I wonder if it's possible to have a love affair that lasts forever?

Andy Warhol

One Perfect Rose

A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet—
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
“My fragile leaves,” it said, “his heart enclose.”
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

Dorothy Parker


#277 Visit Washington, D.C.

Your father and I will take you there after you learn to read and write. It's important that you know our capital and feel the energy of your government at work.

Rocks Upon the Beach Sand Upon the Rocks. 1988. Lawrence Weiner

#276 Chin out and down.

This is the trick to avoiding a double chin in photographs. You want to stretch your neck up and out to a slightly unnatural degree (you'll feel like a giraffe), then tilt your chin downward.


#275 Get the assistant on your team.

In business it always helps to befriend the executive assistant; he or she holds a lot of sway behind the scenes.  Make sure the assistant who orders lunch for your conference gets a plate of food, include him or her in as many business decisions as reasonably possible, and remember his or her birthday.  These are kind gestures with obvious benefits: If the assistant likes you, chances are, the boss will like you.


Most Popular Advice of 2010

  • #212 Remember that most fairytales were written by men.
    Some of the greatest writers of children’s fables were male: The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, even Walt Disney. You are not a t...
  • #4 When given the opportunity, wear a costume.
  • #254 Imagine your father seeing that picture of you.
    Pictures are easily transmitted and recorded for posterity. The consequences of allowing yourself to be captured in a compromising light mig...
  • Those Winter Sundays
    Sundays too my father got up early 
    and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, 
    then with cracked hands that ached fr...
  • #13 You have a garden.
    If you ever get sad that you don't have a garden of your own, remember that you have hundreds of beautiful gardens all over the city and all...
  • #104 The size of your breasts truly does not matter.
  • #268 You will want some things that you will not get.
    You don't get everything you want in life. That's all there is to say about that.
  • #264 People can change, but you can’t change them.
  • #263 Accept chivalry.
    When your father and I started dating, I was shocked by the way he held every door for me and grasped my hand when I stepped off a low curb....
  • #244 If you don't have the money to buy an extravagant gift for someone special, bake!


Meadowland. 1985. Gerhard Richter



I go to the mountain side
of the house to cut saplings,
and clear a view to snow
on the mountain. But when I look up,
saw in hand, I see a nest clutched in
the uppermost branches.
I don’t cut that one.
I don’t cut the others either.
Suddenly, in every tree,
an unseen nest
where a mountain
would be.

Tess Gallagher


#274 Know your local government.

Know the names of the people who represent you in government, as well as their positions on pertinent issues. Write to them. If you are lucky enough to be represented by a congressperson you respect and admire, donate money to his or her campaign.


{a little diversion}

Prudent Advice was featured in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, in an article titled Books for The Pickiest Personalities in Your Life. I'm so honored that this book we created together was included.

Just a week until Christmas and you're plumb out of gift ideas for some of the tough customers in your life? Consider something deeply retro: a book...

The Young Mother
Prudent Advice: Lessons for My Baby Daughter, a Life List for Every Woman, by Jaime Morrison Curtis.

Read what they had to say at about Prudent Advice at The Wall Street Journal.

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Robert Hayden