In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.
Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find more columns by Palmer here.
No one wants advice. Even friends who ask you for advice don't really want it. They just need to vent. Family members don't want advice, and your children : forget about it! They so don't want to hear the wisdom their parents have gained throughout the years. And, so, what choice do I have but to impart all the hard-won knowledge I've gained throughout the years so I'll never be tempted to share it with anyone again.
1. You have to make your own fun.
This jewel is from my mother, who was famous for challenging her three children to foot races, daring us to duck under a fence to pet a goat on the nose or brave the waves in the ocean with her. When the late Princess Diana was scheduled to visit our hometown, my mother called. "Come home," she pleaded. "We can dress up as caterers and sneak into the party." She was completely serious and had, of course, already scoped out where the party was going to be by driving down the alley, standing on a garbage can and peering over the fence. I'm sorry I didn't go.
2. Use butter instead of margarine in your chocolate chip cookies.
3. Back up your files. Back up your files. Back up your files.
4. Be silly.
5. Don't wait.
There's never going to be the right time for anything.
6. Nothing bad will happen if you remove those tags from furniture, mattresses and pillows that say, "Do not remove."
7. Natural childbirth is an oxymoron.
You take aspirin for a headache, right? Trust me, this is going to hurt a whole lot more.
8. Limit your complaints about your children.
Didn't they learn a lot of their behavior from their parents?
9. At the office, temperament is more important than talent.
This, at least for me, was one of the hardest lessons to learn. It's all in how you play the game. Make your boss look good. Offer solutions, not problems. Document everything and watch your back. Everyone has an agenda.
10. When a man says he's bad at relationships, believe him.
11. Check pants pockets for bubble gum before putting in washing machine.
12. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but you still have to mow the lawn.
One of the wisest men I know, Walt Florquist, who used to run a full service gas station in town, told me this years ago, and I've never forgotten it.
13. Sometimes the glass is just full.
14. Never sift the flour.
15. Always stop at lemonade stands. And once you stop, give a large tip.
16. On a date, never wear a T-shirt that says, "I'm With Stupid."
I have to give credit to my son for this one.
17. Buy cheap mascara.
It's supposed to be replaced every six weeks anyway.
18. Everything you need to know you'll know on the first three dates.
Most men tell the truth. It's just that women don't listen. This is why you should never do the horizontal mambo on the first date. Listen. Pay attention. And then listen some more.
Think back on a past relationship and why it ended. Did your last relationship go down in flames because the guy was a workaholic? When did you know that? Was it on the first date when all he talked about was work? On the second date when he called and said he'd be an hour late because he was finishing things up at the office?
If you're looking for someone to have kids with, and he says he doesn't want kids, move on. If you're an avid Alpine skier and he hates snow, move on. If a sense of humor is tops on your list and he doesn't have one, move on.
19. Where's there's a dream, there's a scheme.
I've never made much money, but I've always figured out a way to do what I want. Once, I really, really wanted to go to the Telluride Film Festival so I volunteered to be an usher. I've written travel articles in exchange for trips to Europe, traded babysitting for bookkeeping. Get creative!
20. Limit your cell phone use in public.
If you have to use your cell phone in public, use it because it's important. Like life or death. I hate listening to people say, "Hey lizard lips, what movie do you want to catch tonight?"