With Mother’s Day approaching and the end of the world apparently imminent I decided to put together a list of Ten Do and Don’ts that I want my children to think about as they forge ahead into the often-confusing realm of life. These may not be your ten, that’s ok, write your own, these are mine.
Let’s get the 5 DON’TS out of the way first:
1) DON’T be a sh** head. (If sh**head is too offensive for you, feel free to substitute “Poop Head” for this.)
Don’t be a sh** head is actually the only piece of advice you will ever need in this life. A sh** head can be summed up as a person who thinks they are better than other people and therefore can act however they want without taking into account the feelings of others. Just think about it; ISIS, filled with sh**heads. Nazis, sh**heads. Westboro Baptist Church, sh**heads. That girl in second grade that invited everyone in the class but you to her birthday party, sh** head, (and her parents are also sh**heads).
You will, unfortunately, find sh**heads everywhere, they will be in your school, on your sport teams, sitting beside you in the movie theatre, the coffee shop, on the train, the airplane, the beach, maybe even at Thanksgiving dinner. They will try to call you over to the dark side, luring you with promises of power and strength. You must be strong, my son…o.k, now we are just going all Star Wars, but seriously just don’t be a sh**head.
2) DON’T ever think you know the whole story. The truth is while some people are born sh**t heads, most are made that way. You never really know when someone acts unkindly to you what else is going in his/her life. Everyone deserves a second chance.
but on the other hand….
3) DON’T let anyone push you around. Not on the playground and not in life. If some poop head on the playground hits you, hit them back. I know, I know, your teacher says, “Use your words.” Great. Here are some words (try to sound like Liam Neesen when saying this), “Consider this a warning. I don’t want to hurt you, but if you hit me again I will hit you back.” Then, if they hit you again, well, you did try using your words.
4) DON’T ever say, “I would NEVER do that.” The truth is, we don’t know what we would say or do in certain situations; what words we might say or how we might act. Don’t be too quick to judge others. There are circumstances in life that cause us to become strangers to even ourselves.
5) DON’T do drugs. Seriously, have you ever seen this particular life choice work out well for anyone? Ever? Elvis? Whitney Houston? Michael Jackson? The Rolling Stones? Ok, well maybe the Rolling Stones, but that’s it.
On to the 5 DO’s:
6) DO check your teeth, feet and fly before leaving the restroom. Teeth: for wayward pieces of broccoli. Feet: for pieces of toilet paper that are quietly trailing along behind you. Fly: to make sure it’s up and you don’t look like a creep.
And don’t forget to discreetly tell your friends when they have something in their teeth or if their fly is down. Wouldn’t you want to know? Isn’t that what a true friend does? Tells you when something is not quite right? Helps you out in a jam? Steps on that piece of paper stuck to your shoe before you get back to the table? That’s a true friend.
7) DO pass the ball. PASS THE DAMN BALL! And I don’t mean to your best friend or the star player on the team, I mean pass it to that kid that will probably miss it. The one who might fumble. Throw it to him/her and if they miss it, no big deal, this isn’t the NFL or the NBA. They just want a chance. Everyone wants to be included. Everyone wants to be a part of the team.
8) DO surround yourself with people you can be yourself with. So here’s the truth about you: you tend to make mistakes, you are sort of strange and sometimes you smell. You are no different than anyone else, and you better be with the people or person who will love you through all of that. I recently read an article about a woman who said she could never pass gas in front of her spouse because it would ruin their romance. Seriously? I have been married for almost twenty-five years now and personally, I just don’t have the energy to hold in all of the bad parts of me all of the time. I’m not saying to let yourself completely go and sit around all day drinking beer and blowing gas in your grease-stained sweatpants, I’m saying once in a while the ugly and smelly come out, and you need to accept it and move on. It’s life. It’s human. It’s you. It’s all of us.
9) DO say yes when someone asks you to dance. It takes a lot of courage to get up the nerve to ask someone to dance. They aren’t asking you to marry them; it’s just a dance! They want to have fun, and they chose you to have fun with them. So, go! No one said you have to know what you are doing. Trust me, there are very few professional dancers out on the dance floor (although there always is that one annoying couple) Just move your butt and spin your arms a bit. Have fun.
10) DO listen to us old people once in a while. We know a few things. We have had hookups and breakups. We have done mean things and done the right things. We have been drunk and high, and woke the next morning full of regret. We thought we knew the whole story, only to find out later that we didn’t know the story at all. We have worked up the courage to ask someone to dance only to be rejected. We have tried to hold in the stinky parts of us, only to realize we cannot. We have known sh** heads and we have been sh** heads. We know.
So there they are my precious children. My ten pieces of pure wisdom to guide you as you move through this absurd thing called life but remember, if it is all to much to take in, just go back to the Number One Rule. Don’t be a sh**head.