This time of year is filled with celebration vibes, and a wagon load of well-intentioned advice. People are either walking a graduation line or down a wedding aisle. Tables are laden with iced cakes, floral arrangements and congratulation cards scribbled with lines of well-wishes and advice.
I tried to compile a list of sound, excellent, life-skill advice for this week’s column. But, all that came to mind were the reams of terrible advice I received from well-meaning people. What follows is bad advice for good people.
“That plaid couch is so you.” No, it is not you. You are a colorful being with many textures and patterns. Do not define yourself by a patterned fabric that you will be stuck with for the next decade. Avoid print-patterned furniture at all costs, because, five years from now you will abhor that plaid couch and wish you had saved yourself some hard-earned cash by going with a neutral tone futon and a few sporty throw pillows.
“Say yes to everything for one year.” No. Do not say yes to everything. In college I had a semi-roommate who convinced me to say yes to every opportunity, including dating, for one year. Here’s how that year went: fencing lessons, banana-flavored everything, ballroom dancing, a plaid couch, a tense moment at gunpoint on a beach in Mexico, 37 awkward dates wherein I learned what I definitely did not want in a life-partner, and a brown paper bag filled with 52 ska CDs. I don’t even like ska. The only high point of that year was learning a few parrying techniques that I’ve never used again.
“Make direct eye contact to show confidence.” Eh … within reason. Half of the uncomfortable situations in my life have occurred because I made direct eye contact and the person on the receiving end mistook the look for one of interest. This has led to several marriage proposals from complete strangers, an offer to kick my assets, unwanted windshield cleaning at stoplights, and TMI from seatmates on trains, planes and automobiles.
Charcoal-activated anything. Charcoal belongs in potting soil and barbecue pits, not in any body part with a mucus lining and surfaces sensitive to abrasives. Activated charcoal is used to treat drug overdoses. It works because drugs and toxins chemically bind to the charcoal and leave the body. It’s become more popular to take activated charcoal as a supplement, or for mild discomfort. According to WebMD, activated charcoal can cause gastrointestinal blockages, and will reduce or prevent absorption of other medications including pain killers, heart medication, asthma medication and anti-depressants. As an alternative to toothpaste, charcoal use is discouraged by scientific evidence. A recent study published in the British Dental Journal reveals findings that activated charcoal causes tooth decay and staining.
In other news you didn’t want to hear: The Pateros Super Stop gas station has declined to continue offering the Methow Valley News to customers. If you have an idea of a local distributor please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a bright side! In an effort to support readers in the lower valley, Methow Valley News is offering a $5 discount on subscriptions to any Pateros address. This discount will be honored through the end of June 2019.