Since I am here at the sufferance of DougJ, I thought I would look in on one of his old friends. Fairly or unfairly, I’ve always felt like anyone who identifies as a libertarian past the age of fifteen occupies a space somewhere on the spectrum between sociopath and asshole. I don’t know if anyone even takes them seriously anymore. Anyway, our favorite gastroenteritis sufferer has just turned forty-five, gained wisdom, and is comin’ Moses-like down from the mountain to share it via a little something she likes to call…
After 45 Birthdays, Here Are ’12 Rules for Life’
1. Be kind. Mean is easy; kind is hard.
Is it? Does being mean really come so easily to you? Huh. I’ve always found that people respond quite positively to kindness and cooperation. Maybe you are some kind of asshole?
2. …If you have to choose between politics and a friendship, choose the friendship every time.
This second one is really about you being an asshole again, isn’t it?
3. If you can’t afford to order that one extra dish, then the restaurant is too expensive for your budget and you should find a cheaper one.
I guess there is a market for this kind of patronizing “financial advice,” because I see it elsewhere. It’s super irritating.
I give you permission to be good. At anything. (A cheap shot, I know. I gave myself permission.)
5. Go to the party even when you don’t want to. Nine times in 10, you’ll be bored and go home early. But the 10th time, you will have a worthy experience or meet an interesting person. That more than redeems those other wasted hours.
Hey, everyone who invited Megan to a party or talked to her at one? Only a 10% chance you weren’t wasting her time.
6. Save 25 percent of your income. No, don’t tell me how expensive your city is; I have spent basically my whole life in New York and Washington, DC. You can save if you want to…
So galling. It’s okay to never know poverty, never sniff economic hardship, to live out your life assured of your next meal and a roof over your head. I think everyone should get to live this way. But let me drop a little asymmetric info on you: Not everybody does. If you are so uncontaminated by curiosity you cannot imagine what kind of choices people who are bobbing along with their snouts just above water have to make, why should you have an economics column?
7. …Here’s a funny thing I have learned by being just a little bit internet famous: it doesn’t matter how many times you hear them, the words “You are amazing, and here’s why” never get old. They do not go out of style. You will be wearing them to your 80th birthday party, along with a dazzling smile.
Am I the only one who suspects that Megan thinks 2 x 45 = 80?
8. That thing you kinda want to do someday? Do it now. I mean, literally, pause reading this column, pick up the phone, and book that skydiving session. RIGHT NOW. I’ll wait. Pixels are patient.
Can’t, dog. My dreams cost money and I’m hanging onto that 25% of my income. Remember?
9. Somewhere around that same eighth-grade mark where we all experimented with being mean...
We did? I seem to recall experimenting with weed and getting into Pink Floyd. What is it with you and the meanness?
10. Don’t try to resolve fundamental conflicts with your spouse or roommates.
Interpersonal conflicts are something I expect you have a lot of experience with, seeing as though meanness is your default setting. Since you brought it up, I’m listening.
…You should never, ever argue with your spouse about anything that could be solved with a proper application of money or ingenuity.
11. Be grateful. “Gratitude is an alien concept to me. Let me explain it to you as though you don’t understand it either.” This is in there:
Many billionaires, however, squander most of their fortune on bitter recriminations about how unfair everything is. Many of them are right, and it really is unfair.
Since this is Bloomberg, they are editorially bound to say that the rich are right about something somewhere in every column. It’s just policy, folks.
is just some cutesy-poo foodie shit.
So what can be done about people who both lack basic empathy for others and a set of principles that guide them toward decency and mercy? I’m not sure. In the public sphere, though, it means electing folks from the party that makes an effort to help. And so I bring to you fund that’s split between all eventual
Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.