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Home » Stories, True and Otherwise

25 And Over

Submitted by on January 17, 2005 – 9:35 AM217 Comments

If you have reached the age of 25, I have a bit of bad news for you, to wit: it is time, if you have not already done so, for you to emerge from your cocoon of post-adolescent dithering and self-absorption and join the rest of us in the world. Past the quarter-century mark, you see, certain actions, attitudes, and behaviors will simply no longer do, and while it might seem unpleasant to feign a maturity and solicitousness towards others that you may not genuinely feel, it is not only appreciated by others but necessary for your continued survival. Continuing to insist past that point that good manners, thoughtfulness, and grooming oppress you in some way is inappropriate and irritating.

Grow up.

And when I instruct you to grow up, I do not mean that you must read up on mortgage rates, put aside candy necklaces, or desist from substituting the word "poo" for crucial syllables of movie titles. Silliness is not only still permitted but actively encouraged. You must, however, stop viewing carelessness, tardiness, helplessness, or any other quality better suited to a child as either charming or somehow beyond your control. A certain grace period for the development of basic consideration and self-sufficiency is assumed, but once you have turned 25, the grace period is over, and starring in a film in your head in which you walk the earth alone is no longer considered a valid lifestyle choice, but rather grounds for exclusion from social occasions.

And now, for those of you who might have misplaced them, marching orders for everyone born before 1980.

1. Remember to write thank-you notes. If you do not know when a thank-you note is appropriate, consult an etiquette book — the older and more hidebound the book, the better. When in doubt, write one anyway; better to err on the side of formality. An email is not sufficient thanks for a physical gift. Purchase stationery and stamps, set aside five minutes, and express your gratitude in writing. Failure to do so implies that you don't care. This implication is a memorable one. Enough said.

2. Do not invite yourself to stay with friends when you travel anymore. Presumably you have a job, and the means to procure yourself a hotel. If so, do so. If not, stay home. Mentioning that you plan a visit to another city may lead to an invitation to stay with a friend or family member, which you may of course accept; assuming that "it's cool if you crash" is not. Wait for the invitation; if it is not forthcoming, this is what we call "a hint," and you should take it and make other arrangements.

3. Do not expect friends to help you move anymore. You may ask for help; you may not expect it, particularly if your move date is on a weekday. Your friends have jobs to go to, and you have accumulated a lot of heavy books by this point in your life. Hire a mover. If you cannot afford a mover, sell your books or put them in storage — or don't move, but one way or another, you will have to cope.

4. Develop a physical awareness of your surroundings. As children, we live in our own heads, bonking into things, gnawing on twigs, emitting random squawks because we don't know how to talk yet. Then, we enter nursery school. You, having graduated college or reached a similar age to that of the college graduate, need to learn to sense others and get out of their way. Walk single file. Don't blather loudly in public spaces. Give up your seat to those with disabilities or who are struggling with small children. Take your headphones off while interacting with clerks and passersby. Do not walk along and then stop suddenly. It is not just you on the street; account for that fact.

5. Be on time. The occasional public-transit snafu is forgivable, but consistent lateness is rude, annoying, and self-centered. If we didn't care when you showed up, we'd have said "any old time"; if we said seven, get there at seven or within fifteen minutes. Do not ditz that you "lost track of time" as though time somehow slipped its leash and ran into traffic. It shows a basic lack of respect for others; flakiness is not cute anymore, primarily because it never was. Buy a watch, wind it up, and wear it everywhere you go.

6. Have enough money. I do not mean "give up your scholarly dreams and join the world of corporate finance in order to keep up with the Joneses." I mean that you should not become that girl or boy who is always a few dollars short, can only cover exactly his or her meal but no tip, or "forgot" to go to the ATM. Go to the ATM first, don't order things you can't afford, and…

7. Know how to calculate the tip. Ten percent of the total; double it; done. You did not have to major in math to know how this works. You are not dumb, but your Barbie-math-is-hard flailing is agonizing and has outstayed its welcome. Ten percent times two. Learn it.

