Saturday, August 18, 2007

Learning From Kids

I'm not a boy. I never was one. I don't entirely understand them, though I don't entirely understand girls, so that leaves me in a curious place...always wondering "what are you talking about?!?" For example, I'm not really a shopper. I don't like going to places and trying on outfits. When I bought my wedding dress, I went alone and found something I liked, and the salesgirl couldn't stop commenting on how she's used to a dressing room full of women commenting, crying, pulling, poking, and prodding. Why? As for men, I once heard a comedian say something to the effect of "if you knew what we were thinking, you'd never stop slapping us." Indeed.

Men's Health has a cute roundup of how to improve your life by looking to the wisdom of kids. Some I especially agree with (in bold) and some I don't understand (e.g., 19 and 20).

21 Big Lessons from Little Kids: Little things you may have forgotten
  1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Even when there's not a prize in the bottom of the box.
  2. Sometimes it's best to be completely blunt with people, as you used to be with relatives who wanted you to do something embarrassing or tedious for a shiny quarter.
  3. Asking questions is how you figure things out. Lots and lots of questions.
  4. An older, wiser Gordie Lachance says in Stand By Me, "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12." Lachance is right. The trick is to try to be the friend you were when you were 12: fun-loving and loyal, with no strings attached.
  5. Playing is work. Approach your downtime with all the seriousness of a 5-year-old with a secret treasure map.
  6. Real guys don't dip their toes in the water. They jump right in.
  7. Girls have cooties. Well, the ones you meet in certain bars do, anyway.
  8. You hated it when a grown-up told you, "We'll see." It's still unacceptable. Don't say it yourself.
  9. The only way to know how something works is to completely disassemble it. (This is still good advice when tackling a complex problem. Your plasma TV? Not so much).
  10. There's a reason they don't give credit cards to 8-year-olds. You're supposed to save up money before you buy a new toy.
  11. Your body was designed for throwing baseballs, shooting hoops, and jumping off diving boards and stuff. In the secret language of children, the word "fitness" doesn't exist. It's called "having fun."
  12. Your world can be half-real and half-imaginary.
  13. Homework blows. Bring work home with you and it'll ruin your night. And your marriage. And your family. And your life.
  14. Too much of anything will give you a tummy ache. Like, say, bourbon.
  15. If there's even the slightest doubt, hit the potty before you leave.
  16. The coolest adults were the ones who took the time to listen to you. You still want to grow up to be a cool adult, right?
  17. Treasure Island, Dracula: The best books are consumed after dark with a flashlight.
  18. Use adrenaline as your drug of choice. You don't need beer, pot, or cigarettes to have a good time.
  19. Kissing a girl on the cheek is a big deal. Kissing her lips is an even bigger deal. Seeing her naked for the first time is a major, life-altering event.
  20. Going after a target in the urinal makes the time whiz by.
  21. Seeing a thunderstorm roll in is better than watching HDTV. And rain isn't something to curse, but to enjoy. Hurry up, before it clears.