1. No one acknowledges The Horrible Sounds in yoga or any other group exercise endeavor. Regardless of how protracted or voluminous, no one flinches except for everyone flinches on the inside–in solidarity. We avert our non-wandering eyes in secret celebration that thank God it wasn’t me today, but yes it totally was me last week at the exact moment the 20-something teacher gave me an assist. The 20-something male teacher.
2. We don’t see you plucking silver hairs in your rear-view mirror and throwing them out the car window at stoplights. No, we do not.
3. Gum and/or mints in the purse, now includes dental floss. The question “Do I have something in my teeth?” no longer merits asking. I will palm you my floss, and we now know what that means.
4. If you look especially rested or pretty today we will tell you, but we will not look too closely or quizzically, nor will we ask pointed questions while staring at your slightly-bulging forehead.
5. We will never ever ask you if you are tired today or not feeling well. Even “Are you okay?” can prove a dicey question if based on appearance alone. That question is actually the statement I don’t think you are looking okay, and if you are in fact feeling wonderful, you’ll probably feel markedly less wonderful after I call attention to the fact that your face is making me question your okay-ness. Let’s stick with “How are you?” or maybe just “Good to see you.”
6. We will introduce ourselves by first name without hesitation every time we see each other, even if we’ve known each other since 1985. Let’s not try to figure out where we met. Especially if the conversation begins “Were you my camp counselor?” and ends with finding out that no, in fact, that person could not have been your camp counselor because that person is five years younger than you.
7. If we want to sell each other something–and I hope we don’t–but if we do want to or need to in order make ends meet (or because we’ve become a disciple of a miracle dishrag or t-zone tamer), we’ll say “I’m selling this stuff now and wonder if you want some, or if you’d buy some to help me out?” We shall not invite each other to a party with no obligation where the entire point of the party is in fact obligation. Sometimes we’ll buy the goods, sometimes we’ll be glad we did. We are so happy to support each other and especially happy not to go to the obligation party.
8. On the all-too-rare occasion we are dancing and totally forgetting ourselves, we collectively buy-in to the illusion that we look just like those moves and songs always made us feel. We become one massive hybrid of Molly Ringwalds dancing her boots off in the library of The Breakfast Club, be-banged Uma Thurmans riding imaginary waves in Pulp Fiction, Maniac Jennifer Beals Flashdance body-doubles, and every single fly girl all at once jamming in spandex shorts on In Living Color.
9. Let’s say, hypothetically, in a fit of mortality-nearing-I-must-control-something discomfort we decide to cut off all of our perfectly nice hair into a severe style that may not suit us. A middle-aged friend might text another close middle-aged friend a delicately-worded messages such as My aesthetic instinct is saying not to cut it. The haircut lady may do this:
10. We are ordering several appetizers to share. We are eating full entrees. Then, we are saying yes to dessert.