8. Do not share the crazy dream you had last night with anyone but your mental wellness professional. Nobody cares. People who starred in the dream may care, but confine your synopsis to ten words or fewer.

9. Learn to walk in heels. Gentlemen, you are at your leisure. Ladies: If you wear heels, know how to operate them. Clomping along and placing your foot down flat with each step gives the appearance of a ten-year-old playing dress-up, but a pair of heels is like a bicycle — you need momentum to stay up. Come down on the heel and carry forward through the toe, using your regular stride. If you feel wobbly, keep practicing, or get a pair that's better suited to your style of walking. It isn't a once-a-year prom thing anymore for a lot of you, so please learn to walk in them.

10. Have at least one good dress-up outfit. A dress code, or suggested attire on an invitation, is not an instrument of The Man. Own one nice dress, or one reasonable suit, or one sharp pair of pants and chic sweater — something you can clean up nice in for a wedding or a semi-formal dinner. You don't have to like it, but if the invitation requests it, put it on. Every night can't be poker night. Which reminds me…

11. Do as invitations ask you. Don't bring a guest when no such courtesy is extended. Don't blow off an RSVP; it means "please respond," and you should. "Regrets only" means you only answer if you can't come. If the party starts at eight, show up at eight — not at seven-thirty so you can go a "better" party later, not at eleven when dinner is cold. Eight. Cocktail parties allow for leeway, of course, but pay attention and read instructions; your host furnished the details for a reason.

12. Know how. Know how to drive. Know how to read a map. Know how to get around. Know how to change a tire, or whom to call if you can't manage it, or how to get to a phone if you don't have a cell phone. We will happily bail you out, until it becomes apparent that it's what you always need. The possibility of a fingernail breaking or a hairstyle becoming compromised is not grounds for purposeful helplessness.

13. Don't use your friends. It's soulless. It's also obvious. If the only reason you continue to associate with a person is to borrow his or her car, might I remind you that you have now turned 25 and may rent your own.

14. Have something to talk about besides college or your job. College is over. The war stories have their amusements, but not over and over and not at every gathering. Get a library card, go to the movies, participate in the world. Working is not living. Be interested so that you can be interesting.

15. Give and receive favors graciously. If you have agreed to do a favor, you may not 1) remind the favoree ceaselessly about how great a pain it is for you, or 2) half-ass it because the favoree "owes you." It is a favor; it is not required, and if you cannot do it, say so. If you can do it, pretend that nobody is watching, do it as best you can, and let that be the end of it. Conversely, if you ask for a favor and the askee cannot do it, do not get snappish. You can manage.

16. Drinking until you throw up is no longer properly a point of pride. It happens to the best of us, but be properly ashamed the next day; work on your tolerance, or eat something first, but amateur hour ended several years ago.

17. Have a real trash receptacle, real Kleenex, and, if you smoke, a real ashtray. No loose bags on the floor; no using a roll of toilet paper; no plates or empty soda cans. You are not a fierce warrior nomad of the Fratty Bubelatty tribe. Buy a wastebasket and grown-up paper products.

18. Universal quiet hours do in fact apply to you. They are, generally, as follows — midnight to six AM on weekdays, 2 AM to 8 AM on weekends. Mine is a fairly generous interpretation, by the by, so bass practice should conclude, not start, at ten PM. Understand also that just because nobody has complained directly to you does not mean that a complaint is not justified, or pending. Further, get your speakers off the floor. Yes, "now." Yes, a rug is still "the floor."

19. Take care of yourself. If you are sick, visit a doctor. If you are sad, visit a shrink or talk to a friend. If you are unhappy in love, break up. If you are fed up with how you look, buy a new shirt or stop eating cheese. If you have a problem, try to fix it. Many problems are knotty and need a lot of talking through, or time to resolve, but after a few months of all complaining and no fixing, those around you will begin to wonder if you don't enjoy the problems for the attention they bring you. Venting is fine; inertia coupled with pouting is not. Bored? Read a magazine. Mad at someone? Say so — to them. Change is hard; that's too bad. Effort counts. Make one. Your mommy's shift is over.

