A message for anyone 25 years and older – grow up

If you have reached the age of 25, I have a bit of bad news for you, to wit: it is time, if you have not already done so, for you to emerge from your cocoon of post-adolescent dithering and self-absorption and join the rest of us in the world. Past the quarter-century mark, you see, certain actions, attitudes, and behaviors will simply no longer do, and while it might seem unpleasant to feign a maturity and solicitousness towards others that you may not genuinely feel, it is not only appreciated by others but necessary for your continued survival. Continuing to insist past that point that good manners, thoughtfulness, and grooming oppress you in some way is inappropriate and irritating.

Grow up.

And when I instruct you to grow up, I do not mean that you must read up on mortgage rates, put aside candy necklaces, or desist from substituting the word “poo” for crucial syllables of movie titles. Silliness is not only still permitted but actively encouraged. You must, however, stop viewing carelessness, tardiness, helplessness, or any other quality better suited to a child as either charming or somehow beyond your control. A certain grace period for the development of basic consideration and self-sufficiency is assumed, but once you have turned 25, the grace period is over, and starring in a film in your head in which you walk the earth alone is no longer considered a valid lifestyle choice, but rather grounds for exclusion from social occasions.

And now, for those of you who might have misplaced them, marching orders for everyone born before 1980.

1. Remember to write thank-you notes. If you do not know when a thank-you note is appropriate, consult an etiquette book — the older and more hidebound the book, the better. When in doubt, write one anyway; better to err on the side of formality. An email is not sufficient thanks for a physical gift. Purchase stationery and stamps, set aside five minutes, and express your gratitude in writing. Failure to do so implies that you don’t care. This implication is a memorable one. Enough said.

2. Do not invite yourself to stay with friends when you travel anymore. Presumably you have a job, and the means to procure yourself a hotel. If so, do so. If not, stay home. Mentioning that you plan a visit to another city may lead to an invitation to stay with a friend or family member, which you may of course accept; assuming that “it’s cool if you crash” is not. Wait for the invitation; if it is not forthcoming, this is what we call “a hint,” and you should take it and make other arrangements.

3. Do not expect friends to help you move anymore. You may ask for help; you may not expect it, particularly if your move date is on a weekday. Your friends have jobs to go to, and you have accumulated a lot of heavy books by this point in your life. Hire a mover. If you cannot afford a mover, sell your books or put them in storage — or don’t move, but one way or another, you will have to cope.

4. Develop a physical awareness of your surroundings. As children, we live in our own heads, bonking into things, gnawing on twigs, emitting random squawks because we don’t know how to talk yet. Then, we enter nursery school. You, having graduated college or reached a similar age to that of the college graduate, need to learn to sense others and get out of their way. Walk single file. Don’t blather loudly in public spaces. Give up your seat to those with disabilities or who are struggling with small children. Take your headphones off while interacting with clerks and passersby. Do not walk along and then stop suddenly. It is not just you on the street; account for that fact.

5. Be on time. The occasional public-transit snafu is forgivable, but consistent lateness is rude, annoying, and self-centered. If we didn’t care when you showed up, we’d have said “any old time”; if we said seven, get there at seven or within fifteen minutes. Do not ditz that you “lost track of time” as though time somehow slipped its leash and ran into traffic. It shows a basic lack of respect for others; flakiness is not cute anymore, primarily because it never was. Buy a watch, wind it up, and wear it everywhere you go.

6. Have enough money. I do not mean “give up your scholarly dreams and join the world of corporate finance in order to keep up with the Joneses.” I mean that you should not become that girl or boy who is always a few dollars short, can only cover exactly his or her meal but no tip, or “forgot” to go to the ATM. Go to the ATM first, don’t order things you can’t afford, and…

7. Know how to calculate the tip. Ten percent of the total; double it; done. You did not have to major in math to know how this works. You are not dumb, but your Barbie-math-is-hard flailing is agonizing and has outstayed its welcome. Ten percent times two. Learn it.

8. Do not share the crazy dream you had last night with anyone but your mental wellness professional. Nobody cares. People who starred in the dream may care, but confine your synopsis to ten words or fewer.

