-hawk is table reservations at a nightclub – and even then, I’m still not jazzed about it.
  4. You can tell almost everything you need to know about a woman from her hands – this includes her age, her maintenance level and her capacity for evil. Just like in the storybooks – stay away from anything with pointy nails.
  5. Wal-Mart is not the cause of the decline of civilization, but it has become the best place to watch it happening.
  6. We have the drinking age and the driving age backwards. I’d much rather deal with a drunk 16 year old on foot than a sober one in a car.
  7. The phrase “I couldn’t tell how old she was” is always a lie.
  8. You know what’s wrong with great big boobs? Nothing.
  9. There is far too much faith placed in mothers, and far too little in fathers. There is nothing inherently good about someone who is fertile, nor inherently evil about someone who is virile. Bad mothers occur just as frequently as bad fathers.
  10. I've finally stopped getting dirty looks from pretty girls in the gym – and finally figured out that it's because I'm officially a harmless old man.
  11. Most of my tastes have matured over time, but I'm pretty sure I'll always be unreasonably entertained by videos of people hurting themselves.
  12. The only difference between nightclubs and gentlemen’s clubs has become the prices.
  13. The revving of an engine is the most reliable and enduring indicator of douchebaggery ever.
  14. No one is as good at lying as they think. Conversely, no one is as good as spotting a liar as they think.
  15. Traffic is our great social failure. I have a device in my pocket that gives me on demand access to all the information in the WORLD, and yet, thousands of people are forced to lose hours out of their day because of one risk-averse agoraphobic in an ’89 Tercel is completed confounded by modern traffic signals.
  16. Just because you can write something that all your friends can read doesn’t mean that you should.
  17. You are never, under any circumstances, allowed to select your own nickname.
  18. No matter much time and money I spend on it, my hair will never be as cool as I want it to be. I am, however, grateful to still have all of it.
  19. Once you’ve held a person over your head, standing, on one hand – every other measure of strength just seems kindof silly.
  20. I have never felt quite ready for anything I’ve taken on for the past 20 years. I have been wrong every time.
  21. The two least attractive words you can say to a woman at 39 are “my cat.”
  22. Three biggest reasons I don’t want to turn 40: Dinner parties, wine tastings and prostate exams – yes, in that order.
  23. I see the same guy in the mirror I saw 10 years ago – and I’m terrified of when that’s going to change.
  24. I don't care how hot it is – if you're a grown man, I don't need to see your feet.
  25. I don't need everyone around me to be beautiful, but I do need them to be clean. There is no good reason to stink.
  26. If your explanation for any viewpoint is “because it says so in the Bible” - there is a 100% chance that I don't want to hear anything you say.
  27. My support of any sports team is inversely proportional to how insufferable their fans are – which is why I hate the Yankees, the Lakers, the Heat and all things Notre Dame.
  28. My continued patronage of WalMart is a testament to just how good their prices are – because I'm willing to tolerate full volume social decay every time I shop there.
  29. There is no acceptable way to wear a hankerchief on your head at the gym. Come to think of it, this goes for pretty much anyplace.
  30. Eating healthy as either a bachelor or a business owner is almost impossible. Eating healthy when you're both is impossible – so stop asking me about it.
  31. One of the great unmentioned joys of adulthood is buying whatever damned cereal I want.
  32. Life is not short. Life is longyouth is short, and as is often said, utterly wasted on the young.
  33. I've got more pains than a window store, but I wouldn't trade them in for all the crazy, awesome and unexpected ways I beat the crap out of myself over the years.
  34. I don't sweat any more now than I used to when I go dancing, I just care less about it.
  35. There is a such thing as a dumb question – and the dumbest one I've heard to date is: “Why do you work so hard?” So that I never have to ask anyone else that question.
  36. If the prettiest part of you washes off, you're doing it wrong.
  37. Success in leadership is a direct function of the amount of sacrifice you're willing to make for those you lead.
  38. Nothing sells as well as being genuine; passion can't be faked (at least not for long) and telling the truth is the easiest way to not have to remember much.
  39. I learn every day. Anyone that thinks they don't need to learn anymore is a fool, and anyone that doesn't want to is already dead.
I can't wait to learn what my 40th year has in store.