20. Rudeness is not a signifier of your importance. Rudeness is a signifier of itself, nothing more. We all have bad days; yours is not weightier than anyone else's, comparatively, and does not excuse displays of poor breeding. Be civil or be elsewhere.

January 17, 2005

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217 Comments »

  • Karen says:

    I just re-read this for possibly the millionth time, and may I add: Word. My roommate and I (and even occasionally my mother and I) have started using the phrase "buy a new shirt or stop eating cheese" as a catch-all term for "accept it or change it, but by all means, stop bitching about it." These are excellent rules for life.

  • Thank you sooooooooooo very much for this!!! I think it should be printed out and handed to EVERYONE upon graduation…or their 21st birthday…(never mind 25!)!!
    Blessings and Kudos to you!!!

  • Ellen says:

    Excellent bits of advice. I will play it forward!

    eab

  • Miranda says:

    I love, love, love this. It should be made into plaques and posted everywhere.

  • Lorelei says:

    Well, I feel terrible about that baby shower RSVP I blew off a few months ago, but I suppose I was still 24 at that time so I'll give myself a by. No more blowing off of RSVPs for me, though.

    And this has reminded me to send a thank-you note to my brother for the belated birthday gift he gave me last week.

    Excellent rules of conduct for adults in general. And because it is Sars and not Miss Manners dispensing them, I shall take them seriously.

  • Annie says:

    It's my birthday and I'm 25 today. I spent a few hours scouring the site looking for this essay so I could read it again. I enjoyed it just as much this time and it really does feel a little different, turning 25. Sobering. Kind of a realization that yes, I really am a grown-up now. Luckily, I already do almost all of these things. Thanks for writing what everyone has been thinking!

  • Shissher says:

    Sars,

    I just re-read this for the upteenth time after we had two houseguests this weekend who obviously haven't read this. Maybe you can add (1) if you are a houseguest, clean up after yourself, put dishes in the dishwasher, and empty the dishwasher for your host, (2) if you are crashing at a friend's house, you should at least OFFER to buy them a meal, or buy them a small present (flowers, for instance) as a thank you for the hospitality, and should DEFINITELY say thank you, (3) if you need a ride to/from the airport, call a cab, or rent a car, and finally (4) when you are a house guest and on vacation, keep in mind that your host is NOT, and will have a problem sleeping if you are watching TV at a loud volume or talking loudly on your cell phone right outside their bedroom.

    Sorry that I sound so bitter — I'm just so happy to have my house to myself. Thanks for the words of wisdom, Sars!!

  • Suzy says:

    Here's another one for you, or perhaps it's 2a)

    If you are the guest of someone who is disabled in some way, and there are devices like a shower seat (or toilet seat lift, or whatever) in their home, they don't expect you to use it. No one knows better than your host how awkward and difficult those things are to use, and how much space they take up. Remove it before using the shower, or toilet, or whatever. But when you're done, PUT IT BACK. Your host clearly needs it, and may have a hard time lifting it or installing it.

    Seems obvious, but my last two houseguests unintentionally made my life incredibly difficult.

  • ferretrick says:

    How about: 1) You are now required to actually get and hold a job such that you can support yourself, not live off Mom or Dad. As an addendum to that, if you create a child and keep it, you are expected to actually be a parent and provide for its physical, mental, and emotional needs. Now, everyone's situation is different and there are always exceptions-people lose jobs and have to move back in with their parents, the economy sucks, having Grandma babysit is cheaper than daycare, Mom or Dad is elderly and needs care, etc.

