PROMPT #24 (NOV 26): Fortune cookies are a dime a dozen, but sometimes they are exactly what we need to hear. And every once in a while they come from a friend, shared as a piece of advice and spoken so eloquently that you remember it for years to come. What’s once piece of advice that someone told you that you still think of and consider today?

There are three pieces of advice I have received over the years that continue to haunt me to this day.

  1. I before E except after C. Mrs. Ledward.
    During this lesson in 7th grade English I was writing poetry. My teacher came over and ripped it up and I told her I “got” this lesson already. She quizzed me and I spit back the lesson verbatim. It came down to her, the principal, and I, and I won – put in honors classes and never had to tolerate her again. I still get those fucking words (pieces and received) highlighted in red by spell check to this very day.
  2. “Be careful doing what you love for a living. You might learn to hate it.” Adam Goldberg.
    Well, Adam apparently didn’t follow his own advice, because “The Goldbergs” is the subject of side conversations in my office. I overheard a coworker say, “They don’t tell you why, but the guy walks into his house, says ‘hello ! I’m home!’ and takes off his pants! It’s the funnies thing you’ve ever seen!” I chose to stay silent. Adam’s advice plays in my head any time I consider making art full time, or writing – or knitting, sewing, cooking…
  3. “You will always spend what you make.” Christopher Hanley.
    I was in awe of the sales guys at Bloomberg. It was the booming late nineties, and as the intern, I never paid for a drink. I was so envious of them pulling the salaries they did – and the commissions. I struggled to make my rent. I had particular admiration for Chris because he had a little piece of paper in his pocket with the names of addresses of restaurants and bars on it in tiny 6pt handwritten type. This was ten years before iPhones and Yelp. Whenever we hung out and wanted to know where to get a snack or the next cocktail he would pull this list out of his breast pocket and send the cab driver to our next destination. When I expressed my admiration for his lifestyle, he would dish out that bold warning. But Christ need not feel guilty. He was at the Windows on the World restaurant having breakfast the morning when the planes hit the towers and he left this world just after he turned 30. Bless him for spending every penny while he had it to spend.

3 thoughts on “Three Simple Warnings

    1. You said it, my friend. I am like a human tape recorder. Unfortunately my brain does not have time and date stamps. I remember being a bit surprised that you would say something so depressing. Maybe your classes were getting you down?

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