Rule No. 1: You are not the center of the universe.
I call them the "I" people. Here's one you might recognize:
"Hey Jodie, how's it going?" says I person, while waiting for Jodie to finish up at the copy machine.
"Sort of a tough one today," says Jodie, thinking that maybe, just maybe, her news will penetrate the office I person's insensitivity. "I'm waiting for some biopsy results."
"I totally understand," replies I person. "My sister-in-law just had her fourth mole removed. Did you hear me? Her fourth! I tell her again and again and again: You have to use lotion. Me, for instance? I am totally careful. I only tan three times a week and I use this totally awesome organic after-sun stuff every time. It has, like, coffee in it? For, like, circulation? And there's, like, green tea in there for that antioxidant thingie. I told my sister-in-law you have to use it every time. Does she listen? No. So there you go: four moles. And you? You pale people have to be so careful. You want me to e-mail you the name of the coffee after-sun lotion?"
As I person gasses on, Jodie blinks at her with a mixture of disbelief, bemusement and familiarity. What we want Jodie to say is: You are such an asshole. But Jodie realizes the futility of it all. She acquiesces and says, "Yeah, great. E-mail me."
Rule No. 2: Never videotape yourself having sex.
You don't look as good while you're doing that as you think you do. People screw in the dark for a reason. There's hair, dimples, folds and scars. For further evidence, log on to YouPorn.
It's best to leave this sort of thing to the professionals. They have the benefit of editing and lighting, not to mention that they don't have to cultivate real pleasure but just look as if they are. Every single orgasm is fake, which is how they manage to look sexy during their climax while the rest of us are grunting, sweating and grimacing.
Then there is the inevitability of the blessed footage falling into the wrong hands. How about your mother-in-law or (yikes!) kid accidentally running across the file? Not good, people. And it will take about eight seconds for your co-worker to upload and forward the "Ex-Wife Love Swing Play Party" link to everyone in receiving, materials management and human resources, not to mention your boss.
Rule No. 3: The only sexual activity you need to worry about is your own. Corollary: The amount of attention you pay to the sex of others is inversely proportional to the amount of sex you are having. You don't need to worry about Monica Lewinsky and Clinton's cigar or Senator Larry Craig's fancy footwork. It's none of your business. Just worry about what you're doing. Alone? So what? There's nothing wrong with doing that all by yourself. Pour a scotch, fire up the Dell and, per Rule No. 1, watch something the filmmakers made just for you to watch.
Rule No. 4: Quit bellyaching.
Don't get me wrong. When you are scuttling across the icy Marc's parking lot in the 5-degree air and 35-mph wind, hoping you make it in before they close so you can buy the gallon of milk your wife sent you out for (and a 12 of Stroh's - your idea), you are wholly entitled to proclaim, "Jesus Christ awmighty! It's colder than a brass monkey's pecker out here!" That is not bellyaching; it is a legitimate commentary.
But when Briana, adult daughter of housewife Vicki from the absolutely moronic Housewives of Orange County says to the confessional camera (while barely holding back the tears) that she (sniff) just can't handle the fact (sniff sniff) that the family might sell the vacation home on Lake Havasu (sniff sniff sniff) in order to buy a $1 million yacht, it just doesn't work, people. Same goes for annoying little broads lamenting chipped nail polish and blasé execs deflating with disappointment at a cabernet that's a tad too tannic, even if it is on the company dime.
This entire contingent needs to pay attention to how they spend their time, which brings me to …
Rule No. 5: No one's going backward.
So I get an e-mail in response to one of my ridiculous YouTubes, one in which I read a Wiki article about sexuality. Rudeboi89 (who is reportedly 26 years old) tells me that he "just didn't expect that from the elderly." Well, Rudeboi89, here's a Code Orange News Alert: You and this here "elderly" broad are traveling at the same rate and going precisely to the same destination. I might be a few years ahead of you, but it won't be long until you're dozing on a frayed couch with one hand absently cupping your gray, flaccid member while an ancient rerun of Lost languishes before you. But this rule isn't just about aging.
"If I start now, it will take me a whole year!"
"I should wait until I have more money!"
"I'll be 37 by the time I graduate!"
Unless you croak, you're going to be 37 anyway. You're never going to have more money. And there is no more time. You have all the time there is. There is not some guy in Lansing, Michigan who gets 27 hours a day. Do it now. Whether you've got 20 minutes, 20 months or 20 years, time is short. Now look over your shoulder. That's 2009 sailing in on the same wind that carried 2008 away. Say hello, say goodbye. Blow a kiss.
firstname.lastname@example.org ¥ erin-obrien.blogspot.com