It hath happened again!
Graduations have come and gone and was I asked to deliver a commencement speech at a high school or college? Nooooo. I’m starting to think it’s because I’m short. What other explanation could there be?
But, since I’m a generous soul always seeking enlightenment (usually in a glass of wine), I compiled some high points from my fantasy graduation speech. Let ‘er rip:
- You are better-looking, and smarter, than you think you are.
- Speaking of looks, go ahead and love the way you look now, because in 30 years you’d pay big money to see what you see in the mirror today.
- Who among you will be the next Bill Gates? Or Steve Jobs? Or Mark Zuckerman? Somebody has to grab the baton. Why not you?
- If the trip is more than four hours by car, fly.
- Red meat is not your friend. Neither is flour, sugar, soda, sausage or canned soup, but we ‘ll leave all that for another day.
- Don’t marry the first person who asks. Only my opinion.
- Yes, you can sleep on a mattress in the middle of an empty room and store your clothes in garbage bags, but throw pillows and real furniture make life a wee bit nicer.
- Joe DiMaggio was a baseball player before he married Marilyn Monroe and sold coffeemakers. Ask your grandfather about that.
- Speaking of…. there was coffee before Starbucks, and there will be coffee after Starbucks. The best coffee is made in a battered percolator on a kitchen counter. Ask your grandmother about that.
- You should call your family more often than you want to. You’ll understand this more when your kids fly the coop.
- The next time you see a member of the military, say thank you. No exceptions.
- Don’t get fat if you can help it. You’ll live longer.
- I wouldn’t seek a massage on Craigslist, but I’ve used it to buy and sell a lot of other stuff. Use common sense, people.
- For the 18-year-olds: Most of you have never heard of, let alone listened to, The Band, James Taylor, Teddy Pendergrass, Cat Stevens, Melanie, Boston, Journey, the Steve Miller Band, Marvin Gaye or Mac Davis. They’re all on iTunes; give ‘em a try.
- Speaking if iTunes… Adam Carolla should run for president. Yes, his podcast is profane, but he’s also right on target.
- When you see something expensive that you can’t live without, wait three days. If you still can’t live without it, buy it.
- Unibrows flatter no-one. If you can’t stand the tweezing, hustle to a salon and they’ll wax your cares away.
- At some point you will abandon satellite music radio for satellite talk radio. Do not panic. This is normal.
- You have a social obligation to know what’s happening in the world, whether it’s civil war in Somalia or when the farmers’ market opens in your hometown.
- Be nice even when you don’t feel like it. Especially when you don’t feel like it.
- If you’re ever channel-surfing and come across re-runs of Mash, Flipper, St. Elsewhere, The Waltons, the Carol Burnett Show, Party of Five or Picket Fences…. watch. (In a couple of years, add to the list Outsourced, Life and My Name is Earl.)
- Before you have a child, adopt a dog. Before you adopt a dog, buy a plant. Think of it as your personal Circle of Life.
- No matter where you are, or what’s happening around you, or who you’re with… pay attention.
Julie R. Smith, who has no idea who spoke at her college commencement, can be reached at email@example.com.