Thursday, January 27, 2011

I would like you to dance



Is there any way to avoid contemplating your accumulated wisdom when you approach a momentous birthday, such as, say, your 50th?

I would love to do exactly that.  Well, that's not exactly true.  I would love to be the person who would love to do that, but I'm afraid I'll need another 50 years or so to achieve that kind of self-disinterest.

If there's anything I've learned, and I think, you know, there is, it's that in spite of what everyone says, no one gives a shit what you think about them, really.  They just don't want too big of a hole blown in their own idea of who they are.  Once I figured that out, I started worrying about what people thought about me, and what they thought I thought about them, a WHOLE lot less.

Which is not to say that I worry less.  I worry the same as I always have, otherwise known as a lot.  I think I am genetically disposed to worry.  I worry so much that I sometimes believe that it defines me, as in:

I fret, therefore I am.

or

If a tree falls in the forest, it will damage your house and your insurance won't cover it.

or

And in the end, the love you take...will probably be way more than you deserve.

You get the idea.  So if that last bit didn't get the point across that I'm not really the best person from which to solicit advice, then geez, you might just be stupid enough to actually benefit from my advice.

So here it is, 50 years of wisdom, earned the hard way.  Well, not exactly the hard way.  A pretty soft way, actually, considering everything. 

BELLS ON WISDOM:

Don't ever fight with your girlfriends.  That's what boyfriends are for.

If you learn the difference between "its" and "it's," no one will ever think you are stupid.

When you see some jerk giving a waiter or a cashier a hard time for no reason, speak up.  You'll feel good about yourself, and you might even get some free stuff.

"Sexy" Halloween costumes are actually neither.

Don't ever date anyone who quotes Ayn Rand to you.

If you freely admit when you don't know things, people will regard you with respect and awe.

Women who are being abused really want you to call them on those made-up excuses that they give.  Trust me.  Ditto women who are throwing up their food to stay thin. 

"The Little Prince" is a dumbass book.  Don't let anyone tell you different.

Nothing makes a person happier than telling them that you thought about them when they weren't even there.

It's never too late to have better taste in music.

You know that saying about how you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?   So true.

Be realistic about how much booze you can drink.

Don't let people hurt your feelings by calling you fat or ugly.  If they're calling you a pretentious asshole, however, a little self-examination would not be out of order.

Before you go sticking it to the man, you should make sure you understand who the man is.

There's nothing wrong with a little schadenfreude.  It's not a profession, however.

And regarding relationships, resist the temptation to count coup on your partner's head.  You must remain absolutely and steadfastly on his or her side, always.  And not just when other people are around, either, but even when it's just you two.  For example, when your partner breaks a wine glass, the correct response is always "That's okay, it's just a wine glass," no matter how many have been broken in the past, no matter how stupidly they have been broken, no matter how many times you warned about their breaking.  Because, no matter all the circumstances, it remains only a wine glass.  Not a metaphor for your relationship.  Just a wine glass.

And that's all I know, I guess.  Except for one more thing.

Contrary to what the current crop of Republicans think, this country is a work in progress.  Our Constitution did not spring forth fully formed like Athena from the head of George Washington.  And I'm sure I don't have to tell my readers - although apparently I do have to tell Michele Bachmann - the Founding Fathers did not eliminate slavery.  Many of them didn't even want to.  I daresay all of them were deeply flawed, and if you read the Constitution, and I mean the whole thing, not the tidy version read on the House floor at the beginning of the 112th US Congress - a deliberative body that promises to bring new meaning to the word "incredibly fucking stupid," you would see that we have struggled all along to form a more perfect union.  I don't understand why, for some people, to admit a thing's imperfection equals an unbearable admission of frailty, or irrelevance, or obsolescence.  Maybe admitting that those that began this country, while accomplishing awesome feats under the circumstances, didn't even come close to getting it completely right, is akin to facing one's own mortality, and so it is to be avoided at all costs, even if it means engaging in mind-boggling feats of reality-denial.

