We all know Spanish philosopher George Santayana's most famous line:
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
What few know, however, is the corollary Santayana uttered years later, apparently after having tried to cram a book deadline, a meeting with his child's math tutor and a three-day sangria bender all into one week:
"Those who are over 30 are too tired to remember where they put the car keys, much less the past, and are condemned to rely on yearly 'in/out' lists to tell them what not to repeat." ("Santayana: The Hung-over Rants," Oxford translation, 1952)
Eventually, real life erodes one's hipness detector.
One day you're in college. The next you're trying to pay bills. And before you know it, you're shuffling around in a stained terry-cloth robe mumbling, "I don't know how to dance anymore."
You no longer know what's right and what's wrong; what's in and what's out; what's hot and -- echhh -- what is not.
You need a cheat sheet.
Thus, our annual proclamation of what will matter for the next 12 months in food, fashion, sports, music, pop culture and the ever-amusing, ever-horrifying world of personal relations.
And all of it presented with a Santayana-like caveat:
Those who cannot remember to stop wearing clunky heels, drinking chardonnay and ordering tiramisu are condemned to stay home alone -- and probably wind up on a three-day sangria bender.
Stuff We Say
He's gotten huge He's gone Brando
Get in touch with ... Reach out to ...
I'll pay Comped
Forever F'days (for days)
Excuse me/I'm sorry My bad
What's up with that? What up?
Say a prayer for ... Have/think a good thought for ...
Been there, done that Seen the movie, got the T-shirt
Stuff We Do With Each Other
Obligatory social kissing Prolonged, heavy, sweat-inducing eye contact
Chat-room or e-mail sex An actual love letter. On paper. In your own handwriting
Marriage therapy weekends Tantric sex instruction weekends
Monologues about heinous past relationships Letting them go, for God's sake A little more scent A lot less scent. Maybe none -- just you
Nuked popcorn and a new release Cooking hugely and then watching a lush epic
Emotional baggage as anxiety- Emotional baggage as relief-inducing sign inducing sign this person could be trouble this person's actually had a life
Stuff We Eat and Drink
Microbrews Bud longnecks
Merlot Pinot noir, red zinfandel
Cajun Fusion (Asian/French, Asian/Italian, etc.)
National, kitsch-filled chain eateries Small, chef-owned joints that seat 20 tops
Silk centerpieces Edible centerpieces
Heavy chocolate desserts Fruit desserts
Stuff We Listen To
Mall-ternative (Wallflowers, Active rock radio format (Metallica and
Bush, Oasis, etc.) Bosstones alongside Van Halen, etc.)
Liam and Noel Gallagher as Beatles Ben Folds as Billy Joel
Jewel goes back to Alaska Ani DiFranco goes international
Crowd riding at concerts Standing there and listening to the !@#$ music
Mope-rock bands unwinding post-show Pile-driving rock bands unwinding post-show with a
with a quiet veggie meal at hotel TV hurled off the balcony at hotel
People Getting Sweaty
Dallas Cowboys, "America's Team AFC upstarts, i.e. K.C. Chiefs, Denver Broncos
Watching Air Jordan slam dunk Watching Lisa Leslie slam dunk
Jim Kelly as arrogant jerk Jim Kelly as human being
Marv Levy as God Marv Levy as fallen angel
Going to the game Watching it at home on dish
Sprewell as pawn in a setup Sprewell as spoiled brat
Sabres as favorite party we must attend Sabres as dysfunctional family we must endure
Us, Getting Sweaty
Snow tubing Snow biking
Boarding as neo-punk pastime Boarding as winter Olympic sport
NordicTraks Ultra-high-tech and/or family-size treadmills
Pro-franchise attendance Hanging out with your rec league
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston Cameron Diaz, Clare Danes
Chris O'Donnell Matt Damon
Quentin Tarantino Harmony Korine (wrote "Kids," directs upcoming "Gummo")
Movies as guidepost for the imagination Movies as occasional mind candy
"Beavis & Butt-Head" "King of the Hill"
"Daria" "South Park"
MTV's "Real World" VH1's "Pop-Up Video"
Barbed-wire tattoo around bicep, tongue stud Inkless bod, hole-less face
Low, hot sports cars you see outside Panache Huge, scary SUVs you see in your rear-view
Gaudy musicals in Toronto Smart plays in downtown Buffalo
Boot-leg and flare pants Capri pants
Chunk heels Ballets, flat sandals
Call waiting *69
Screening your calls Answering the phone and getting real: "Hi. Stop calling me."
The St. Patrick's Day Seneca Street pub-crawl
Broadway Market on Good Friday
Leather watchband or belt
A standard transmission
Eddie Murphy's "Honeymooners" bit
Schwabl's roast beef
Forgetting in/out lists; going with your gut