My friend Ben Dukes, www.bendukes.com, @bendukes, posted an interesting item to Facebook today. With his permission: “My Dad used to keep a little notebook with his subscriptions listed. He’d list the date he signed up, the price he paid, and the date it would expire… I frequently get mail asking me to renew various subscriptions and I think… ‘didn’t I do this already?’ My Dad set a good example. I screwed it up. What good example did YOU not follow?”
That got me to thinking. We work on remembering the good advice we followed by saying, “my Daddy always said” or “Mama always reminded me”. But there must be a lot we didn’t follow.
Ben’s dad’s habit of tracking magazine subscriptions is a good idea I think. Renewal letters arrive with a great price, then I look at the address label and see that my current subscription won’t expire until 2020. Duh, no, I’m not renewing two years in advance. But sometimes they are sneaky, and the expiration date is in code and I don’t know remember whether I received a renewal before and did I say “yes”, or did I check a box labeled “bill me later”, or what. Maybe that is why magazines arrive and I have no recollection of subscribing.
My mom often remarked, as I was trying to squeeze into a girdle (young people, look it up), or on a hot day only wanted to wear a half slip instead of a whole slip (young people, you might need to look that up also) “the proper undergarments make your clothes fit and look better”. These days I’m sure my pants would look better over my chunky thighs and big hips – all right, FAT, I’m FAT – if I took the time to squeeze into Spanx. And as much as I love bare feet in sandals, the dressy pairs just work better if I bother to put on knee highs when wearing them with pants. Panty hose? Only if you insist. The occasion must be very dressy or the panty hose are a no-go.
My dad was a nut about the exact time. His watch and all the clocks in the house had to be exact, or “e-ZACT” as he pronounced it, and he often called the telephone company number that gave you the time (again, young people, ask someone much older) so that he could set his watch and then tell me and Mom that our watches were wrong. I like accurate time most of the time but setting my bedside clock and my car clock at least 5 to 7 minutes fast kept me from being late to work for most of my career. Dad would not approve. E-ZACT is E-ZACT, not 5 or 7 minutes fast.
There was a lot of varied advice given when I first started a full-time job and much of it went over my 19-year old head. In an earlier generation the advice that “guys never make passes at girls who wear glasses” was touted and so was advice to not get too much education because I “was just going to stay home and have babies”. That may have been considered good advice at one time, yet I ignored both and that was good also. Guys DO flirt with gals wearing glasses, and, well, do more than flirt. And while I never had babies, my goal was to get as much education as I could get just in case I had babies and needed to support them and pay for things for them.
What about you? What good example or advice did you not follow?
Every Day Is A Good Day. VJ