And speaking of the Tea Baggers, I guess then the one thing that I can agree with them on is that growing old sucks ass.  It sucks hard ass.  Although unlike them, I have resolved to grow old without growing afraid.

22 comments:

Liberality said...

Happy Birthday! You are one smart and classy lady.

Marshall Park Slope said...

The wine glass paragraph i immediately read to MC...for when I break one of the remaining 5:)

I am so glad I know you Vikki. You have helped me evolve and understand more about life and me.

happy birthday young lady!
xo
M

SFNative said...

So let me see if I'm understanding you correctly.

Rick breaks a lot of wine glasses?

SkylersDad said...

You have many great words of wisdom Vikki. I can think of only one thing else off hand; Don't be afraid to ask for help from a friend.

The real friends don't mind, and the ones that do mind aren't worth the friend label.

Happy Birthday.

Larry Jones said...

I have a few years on you, Vikki, but no more wisdom. Happy birthday, and many more!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Well said.

kittens not kids said...

brava! Happiest of Birthdays to you! and, as always, i receive news of your age with extreme skepticism, awe and respect (because really? if I had to guess? late 30s.)

and your advice/wisdom is great. GREAT.

SJ said...

Fucking brilliant. To my list, I'm also adding that "The Big Lebowski" isn't really ALL THAT, so everyone shut the fuck up about it already, jesus.

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

"It's never too late to have better taste in music."

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Banquet-Hall/147795945015

Pardon the shameless plug, but people will forward this edition of Bells On. A lot. I'm riding the coattails - so shoot me.

Poplicola said...

I feel like I should add the obligatory notice that 50 is the new 30, which is true. But it's complicated by the fact that 40 is the new 60, so all you've really done is met yourself again going the other direction. Math doesn't care to be fucked with.

We should hang out more.

Happy birthday.

Some Guy said...

Every time I see you've posted something new, I feel happy because I know I'm about to read something really excellent. Happy Birthday!

GETkristiLOVE said...

Happy Birthday to my very talented sister!

Our cat breaks more wine glasses than both of us put together. I guess that's a metaphor for something although I'm not really sure yet.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Pops, if you'll forgive the overblown comparison, I'm going to say about you what Verdi allegedly said about Wagner: next to him, I am an organ grinder.

Dad E said...

The instant I saw you, I was in love and my admiration towards you continues to grow.

Flannery Alden said...

Dear Vikki...I hope you have a great birthday. And I'm forwarding the hell out of this post.

As usual, you know how to snap things into perspective.

kirby said...

Happy Birthday. I'm hitting 50 this year, so is there room on the bench for someone else who wants to grow old without growing afraid?

Mnmom said...

Quite a few of us hitting fifty soon. I just turned 49, so I'm right behind you sister.
Excellent words of wisdom. I'll substitute the word "chair" for wineglass and try to be kinder to my husband when another one goes down. But seriously, how does one grown man decimate seven chairs in 20 years???

Poplicola said...

Aw Vikki, that's pretty close to the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me. Except, in this scenario, which one of us is beloved of Nazis?

Red said...

Happy Birthday! When you wrote, "If you learn the difference between "its" and "it's," no one will ever think you are stupid." and you put the comma _inside the quotation marks_, it made me incredibly happy. No one who keeps reading you could possibly think your* stupid.

*(sic) You're/your is another one.

Coaster Punchman said...

Best wishes for 50! Interesting what you say about girls throwing up---I thought saying something about it wouldn't do any good. Shows what I know. (But I am pretty good with "it's" and "its.")

dguzman said...

I want to grow old without growing afraid, but I'm already afraid, so I feel like I've kinda already missed the boat on that.

Happy Birdday to one of the smartest people I (sorta) know!

Coaster Punchman said...

Hey, long time no talk! On the off chance that you haven't lost complete interest by now, I have FINISHED my series on Melissa Gilbert which had kept you in suspense once upon a time. It is running every day for 9 days, starting over with installment #1 (today.) Hope to see you over there! (I hate Facebook.)

CP