Things I have learned to NOT do (but only by experience):

1. Ignore it when someone calls you the wrong name.

Nate was in several classes with me in college. There was also a guy in those classes named Chris and at some point, Nate got our names confused. It seemed harmless at first and too awkward to fix as time went on. I figured I would never see him after college. Years later I was running through the airport and heard someone YELLING for a “Chris.” It was constant and emphatic and when I looked back to see what idiot was making all that noise… I realized Nate was yelling for me.

2. Eat popcorn for dinner.

I once took my daughter to an afternoon movie and felt the need to celebrate the occasion with the most buttery of snacks. I was ALSO on antibiotics and had taken two doses too close together.  I was supposed to go to a work event that night. I did not. And now I never want to watch The Lorax again.

3. Binge watch Sons of Anarchy.

The advent of Netflix allows us to all scratch that ever-present human itch for immediate satisfaction… which is fine if you are just dying to watch a lot of documentaries on sushi and coral reefs. But I took the tool and blitzed through several dozen episodes in a matter of days of a lovely drama about a biker gang. When I kept fighting the urge to Google “order a hit,” I decided it was time to turn off the TV.

4. Show a cop your library card when he asks for ID.

Seriously. I’ve tried it twice. It didn’t work either time.

5. Trust people on Craigslist to sell you those concert tickets.

The worst thing about getting ripped off on Craigslist? EVERY person you talk to about it (including police dispatch and Google Wallet customer service and the bank teller) will ALL tell you, “You know you should never trust someone on Craigslist, right?”

6. Tell your wife about your fear of raccoons.

Now not only does she make fun of me – she has enlisted the help of our children. They have emblazoned t-shirts and socks and toys and they take every opportunity mock their dad. But I stand by my general assessment: Any animal given a mask by God equals trouble.

7. Jump out of a treehouse because your older cousin says you should.

This needs very little additional explanation. But I did get to let all the cute first grade girls sign my cast, so I guess there was an upside.

8. Recommend the book The Lovely Bones to my wife.

I did this EIGHT YEARS AGO and I am still trying to live it down.

9. Climb out a second-story window on a rope made of bed sheets.

It was another cousin that got me into this. I slid the last 20 feet and landed on my bum.

10. Listen to your cousins.

Refer to #7 and #9 above.


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