VOL. 131 | NO. 250 | Friday, December 16, 2016
Lists of Things Learned
BY DAN CONAWAY
A FEW OF LIFE’S LISTS. The four stages of life: 1. You believe in Santa Claus. 2. You don’t believe in Santa Claus. 3. You are Santa Claus. 4. You look like Santa Claus.
So began a series of lists that friend Besty sent me. Because this is the time of year for lists and deep reflection, I thought I’d share some of them with you and add a few items of my own – and also because this is about as deep as I want to get at the end of this particular year.
For instance, great truths that my grandchildren have already learned:
1. No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats. 2. When Mom is mad at Dad, don’t let her brush your hair. 3. If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back – they always catch the second guy. 4. Never ask your 3-year-old brother to hold a tomato. 5. You can’t trust dogs to watch your food. 6. Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair. 7. Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time. 8. You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. 9. There are lots of things that don’t wash off walls. 10. If they tell you it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to touch.
And a few great truths that my friends and I have learned:
1. When one thinks the other is an idiot, little progress is made – thus the problem with parents and teenagers, and the United States Congress. 2. Families are like fruitcake – not as sweet as advertised and full of nuts, but colorful and enduring. 3. Grandchildren are the best gift and the best revenge. 4. When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you’re down there. 5. Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician. 6. While growing old is a goal, growing up seems to be an option. 7. Absolutely no one wants to hear what follows “When I was your age.” 8. Absolutely no one wants to hear how tall he or she was when you last saw him or her. 9. By the time you’re sure you have all the answers, it’s surprising how few people want to ask you the questions. And, my favorite – 10. Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
On to true measures of success:
At age 4, not piddling in your pants. At age 12, having friends. At age 16, having a driver’s license. At age 35, having money. At age 50, having money. At age 70, having a driver’s license. At age 75, having friends. At age 80, not piddling in your pants. I have a driver’s license and friends. The rest is iffy.
Finally, a few things I choose to believe:
1.There’s no sugar in Scotch. 2. There’s nothing wrong with bacon. 3. We are better people than we’ve shown the world this year.
I’m a Memphian, and I’ll keep believing.
Dan Conaway, a communication strategist and author of “I’m a Memphian,” can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.