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for April 14, 2004

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Rules & Observations
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

The world is full of rules, lots of rules, and you didn't make up most of them, did you?
It can be very frustrating to run up against other people's rules, especially if you have no idea you're breaking them. A State Trooper clocks you doing 85 on the Turnpike, and you're in for a ticket, surcharges and the ridicule of your scofflaw friends. You light a cigarette in the wrong airport, you international traveler you, and you suddenly discover the significance of Amnesty International. Pass a plate with the wrong hand in the right country and your dinner companions become instantly less companionable.
Listen, faux pas of this nature are so common the State Department issues cautionary pamphlets on the subject to border-hopping adventurers. Read these pamphlets. They're a howl.
Number 22: Anything can be interesting.
Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love thought about her own personal rules and started scribbling. Sure, we're confined by custom, fashion and local ordinances, but what about the little rules we make for ourselves to keep from repeating mistakes or losing our leases? Six pages and 92 ideas later, Your Beloved turned to Mamie, a most acerbic friend, and asked, "However do I zip my Nine Wests in the morning?"
"Read me your list," Mamie said. Your Delight reeled off a few.
"Some are rules, others are observations," Mamie said. "Wasn't that last thing the Pastorio Family Motto?"
"Number 28: Don't. Get Caught. Doin' it. Yep, that's ours."
"Ever get caught?"
"Goodness, no. Maybe. Number 40: Your exes can be some of your best friends because they're never surprised when you behave badly."
"Yours must be shockproof."
"Number 44: Make sure your tattoo artist can spell. Number 48: Cream cheese goes with everything."
"Got any from me?"
"Number 51: Establish an alibi. And Number 53: Your friends should be honest, but you should always have at least one friend who tells the ugly, brutal truth."
"Aha, like the time you showed up to my house in baby pink lipstick and I told you Barbie called and wanted her lips back?"
"Exactly. Number 67: If it's really a good idea it'll still be a good idea in the morning."
"So no more tequila-inspired 5 a.m. shag haircuts you dye blood red in the bathroom you forget to clean before your housemates wake up?"
"We've seen the last of that kind of couture. And the Rescue Squad. Number 71: Lying is permissible before birthdays and gift-giving holidays."
"I can't argue with that."
"On the other hand, Number 72: Secrets will bite you on the ass."
"Delicately put. I don't have this many rules."
"Heaven forfend, but Number 89: Your friends may be right but they're just as crazy as you are - only different. Got any gum?"
"Whitening, freshening, cooling, striped, doublemint, bubblemint and squirting - I see what you're saying. Droll!"
Just for fun, make up your own list. You'll wonder how you got so stiff. We should each try it, if only to see which rules look like lessons well learned and which make us act like the crazy people we swore we wouldn't be when we grew up. Number 92: The second rule of gymnastics: Where your head goes, you're going. Your head is already there.

©2004 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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