The Rules to Life

August 29, 2014

You take the good, you take the bad you put ‘em together and what do you have?

Rulestolifebook

If life came equipped with a giant textbook — one covered in rich fabric and gold lettering with a thick spine that stood out so prominently on your shelf you could locate it backwards while addressing any problem that stood before you (“Ah, awkward encounter with an ex? Yes, yes, let me see. Chapter 5, I have the solution right here!”) then things would be a lot easier. We’d probably learn less, but still. Easier.

Unfortunately, no such book exists. Apparently printing is really expensive these days and no one’s done a fabric cover since Belle made them go mainstream during her melodic soliloquy about libraries and literature. But there does exist a list of 10 rules to life; rules that don’t necessarily solve problems but offer preemptive strikes against 21st century headaches:

Rule #1: Never comment on a Facebook picture.

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No matter how dumb your friend looks, how beautiful the sunset is or how cute So-and-so’s baby is, commenting on a Facebook photo is a trap. Until that pic stops proliferating, you, my friend, will be stuck in a cycle of notifications more impossible to exit than a group chat or Chandler Bing’s gym. Save the comments for Instagram and keep Facebook a safe haven of quiet stalking.

Rule #2: Smashing your keyboard or slamming your phone into a wall will not fix the technological problem you’re experiencing.

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It seems counterintuitive, but trust me.

Rule #3: Don’t forget that no one can see you typing in an e-mail; take your time.

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We’ve become so accustomed to the pressure of a text recipient watching our thoughts formulate via that evil, ticking time bomb of an ellipsis that we’ve forgetten no other forms of communication (save for in-person, perhaps) require such immediate wit. Take your time with an email. Let it marinate. Let the punchline come organically. If it doesn’t, you’ve got one free pass to cry 21st-century “wolf”: “It got lost in my Spam Folder!”

Rule #4: Stop analyzing Instagram “likes” from someone you IRL-like.

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Nine times out of ten it doesn’t mean anything.

Rule #5: If you have a lighter, a Band-Aid, a safety pin and a piece of gum, you will always be able to make a friend.

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Consider the amount of times someone has asked you for one of the above, then think about all of the times you said no. Missed opportunities. The Boy Scouts knew what was up when they said, “Always be prepared.”

Rule #6: If you want the booth seat, ask for the booth seat.

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That moment before all parties are seated is an awkward game of being unnecessarily polite. Everyone wants the booth. …Everyone except someone with a serious bladder problem, and even then they want the booth if there’s a somewhat simple exit strategy. Moral: if you want it, just call it. The booth is like yelling “shotgun” — the slow bird gets the hard chair.

Rule #7: If you forget an umbrella, it will rain. If you bring an umbrella, it will not.

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If you bring an umbrella and it rains, the umbrella will break.  Don’t argue with science and learn when to admit defeat.

Rule #8: A rule of thumb when drunk: you’ll never regret the text you didn’t send.

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A fact of life: you will probably send it anyway. Blame your friend, then delete any evidence on your phone. If you can’t view it, it didn’t happen. Bonus points for deleting only selected parts of the conversation to make yourself appear like the one who truly has his or her shit together. Pray the drunk-text recipient doesn’t screen shot.

Rule #9: A cheap razor is never worth it.

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Shortcuts are always met with actual cuts. Whether you forgot your razor while on vacation or you’re at the office wearing natural wool stockings that need to be stripped before a meeting, invest in an emergency razor that actually works to avoid bleeding, irritation, and coworkers pointing out that you missed a spot.

Rule #10: Don’t fall asleep in cabs.

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Cabs are deceitfully familiar. They cradle you in comfort after long nights or red eye flights despite the fact that they often smell like soup, and with the window cracked and the soft television glow of Sandy Kenyon on mute, it’s easy to feel as though you’re cozy in bed with the tube left on. But you must stay awake. If not for safety reasons — a friend of mine once woke up to a drug deal between her driver and a stranger about 200 blocks north of home — then because no one in this economy has enough cash or credit to cover the cost of anything over a $30 nap.

Use these rules to guide you through the weekend, or throw them out the window with your 9-5 bra. Either way, add your own, have a wonderful Labor Day and we will see you Tuesday for the kickstart of a week/month dedicated to your favorite topic and mine: burritos. I mean bagels. I mean coffee. JK…FASHION.

