Lending advice from some lessons that I've learned
I was never one to give much advice, but I thought I might share some that I've been given whether I listened to it or not.
When ear piercing became popular back in college, the word of advice was to have a professional do it. That really didn't apply to me since I saw ear piercing as something for third-world peasants like my grandmother and her friends. No way I was going to do that. Well, not until I went to New York City with my friend Carol. Jewelry shops in Greenwich Village showcased thousands of earrings. For pierced ears only. Carol came home with a suitcase full of earrings while I came home with nothing but a case of envy.
As I was moping back in the dorm, a friend offered to put me out of my misery and pierce my ears for me. The only problem was that she poked the holes at different angles and unless I tilt my head five degrees to the right, my left earring hangs about a quarter inch too low. Should have listened.
Back when Trickum Middle used to have a Sixth-Grade Renaissance Festival I went to great pains and expense to come up with a Medieval costume. My friend Snow showed up as a gypsy.
"It's the only costume I own," she said. "No matter what the occasion, I always fit in. Gypsies go everywhere."
The funny thing was that her shawl looked pretty much like one I have that my grandmother brought over from the old country. And now that my ears were pierced, I was good to go.
When we rented a tux for our middle son's prom, a friend suggested we just buy one. I asked if she thought we were rolling in money. No, she said, it costs only about $20 more and then he'll have it for formal events in college. Not only did this save us hundreds of dollars in tux rentals at Georgia Tech, but it was fun finding him shirts, shoes and cuff links for Christmas and birthday gifts.
Then there's the advice I wish we'd had. Back in the '80s we took videos of every move our kids made. We have stacks of them that my husband planned to edit and convert one day. That day recently came. Through hours of tedium, he discovered the footage fell into three categories: Treasured memories like our Kiawah Island trip in 1985 with the boys playing harmonicas in the back seat, mystery moments like three unidentifiable little girls reading books on a couch I didn't even recognize and miles of memories never to be recaptured where the magnetic material flecked off the tape, leaving it totally transparent.
So my advice is, if you plan to convert your old videos, either do it soon enough so everything is still distinguishable or wait long enough that you don't even remember what you're missing.
Susan Larson is a writer from Lilburn. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.