Words of Wisdom for Graduates

06/04/2015 06:30 pm ET | Updated Jun 04, 2016
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Well, another school year has passed without a single school district or university in the area asking this stay-at-home mom to be the keynote graduation speaker. Odd.

It's true that I may not have inspirational or motivational words to rival notable speakers who have gone before me, but I have learned some valuable life lessons in my 35 years on this planet. And I'm more than happy to share those lessons with still-malleable, impressionable minds. My tips for grads would include these gems...

1. Buy knock-off sunglasses. You'll put a pair of expensive sunglasses on your face and think, this is what I'm supposed to look like in sunglasses. I must have these. They're ridiculously priced, but you buy them anyway because well, you just have to. You promise yourself that you will take good care of this pair and not lose them like you have every other pair of sunglasses you've ever owned.

You will then leave those sunglasses in a restaurant or on the subway. You'll sit on them. Your baby or puppy will use them as a chew toy. They will be gone forever.

Don't be a victim. Buy five pairs of cheap knock-offs and put them in every bag you own. Stow them in your glove compartment. Be happy.

2. Don't spray paint your car. I imagine every person who has ever toyed with the idea of spray painting his car thinks that this time it will work; this will be the car that looks good spray-painted with Krylon's Burnt Sienna or Rustoleum's Sunburst Yellow. I also imagine that after the very first spray, said person knows this was a mistake. But he has to press on. He has to. And he knows that for the rest of that car's life (and maybe his own), he will have to pretend it was the best decision he ever made.

3. Rethink truck testicles. There is nothing more to say, really.

4. Fitted sheets are the worst. There are people who can fold fitted sheets into perfect squares. Those people dabble in black arts. Stay away from them.

5. Life is a circle. Harry Chapin has a song called "All My Life's A Circle." Harry was absolutely right. Life is a circle. It's a circle of fleeting relief that the dishes are clean, the laundry is done and the interior of the car is pristine followed by bitter disappointment that those things last 3.7 seconds before you must begin again.

6. To-go cups leak. You've seen commercials about plastic water bottles circling the planet more times than you can count. So you're going green. When you aren't doing dishes, laundry or cleaning the car, you're searching for the perfect to-go cup, water bottle or sippy cup. They all leak, most often when you or someone you love is wearing white. You'll collect enough of these to circle the planet more times than you can count.

7. Wet wipes will save your life. Don't wait until you have children to discover the value of wet wipes. Look what the person next to you is doing with his hands. You'll shake that hand later. You've been warned.

8. Markers and glue sticks dry out. When you need a marker or a glue stick, it will be dry. Even if you bought it three days ago. Especially if you have children.

9. Buy more socks. If you become obscenely wealthy, buy socks every single day and discard them after you wear them. Open a fresh pair the next day. Repeat. If you can't do this, know that you will spend an inordinate amount of time cursing under your breath while you search for the match you swore you just put in the wash.

10. If it's cheap, it's cheap. No explanation necessary.

11. If it's expensive, it's also cheap. I'm sorry. It's called planned obsolescence.

12. You will forget the reusable grocery bags. A lot.

13. Don't hate yourself. Everyone falls victim to a weight loss gimmick or an "as seen on TV" product. They get you in the early morning hours when you're up with a sick child or nursing yourself back to health after a particularly rough night. It's only a problem if you have an entire room of silicon egg poachers and kitchen knives that can cut through metal pipes.

The rest of the important stuff you know because you've seen it on memes circulating Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Now, go be great, grads!

This post was previously published on You can find more of Emily's musings on pop culture and parenthood on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.