Existentialism and its consequential duress should be retired by now. Trust-fund punks should have moved on from their self-imposed homelessness and three-car-garage bands long ago. Paperless Posts are the new flyers and Kindles are the new zines. Winona Whiners are passé and optimism is in. It’s 2015, and these are the lessons that we, the Gen X-ers, should have learned by now:
1. Date Troy Dyer, but marry Michael Grates. B.O. and sands of coolness are only hot when you’re 23 and Ethan Hawke. Michael will make partner, pay the mortgage and be a good dad. Troy will be eternally angst ridden and nag you for an allowance.
2. Don’t do coke. It’s glam when there’s good lighting, your voice is raspy, your name is Jules, and you can bat your eyes like a mofo at Rob Lowe and his sax. Otherwise, not so much. Without the St. Elmo’s theme song weeping in the background, it’s just gross.
3. Girls, stop pretending to like The Godfather. “Go to the mattresses” is a quote from You’ve Got Mail, and that’s all we need to know. Besides, as Meg Ryan asks perfectly, “What is it with men and The Godfather?”
4. Whether you’re a lawyer or any employee negotiating your salary, never accept a first offer. As Cher wisely reminds us, they’re “just a jumping-off point to start negotiations.”
5. Men, choose your best friend to marry. If she’s a chick drummer, score. I mean, Watts or Miss Amanda Jones? The answer is in the name. In the end, the underdog always wins. I guess that’s what you call some kind of wonderful.
6. Hoes before bros. If you haven’t learned by now, never break girl code. Kelly Taylor and Brenda Walsh have never been besties again since.
7. Don’t make assumptions, whether they’re a doctor, a writer or a Vegas waitress in Swingers. Who would have guessed that “Hold on, Voltaire” would come flying out of that waitress’s mouth as a comeback to Jon Favreau’s French philosophical reference? Not me.
8. Don’t sweat the small stuff. It turns out nothing is permanent. Don’t we all remember why Johnny Depp’s tattoo now reads, “Wino Forever”? Nothing is forever. Not even Winona.
This article was originally published on