‘Journaling’ Is Not a Word — and Other Truths

Twenty Truths That You Might Not Want To Know But You Should Hear Anyway:

1. Some of us did not stop breaking out when we got through adolescence. Some of us did not stop breaking out when we got through menopause.

2. When you say “My coworkers are just like family,” you do not necessarily have to mean it in a nice way.

3. Forget grapes and nectar: Baked macaroni and cheese is the food of the gods.

4. “Missy” is not a flattering name for a section of retail clothing space designed to attract the adult female.

5. Very few couples can stay friends after a break-up if there is not a secret desire on the part of one of them to become lovers again.

6. Great satisfaction can be obtained by reading a paperback or magazine while taking a bubble bath on a cold afternoon.

7. Women are not taking over the workplace, despite mutterings of disgruntled troglodytes; we still make, on average, $0.68 on a man’s dollar.

8. “Journaling” is not a word. If you want to be a writer, one of the first things you should know is the following: Do not make up verbs.

9. Almost nobody over the age of 18 months old looks attractive in baby blue.

10. The important part of “step-parent” is “parent.”

11. If there are no longer any remaining surfaces in your home upon which you can stencil and this worries you, you need to get out and volunteer someplace.

12. Men are not the only ones to admire the physiques of 19-year-olds of the opposite sex. Women just immediately say something like “Oh, he’d be great for my niece” in order not to sound like Blanche DuBois. It is not that we do not notice.

13. “Go easy on the eyeliner” is always good advice.

14. Cats purr even when they are nervous. What seems like an expression of pleasure might not always be exactly that.

15. Nicole Kidman should not suddenly be considered a great actress or a grande dame of the theater because she wore a nose made out of putty to play Virginia Woolf.

16. Tablecloths are meant to have things spilled on them. Towels are meant to be wiped on. Carpets are meant to be walked on. Dishes are meant to be eaten off of. If you have whole hunks of your house that should be specially lighted and kept under glass rather than used, get a silk rope and a sign that says “for display purposes only” but for heaven’s sake, do not make other people (especially those people in your immediate family) feel guilty if they do not believe life should be lived under museum conditions.

17. George Gissing’s novel New Grub Street and George Orwell’s novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying are mandatory reading for anybody who aspires to write for a living. Skip the workbooks. Buy these. Read them every two years or so.

18. Everybody starts to conserve toilet paper when it’s getting near the end of the roll.

19. Being nice to people — however spiritually and emotionally satisfying — guarantees only one thing: People will ask you to be nice to them again. It does not mean they will be nice to you.

20. Worrying about retaining water is only important if you are a boat.

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