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Free and unsolicited advice for Baby Boomers

Staff Writer

The other day Sheryl Kraft wrote a very charming blog on Huffington Post with the title of "50 Things I've Learned in 50-Something Years."

"That's one great thing about aging, isn't it? You get to shed your young skin and comfortably zip up a new and improved one," she wrote.

I certainly agree, providing one properly moisturizes. But beyond that I can't help but think that Kraft and I have had very different experiences in our long, long, long lives.

Here's what I've learned:

1. Self help books are stupid. Most of them could be condensed into a nice list that would fit on your fridge.

2. No matter what you do, you will spend half of your life waiting for "service technicians" between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (where do you think I found time to write this list?)

3. Never read the online comments. It will destroy your faith in humankind.

4. It's a good idea to replace having children with adopting pets. They're more grateful and there's no need for a college fund.

5. Save up all your hostility and frustration so you can bring it to the condo association meeting. That seems to be what everyone else does, so why not you?

6. By and large, seeing a movie in 3-D is a waste of money. I am willing to make an exception for porn, but who goes to a porn theater anymore? And wearing 3-D glasses in front of a laptop just should stop, shouldn't I?

7. Patience really is a virtue.

8. Exercise is vital. But remember lifting a bunch of heavy weights is like making the best buggy whip - we have machines now that make all of that obsolete.

9. If you openly share your innate racism, you can cut your gift list down to practically nothing.

10. Choose your church for its choir; your synagogue for its proximity and your mosque for its being smart enough to hire a guard to watch your shoes.

11. I don't care what anyone says, that "Matlock" is a really good show. R.I.P. Andy Griffith. And yes, so is "Murder, She Wrote."

12. Fast food is for hangovers only. 

13. Stick to the outer rim of the grocery store which is where the real food is. Avoid the middle unless you need trash bags and detergent.

14. If you like everything your politician says and does, you are being pandered to.

15. Try to appear intelligent and well-informed at the jury pool. You will never get chosen. Read the newspaper, "Vanity Fair" and "Rolling Stone" in an ostentatious way. No one can see what you're perusing on a tablet. This is ain't no coffee shop.

16. Fit is more important than fashion.

17. If you are more than 45, a "smokey eye" is never going to be appropriate. If, however, you are a drag queen then carry on.

18. You must go to Europe.

19. Scented me. Oh, and having white walls in your home is a sin (don't forget to paint the ceiling a happy hue).

20. It's not just you, music really was better back then.

21. Trains and drawbridges are opportunities, not time-wasters. Meditate. Text. Surf the radio dial.

22. You never know what kind of day the other person is having. Try to empathize. If that doesn't work, then ignore them. That'll drive them crazy.

23. On the other hand, some people are dicks. Cut your losses and move on.

24. In that same vein....a smile goes a long way. Invest in your teeth.

25. Diet soda is a lie.

26. Arch support is important.

27. Having a huge home is overrated.

28. There is truth in the axiom that: "There are women/men you take home to momma and those you don't."

29. While we're on that topic: that bad boy you're "dating" is going to grow up to be a bad man. Look out for the expiration date gurrrrl.

30. And one more thing on that subject: there is no one more upright and moral than an ol' whore.

31. Before you walk out on a job/project/assignment, try doing it totally your way.

32. There are people who stand up during a concert (even the slow songs) and those who don't. The latter always sits behind the former.

33. Go to a party and make yourself circle three times and then sit down if you like the people and the vibe. But if you don't, then circle seven times (kind of like the Hajj) and then leave without sitting.

34. Your instincts about the Genius Bar in Apple stores are spot on.

35. If it doesn't get you sex or pay your rent, it isn't important. My father used to put this another way, but I cleaned it up for your delicate sensibilities. You're welcome.

36. Opinion is not news. Avoid 24-hour news TV channels. They're in cahoots with the makers of blood pressure medicine. Get it?

37. Uncles and aunts have loads of useful info and Intel on your parents. Debrief them before it's too late.

38. Etiquette will pave the way to success. Manners matter.

39. And by the way, posture can camouflage insecurity.

40. Look people in the eyes and shake hands firmly.

41. Blue is the color of trust.

42. Facebook is wonderful for keeping track of family and friends without having to actually talk to them. Twitter can be a nice distraction when you're in a waiting room or airport terminal. No one really knows what Linked-In does.

43. You may not like hearing it, but Anna Wintour and Tim Gunn are usually right.

44. You are not smarter than your doctor.

45. Everything a dermatologist does takes at least a year.

46. Your teens are not as sweet as you think. You are being played sucka.

47. By your late 30s/early 40s you need to be out of the club scene. It just doesn't look good.

48. You can't vote on other people's rights. If that were the case, they wouldn't be rights.

49. Sitting on the beach and staring at your smart phone is a blasphemy against God.

50. Never sit in the front row in an intimate theater.


51. The people who work at the I.R.S. are not evil. However, a great many of them seem to be incompetent.

52. Money can't allow you to break the law, but it can hire a lawyer who can bend the hell out of it.

53. Along those same lines: Lady Justice is not blind. She can see race just fine.

54. The worse headache you'll have will probably involve a car in some way.

55. Do whatever you have to do to get a good night's sleep (yoga, CPAP masks, Unisom, separate bedrooms).

56. If you go to a home/design/improvement show in Florida and they don't have lots of storage solutions, leave. They are clueless.

57. Living in a gerrymandered community where everyone looks like you, acts like you and thinks like you is the same as going to Baskin-Robbins and ordering a glass of water.

58. Put the conditioner in your hair while you're still puttering around the house, long before you take a shower/bath. This will help counteract the UV/chlorine/salt damage from living in the sub-tropics.

59. If you're right, you don't need to raise your voice. If you are wrong, you can't afford to. Got this one from my Mom. There was no need to clean up her language like my with my Dad.

60. Never look at a homeless person's feet....especially in SoFlo where they are likely to be wearing flip-flops.





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