9. Learn to walk in heels. Gentlemen, you are at your leisure. Ladies: If you wear heels, know how to operate them. Clomping along and placing your foot down flat with each step gives the appearance of a ten-year-old playing dress-up, but a pair of heels is like a bicycle — you need momentum to stay up. Come down on the heel and carry forward through the toe, using your regular stride. If you feel wobbly, keep practicing, or get a pair that’s better suited to your style of walking. It isn’t a once-a-year prom thing anymore for a lot of you, so please learn to walk in them.

10. Have at least one good dress-up outfit. A dress code, or suggested attire on an invitation, is not an instrument of The Man. Own one nice dress, or one reasonable suit, or one sharp pair of pants and chic sweater — something you can clean up nice in for a wedding or a semi-formal dinner. You don’t have to like it, but if the invitation requests it, put it on. Every night can’t be poker night. Which reminds me…

11. Do as invitations ask you. Don’t bring a guest when no such courtesy is extended. Don’t blow off an RSVP; it means “please respond,” and you should. “Regrets only” means you only answer if you can’t come. If the party starts at eight, show up at eight — not at seven-thirty so you can go a “better” party later, not at eleven when dinner is cold. Eight. Cocktail parties allow for leeway, of course, but pay attention and read instructions; your host furnished the details for a reason.

12. Know how. Know how to drive. Know how to read a map. Know how to get around. Know how to change a tire, or whom to call if you can’t manage it, or how to get to a phone if you don’t have a cell phone. We will happily bail you out, until it becomes apparent that it’s what you always need. The possibility of a fingernail breaking or a hairstyle becoming compromised is not grounds for purposeful helplessness.

13. Don’t use your friends. It’s soulless. It’s also obvious. If the only reason you continue to associate with a person is to borrow his or her car, might I remind you that you have now turned 25 and may rent your own.

14. Have something to talk about besides college or your job. College is over. The war stories have their amusements, but not over and over and not at every gathering. Get a library card, go to the movies, participate in the world. Working is not living. Be interested so that you can be interesting.

15. Give and receive favors graciously. If you have agreed to do a favor, you may not 1) remind the favoree ceaselessly about how great a pain it is for you, or 2) half-ass it because the favoree “owes you.” It is a favor; it is not required, and if you cannot do it, say so. If you can do it, pretend that nobody is watching, do it as best you can, and let that be the end of it. Conversely, if you ask for a favor and the askee cannot do it, do not get snappish. You can manage.

16. Drinking until you throw up is no longer properly a point of pride. It happens to the best of us, but be properly ashamed the next day; work on your tolerance, or eat something first, but amateur hour ended several years hence.

17. Have a real trash receptacle, real Kleenex, and, if you smoke, a real ashtray. No loose bags on the floor; no using a roll of toilet paper; no plates or empty soda cans. You are not a fierce warrior nomad of the Fratty Bubelatty tribe. Buy a wastebasket and grown-up paper products.

18. Universal quiet hours do in fact apply to you. They are, generally, as follows — midnight to six AM on weekdays, 2 AM to 8 AM on weekends. Mine is a fairly generous interpretation, by the by, so bass practice should conclude, not start, at ten PM. Understand also that just because nobody has complained directly to you does not mean that a complaint is not justified, or pending. Further, get your speakers off the floor. Yes, “now.” Yes, a rug is still “the floor.”

19. Take care of yourself. If you are sick, visit a doctor. If you are sad, visit a shrink or talk to a friend. If you are unhappy in love, break up. If you are fed up with how you look, buy a new shirt or stop eating cheese. If you have a problem, try to fix it. Many problems are knotty and need a lot of talking through, or time to resolve, but after a few months of all complaining and no fixing, those around you will begin to wonder if you don’t enjoy the problems for the attention they bring you. Venting is fine; inertia coupled with pouting is not. Bored? Read a magazine. Mad at someone? Say so — to them. Change is hard; that’s too bad. Effort counts. Make one. Your mommy’s shift is over.

20. Rudeness is not a signifier of your importance. Rudeness is a signifier of itself, nothing more. We all have bad days; yours is not weightier than anyone else’s, comparatively, and does not excuse displays of poor breeding. Be civil or be elsewhere.

This was found at http://tomatonation.com/?p=838

From a 1970s Childrens books

If only people would take note of this! its soo true! i could sit on my butt and stay at home all day lounging about doing washing and dishes etc (instea of working 40 hours a week and doing all that as WELL as)


Welcome to the real world, the art of non conformity

Interesting read here http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/welcome-to-the-real-world/

Something’s been bothering me lately, and judging from what I know about the people who read these articles each week, I bet it’s bothered some of you before too.

