Ammo Grrrl returns with a column with bullet points itemizing WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE. She writes:
Occasionally, a wonderful speech or book will go viral, such as The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch or Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie. A dying person will teach us all a lesson in courage and dignity, distilling important life lessons into memorable, inspiring, heart-rending prose.
To the best of my knowledge, I am healthy as a horse, only with fatter legs. But having lived into late, late middle age, I have accumulated some life lessons of my own. Perhaps they are a tad less inspiring than those of the men mentioned above. You be the judge.
• There is always room for one more item in any suitcase.
• Everyone lies to the dental hygienist about flossing.
• If someone says, “I can’t tell a joke,” believe him.
• If you give enough to charity, you will never, ever – no matter how many letters you write – run out of complimentary return address labels.
• If the elevator button is already lit up when you get there, repeatedly pushing it will not make the elevator come one second faster.
• No matter how long you stand in front of a restroom hand-dryer, you will always get impatient and wipe your hands on your clothes.
• In 50 years, there are going to be a LOT of tattooed old ladies in nursing homes. That tasteful yellow rosebud at the top of your breast may not look as good as a long-stemmed rose hanging down by your waist.
• If you find a bra that actually fits, the store clerk will alert the manufacturer within minutes and they will discontinue the line.
• A penny saved is not a penny earned, but a heavy, annoying, worthless hunk of copper that merchants give away at the check-out counter.
• If you cannot leave a decent tip for your hard-working server, just have a pot pie and stay home. Marie Callender’s are particularly good. Especially Chicken-Mushroom.
• On the other hand, if you cannot greet your customers with a smile and bring a reasonable approximation of their order in a timely fashion, perhaps food service is not your calling. The IRS is looking for 16,000 new agents with crashable hard drives.
• If you are over 35 and still whining about what your parents did or did not do, you need to get over it. With rare, mentally-disturbed exceptions, your parents did the best they could with the hand they were dealt. Grow up.
• The same people who sigh loudly and roll their eyes if a lonely elderly widow ahead of them in line at the Post Office spends 30 seconds talking with the clerk, will happily stand in line for sixteen hours to get the awesome new Whatever Phone the first day it comes out.
• Watch the harshness of your “self-talk”. If you would never say “You are a fat incompetent idiot loser,” to a friend or co-worker, why would you say it to yourself? If you DO say things like that to others, you probably are an unemployed, friendless jerk, so maybe, just go ahead and say it to yourself after all.
I offer as a final life lesson, a great old Jewish joke. Two elderly Jews are sitting on a park bench across from a house of ill repute. They see a priest go in and one says to the other, “Oy, and he’s supposed to be celibate!” They see a minister go in and the other one says, “Can you believe it? And he’s married!” They see their own rabbi go in and the first one says, “So, I wonder who’s sick.”
We all have a tendency to give the benefit of the doubt to members of our own tribe, whether we define our tribe by race, religion, geography, political affiliation or sports fanhood (athletic supporters? No, that’s not quite right…)
We judge outsiders much more harshly. Let’s make a sincere effort to cut some slack for every hapless, disappointingly-human person, even those from a different tribe. With the obvious exception of California Democrats who root for the Lakers.