Another year older and none the wiser | Opinion | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | December 25, 2016 5:00 pm
Last Updated: December 21, 2016 at 9:54 am
Another year older and none the wiser, my friends. Well, maybe a little.
After 56 trips around the sun, life still surprises me. People still surprise me — actually, people shock me on the regular, but it beats being jaded, I guess.
Keep this on the down-low, but my husband’s birthday is also in December. So much for the power of astrology: We two Sagittarians are as unlike as organisms walking upright can possibly be. He’s calm and quiet; I’m a nervous babbler (except when angry, and then I can drive 500 miles without uttering One. Single. Syllable.) He sees the good in every person and situation; I’m convinced we’re going to die penniless, of pestilence. So, happy birthday, honey!
Here are a few things I’ve learned — or still question — after all these years.
Everyone’s family brings the crazy. Let’s repeat: EVERYONE’S family brings the crazy. Don’t ever think another family is happier or more blessed than yours. They’re not. Don’t trust appearances. They have a mad aunt in the attic and/or live on credit cards.
Nobody will die if you don’t respond to their text within 10 seconds.
For the idiot who has everything, Nordstrom’s is selling a rock tucked in a saddle-stitched leather pouch for $85, and if you buy one, I will personally come to your house and beat you with it. (The rock is, I am horrified to report, sold out online. Merry Christmas!)
You might as well love your body, because 20 years from now you’ll long for the body you have today.
The saying “Blood is thicker than water” does not and has never made sense. Everything is thicker than water.
It’s true: You are judged by the company you keep. So hang out with kind, smart, funny people.
I respect your right to have tattoos, if you respect my right to feel sad when I see them covering the thighs of a 19-year-old woman.
After two years of being a slacker, I sent Christmas cards again this year. The guilt was just too much.
Speaking of Christmas, if my gifts and checks don’t get acknowledged this year, there will be a major Santa strike in 2017. A thank-you note would be nice, but I’d settle for a text or shout-out on Facebook. (Because I’m way too uncool for Snapchat and Twitter.)
It’s okay to have problems. It’s okay to struggle with doing the right thing. It’s okay to fail. Every day is a new beginning.
For all the kind people who ask, “When will you adopt another dog?” the answer is, “When I stop grieving the last one.”
When you’re the designated driver, try this non-alcoholic option: Pour diet tonic water over ice, followed by a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice. The quinine makes it bitter, but it’s also tangy and refreshing. How did it take me 56 years to know this?
Remember, not everyone in your circle is in your corner.
Why do so many parents carry their babies like breathing footballs? Upside down, dangling, backwards — seems like the kid would get vertigo.
For those who may, by circumstance or choice, be alone on Christmas, Day, please enjoy yourself — relax, read, do yoga, binge-watch “Stranger Things” or “Downton Abbey,” take a hike, take a bath, eat exactly what you want. Rinse and repeat. I promise you will emerge renewed and refreshed on Dec. 26.
Here’s a secret: Pork belly and bacon are the same thing. Pork belly is unbrined and unsmoked, but yep, you’re eating bacon’s lazy step-sibling.
(Julie R. Smith, who plans a quiet Christmas eating fruitcake, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)