Mom sent me to the store years back with only one item on the list.
That seemed like a simple request. Anyone can pick up butter, right? That’s what I thought too. But by the time I made my way into that small town grocery store and over to the refrigerated section, I had become perplexed.
“What kind of butter,” I wondered to myself. “There is that stuff in a tube that we use for bread, stuff in sticks that mom uses for baking, salted, un-salted and margarine.”
I had no idea which one to pick up.
I didn’t have confidence to ask a clerk, so I simply choose the first box I saw. I went with my gut instinct. That’s what we’re always taught, right?
I got home and showed my purchases to Mom and the rest of the family.
I had actually picked up margarine, not butter. Turns out – butter is just exactly that.
I didn’t realize it was that obvious. I saw the boxes that had the word butter written on them – but I had assumed that was a generic brand – a cheap version of the real stuff. You all know what happens when you assume, don’t you? While they laughed, I cringed with embarrassment. To this very day, anytime I place a box of butter in my grocery cart, I think of my naive moment in history.
I turn 32 years old this week. This isn’t a pathetic ploy to get happy birthday wishes – although if you’d like to send me cheer – you know I’ll take it. Instead, this birthday thing makes me ponder a bit. What should I know at this age? I’m not talking about the stuff found in text books. I will never know the square root of 68 divided by 920 and then multiplied by 7,790; nor do I want to. I’m talking about the common sense stuff. Like the difference between butter and margarine.
In honor of my greatest day in history – I decided to compile a list of 32 things one should know by their 32nd birthday.
- How to hem a pair of pants. This eliminates the need to use safety pins – which I did only once on a fantastic pair of tight red pants during a trip to New York City. Looking back, I doubt they looked that fantastic. A quick Google search shows 126,884 people have watched a YouTube video titled, “How to hem a pair of pants.” My mom would be mortified.
- How to change a tire. Even though I could do it, I will always call my husband, my dad or a brother-in-law before attempting myself.
- How to boil water. This seems obvious. Trust me. It’s not.
- How to make a really good cheeseburger. This is a tough one. I’m still trying to master it.
- How to balance and organize your finances.
- The difference between they’re, there and their.
- You are never too good for a job. I have to remind myself this one.
- How to be honest to your boss, your co-workers, and yourself.
- There is no such thing as instant success.
- You should always write a thank you note.
- How to love and be loved in return. Yes, this is a line from a movie. But it’s really true.
- The words to at least one Bon Jovi song. OK – this isn’t crucial, but I think it’s definitely necessary if you want to make something of yourself.
- How to have a sense of humor. I was only kidding in number 12. You can still be someone if you don’t know all the words to Bed of Roses. But I might like you a little bit more if you do.
- How to drive in 6 lane traffic. This makes me want to cry thinking about it. I hate traffic.
- Age is just a number. We are never too old or too young to dream big!
- It’s OK to make a fool of yourself every once in a while.
- How to make a really good glass of ice tea.
- Your alcohol limit.
- Life doesn’t wait for you. Loved ones die, babies grow up. This one is hard for me.
- How to change your oil. Um, I don’t know how to do this one. I know. I should.
- The difference between good lettuce and crappy lettuce.
- How to travel alone. Dang it! Failed again.
- How to talk to strangers.
- How to surround yourself with positive people. The negative ones can and will bring you down.
- How to make new friends and let go of old ones.
- How to log on to Facebook.
- How to ask for help.
- How to have inside thoughts.
- How to say goodbye to old dreams.
- How to defend yourself.
- How to say you’re wrong.
- Keep asking questions.
Even if they seem incredibly silly. It will save you from embarrassment with that grocery list or something much bigger.