Wear Sunscreen

I am the Class of '99. I thought at the time this was a fairly groovy tune. I've printed this out and stuck it around me, to remind myself of the important things. So, in my usual fashion, I thought I'd share.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of ’99: wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now:

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind, the race is long. And in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium

Be kind to your knees; you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


  1. ...or you'll end up looking like a raisin.

    So much truth there, and I too am a class of ´99. Well, ´98 but I remember loving this song.

  2. cyberpete ~ the sundried tomatoe look, just isn't sexy is it?

  3. (yes I know tomato doesn't have an 'e'. I just couldn't help myself)

  4. i remember reading this and laughing because i was already 49 and KNEW it was all true! xoxoxoxoo

    oh hai, cp! xox

  5. savannah ~ it's almost slap-the-forehead obvious, isn't it? I'm glad I revisited it this weekend though.

  6. I'm not too sure about the sunscreen thing. Since the "Slip Slop Slap"
    Campaign out her in the late 70's and through to today. a campaign to slip on a shirt, slap on sunscreen and slap on a hat. Every child has been lathered in sunscreen and made to wear hats since birth. Schools the country over have tubs of sunscreen in every classroom. And kids must apply it every time they go out to the playground. Doctors are now reporting finding children and even adults growing up under this regime with severe vitamin D deficiency and even rickets. I think a little bit of sun in moderation is what is needed.

    I do love the sentiment of this poem to music though.

    Oh hai Savvy... Pete

  7. As Dan Quayle would have it: potatoe!

  8. @ Princess: I thought "Slip Slop Slap" had something to do with STD prevention. Sorry.

  9. princess ~ I think if there's likely to be prolonged sun exposure or the likelihood of sunburn then sunscreen is a bloody good thing. I don't think it's necessary when going about your daily business.

    Therefore, I still stand with it.

    xl ~ now you're being insulting. I don't look anything like Dan Quayle.

    xl (again) ~ we need to work on your definition of safe sex hon. You've been spending waaay too much time on Infomaniac.


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