I have a double life. It’s a long story, but I moonlight as a fake Life Coach. What’s a Life Coach and why does it deserve to be capitalized? Well, I don’t really know the answers to those things. The total lack of regulation of Life Coaching is why I’m into it. Seriously, I really don’t know what a Life Coach does. It seems to involve telling a client you can be the best you you can be if you are willing to be the you you want to be. Then you light sage and set your intentions by writing a letter to your spirit animal. You then burn the letter to give it back to the universe. It’s a closed system, you know.
A Life Coach tells people what to do. I am good with both people AND telling them what to do. I have the added benefit of being almost 40 and a Memphian. Like the honey badger, I don’t give a shit. This makes it much easier to coach people with their life issues. I find it’s good to fall back on the lessons I learned growing up in Mississippi to help people on their paths to enlightenment.
- You can stay out until the street lights come on. If you come home any earlier, you will probably leave something undone at work that will sit on your brain all night and make you a twitchy mess. Then you will not listen when your child tells you she wrote a story about a horse with a tail that shoots rockets and she will hate you and spend many years in therapy. Conversely, should you stay much later than when the lights come on, you will not be there to hear about how your child made a time machine out of an empty egg carton and an old calculator. Your child will become an evil genius and you will miss it. You don’t want to miss the formative years of an evil genius, do you? Especially one who will choose your nursing home?
- SIDDOWN IN THIS CAR! The backseat of a moving vehicle is no place for tap dancing or horseplay. For one thing, that hump’s a killer. There is a time and place for everything. You do not need to answer your phone while using the facilities. You are not that important. If you were, you’d have someone to answer the phone for you while you were in said facilities. Church is no place to try for a high score in Angry Birds.
- You look at me when I’m talking to you! Eye contact. It’s a good thing. Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to the degree of eye contact, but if I am interviewing you for a job—and it could happen, friend—I expect you to look at me. If eye contact is not made, I assume you are hiding something from me, worried about your World of Warcraft mage, or you are hatching a plot to steal my One Good Pen while I peruse your resume.
- Don’t talk with your mouth full. Ah, table manners. No one cares if you don’t know your fish fork from your asparagus fork, but for the love of Emily Post, would you please learn to cut your steak? A little tip: If you’re knocking out the person sitting next to you with your elbows, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. You’re not working with power tools. Don’t hog the bread basket. If you order something off the menu and they have sold out, order something else. You should not expect the chef to go into the wild to hunt and butcher a bison just because they had a rush on bison burgers today.
- You will eat what I cook. Deliver me from the person who cannot order from the menu. If you are vegan, here’s a tip: Don’t go to a place called Perky Pete’s Pork Palace. Just because you’ve trained your Widdle Precious Sunbeam not to eat anything but chicken nuggets and Pixy Stix doesn’t mean the chef should procure a plate of fused, breaded chicken bits for you. Ordering the dressing on the side is one thing. Ordering a BLT and substituting turkey for bacon, arugula for lettuce, and prime rib for tomato is quite another.
- You must think the sun comes up just to hear you crow. (See also: SIDDOWN IN THIS CAR) It is, regretfully, not all about me. Nor is it, fortunately, all about you. Think of other people from time to time and don’t be a jerk in traffic.
- It all depends on whose ox got gored. You may rail against those deadbeat morons who are behind on their mortgages because they had no idea their payments would triple after five years, but can you quote and explain everything in the fine print of your mortgage? Did you have any idea your spouse would lose his or her job when you bought the house? Did you read the change of terms that came in the mail two years ago saying your payments could increase based on your payment history of other bills? Did you have any idea when you bought a house in the neighborhood with the most stable house prices in the city that you would be underwater in less than three years? Don’t assume things. You know what your mama would say about that.
- Bless her heart; I think somebody beat her with the ugly stick. Bad news is always best delivered gently and firmly. You don’t want to spend an hour talking about the SEC with your assistant before you fire him, but you don’t want to be such a jerk he takes his stapler and sets the building on fire when he leaves. Say what you need to say, but don’t be a jackass. Why?
- God don’t like ugly.