For best results…

Toothpaste and toothbrush
Toothpaste and toothbrush (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seriously, kids, this is what I recently read on the side of my toothpaste:

For best results, squeeze from the bottom of the tube and flatten as you go.

A few thoughts on this:

Someone earned a handsome wage for conceiving of/overseeing/commissioning/writing and editing that sentence.

As opposed to? The sides? The top?

Who, truly among us, does not know how to squeeze a freaking tube of toothpaste?

But then I thought some more…Wouldn’t it be awesome if life came with similarly clear and gently helpful instructions?

I began imagining a stream of them that might well have given me so much better results, had I only heard them in time…

For best results:

— That cute boyfriend who speaks Russian, with the alluringly thick mustache? Not a great choice. Although extremely skilled on the horizontal, he’s actually gay.

— That other cute boyfriend, the soulful one who became a photographer, ditto.

— When you decide to describe someone, (entirely accurately), as “a total bitch”, best to recall that your new friend has been friends with her since childhood.

— If, as you start to walk down the aisle to get married, and your final whisper to your maid of honor is “Just be my friend if this doesn’t work out”, perhaps the wiser choice is to turn around and head for the bar instead. Say, in Bolivia.

— Before taking that cool new job in another province, the one (guess!) with insane-o tax rates, best to call an accountant there to see how much of that raise you’ll actually get to keep. Before you rent an expensive apartment and up-end your entire life.

— If you’re marrying someone who makes you a little nervous, spend a few bucks on a divorce attorney to see what you’d get if he bails. Nothing, you say? Pre-nup, stat!

— Small-town life looks so alluring: flannel, boots, long walks with the dog. Complete lack of friends/family/income/sources of income? Not so much.

— If it looks like a liar, sounds like a liar yet is utterly charming, stay with your first impression. A private detective is a wonderful thing, but not someone you want on speed-dial.

— If your boss routinely stands thisclose and shouts abuse at you, that anemic fuck-you fund, if fatter, would allow you to quit with dignity, not pop another Xanax to keep the bills paid.

What words of advice, if heard ahead of time, might have saved you some excess drama?

22 thoughts on “For best results…

  1. If you look at a house for rent and your potential roommate/current resident says she has a few indoor-outdoor cats, take a head count before moving in. Those aren’t the same 3 cats coming in and out. She qualifies for a bulk discount at the vet’s. And none of this feline militia have been fixed. Cut to a year later, 2 dozen cats and a broken lease agreement.

  2. when i announced to my family that i was getting a divorce after 10 years of marriage, one of my rather testy aunts said, “good, i hated that bitch.”

  3. I’m sure I would never have listened to advice if I wasn’t in a place to think of it myself. But, sometimes permission would have helped. As in, it’s okay to give up sometimes. It’s okay to fail. And it’s okay to leave. You don’t have to keep trying to do something until it kills you.

  4. Don’t marry someone you’ve only known for two months and isolates you from your own friends. First husband. Not current.

    Although I will say, all my mistakes have made me the woman I’m proud to be. Trite? Yes, but true. Wouldn’t change a thing.

  5. That guy that you are terrified of from the start “for no reason” because you have this “crazy delusion” that he just wants to take advantage of you even though he’s so charming and tells you everything you want to hear? Well, he’s not violent or anything, but he’s still a psychopath. Don’t pity or believe him, and especially, don’t get into any kind of relationship with him. You’ll thank me later.

  6. Here’s one I keep in mind every time my dad urges me to miss class to attend a religious service, even if it means I might miss an important quiz or test: Parents are well-meaning, but once you turn 18, they can only give advice, and you can take it or leave it in the dust.

  7. crgardenjoe

    When baking–wet first, then dry. When frying–hot pan, cold oil. And every morning–whatever it is, it can wait until after coffee.

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