Recently, I was sitting on a sofa listening to one of my friends. While she was talking, I ran my hand around the back of the sofa, under the cushions and into the crack, where I found a playing card. I was disappointed, because I had been hoping for 50p (it’s something about the angles of the coin- they’re much easier to pull out of tiny spaces than, say, a plump and rounded £1), but when I looked at the card, I saw that someone had written on it: ‘“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” And at first I was irritated, because not only was I still poor, which I didn’t like, I was also being told what to do, which I also didn’t like. But then I realised that it was possibly the quote itself, which irritates me in a myriad of ways, that was the problem. I don’t have any playing cards (my little sister steals them at a rate which exceeds my own ability to remember to buy new packs), and I can’t think of much I’d like to do less than walk about London, dropping pieces of advice into other people’s sofas, but I do have a great deal of wisdom to share, so here are some instructions for living:
1. Have a great bedside book. Preferably, read it, but even if you don’t read, have something interesting there for show. My little sister currently has ‘Everything you need to know about your water supply: The Thames Water household guide’. I know this, because I went into her bedroom a moment ago to steal a box of tissues. Which brings me on nicely to:
2. Have a box of tissues by your bed. The multi-purpose use of tissues is not to be under-estimated. It was only yesterday that I used a tissue to save my sheets from some dill sauce, to blow my nose, to provide a moveable plate for my melon slices and to place over my left eye, because I thought I might have put my contact lenses in wrong way round.
3. Don’t dance if nobody’s watching. That’s the kind of thing that gets you picked up on CCTV cameras and put on some kind of watchlist.
4. If you’re going to live for the moment, pick a good moment. This morning my little sister was in the loo when I needed to wee, and that moment lasted for ever, and it was hideous.
5. There is no need to learn song lyrics correctly. Simply sing them with authority, and louder than other people.
6. Never use the following words: fulfilment, ROI, panties.
7. Never cross the road at a red man if a child is watching. How will they learn?
8. Carry at all times a wooly hat and a pair of sunglasses. At least 1% of the time you’ll need them, and be able to say smugly, ‘Who looks like an idiot now?’
9. Don’t talk on the phone on public transport. It’s super frustrating for the rest of us, because we can’t hear the other side of the conversation.
10. If you’re feeling particularly flush, leave a 50p coin down the crack of someone else’s sofa. You have no idea how grateful someone* might be for it one day.