With fate and that rearview mirror in mind, here are a few things beyond the limbo I'm quite probably beyond doing. So, join me in just saying no to:
- Jell-O shots.
- Karaoke after midnight.
- Karaoke after Jell-O shots.
- Trying to break a plank with your head.
- Mud wrestling (intentional).
- Crowd surfing to the mosh pit.
- Joining the circus. Joining the ashram.
- Drinking champagne from your son's girlfriend's shoe.
- Drinking champagne from your daughter's boyfriend's shoe.
- Drinking champagne from your own shoe.
- Xtreme bingo cruises.
- Collecting owls made of shells, frogs made of ceramic or lawn gnomes made of anything — really, really anything.
- Playing basketball in high heels.
- Throwing a wet T-shirt contest. Throwing a wet nightshirt contest.
- Getting publicly and verbally excited about the number of stamps in your passport, zeroes in your paycheck, capital letters before or after your name (unless they're H.R.H.), number of names on your phone-favorites list, number of people you could have married, the size of your acreage … or the size of your anything else.
- Explaining your personal role in the fact that your kids "never really got into any of that stuff …"
- Explaining your personal role in the fact that your kids got into an Ivy League college.
- Explaining your personal role in starting the rumor that Paul was dead.
- Single-spacing your Christmas letter.
- The Dougie.
- Giving up — ever.
Jacquelyn Mitchard, the best-selling author of 20 books, lives near Madison, Wis., with her family.
Published June 2011