The Quotable Nate

Nate has a little tip he’d like to share with all you single guys out there, one of those pieces of wisdom that is so useful it makes itself obsolete.

Go dancing.

Because, as Nate puts it, “People who know about dancing don’t have to be freaks.”

(Guess how Nate met me?)

I would like to add that dancing also works for girls. Also, that it Makes Dating People Funner. Every time Nate and I go dancing we totally remember exactly why we like being with each other.

And if anyone has seen Nate’s bolo tie with the real gold in it that he was wearing when we met, feel free to try out its magic, but then please send it back. He misses it.  And anyone who doubts the awesomeness of this bolo tie should have seen it on a certain Man in Black as he leaned on the wall drinking his whiskey sour.

Or forget it. Just go dancing.

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Words to the Wise

This crazy thing is happening. My baby brother is starting college. He is installed in his dorm room, with his guitars and many blocks of cheese and mason jars of kombucha — did I mention he’s at Evergreen? As his much older sister, I potentially might be wiser, and even if I’m not, I have opinions. So here, for Aidan, is my setting-out-into-the-real-world advice.

Can you see why I had stories to tell about him?

Ready to take on the world.

1.Life is easiest when you stay on top of the details. Pay your bills on time. Do your homework on time. Don’t let the hairball in the shower get so big you think it’s a rat.

2. Listen to people’s words: Everything but yes really means no, whether the question is about if you can kiss them or borrow their peanut butter. Respecting what you hear is the essence of integrity.

3. Wear your seatbelt/helmet/condom — hopefully not at the same time.

4. You can’t talk anybody into loving you. See #2.

5. Consumer debt is enslavement to the status quo. Be wary of credit cards.

6. Cars don’t mix with texting/dancing/drinking/deep philosophical conversations/phone calls to your sister. To maximize fun, stay away from cars.

7. Don’t do things you don’t believe in: the integrity of what you do and believe and the love that those beliefs and actions embody is what gives life meaning. However, integrity is not the same as rigidity and judgment. Think of it as a supple rootedness rather than a line.

8. “I’m an artist and need to experience some things,” is not a better rationalization for doing stupid things than “Everyone else is doing it,” or “Woo hoo, freshman year!!!” In other words, lofty bohemians can still do slimy things. Be warned.

9. Speak up for what you love. It’s ok to get arrested if it is for something that matters.

10. School is not worth pulling all-nighters for. Girls are. (But see #1.)

11. Always ask for what you want. Don’t feel entitled to having it given to you.

12. Exploring altered consciousness is a time-honored human pursuit. However, traditionally it is done inside the shelter of a ritual, and in my observation that piece is important. Be picky about what you surround yourself with if you’re exploring — there can be unhealthy rituals too, like when the Mt. Si football team hammered bottle caps into each other’s biceps. Listen to yourself. Substance induced oblivion is not a sign of maturity or awesomeness. Trust me, ok? I’m right. Avoid needles. Meth sucks your soul out and makes you lose your virginity in public restrooms, so they say. Regardless, it’s gross and stupid. The process of making coke is just foul — that stuff is not just a plant. Mexican pot is fueling the drug lord insanity in Mexico. I know too many people who’ve died of heroin. Also, there are many ways to alter consciousness without substances: dancing, playing music, meditation, running barefoot in the rain….

13. Vote.

14. Buy your own underwear.

15. Remember your family loves you and we’re here for you, although you better take care of that hairball on your own.

Au Revoir, (briefly)

Armed with key phrases such as “Where is my husband? Is he with your wife?” and “Not milk! I want good wine,” I am leaving for Paris tomorrow after work.  I promise some Parisian stories, but maybe not for a week or two, because why be on the internet when you can be in Paris?  Until then, may I suggest, if you don’t know it already, that you check out Dear Sugar? It is one of the best new things in my life.  It is real and struggling and beautiful and brave.  I mean, it is very, very human, in the kind of way that helps me be too.

And, if I fall in the Seine, forget English, or barricade myself in the Notre Dame (Notre Dame? Non! Ma Dame!), write to Sugar.  She will help.  I am sure of it.