Illustrations by Charlotte Fassler

  • http://lisaldn.com LisaLDN

    This is perfection, I’m putting it on my wall! :D

  • http://www.whatkatedidblog.com Kate Bastable

    Love this (especially the reference to Chandler Bing’s gym haha!)

  • Quinn Halman

    Amelia, you’re flawless, taking these rules with me. I’m keeping #4 in mind and I’ve learned lesson #9 the hard way.
    PS: Charlotte, you’re killing it with these illustrations

  • mollie blackwood

    These are great. Especially the facebook photo comments. Nope, that notification isn’t for you… it’s because you commented on your friends photo.

  • http://dressinginlabels.blogspot.com Karen – Dressing in Labels

    your like a minderreader! I recently “experienced” number 8 AGAIN, I was so ashamed the next day!

    x Karen
    http://dressinginlabels.blogspot.com

  • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Hager

    Andddd out of all of the sites in the world, content like this is why this one is my favorite.

    Off on a backpacking trip now… Peace!

  • ee_by_cc

    Thanks so much, because I’ll definitely be singing the Facts of Life theme song for possibly the entire weekend now. I guess that’s ok, since I’ve had the Golden Girls theme song on loop in my head for about a month.

    Anyways…spot on post. For Rule #2: Every IT person I know has told me that turning off and then back on WILL solve the problem. I’m still in the testing phase of that hypothesis.

    http://www.enduringethereal.com

    • dustUP

      It’s true, but only partly, as that is a typical advice for adult Mac users only. Mac users that are younger than 12 can control their devices telepathically, and PC users of all ages need to employ some more profound and diverse troubleshooting techniques, some of which might include manual stimulation.

      • MSCFBeeches

        LOL!! @ “Mac users that are younger than 12 can control their devices telepathically”

      • ee_by_cc

        Extremely astute!

  • http://www.ashliwithaneye.com Ashli Pollard

    also, people who have aspirin in the office to help out all hungover friends! the beeeeeeeeest!

  • http://www.janaleemiller.com/ Jana @ One Drawing a Day

    Love the one about Facebook! So true! And I’m putting some gum in my purse as we speak :)

  • http://www.dominiquecandido.com Dominique

    yes i needed this

    xxxx

    http://www.dominiquecandido.com

  • Natalia

    You can comment and then unfollow the post so that the notifications don’t harass you for a month :P

  • MSCFBeeches

    The silent booth seat struggle is so annoying. The same people always want it! And the other people want a turn. So everyone approaches the seating looking so lowkey intense and suspicious like it’s an old western showdown. A lot of times I play the bigger, but disappointed, person and chair-sits. But I want to be the little person, happy in a booth damn it.

    mysocalledfashion.com

  • Marylou

    I love love LOOOOOOVE this post!!!!!

  • http://vanillaelephant.blogspot.de/ Anita

    love the facts. your style of writing is hilarious too
    xx Anita
    http://vanillaelephant.blogspot.de/

  • Bea Hervella

    With Whatoweather, a free app, you will avoid rainny troubles

  • alyssa

    These are all so accurate and so perfect. <3

  • http://charlottesophiaroberts.blogspot.co.uk Charlotte Roberts
  • Aisyah

    Hahahahahahaha!!! This had me laughing in stitches, such a great read :-) Thank you so much for this!!!!

  • http://www.littlewildheart.com Alexandra Puffer

    #3. Those 3 little bubbles were the end of my happiness. So embarrassing. I adore the illustrations here!

    Warm Regards,
    Alexandra
    http://www.littlewildheart.com

  • Jeanean

    Rule number five so totally true I am adding them to my pre-existing friendly kit. This currently includes: Backup Feminine Hygiene Products, Tylenol, Motrin and a tiny Military Sewing Kit! If I can get all this into an Altoid tin I will rule (except for the FHP, those always go in that little pocket at the back of my purse).
    Rule number seven is true unless you currently live or have lived in the Netherlands. Where it rains all the time! Once you’ve lived there you bond with your umbrellas and they are much more supportive.
    This was a really fun post.

  • Kristy

    Rule number 6 spoke to me, rule number 10 is creepy. Clearly I don’t live enough.

