When I was little, I used to love to go to my dad’s office. He would give me paper and put me in the conference room with a phone, some pens and a stapler so I could “work.” As I got older my trips became less frequent, but there is one visit that I will never forget.
I was in high school. I can’t remember my reason for stopping by, but as I entered my dad’s office I found him sitting behind his desk, larger than life, feet up, cowboy hat on, phone in hand. He was very busy going bad ass on some other attorney while he waved me in. Our dog was snoozing in the corner and everything appeared to be normal. Everything except for the giant bag of cocaine on his desk.
That’s not normal.
When my dad got off the phone, he greeted me warmly and told me about his case. We talked for awhile as if everyone is supposed to have a large bag of ” The Devil’s Dandruff” on their desk and then finally, he got to it.
Dad: You know that’s cocaine, right?
Me: Uh… OK.
Dad: I had a client who couldn’t pay me. Come with me. I want to show you what you do with cocaine.
He took me to his bathroom and he dumped the entire contents of the bag into the toilet. And then he flushed it. Bye Bye.
Dad: Do me a favor. Don’t ever try cocaine. You will like it. You won’t be able to afford it and I won’t be giving you any money for it. If you don’t try it, you won’t know what you’re missing. So, just don’t try it.
It was sound advice—and to this day, I have never tried it.
My dad also used to say that we “live on a string.” Because I’m all too familiar with losing someone before their time, I understand those words more than I wish I did. I’m hoping to be around for a long time, but that’s not always how things work out. With that in mind, I started this blog some months ago. I did it for my girls. I did it so they will have a memory of what was going on during this time in our lives and I did it so they will know their mommy.
This particular post outlines a few key things that I want my girls to know, just in case my string breaks and I don’t get a chance to tell them. I learned a lot from both my dad and my mom, and I want to make sure my kids get some things from me as well.
Here are some of those things:
—Don’t listen to the rule about getting rid of things if you haven’t worn them in a year. If it’s cool, it will probably come back and the minute you get rid of it, you’ll be looking for it.
—Never get on a roller coaster right after eating a burrito.
—The guy who says he isn’t too drunk to drive probably is. Waking someone up to come get you is better than waking someone up to come identify you.
—Don’t forget about take-out food that you may have in your car. Especially tuna fish or Chinese food.
—If a guy is trying to have sex with you and you’re not sure if you’re ready, you’re not. He might resort to the go-to line of ”I have never felt this way about anyone else before” but that usually means that he hasn’t felt that way TODAY. I don’t care how hot he is, if you’re not into it—leave. He probably would have sucked anyway.
—Don’t share mascara unless you want an eye infection.
—Let your friends make fun of you for using SPF-30 instead of getting a tan. You’ll be happy later in life and they’ll look like one of your purses.
—Don’t forget to put your car in park. Especially on a hill.
—It wouldn’t be right for me to tell you not to get a tattoo, but I can ask you to be smart about it. Pick a good location. Think big picture. The place that you think is so cool right now, might not be so cool when you’re trying to get a job. Ask yourself if the tattoo you want is still going to look cool when you’re in your 60′s. Better yet, go find an 80-year-old and ask to see her lower back. Are you sure you want to commit to that butterfly tramp stamp? Your body will change, but the tattoo won’t. It will just get faded and older, like you.
—Don’t pick your zits. It’s better to wait it out than pick it off. The scars take a long time to fade. And some never do.
—Keep a pair of scissors in your closet. That way you can cut the tags of a new item right after you try it on and before you wear it out. I have come home to find forgotten tags hanging out of shirts and jackets because I neglected to cut them before leaving the house. I thought people were staring because I looked cute but really I just looked like an idiot.
—If something seems to good to be true, have someone else do it first.
—My mom always used to say that the guy you decide to spend the rest of your life with should be a little smarter than you. That way you won’t get bored. My mom also says that you should be with someone who loves you just a little bit more than you love him. I’m not saying that is the case with my marriage, but it is.
—The loudest one isn’t always the one that is heard. Sometimes they are just the loudest.
—Don’t buy what you can’t afford. If you don’t have the money, let it go. If you put it on a credit card and you can’t pay the bill, you’re just going to end up paying more later for something that was probably overpriced to begin with.
—Never marry someone you wouldn’t want to be divorced from. If he’s even a little bit of a jerk, he’ll be way worse if things go south, and then you’ll need a lawyer to go bad ass on him. And that will cost a lot of money. And then you can’t buy shoes.
—When you are a mom, you think that you won’t say “Because I said so, that’s why” but you will. You’ll say it a lot.
–And lastly, please don’t post your boobs or drop the “F” bomb on the internet. Your friends may find it amusing, but the people that hire you won’t.