    But there's a difference between accepting help when needed and WILLFULLY living off another adult who has their own financial responsibilities. I can think of at least five people I know off the top of my head who are over 25, have a child, or in some cases children, and are living with/off Mom and Dad, and basically having their parents raise their children while they get to retain the titles of Mom and Dad. And making no effort to change the situation. Unacceptable. The one particularly irksome one I know of-very nice older lady who struggled for years raising four kids on her own. Now when she should be able to have peace in her life, her lights were just turned off. Her son, his girlfriend, and their FOUR children live there but don't pay rent, and he failed to pay the electric bill which is the only thing he is responsible for. Its ridiculous.

  • mels says:

    "inertia coupled with pouting" is pretty much the definition of depression. you make very good points, but i think there are some cases where they need to be waived.

  • titan says:

    this is awesome – my roommate is 28 going on 8 and i'm going to print it for him and paste it to his door. thank you!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    –"inertia coupled with pouting" is pretty much the definition of depression. you make very good points, but i think there are some cases where they need to be waived.–

    In those cases, the inertiate needs to visit a licensed professional for counseling or a prescription. I've been depressed, but that was my responsibility to handle, and if six months have gone by and nothing's changed, you need to realize that your friends and family have done what they can and it's time to go to the doctor.

    "The one particularly irksome one I know of-very nice older lady who struggled for years raising four kids on her own. Now when she should be able to have peace in her life, her lights were just turned off."

    If I could add a #21, it would be "learn to say no." I feel for that lady on the one hand, but on the other hand, if she hasn't put her adult son on the street by now, well, she needs to do that.

    I'm not unsympathetic to people's problems and the complexities thereof, but I can't get on board with people behaving as though they have nothing to do with what goes on in their own lives. You want your son to act right, force the issue with a timely change of the locks; if he's old enough to have children, he's old enough to cope from here.

  • Izzy says:

    Excellent points!

    I'd say that #1 depends a lot on who you're dealing with. (Also what occasion it is, but the etiquette books cover that.) My parents do emails, so do my friends (when we don't give gifts in person), but if my grandparents or my boyfriend's parents mail me something, I'm definitely getting out the notecards. I guess "Observe how other people respond re: thank-you notes and act accordingly" is a good rule here.

  • Fred says:

    Fantastic list, thank you. I wish half of my friends would read this and take it to heart. Especially the ones who should have read it ten years ago.

    However, I'm 35, and still love hearing my friends' amazing crazy dreams.

  • Chris says:

    I agree with Izzy. I will be 25 in August, and I expect all correspondences via email. I have not checked my physical mailbox in over a year and I'm not even sure where exactly my mailbox key is. Unless someone emailed me to tell me they sent me a letter I would never see it. I realize I am an extreme case, but I think a thank you email is fine and a physical letter sent through the post might even be an annoyance.

  • john says:

    Is it odd that I have had a grasp of these attributes in the 3 years since turning 25 yet do not at all feel like an adult? It makes me wonder whether the above, while crucial, can also be used as a disguise somehow.

  • AJ says:

    If I can add a corollary to #12, it's not just Know How, it's also Do It, Now, Even If You Weren't Directly Asked.

    Especially cleaning. Especially the kitchen. Double especially at the office. (well, maybe that's just me.)

    For everyone else, it's "get over your fear of technology, for the rest of the world is not your free IT support."

  • I honestly think this should apply when you're 14. I know I was held accountable to this list, either through my own guilt being a spoiled kid, or through my parents' expectation that I have to take care of myself.

  • doug says:

    What a great essay, thanks for sharing it. I found it via kottke.org.

    Disclaimer: I am not 25–astonishingly (at least to me) I'm already 55–but I don't think I like it any less for that. I still get it, and there are still some pieces in there that I sometimes need reminding about. Thanks again.

  • jonk says:

    @chris
    I think you need to re-read rule 12 again. Other people might want to mail you, it's not your call.

  • BAM says:

    Great list. But the inherent Catch-22 is this: (mostly) everyone who reads this list probably already knows to act like an adult while everyone who needs to act like an adult will never read this list.

