Notes to Self

Newsroom

Newsroom

Dear Ben,

By the time you read this, you will be 30 and, by most accounts, untrustworthy to everyone your junior. After championing opportunities for your fellow Young Turks, you’re going to be just another Ottoman. Make way for a generation that thinks Napster was invented by Justin Timberlake, that “He-Man” is redundant and that blue M&Ms are as old as Mars. On your birthday, you will not turn into a pumpkin, but you may have a strong desire to grow an unironic moustache.

More likely, though, you will just abandon all of your values and beliefs. So, in the spirit of posterity and numerology, here are 30 things that, as of this writing, you hold true:

1. Detroit is a city of opportunity.
2. Detroit is not a blank canvas.
3. Public transit is not just for the elderly and disabled.
4. Bikes and feet can also get you where you need to go. (No Rollerblades.)
5. Traveling is a blessing.
6. Talking too much about your travels is a curse.
7. Good grammar is heavenly.
8. People do not like it when you correct their grammar.
9. Lifting the chair in the hora is a spiritual and holy act.
10. The hors d’oeuvres are always better than the entree.

There’s a time and a place for:

11. Eating with your hands.
12. Eating with no hands.
13. Running up the escalator.
14. Running up the down escalator.
15. Talking politics.
16. Shouting politics.
17. Drinking White Russians.
18. Drinking chocolate milk.
19. Hugging people you don’t know that
well.
20. Going to the movies by yourself.

Contrary to popular belief:

21. The clothes do not make the man.
22. Good fences do not make good
neighbors.
23. Charity does not start at home.
24. Youth is not wasted on the young.
25. The life of man need not be solitary,
poor, nasty, brutish or short.

Still fun:

26. Riding roller coasters.
27. Riding in the backseat.
28. Singing.
29. Voting.
30. Birthdays.

Look, we knew this day would come. All the colorful Converse All Stars in the world couldn’t stop time, even if their trademark canvas tops and rubber soles do provide outstanding traction. Embrace your orthopedic shoes: A lot of people have accomplished great things after 30 … you just can’t think of any at the moment. Let’s just hope that the new regime, with their Tweetering and My Spaces, has as much compassion for the elderly as you did. Before you became one.

See you on the other side,

Ben

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