31 Years of Semi-Important Life Lessons

Last week I became another year older.

(Thank you for the belated wishes)

The more time we spend on this Earth the more we learn, unlearn, relearn and adapt what we’ve learned to fit the latest trends, philosophies and events that shape the present world. It’s amazing how much can change year to year. And as I take another step into my 3rd decade of existence I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about life thanks to society, pop culture and lemonade year by year.

1985

My parents love me so much they’re willing to do anything for me when I cry. They’ll even clean up my crap!

1986

What I learned in 1985 wore out real quick.

1987

When you have an older sister and you’re still a toddler you become her favorite doll. I had a Teddy Ruxpin.

I was a way better doll and Teddy was creepy.

1988

Sesame Street tried to teach me stuff and The Muppets just made me laugh, a dichotomy I didn’t quite understand as a youngster. Then I saw A Muppet Family Christmas and got it. The Muppets were like family and the Sesame Street gang taught me about in-laws.

But when they found Fraggle Rock my mind was blown.

1989

I learned a lot of things.

  1. Whoever wins the Super Bowl gets free tickets to Disney World.
  1. If you use pink bunnies to power your electronics they’ll keep going, going and going.
  1. If I call an egg my “brain” and put it in a frying pan called “drugs” I can get breakfast.

1990

Italian grandmothers don’t care if you’re full and will guilt trip you into being a fat kid.

I also learned that during the summer time adults like to drink a lot of lemonade. I found that a drink both bitter and sweet was a ridiculous concept. Why go with bitter at all? I stuck with apple juice.

1991

I didn’t know what teen spirit smelled like but that Raffi dude sure picked some weird things to sing about.

FYI, a banana is not a phone and repetition is annoying for 6 year olds too.

1992

If you play saxophone kind of okay on a late night talk show you can be the President.

1993

Thanks to Steven Spielberg it’s possible to genetically engineer dinosaurs if we just find some mosquitoes preserved in fossilized tree sap. Having a pet Triceratops would have been sweet.

BTW, the original Jurassic Park still has the most realistic looking dinosaurs ever on the silver screen.

1994

Mariah Carey taught me All I Want For Christmas Is You. At this age all I wanted was Legos. Later in life I learned I wanted Mariah Carey.

1995

If you have a lot of money, fame, and the glove doesn’t fit, you’re acquitted. The word acquit didn’t show up on my English tests for a few years but I got that one right without studying. Thanks OJ!

1996

Whenever an adult sees kids with a lemonade stand they will stop and buy a glass. Sure it’s only 25 cents but the allure of the bittersweet beverage still alluded me. And where the hell do you get all those lemons from?

1997

The best marketing tools for beer are frogs and lizards. Just ask Budweiser. I may have had to wait a while for my first beer but dammit if it wasn’t a Bud Light. Wwwaaassssuuppp with that?

1998

I turned 13. Uh…. Girls.

1999

Prince was a money making visionary. Not only did he write a hit song in 1982 he pretty much guaranteed it would be a hit again 17 years later. Genius.

Also, you’d think binary code experts would have figured out the whole Y2K thing a while ago so people wouldn’t freak out over 000 in a row.

Prince was smarter than computer programmers.

2000

I should have taken singing and dancing lessons so I could join a boy band. Sure I would have been a has-been before 25 but at least Dancing With The Stars would have called by now.

2001

If people think you’re a guy they wouldn’t mind having a beer with you can be the President.

It also helps if you hang guys named Chad in Florida.

2002

If you’re willing to make a fool of yourself on primetime network television it’s way easier to get on American Idol than if you actually have some talent.

2003

After going through some adversity a school counselor told me when life deals you lemons, turn it into lemonade. Eureka! Now I know where lemons come from and nobody actually wants lemonade.

2004

MTV used to be an acronym for music television. What does it stand for now?

2005

Sure I’ll sign up for Facebook. It’ll probably just be one of those college fads that everybody does to seem cool, follow the crowd, and poke people for what purpose is beyond my rationale. It probably won’t last.

2006

Zac Efron’s not a jock but if he was he’d never go for the shy girl. The mean girls would have bullied Sharpay and if high school were a musical it sure as hell wouldn’t have been so happy and catchy.

2007

No matter what you and your buddies can always find $12 around the frat house for a case of bad beer you’ll never buy again once you graduate.

2008

Keeping up with the Kardashians is tough but when you have a nice butt, a sex tape, and a lot of money because your Dad was part of the team that acquitted OJ, you don’t have to do much to be famous or make millions. You just have to be a “personality”. Thanks OJ!

2009

A trip to Las Vegas off budget is way more fun than one with a budget.

FYI parents, Vegas isn’t for kids. Watching you try to explain to little Suzy why all the girls in the pictures on the sidewalk are topless at midnight while you’re drunk and gambling her college tuition away is a total buzz kill with or without a budget.

2010

Whoever decided to pair Legos with movie franchises should own a small island nation by now, made of Legos.

2011

There are approximately 64 million people living in the UK. Approximately 2 billion people watched the royal wedding.

More countries should have royal weddings so they don’t have to live vicariously through England’s.

At least it wasn’t a Red Wedding.

2012

I used to remember lots of things like my friends phone numbers, basic math equations, important dates, and basic trivia. Then I met a girl named Siri who tells me everything and developed empty nest syndrome whenever I don’t have my phone with me.

2013

Wait, what I put on my Facebook profile matters? You mean employers actually search my profile to see the shenanigans I’m up to outside of work to judge my personality and professionalism? I’m responsible for the crap I spew in my social media platforms? When the hell did that happen?

Dammit Mark Zuckerberg this isn’t a fad. This is a way of life now! I mean sure I could delete my profile. But then nobody would know what my current status was. Not even my family.

FYI, Zuckerberg must own a small island nation right next to the guy who turned Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones into Lego figurines.

2014

I officially hit the point in my life where I believe the pop culture of my youth grossly outshines the pop culture of today. The interesting thing is the generation before me said the same thing about theirs and from a total objective perspective it’s all more or less the same.

2015

It was reported that more people died while taking a selfie than from shark attacks this year. It’s unclear if a selfie stick was involved in either death related circumstance but both should strengthen Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

2016

I still have a lot to learn but looking back on 31 years of lessons here’s what I know, things get way more complicated when your folks stop wiping your ass and too much lemonade can cause diarrhea.

Oh yeah and if you’re a reality TV star with enough money, you can be the President.

I need a glass of lemonade.

 

 

 

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