  • lano says:

    I needed to read this back in 2005 when it was published. No one ever told me these things. And I don't think my parents know, either. They have some growing up to do.

  • Bria says:

    Chris….you should go ahead and find that mailbox key. Dealing with physical mail is one of those adult things we all have to get used to, I'm afraid.

  • Manda B says:

    Man, looking at this list, I sure wish I would have had someone tell me this when I was in my early 20s. Of course, I probably would have resented it, but it's a lot better than learning these things the hard way, like in a job.

    I like the additional suggestions, but I would also offer up this one: Make your friends outside of work–High school is over. Coworkers are not a built-in social group. Do not expect to meet your closest friends at work. Beware of who you share your secrets and complaints with, you never know who else might be listening.

  • Susan Carley Oliver says:

    John, just because you don't *feel* like an adult doesn't mean you aren't one. The converse is true as well.

  • Sven says:

    Upon reading some of these comments, you might encourage adults to study their own language and attempt to use it correctly.

  • Sydney Wired says:

    I would agree with everything except #7, but I guess this has to do with different cultures.

    Tips are given directly to a service-giver where service goes beyond expectations, not as a matter of course.

    And yes, I do give tips where they are warranted.

  • Paula D. says:

    Great list! This should be given to each kid as they graduate from high school. Why wait until 25. Just moved my son out of the dorm from his first year of college, and he and his roommates could have especially used the information in #16-19.

    There's going to be a lot of teaching on my part over the summer.

  • MVS says:

    I can't believe this has taken nearly 4 years to find itself around the interwebs, and today, it's on the front page of delicious.

    This is such critical advice for all humans… yet we're rarely told so directly, if at all.

    FWIW, I wouldn't have filed this under "curmudgeoning", at all. Perhaps "reality".

    Share this with a friend. You know the one.

  • It used to be that tips were for above-and-beyond service. Now, the expectation has come to be more that they're for service that did not suck.

    If they were for above-and-beyond service, then the restaurants would stop treating them as a part of the waiter's salary and pay him below minimum because he can make it up in tips.

    (I'd disagree with the one about toilet paper, though. What I blow my nose on is my own business, as long as I'm not forcing other people to handle my snot-rag. Hell, my parents use TP instead of kleenex because my Dad likes the texture better.)

  • Also, the standard tip is 15%, which is "divide by ten and add half of it to itself". Or else just "divide by six" for a 16.67% tip.

  • Brian says:

    15% USED to be the standard. Now it is 18 – 20%. Pay the people who bring you your food. Don't fuck with em

  • Jeff says:

    Funny, I dislike getting thank-you notes from others.

    So add this as #26: The Golden Rule is bunk. Don't do to others as you'd want done to you. Your parents lied. Do to others what they want done to them.

    Heck, that one rule can replace most of the list.

  • Joe says:

    21. Keep your opinions to yourself, unless specifically asked.

    It is no longer cool for you to blurt out whatever you happen to think at whatever time you think is appropriate about whatever topic you want. The gate between your internal monologue and what comes out of your mouth should not be swinging open on a rusty hinge. Think. Then stop and consider the consequences of what you are about to say. Then speak. People will think better of you for it.

  • Aaron says:

    Some of these are pretty cultural specific, such as tipping.

    Use whatever product (paper or other) does the job best for you. That's still more important than its marketed purpose.

    I happen to love hearing people talk about their dreams.

    I would also add: if you smoke, never do it around people who don't without asking if they mind.

  • ZippyQ says:

    In America, service employees now get their wages reduced because tips are expected at a rate of about 15%. If you're paying only 15% you're basically saying to someone that they're worth only minimum wage. If you're over 25 you can afford a 20% tip.

  • Jeff says:

    To everyone complaining about tipping (you tip a different amount, you live in a different country, etc.) the point of the rule is not TO tip when you eat out, but rather to contribute your fair share when eating out with a group.

