Brothers: They know a lot about life | Opinion | The Press and Standard

by | March 25, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: March 23, 2017 at 8:08 am

Yesterday I talked to both of my brothers on the phone. I adore them, but you’d never guess they’re from the same gene pool.
T-Bob is what you might call in touch with his feelings. If he’s sad or upset, he cries. If he’s happy, you can hear him laughing all the way from Florida. My other brother, Bubba, is so laid back it’s amazing he has a pulse. He’s calm and rational; he moves slowly, speaks slowly and never raises his voice. He was Zen before Zen was in.
Between them, my brothers have taught me a lot about life. Their lessons included….
 You don’t have to eat the worm to prove you’re a man.
 Get a puppy only if you’re tired of your sofa, baseboards and shoes.
 If there’s anything on your head, take it off before you recite “The Pledge of Allegiance” or croak “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
 The most arresting sight on earth is a woman washing her car, even in sweatpants.
 If some fool punches you, ditch your ego and leave the premises if possible. If not, take a deep breath and wade in.
 Most people are reasonable when given the opportunity. Example: T-Bob got in a scuffle with a mean kid in ninth grade. His fist was coming at T-Bob’s face when he screamed, “Braces, braces!” So the kid obligingly punched him in the gut.
 If you’re a male and fail to stand when a woman enters the room, Mom will box your ears later.
 Never cook while drinking. That’s how houses burn down.
 Unless you want to get divorced, remember your anniversary and wipe your razor stubble from the bathroom sink.
 Sooner or later the party has to end. Be smart enough to know when that is.
 You don’t have to be a church member to have a relationship with God… but this isn’t a free pass to keep your wallet closed: Help others when you can.
 There’s always room for fried chicken.
 Your kids are watching you, all the time. Also, you might be the best parent on earth, but you WILL embarrass them. It’s inevitable.
 Be kind to your enemies: It might change their hearts.
 If you’re successful, it’s because somebody, somewhere gave you a break. Pass it on.
 Let there be no shame in your game.
 Travel shouldn’t be a “someday” goal. Go anywhere, often. You don’t need a new grill. You need to eat lobster in Maine.
 Every encounter is not a competition.
 We think life will be great if we buy a Beemer or see Bruno Mars live. But happiness can be as simple as a can of soup and an “NYPD Blue” marathon.
 Understand that you probably won’t be crazy about your child’s first boy/girlfriend. This is normal.
 When entering any building, immediately scope out the exit and bathrooms, in that order.
 Oil changes are not optional.
 When another student calls your sister a bad name, pick up a desk and throw it at his head. (Just kidding. This is not a good idea, although I appreciated the chivalry.)
 Mini-golf: Not just for kids.
 Learn how to cook, and teach your children how to cook, so they won’t be seduced by some floozy bearing chocolate cake.
 Kids are not short adults. Think of them as six-week-old puppies, and be patient.
 There’s nothing wrong with knocking back a few, but don’t get used to having a drink in your hand every day at 6 p.m.
 Let the driver beside you merge. It’s good karma.

(Julie R. Smith, who was basically raised by her brothers, can be reached at widdleswife@aol.com.)

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