Years ago, I read an essay by humorist Dave Barry - not someone I particularly admire, but whatever - in which he reflected on all the things he learned by his fiftieth birthday. I only remember one of them, but I remember it vividly: A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person. Maybe by the time I turn fifty I will have further insights. But today I am forty, and here are nine nuggets of wisdom I'd like to share. If you remember even one of them, I will be happy.
- Everyone thinks they can beat the odds.
- People who put their careers ahead of relationships are foolish. I'm thinking specifically of all the people who canceled lunch plans with me because they got called into a meeting at work.
- If you're stingy, everyone around you knows it, and will always remember you for it.
- Those who say "I hope I'm wrong about this" secretly hope they are right.
- Those who say "I need to do something for myself for a change!" have been thinking only of themselves all along.
- The people who routinely treat others with no respect or consideration become the biggest crybabies when they themselves are not treated with respect or consideration.
- The flakiness of others should never be taken personally. When you realize how many of them can't even organize their own daily lives, this becomes instantly apparent.
- When it comes to arguing over religion or politics, everyone cherry-picks. Otherwise, they'd have to acknowledge all the contradictions and gray areas, and then there would be no point in arguing.
- For as long as they are together, every couple, happy or unhappy, deserves each other.