Words to live by

If you can't be a good example, serve as a warning. What can others learn from your mistakes?


Salon Staff
July 6, 2007 12:58PM (UTC)

Private Life

Learning From Others' Mistakes

princessalex - 12:09 pm Pacific Time - Jul 2, 2007

What have you learned the "hard way"?

Please let the rest of us learn from your mistakes!

We learned the hard way to ENSURE that the sink is completely cleaned out -- with soap and scratcher (including the strainer basket) -- BEFORE draining the pasta for dinner in it. It only takes one incident of the strainer tipping over, spilling half of it in the sink, for me to remember that little gem! ;o)

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Saffa - 12:21 pm Pacific Time - Jul 2, 2007 - #3 of 54

Negative: Do not wait until the night before the deadline to start writing an essay for university.

Positive: Buy a windup torch. That way, you'll never have to worry about batteries.

Keep a plastic bag in your purse if you have a collapsible umbrella. That way you can fold up the umbrella and not get the contents of your handbag wet.

texajen - 01:02 pm Pacific Time - Jul 2, 2007 - #9 of 54

Carry a plastic tub with you in your trunk. In it, put fix-a-flat, jumper cables and a wind-up flashlight. Also, scissors, all-purpose wrapping paper, tape and ribbon have come in handy many a time.

Nicola O. - 02:50 pm Pacific Time - Jul 2, 2007 - #15 of 54

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Never make your boss look bad in front of his boss.

Kati - 03:09 pm Pacific Time - Jul 2, 2007 - #16 of 54

Don't buy clothes you don't love, just because they're on sale.

Last time I culled my clothes from a bulging closet, I found a bunch of stuff I'd purchased because it was so heavily discounted, but I never did wear much of this stuff very often.

All those marked down from $50 to $15 blouses and things add up, though, and I wish I had purchased a few wonderful things, rather than lots of so-so things.

I'm finally at the point where, if an item of clothing isn't great, I don't buy it, no matter how inexpensive it is.

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Bouteloua - 04:57 pm Pacific Time - Jul 2, 2007 - #20 of 54

Bring a pen with you on an international flight so you can fill out customs and immigration forms.

Laliita - 10:43 am Pacific Time - Jul 3, 2007 - #30 of 54

If you have pets, or are frequently visited by small children, don't let several very tall, bushy thistle plants grow in your garden just because they look cool.

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Vinca Minor - 09:45 pm Pacific Time - Jul 3, 2007 - #42 of 54

Do not double dog dare your sometimes-inappropriate coworker to demonstrate how she makes her diaphragm "talk" just as the oldish college president is walking toward your office. She will take it out of her purse, manipulate its little "mouth" and throw her voice into it. He will drop his teeth in horror and never promote either one of you ever again.

Oh, why am I lying. Roadkilled career or not, hell, yes, I'd do it again. :D

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PaganMama - 06:37 am Pacific Time - Jul 4, 2007 - #45 of 54

When the new guy you're dating picks you up at your house for the very first time, do not forget that he may well know what "Lawrence Research Group" is and may while idly gazing at the day's mail stacked on your telephone table pick up the plain brown envelope and say, "Oh, Xandria sex toys!" leading to a somewhat awkward pause in the conversation.

texajen - 07:53 am Pacific Time - Jul 4, 2007 - #47 of 54

Do not attempt to learn how to drive on the "wrong side of the road" in England while your two bickering children play backseat driver. This may lead to some harrowing turns through tiny village streets whereby you peg a parked car's mirror with your mirror and then what are you going to do????

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Practice alone, if possible. Just sayin'.

Karenem - 09:56 am Pacific Time - Jul 5, 2007 - #52 of 54

Keep a spare house key in the garage, so when the toddler helpfully pulls the door shut, you are not locked in the garage with 3 kids, no purse, phone, or keys.

Best of Table Talk is an ongoing feature of Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week may be found in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.

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