Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Continuing Education

At one point today I had brown stuff all over my hands.  I hate that this wasn't the first time I've had brown stuff on my hands, but at least it was just chocolate this time.  And no, I didn't lick it to find out what it was.  That's one of those life lessons you only have to learn once. 

There are other lessons I’ve learned, some more useful than others.  Here are a few: 

  • When I was in college I worked at a shelter for abused women.  What surprised me most while working there is that you do not have to be friendly to work in social services.  What I also learned there is that you should not ask a woman when her due date is if you are not absolutely positive that she is pregnant. 

    • You cannot be friendly with a non-pregnant social worker after you asked her when her due date is. 

  • After I had my first child I looked back in awe at how much of the process of childbirth (and OMG AFTER childbirth) I was totally unprepared for.  I learned that you can tell some people the details about birthing a child, and they will become your best friends.  You can tell other people about these details, and they will never speak to you again.  You might get a Christmas card from them every year, but they will avoid all attempts to meet up again.   

    • You should not divulge the gory details of childbirth while slightly tipsy at a wedding reception among people whom you’ve just met. 

  • I learned to refrain from telling a person that they look like any well-known person that isn’t obviously handsome or universally beautiful.  Telling a man that he is a dead ringer for Steve Buscemi, although you have a mad crush on him, is not a good thing.  A woman won’t think it’s a compliment when you tell her she looks like Shelley Duvall in Popeye.  Gushing over a favorite celebrity won’t work if the person thinks that celebrity is a troll. 

    • Don’t mix the sexes.  Don’t tell a man he looks like a famous woman, or vice versa.  And especially don’t tell someone they look like a transsexual person or a drag queen, no matter how attractive you think they are.  Trust me. 

  • Be smart about clothing.  Do a mirror-check before leaving the house.  Make sure the garment you have on is meant to be worn alone and is not a layering piece.  Rule of thumb: if a top has less than two buttons holding it together, it is probably a layering piece.  If it has only one button and you are wearing it alone, you are pretty much half-naked. 

    • If you misjudged a wardrobe piece, leave immediately to get something more appropriate to wear, especially if you’re at your boyfriend’s parent’s house for a family picnic. 

  • Don’t rush while in the kitchen.   I learned that if you are making lunch for 12 people and you feel crunched for time, you may hurt yourself, and you can end up in the ER.  Give yourself extra time if you will be wielding sharp objects, like an apple slicer. 

    • You will learn graciousness if the people you were preparing lunch for are your best friends, because they will tease you mercilessly about your kitchen prowess, or lack thereof.

  • When in doubt, shut your mouth.  Let someone else say something stupid for once.

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