It’s that phrase—“Welcome to the Real World.”

Have you ever heard that? It’s usually intended as a sarcastic remark about what someone else has said or is doing.

It might also have been phrased like this:

That’s just not how it works.

You’ll understand better one day when you’re (older, wiser, have a mortgage, whatever)

That sounds nice, but it’s unrealistic.

Let me share something very important with you: these are the things that people say when they want to marginalize you.

Other negative adjectives are idealistic, naïve, and well-meaning. If you hear those words, get ready – someone is very close to telling you about their interpretation of the ‘real world.’

To be more precise, here’s what the real world looks like from the perspective of those who would like to welcome you to this world:

  • Remaining true to principles or values is admirable to a point, but after a while we are expected to compromise them in order to be true to a greater good
  • No one should be ‘too much’ of anything. If you’re too smart, you can’t relate to regular people. If you’re too rich, you don’t understand how the rest of us live. If you’re too nice, even, you’re naïve for not knowing that the world is a dog-eat-dog place where each person must compete for scarce resources.
  • Anyone who is able to break loose and find their own way should be treated with suspicion. The attitude is, “If I can’t do that, you shouldn’t be able to either.”

Please note: the real world is not reality. It is not defined by facts. It is determined by the collective perception of unremarkably average people. They are the people in the Matrix who have taken the blue pill.

Remember that?

Naturally, I have a different perspective from those who talk about the real world. The perspective is: THIS IS ABSURD.

Here’s how I see it instead:

  • No one is better than you. Short of being enslaved, no one can get away with telling you what to do without you accepting it
  • The best years of our lives are neither behind us nor ahead of us. They are RIGHT NOW, so we’d better take advantage of them
  • You can walk away from a good job and have more freedom and opportunity than the colleagues you leave behind
  • The widespread belief in deferred gratification—where we willingly put off the things we want for decades in a vague hope that one day we can enjoy life—is a false belief that prevents people from finding their purpose at an early age
  • The world is waiting for you for you to go out and see it. No need to pack the Lonely Planet or plan much of anything before you go. You’ll figure it out

I’m well aware what people in the ‘real world’ say about these ideas. They say pretty much the same thing that has always been said throughout history about unrealistic ideas. You know, those notions about how women should have the same rights as men, human beings should not be bought and sold, lay people should have access to religious texts, criminals should be rehabilitated instead of simply put to death, and so on.

All of those crazy, unrealistic ideas that could never work in the Real World.


When presented with the “Welcome to the Real World, that’s not how it works here” pitch, you have to choose whether to ignore it or fight back.

Be careful when you choose to fight back, because people who hold these beliefs are like caged animals. In the long run you are smarter, stronger, and have more stamina than them, but in the short run, you might get bitten if you put your hand in the cage. When animals or small-minded people feel threatened, they tend to lash out at whoever is nearby.

If you do fight back (carefully), the response that comes to mind is something like this:

“Maybe that’s not how it works for you in your world. However, not all of us are sleepwalkers. Some of us are alive.

Some of us have not given up on the unrealistic.

Some of us have taken the red pill.

Some of us don’t want the things in the real world.”

The Living World

The alternative to the real world is to join the living world. Joseph Campbell understood this alternative years ago when he wrote about the meaning of life:

People say that what we’re seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. What we seek is an experience of being alive.

The living world gives us yet another reason to be happy about the world falling apart around us. In the context of losing wealth and job security, more people are choosing to seek the experience of being alive. Some (certainly not all) are realizing that the real world has failed them, and that they need to find another way to make it now that the curtain has been lifted.

Yes, I know it sucks to realize that everything you’ve been told is a lie, but consider the alternative – would you rather spend your whole life believing the lie? Don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of people who would choose the lie. They are the ones who say your ideas are unrealistic and you aren’t living in the real world.

But the good news is that the people in the ‘real world’ are losing their ranks, and some of them are ready to wake up. If you’ve already done so, you’re ahead of the game.

You can help people wake up from sleepwalking and welcome them to the living world.

I don’t think that’s an unrealistic idea at all.