    When you're out with friends and everyone puts in money and you leave out a tip, others feel compelled to reach the target amount of money and chip in some extra money. So they pay your tip for you. Not cool.

    When you're out with 6 people and everyone pays and you see you're still $4 short, pay attention to which people throw in an extra buck. The people that don't are the ones that left out their tip in the first place. Trust me.

  • Grampa Smith says:

    Some great points, but I disagree with a few of them:

    #1: I think written thank you notes are only really called for if the relationship is extremely formal, such as work contacts. For family and every friend/acquaintance that I can think of at the moment, I'd much rather be treated like a normal person and get an email or phone call.

    #7: Someone else mentioned this, but I consider tip to be variable (depending on the service), with the standard amount being 15%.

    #9: I can't really understand why anyone would hold it against someone for having trouble walking in heels. I just don't get this one at all.

    The rest, I agree with wholeheartedly.

  • DavidNYC says:

    Regarding #4, giving up my seat on the bus to an older person (ie, anyone older than me) was practically one of the first rules of etiquette I can remember learning as a little kid, after "say please," "say thank you," and "put your napkin on your lap." It makes me sad that this isn't automatic. (And speaking of napkins, there's definitely room for table manners on this list. Your finger is a not a knife.)

  • Grampa Smith says:

    Oh yeah, I disagree with #8 as well. Dreams can be an interesting/fun point of conversation.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Aaron: I'm a Jersey native who lives in Brooklyn. I can't really speak to cultural mores in, say, Japan. Make the appropriate adjustments in the specifics to get to the larger point, to wit: adults need to make reasonable attempts to be considerate of others.

    I'm not looking to defend every particular. As I believe I said elsewhere on the thread, I encourage readers NOT to get defensive about individual items on the list. If everyone you know is cool with you blowing your nose on the dog, hey, good luck to you. (And the dog.) The larger issue is 1) whether you can read a room and sense that some folks AREN'T cool with that, and 2) how you choose to incorporate that information into your behavior.

    Feel confident that you treat your friends, and strangers, politely and with respect for their time and feelings? Great! Please drive through, without yelling at me about how thank-you notes oppress you somehow.

  • BIff Hardy says:

    "Is it odd that I have had a grasp of these attributes in the 3 years since turning 25 yet do not at all feel like an adult? It makes me wonder whether the above, while crucial, can also be used as a disguise somehow."

    Not at all odd! Acting like an adult is just that — acting. I think the above is more a matter of getting your shit together and not being an undue burden to others, not about "being" an adult in any real sense. I don't care if someone feels like they're 15, 25 or 65 on the inside — just keep your goddamn music down at 4a.m. on a Wednesday.

    This is the gold right here: "And when I instruct you to grow up, I do not mean that you must read up on mortgage rates, put aside candy necklaces, or desist from substituting the word "poo" for crucial syllables of movie titles. Silliness is not only still permitted but actively encouraged. You must, however, stop viewing carelessness, tardiness, helplessness, or any other quality better suited to a child as either charming or somehow beyond your control."

    Frivolity and adulthood, despite what many adults think, are not mutually exclusive. Just buy a suit and learn how to tie a double windsor.

  • AJ says:

    I follow all of these rules (except #1; my thank-you note habits are admittedly inconsistent), but I on the whole disagree with the tone of the post. I think the main idea is GREAT — reaffirming one's attention to mindfulness and etiquette — but some of these items, while annoying, have either a minor or negligible effect on the "offendee". Live and let live, I say. Being loud at night, not bringing money to a restaurant, making things difficult for your host, being severely late — these can disrupt one's whole day, sure. But I think being able to get over the other stuff is just as "adult" as having some manners. On the one hand, there's a certain gift in being oblivious to your own small foibles and hints of immaturity (self-consciousness can become a disproportionate burden), and on the other hand, I think anyone who regularly breaks more than a few of these rules probably has larger issues than the rules themselves.

