15) Get your nose out of other people’s time.
Look, I’m not saying it’s the best way to spend my time, but if I want to watch all eight seasons of 24 without stopping or sleeping, and pee in milk jugs, and wait to shower until the end, that’s my business, not yours. If I want to spend my time making cross-stitches of 2Pac, or pickle-flavored popsicles, or homemade deodorant, that’s my business as well. Not yours. Just because you wouldn’t spend your time the same way I would, doesn’t mean you can tell me my way is wrong or weird or time wasted.
When it might be your business: If you ever see me spend my time carrying fertilizer bags and gas masks into my apartment, I give you permission to poke your nose into my going-ons, because if you see something you should say something.
16) Get your nose out of other people’s circles of friends.
I’m always amazed when people I know and love begin telling me who I should and shouldn’t be hanging out with. They seem to forget that I’m a grown ass man. And their reasons are often stupid. She’s so weird! He’s such a nerd! Haven’t you noticed she waddles when she walks? I have different friends and different types of friends for a reason, and I don’t have to ever rationalize it, especially to other friends.
When it might be your business: The day I start carrying a puppet with me everywhere I go, and honestly believe that he’s my best friend, please find a way to steal it and make it go away forever.
17) Get your nose out of other people’s bling and ink.
If I want to jam a steel rod through my cheek, I am at a loss as to why I would need to explain that to you. If I want to pierce my nose, my ears, my lips, or my nipples, again, explain to me why I need to explain myself? Same goes for tattoos. You may not like it. You may not ever want the same thing for yourself. But it’s my body to do what I want with it.
When it might be your business: If I ever try and rally your encouragement to get my butt cheeks pierced together, please refuse it. Crunches would be brutal. Going number twosie would be complicated at best. Please don’t let me do that.
18) Get your nose out of other people’s belief in marriage.
We don’t live in the same world our parents and grandparents lived in. Marriage is not the same thing it used to be. Some people are all for it and the sanctity of it. Great! You’re not wrong. Some people will never want it and don’t believe in it. Great! You’re not wrong either. You can’t be wrong when you do what you believe. What’s wrong is to tell me that what I believe about it is wrong.
When it might be your business: If I ever start blogging about how God has told me to take myself a teenage wife, please call this number: 1-800-Cray-Cray.
19) Get your nose out of other people’s parenting.
This could be a huge post all by itself, so I’ll just bullet point the things that are none of your business: if I want kids. If I don’t want kids. If I can’t have kids. If I want to adopt kids. If I want to have lots of kids. If I want to discipline my child a certain way. If I want to keep my child up till eleven. If I want to keep my child up till 6:30. If I want to feed my child crap. If I want to buy my child a big new toy. If I want to give my child an iPad. If I want to get him a pony and keep that pony in his bedroom. I’m the parent. They’re my decisions. And you don’t have a say in it nor do I need to rationalize any of it to you.
When it might be your business: Please interfere with my parenting should you ever see me beat my kid, sexually abuse my kid, or bully my kid. Or when you see me flying drunk down the interstate while he jumps up and down in the back seat.
20) Get your nose out of other people’s generosity.
If I want to give my server a big tip, I don’t have to explain that to you just because you feel like a cheapskate. If I want to donate money to my church, I don’t have to explain that to you just because you don’t donate to charities. And if I want to hoard all my money to myself and never share with anyone, guess what. None of your business.
When it might be your business: If I start being generous with your money or your things, I suppose it’s okay to care. You know… if you see a hobo walking away with your television and he tells you he got it from me, go ahead and call me out on that.
And that’s my list. I wonder if it seems a bit harsh. After all, is it really so bad to care about others?
My answer is, no, it’s never bad to care about others. But with anyone I care about, I need to be invited to give my opinion or assesment on any of the above things before I willingly volunteer it.
It’s as simple as that.
So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What did I miss on the list and what maybe shouldn’t be there? You comments, please!
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. This blog post has also been recorded as a podcast. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.