Don’t play poker with a drunk woman sporting a gold tooth | Column
by The Press and Standard | June 1, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: May 29, 2019 at 11:30 am
Congratulations, grads! You did it, so take a bow.
Again this year—I know it’s hard to believe—I didn’t get a single invite to address the class of 2019. But I’m not bitter. Today I’ll share, for free and without the sweltering heat, some advice for graduates. You’re welcome.
- Don’t play poker with a drunk woman sporting a gold tooth. It will end badly.
- Be prepared to work hard. The world is not full of nice people just waiting to throw money at you.
- If it seems too good to be true, it is. Period.
- Smoothies sound healthy, but some have all the nutrition of cotton candy. Choose wisely.
- Listen to your gut. We’re all born with intuition, so use it. If your inner voice whispers, “This is not in your best interests,” or, “This guy is a creep,” walk away.
- Not everyone needs to go to college, but everyone needs an education. Never stop learning.
- If anyone—I don’t care if it’s your brother or your best friend—wants you to invest in a “can’t-lose opportunity” that will double your money in six weeks, RUN. Unless his name is Elon or Bezos, you’re going to lose your shirt.
- Working a job you hate and getting wasted every weekend is not your best life. Figure out how to do better.
- Try to make everyone you meet glad they met you.
- Do good, and nine times out of 10, good will come back to you. It’s called karma.
- The corollary to that is, life isn’t fair. You’re going to get disappointed. Your heart will be broken. A friend will let you down. Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve. That’s called “experience.”
- Being cheerful is a choice. Be cheerful. (Unless you’re nervous like me; then just fake it.)
- You do not magically become wise and experienced when you turn 18 or walk onto a college campus. Listen to your elders. They’ve been where you are and they know things you don’t know. All the things, in fact.
- Stay loyal to your old friends, but also make room for new friends–preferably from different places and backgrounds. They will be your portal to new experiences, which leads to a more interesting life.
- Give holistic medicine a try. If Siberian ginseng doesn’t cure a hangover, then you can gulp Advil. Just don’t do hair of the dog, which is stupid: Dogs eat their own upchuck, remember?
I also asked my brother, T-Bob, for his pearls of wisdom:
- Travel as much as you can while you’re young.
- Don’t move to a legal weed state. It’s very hard to get anything done.
- Volunteer your time to help others; the emotional rewards are huge.
- A good credit score is like gold—it can even reduce your car insurance payments.
And now, a few words from the smartest man I know, Widdle Baby:
- Don’t expect a paycheck on Friday if you haven’t worked Monday through Thursday.
- Learn how to cook. Fast food is not your friend.
- Help old people. They’ve paid their dues.
- Playing the lottery is fun, but don’t make it your retirement plan.
- Buy the expensive toilet paper. You’re worth a roll of Charmin.
- Go to church rain or shine, unless you have the flu.
- Stow your phone while you’re on the clock. The boss isn’t paying for your social media addiction.
- Learn how to fix things. (Readers, I must brag: Widdle can tear down an engine; seal a leak; replace water pipes; repair a drone; operate a bulldozer, tractor and chainsaw; assemble Ikea furniture; AND cook like a TV chef. Be like Widdle.)
Julie R. Smith, who doesn’t remember her commencement speaker, can be reached at email@example.com.