    As the first commenter said, ironically enough, "Accept it or change it, but by all means, stop bitching about it." If someone causes you real trouble, you shouldn't give them your time; if someone expects to be indulged, set them straight; and if they're merely immature, I'd hope you can get over it.

  • Malcalypse says:

    For generations without end this issue has been debated. Mankind has refused to learn the lessons of benevolence. Even this attack on the misguided youth of our age is itself misguided.

    Each and every one of your points comes from the same cause. This cause cannot be pushed off on the youth of our age. AS ANNOYING and inconsiderate as the youth today are…they are no different than the youth of 20 years ago…200 years ago…and yes even 2000 years ago as history proves through the writings of Cicero and many others.

    The children of today act like JACK ASSES because that's what they do! Only by mentoring, clear instruction and a whole lot of faith can this energy be turned into something more posative!

    And another thing…I have yet to meet the person who I cannot tear appart and find fault with. No matter who you are, if given unhindered access to you and your life…I will see your faults and shortcomings. This does me no good though. What does do me good is helping you be a better you in any way I can, even if it is merely living a life by example.

    One last thing…remember what Carl Jung said, "What you resist, persist."

    So…either be a part of the solution, or just stop getting in the way of those who are. Your negative assertions no matter how true or well intentioned are still negative.

  • Erin says:

    I, having past the age of 25 by 2 years now, am thankful for: friends that I can count on to pick me up from an airport, save me from random situations that come up, and let me crash at their pad because they're psyched to see me. Not getting snail mail letters and thank you notes that cut down trees, add to our heap of waste, and make me feel guilty for throwing out. Friends that move close enough to me that I can help them move. Friends who look silly walking in heels and can laugh with me at my silliness. Share their dreams and listen to mine.

    I do agree that good tipping is a must (though out of respect for your server and not to be fair to your friends) and rudeness is never the answer.

  • R J says:

    Great advice. And when I was twenty-five, I almost got it, which is to say that I got it when I was twenty-six, reading Trollope's Autobiography and understanding what being a gentleman really means. But life is a lot more complicated now. Twenty-five is so young! How about thirty-five?

  • Cole says:

    Just a heads up for those of you who think tipping is a cultural issue…that may be true where you come from, but in America, most states minimum wage for service employees is just over half of the standard minimum wage. I receive about a $30 paycheck each week. I live off of your "generosity". I don't have kids, but I work with people who do. Next time you dine out, consider that the five dollars you're saving by not tipping represents a can of baby formula, or five boxes of macaroni, or a gallon of milk. I'm all for multiculturalism, but when it has a negative effect on people's livelihoods, then it's not okay. You're not being true to your culture, you're being a dick. So the next time you're deciding whether to eat out or not, if you can't afford to part with the extra 15% (and 20% is standard; i'm looking at you grandma), either stay home or maybe consider the drive through. At least then you're not robbing me of money I need to keep the lights on.

  • Lai says:

    Some of them are culture-specific, but I get your point.
    I think people who understand the post is someone already getting the point. People who is still living in they world as a kid will feel nothing reading it.
    I totally agree with"…while it might seem unpleasant to feign a maturity and solicitousness towards others that you may not genuinely feel, it is not only appreciated by others but necessary for your continued survival". This is the sad fact..

  • Such a great list. I just wanted to to commenter Aaron – I'd say cut the last five words off your comment so it says "if you smoke, never do it around people who don't", then you've got a great point.

    If you want to smoke don't ask the polite people around you if it's ok. They'll probably say yes whether they mean it or not. Pop outside, or tell them that you're just going to go downwind a bit for a smoke and they can either follow you or tell you it's ok to stay where you are.

  • chris says:

    Can I also add one to girls from what I would imagine to be most guys. Girls, after 25, please stop pretending that you feel sick after eating cake. You wanted cake, you got cake, you enjoyed it and your post-cake calorie regret is very irritating when thinly disguised as a short-lived illness. :)

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