  • Luciana Safdie

    This is perfect. Kinda reminds me of a book my grandma once gave me called Debrett’s Etiquette for Girls – which even includes rules for dealing with a one night stand, or encountering your ex bff who ditched you for your crush.

  • http://reinventingneesha.blogspot.co.uk Neesha Rees

    I absolutely love ready this haha! Genius! <3

  • KatleenMara | The Modern Alice

    Most brilliant post ever!! (Seriously. I literally Lol’d!)

    http://www.themodernalice.com

  • http://www.liquidsunshineak.com/ meg

    This is awesome. I love the bit about sending text messages while you are drunk….GUILTY over here and lesson learned!

  • http://www.mageeski.blogspot.com mageeski

    Love this!

    Magee / Mageeski.blogspot.com

  • ariel cherie.

    Yes to ALL of this, especially the Facebook comments. I instantly regret it anytime I make one.

  • Z

    You can unfollow a picture/post you’ve commented on! Just click on “stop notifications” next to the like and comment button…possibly the best thing I’ve ever discovered.

  • thedailymiacis

    This is so good!!! :D Love the reference to Chandler´s Bing Gym xDD I’m still laughing, made my day!

  • http://jiaachacruz.blogspot.com/ Jia Achacruz

    Man Repeller is now officially my favorite site ♥

    ROUGH & TOUGH☯ // I`m on Bloglovin! // IG: @jiaachacruz:disqus

  • Life Talks

    This is such a lovely post. I really like the pictures as well

  • http://rightternes.com/ RightTernes

    I’ll just add to Rule #5: if you have bobby pins, hair ties and/or tampons you have immediately achieved best friend status in my Rules of Life Book.

  • Emily

    SO great.

  • Joe Valerie

    My Name is Valerie, I wish to share my testimonies with the general public about what this man called Dr.Okon has just done for me , this man has just brought back my lost Ex husband to me with his great spell, i was married to this man called Joe, we were together for a long time and we loved our self’s but when i was unable to give him a child for 2 years he left me and told me he can’t continue anymore then i was now looking for ways to get him back until a friend of mine told me about this man and gave me his contact email (okonspelltemple@hotmail.com) then you won’t believe this when i contacted this man on my problems and explain all that happened to him, and he told me not to worry any more that he is going to help me get Joe back and also make me to be able to get pregnant and bear a child for my husband Joe. he said if only i have the faith and believe that what he is going to do for me will work according to my heart desire,i told him yes i will. he did the spell cast and bring my lost husband back, and after a month i miss my month and go for a test and the result stated am pregnant am happy today am a mother of a baby girl, thank you once again the great Dr Okon for what you have done for me, if you are out there passing through this same kind of problems or any you can contact him today on his mail okonspelltemple@hotmail.com and he will also help you as well.

  • kartika

    loved it!
    check out my stuff too? Pinkskirts.wordpress.com

  • Melissa

    These are gold. So much better than the lists I’ve been reading on thoughtcatalog!

  • Vivianne

    You lost me at rule #2. Even if hitting the computer does not get rid of the spinning pizza of doom, it will help.

  • lizzy benjamin

    Hello I am lizzy , am out here to spread this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex husband back.I was going crazy when my husband left me and my two kids for another woman last month, But when i met a friend that introduced me to DR Agbalagba the great messenger to the oracle of DR Agbalagba healing home,I narrated my problem to DR Agbalagba about how my ex Husband left me and my two kids and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,24 hours later,My Ex Husband called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me and the kids before now and one week after my Husband called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in a very big company here in IRELAND were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact DR Agbalagba on his personal email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: agbalagbatemple@yahoo.com and your problem will be solve…….

  • http://www.addictedtolace.com Roshni

    Man Repeller – Always telling it like it is.
    http://www.addictedtolace.com

  • Megan Small

    Really funny, charming, self-deprecating writing. My favorite kind to read.

  • shayna121

    So good. As usual.

  • Margogogo

    The boy scout motto is actually just “be prepared”. There’s no “always”. Just FYI! :)

    Source: http://www.scouting.org/About/FactSheets/OverviewofBSA.aspx

    • Amelia Diamond

      they’re just testing you!!!