Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rules to Live By

"Oh Maaaaaaw-Maaaaah," yelled Sylvia a few weeks ago, "I see some sunshine on the ruuuuu-uuug." She thought it important that I be notified immediately, since I live by the following rule:

If you see a patch of sunshine on the rug, make like a cat and lay down in it.

I figure this is a good rule to live by. If you've never gotten in touch with your feline side, you might not understand. But if you've ever curled up on the warm rug, then streeeetched your body, then carefully curled back up to fit your body within the patch of sunshine, then you know that this rule makes good sense. In fact, you are likely adopting it as your own rule right now.

Evidently I have a penchant for the prone position, because another one of my rules is that

I will take a Sunday afternoon nap as often as possible. When it's Sunday, that is.

I have been taking a Sunday afternoon nap for as long as I can remember. Not every Sunday, mind you, but more often than not. I remember the delicious feeling of climbing into my bed in junior high and high school, my body melting like wax into fixed grooves, and waking up just in time for dinner (which was cinnamon toast or a bowl of cereal, since Sunday night was Scrounge Your Own Food Night in our house). Thankfully, Tobin respects this rule but does not live by it himself. Since he's not a napper, he is available to get the kids the heck out of the house on Sunday afternoon so that I can sleep in peace. This means that however much I appreciate your invitation to Sunday afternoon lunch, I will weigh it heavily against the possibility of missing my Sunday afternoon nap.

Living by these maxims as I do, I completely understood when my friend C told me she'd decided on a Drumstick Rule. She may have called it the Drumstick Proclamation; I can't remember for sure. You know Drumsticks? Those ice-cream-cone shaped frozen snacks with the nutty bits on the top? Up until the advent of the Rule, she'd been in a quandry each and every time the cafeteria at her work offered them for dessert. C would mentally calculate how much running she'd done that week or was likely to do that evening after work, whether she'd been eating healthfully during that week, and other complicated mathematical computations involving mental graphs and spreadsheets. Then one day she decided to throw all of that thinking out the window. They're only offered once in a while, she reasoned, and so from now on, when they are, I'm going to eat one without question, she thought to herself. Hear ye hear ye, let it be known:

C will eat a drumstick for dessert whenever they are offered at work.

What rules do you live by? And I'm not talking about the Golden Rule here, though I did recently find it written on a heart in 1st grade handwriting, in a version that I call King James meets The Message:

Do unto uthrs just as you wud like to be tridid.


Alicia said...

I like your rules. As you know, I also abide by the Sunday afternoon nap rule. In fact, when my brother-in-law moved to our area shortly after I was married, his parents told him, "Make sure you don't disturb her Sunday afternoon nap!". I guess it must have made an impression on them.

A couple of rules that I live by:
* Sniff a sleeping dog (sounds weird, but sleeping dogs have a strangely comforting smell - like warm musk)
* Vacation calories don't count

Ally said...

We must be related or something, Alicia, since I also have a rule to sniff sleeping kitties. In fact anything sleeping... I sniff Eleanor's head and if she's not quite asleep she says "do I smell like a sleepy kitty, Mama?" She often does.

悉怛多缽怛囉PLANET said...

證據 時效

JC said...

Well since we're on the subject of sniffing, I don't know if I can call it a rule, but when I'm peeling garlic, I think about how oddly interesting my index finger and thumb are going to smell for possibly the next 24 hours. Then I smell them (a lot) for the next 24 hours. I like the smell of sleeping kids and kittens as well, of course. But there's something about the smell of garlic lingering on skin.

So, and this will come as no surprise to you ally, my rule-to-live-by is to obsessively worry about what rules I might be living by. (Like I said, not a big shocker).

JC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Summer said...

Hmmmm... I can't think of any off the top of my head, but Jeremy just commented that I always tuck my pajama pants into my socks. I think I need more interested quirks, like smelling sleeping dogs!

Anonymous said...

never eat bread pudding north of the mason dixon. it will always disappoint you.

Christina said...


Amy said...

One rule my mom has is that when telling a lie, there has to be at least some truth to it. Sometimes it's a stretch.

Kendra Joy said...

Being new to the kitty/cat thing, I have recently come to this rule: Unless there is something REALLY pressing or important I must get up for, I do not get up while kitty is nicely nestled on my lap. Especially in fall/winter when the cuddly feeling is so nice.

Lori said...

My dear Granny had the best rules to live by.

Pie is healthy as long as there is fruit in it.

If you break a cookie in half, most of the calories fall out.

One should always get up twice, meaning, one should wake up early, tend to your pets or other basic needs and then go back to bed. The next time you get up is when the day really begins.

I'd really like that Sunday nap rule... I may need to try and add that in around here.

Pate Family said...

I don't really cry much, but for some reason my emotions have the rule to never let someone cry alone. Anyone crying at church, a funeral, or the worst was when a parent would be upset at a conference and they would start to cry, and my eyes well up also. I think I missed my calling in some previous generation as a professional mourner. The exception to the rule is of course my crying children, fortunately their (frequent) tears do nothing for me.

Arlene Winn said...

One of my rules: Whenever possible extend or accept invitations to spend with people I love or enjoy. Mundane tasks such as housecleaning and laundry should never interfere.